Muyuka Sons And Daughters of America

Unity – Solidarity – Progress

NJANGI

NJANGI

 

Many of us from Cameroon are aware of one of the most effective economic tools used to by individuals to develop economically.  The tool I am referring to is Njangi. Many Cameroonians have carried out projects they would not have otherwise carried out without participating in Njangi.

What actually is Njangi?

Njangi will be best described as follows: Two or more individuals come together to carry out a project first for the benefit of one then for the benefit of the other. In the cash Njangi, each will contribute a certain amount and give to the other and the next time they make the same contribution and give to the next person and so on until all the members have benefitted. This service or contribution is carried out until all the members of the njangi have benefitted.

These contributions or services extend to farming, building, cash or whatever the individuals concerned agree on.

It is believed by some people that the cash njangi came into prominence during the days of the “maquisars” in the Bamileke land. People participating in the fight for independence from the colonial masters were being pursued by the Government forces. These individuals could not therefore appear in the banks to put in their moneys or make withdrawals and so they chose one of the “innocent” citizens to be their banker. They will make their contribution to him and when all have participated he will in turn hand over the money to the beneficiary. This was done in private and it worked well. Their true wealth was unknown to the authorities and they were able to carry out projects directly or through members of their families.

Today Njangi is present in many meeting houses, cultural groups etc. It has been so developed that it is almost a banking operation.

The cash Njangi is organized in many formats. One of them is that before the njangi starts, a schedule of beneficiaries – that the order of benefiting is determined.

Another format is that at each meeting a beneficiary is chosen by lot. The third format is that the contributed money is auctioned to those who have not yet benefitted. At the end of the Njangi the profit of the auction is divided amongst the members. Sometimes the amount each receives is greater than the amount each benefited

This tool is one that has served a lot of people and it is built on trust. The simple rule of the Njangi is that:

Njangi is never sick, never goes on a journey, never dies. What this means is that no one fails to contribute when the day comes. There is no excuse for not contributing.

This is one of our most useful financial traditions which will continue for a long time. Right now Musada in USA has one running alongside the monthly meeting. Why not join it?

 

Edward Mokam

 

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