20 YEARS HISTORY OF BOBA-USA (1993-2012)
During the winter months of 1989, a group of CPC Bali ex-students who gathered to play table tennis at the home of Mr. Victor Ndonyi in Wheaton, MD discussed the need to form a Bali Old Boys Association in the US. As a result of this discussion, a follow up planning meeting took place in March 1989 at Victor’s home. Here below are some key events that resulted from this meeting twenty years later.
On April 29, 1989 The first BOBA chapter in continental United States, later called BOBA-DC was formed. The meeting was hosted at the home of Mr. Eric Igwacho located at The Presidential Towers Apt, 1836 Metzerott Road, Apt 1107, Adelphi, MD 20783. The 9 founding members who attended this meeting were:
Mr. Victor Ndonyi, Mr. Carl Monie, Mr. Julius Abangma, Mr. Eric Anyangwe (later Fon), Mr. Eric Igwacho, Mr. Adolph Ngundam, Mr. Eric Aseneh, Mr. Sabum Anyangwe, Mr. Felix Fokum.
The first elected executive officers were:
President: Mr. Carl Monie
Vice President: Mr. Victor Ndonyi
Secretary: Mr. Eric Igwacho
Treasurer: Mr. (now Fon) Eric Anyangwe
Regular monthly meetings were held thereafter, by rotation at the homes of members.
December 1990: BOBA-DC was launched to the Cameroon community in DC through a free Christmas Party which took place in DC on December 22, 1990. The party, which was the first ever of its type in the area, was hailed by the Cameroon community in the DC area as a huge success. Regular monthly meetings were held
1992: After a period of inactivity (comma), a committee was created to re-vitalize the association and explore the possibility of making it a national association. The Re-Awakening committee headed by Dr. Steve Andoseh and Mr. Joseph Mancho, was created. The two committee leaders and a group of other bobans made trips to Chicago, MN and Atlanta to sensitize other Bobans living in these areas. A national meeting (convention) to start a BOBA-USA branch was then planned for the following year.
1993: At the first national convention holding at the Silver Spring Presbyterian Church, MD BOBA-USA was formed. The first elected executive officials of the branch were:
President: Dr. Stephen Andoseh
Vice President: Mr. Charles Abam
Secretary General: Mr. Eric Igwacho
Treasurer: Mr. Eric Anyangwe (later became Fon)
Elections were to hold every two years, thereafter.
1994: No significant event. The executive was basically working on laying a foundation for the association.
1995: In a passionate call by President Andoseh to shake up a passive executive, Dr. George Jing was elected Treasurer and Mr. Abam was reprimanded by the GA for being absent in association affairs. After an appeal to be more active, Mr. Abam was re-elected as Vice President. He later became more active as this executive took over the assignment as the BOBA-USA Golden planning Jubilee executive.
1996: Dr. Daniel Muna, newly elected BOBA President attended the BOBA-USA convention. Dr. Muna briefed the association on BOBA Golden Jubilee planning taking place in Cameroon and called on all Bobans in the USA to participate in the event.
1997-1997: BOBA-USA decided to hold all its conventions in DC due to the increased chances of fund-raising. Successful fundraising events were held in DC and a total of about $20,000 was raised and contributed to BOBA in Cameroon as our own GJ funds.
1999: The CPC Bali GJ celebrations took place in Bali, Cameroon. BOBA-USA was well represented by Doctors Andoseh and Jing. After what some would describe as an excellent tenure in office, the BOBA-USA GJ executive came to an end and a new chapter was started in BOBA-USA that focused mainly on structuring the association.
2000: The first post GJ BOBA-USA executive was elected in Atlanta, Ga. Ms. Irene Atekwana became the first female president of BOBA-USA after Mr. George Ngwang who was elected president resigned before being sworn into office. At this convention, BOBA-NE was given the assignment of writing a BOBA-USA constitution.
2001: No major event
2002: The BOBA-USA convention was ratified on July 6, 2002 in Beltsville, MD. The chairman of the convention, BOBA-NE member Mr. Ikome presided over the event.
2003: The BOBA-USA foundation by-laws and the article 3 of the constitution, creating the BOBA-USA Office of the Ombudsman was ratified at the MN convention. In synopsis, the duties of the Foundation was to carter for the long term projects of the association, while the Office of the Ombudsman was to ensure the smooth running of the association, including elections supervision. The following officers were elected/confirmed by the GA
First BOBA-USA Ombudsman: Mr. Valentine Gana
First Board of trustee members elected by their chapters and validated by the GA were:
- Steve Andoseh, DC representative
- Ndi Manjong, NE representative
- Peter Igwacho (Dr) MN representative
- Ambe Roland (later Dr) GA representative
2004: The O’Neil Library Equipment Campaign (TONLEC) was created by executive decision of the Walters Aziah executive. The purpose of the campaign was to equip the O’Neil library with books and state-of-the –art equipment. Mr. Eric Igwacho was named as Chairman of this campaign.
Under Mr. Igwacho’s leadership, TONLEC was subdivided into teams with assigned duties as follows:
- The IT Team – headed by Misters Carl Monie and Godlove Ngwafusi.
Duty: To develop an Internet program for the school
- The Software Team – headed by Dr. Adolph Abgormbai
Duty: To develop a Library software program
- The Audio/Visual Team – headed by Dr. Abongwa Ndumu and Celestine Atangcho
Duty: To collect audio/visual learning equipment for the school
- The Fundraising Team – headed by Ms. Pauline Ngalame
Duty: To raise funds to finance the project
- The shipping Team – headed by Mr Gustave Achu
Duty: To organize the shipment of books and equipment to Cameroon
- The Receiving Team – headed by Mr. Kingsley Ndi
Duty: To arrange for the receiving books and equipment in Cameroon and their transportation to Bali
- The TONLEC Auction – Headed by Ms. Patience Mancho and Babila Tata
Duty – to conduct a naming rights public auction of rooms and spaces in the Library as a method of fund raising.
- Advisers: Mr. Joseph Mancho and Doctor Isaac Tasinga
2005: TONLEC held its first fundraising banquet in DC. The Wash House campaign was created, headed by Mr. Gerard Mofor and Kingsley Gwei. BOBA-USA had its most contested election at the Boston convention.
On September 5th, 2005, a BOBA-USA delegation met with the PCC Moderator, Rt Rev. Nyansako Ni Nku at the Silver Spring Presbyterian church. At the meeting, BOBA-USA pointed out some concerns the association had regarding the failing standards of the school. Some points mentioned were:-
- A poor performance by CPC in the 2005 GCE “O” and “A” levels
- The unhealthy, unsafe and horrible wash houses being used by students in CPC
- Poor infrastructure maintenance in CPC
- Inadequate teaching staff in CPC
- Excessive student manual labor and less study time
- A call for the PCC to support BOBA projects such as the TONLEC project
- The possibility of a BOBA ownership stake of CPC Bali
The Moderator requested that these concerns and any suggestions for improvement be sent to the BOBA President General in Cameroon who will then channel it to the PCC for review by the Synod.
2006: TONLEC shipped a total of 35,000 books to CPC Bali. Over $20,000 was donated online for the procurement of this activity. Mr. Igwacho resigned at the end of his term, and Bah Carl Monie was named the new Chairman of TONLEC.
In July 2006, the President General of BOBA, President of BOBA-USA and President of BOBA Yaounde jointly announced the creation of the BOBA office of Alumni Affairs Coordinator. The purpose of the office was to have an officer on CPC Bali campus paid by BOBA, who will manage the affairs of the association relating to the school. The officer will report directly to the BOBA-USA Foundation. Mr. Emanuel Ndunui was later hired to fill this position in September 2008 at an annual salary of about CFA 1.2 millions.
2007: In November 2007, members of BOBA-USA had a telephone conference meeting with Mr. Bob Achu, acting Secretary General of BOBA. Mr. Achu stated that he was meeting with BOBA-USA by delegation of the President General, Dr. Dan Muna, to determine the feasibility of holding a BOBA GA meeting. BOBA-USA proposed that a GA meeting be scheduled for the month of December, mainly because it was a more convenient time for its members to attend due to better weather and also because of the holiday season when most Diasporans travel to Cameroon. Mr. Achu agreed to have further discussion on this in Dec when there would be a NEC meeting. Two BOBA-USA officials, President Gana and Organizing Secretary Abongwa Ndumu travelled to Cameroon to attend the meeting. No meeting took place, but the idea of hosting a December convention remained alive.
2008: At the 2008 convention holding in DC, the following resolutions were passed:
- Full funding of the Alumni Relations Officer for 1 year pending the 50/50 agreed payment between BOBA-USA and BOBA Yaounde.
- BOBA-USA annual membership due was increased from $60 to $100.
- The National Treasurer will not accept direct payments from members who live in an area where there is a chapter.
July 2008, TONLEC, under the Chairmanship of Mr. Monie, shipped over 50 used computers to CPC Bali for the Library Computer Lab usage.
April 2009, a delegation of BOBA-USA met with Prof Chumbow in Bowie, MD, relating to the proposed Christian University. The prof called on all Bobans to support the project.
July 12, 2009, the death of BOBA President General, Dr. Dan Muna was announced. BOBA USA organized a wake keeping in the US for the fallen hero. BOBA-USA also sent CFA 1 million to BOBA Cameroon as its contribution.
After the Muna burial, the left over BOBA executive held a series of meetings to revise the existing BOBA constitution and organize elections.
The death of BOBA-USA Organizing Secretary, Dr. Abongwa Ndumu left a huge vacuum in its activities.
The newly elected PCC Moderator, Rev Festus Asana, attended the BOBA-USA GA meeting holding in MD. Members of the association vented their frustration with the PCC for neglecting CPC over the years. The Moderator, as a Boban, pledged to pay more attention to the school.
The GA passed a resolution rejecting the proposed BOBA Cameroon constitution as a model for a global association. Amongst other things, the constitution was cited as being too vague on many important issues such as election of executive members. BOBA-USA suggested that a GA convention be held in Dec 2011 or Dec 2012 to discuss the future of the association.
Due to territorial laws and limitations, BOBA-USA and BOBA Germany jointly suggested that a Federal constitution be drawn for a global BOBA that would also recognize National associations such as BOBA-USA, BOBA-Cameroon, BOBA-Germany etc.
August 2011, BOBA Cameroon adopted its constitution at a GA meeting in Bali attended by 90 Bobans.