What is Oku like?
The land surface of Oku is approximately 800 square kilometers. The population roughly 130,000 inhabitants, who are settled on about 500 square kilometers of both high and low lands, 300 km2 of which is made up of mountainous forest perpetuated by parches of grassland, rich in bird life, fauna and flora. The peak of this zone is Mount Kilum (Mount Oku) at an elevation of 3,011 meters above sea level; it is the second highest peak in West Africa after Mount Cameroon. This is an interesting site for hiking and camping where you will be exposed to endemic species of birds, fauna, flora and beautiful savanna, all within the pleasantly cool Oku climate. About 200 birds species are found on Mount Oku, with endemic species of Bannerman’s Turaco, Banded Wattled Eye, Black-crown Waxbill, Cameroon Olive Pigeon, and Bamenda Apallis. Come and have a taste of the famous Oku sardin (Oku mouse).
Lake Oku, a magnificent crater lake of 10.000 m2 is also a worthy tourist attraction. Following it myth of creation, in Oku it is believed that a goddess called Ma, who was denied food, water and a haircut at Kejem Fondom, found these favors in Oku. In compensation for the hospitality of the Oku palace and people, and in punishment of the Kejem people, Ma drowned the Kejem, sparing only those who have given her food. A dispute over ownership of the lake erupted between Ebkwo (Oku) and Kejem. In an attempt to break the stalemate between them, Ma accepted sacrifices from the Fon of Oku and slaughtered the Fon of Kejem after accepting his gifts. Today, the people of Oku offer yearly sacrifices to Ma, the renowned goddess of the lake and any newly crowned Fon of Oku must be presented to the goddess of the lake. She is the goddess of birth, fertility and increase in population and food. Thus the lake is called “Mawes” (our Ma).
The Fon of Oku
His Royal Majesty Fon Ngum IV
The Fon, ruler of the Fondom of Oku is answerable to kwifon society. His Royal Majesty, Fon Sintieh II who reigned over the Fondom. His Royal Majesty, Fon Sintieh II, was enthroned on the 4th of April, 2006 after the death of his father, Fon Ngum III.
Oku is characterized by subsistence farming. There is a shortage of arable land, and the people farm even the steep hillsides. A typical practice is to plant beans, corn, and potatoes together in the same furrows. There is also a lot of bee farming in OKU and Oku is the only area in the whole of Cameroon that produces the natural white honey and has an Oku Honey Cooperative to manage and sell what bee farmers harvest.
The religion of the region is predominantly a mixture of assorted local traditional beliefs (chiefly ancestor worship, also animism and paganism) with diluted forms of Christianity (mostly Baptist and Catholic, but also Lutheran and Charismatic; the Church of the Brethren are also represented).
Oku people are generally welcoming, gentle and hospitable. Come and have a taste of the famous Oku sardin (Oku mouse). The traditional dish of Oku is corn fufu (from maize flour) and jamajama (vegetables) and katikati (chicken).