The Leopard that Came to Laikom: Michael Timneng in Colonial Cameroon

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Abstract

Michael Timneng, from the Kom kingdom in the Bamenda Grassfields, led a life both remarkable and unremarkable, leaving an indelible mark on Kom society. Born before the establishment of a permanent European presence in the late nineteenth century, his life not only coincided more or less with the colonial enterprise, it also reflected that enterprise. He fulfilled a succession of roles, including palace retainer, early Christian convert, soldier in the German Schutztruppe during the First World War, internee in Spanish Equatorial Guinea, founder of the Catholic mission in Kom in 1919, Catechist for over a decade, Bible translator, and political dissident persecuted both by traditional and colonial administrations. His biography is an intriguing illustration of the intersection of colonial politics with personal ambition and circumstance. A closer look at life stories such as that of Michael Timneng can further our understanding of the repercussions of European policy and interests on individual lives, in turn spawning new questions about the impact of colonial rule in general.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Individual in African History
EditorsKlaas van Walraven
Place of PublicationLeiden, The Netherlands
PublisherBrill
Pages148-169
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)978-90-04-40782-4
ISBN (Print)978-90-04-40781-7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameAfrican Dynamics
PublisherBrill
Volume17

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