Chimamanda Ngozi, famous Nigerian writer and powerful speaker, joined her voice to that of the Nso people to call on the Germans to return the Ngonnso.
She spoke her mind as she addressed the Humboldt forum in Germany. Hear her in usual soft-spoken yet strong tone.
“Obviously i don’t think everything should be sent back to the countries they came from.
Not everything was stolen.
But, those things that are sacred, those things for whom people were killed, those things that have in them, the stains of innocent blood 🩸 those should be returned.
Obviously, we do not have all the information, there are fact lost in unrecorded history. But, we can draw reasonable conclusions based on information that we do have.
We can deduce for example that the, Ngonnso, the beautiful sculpture, the founder and guiding spirit of the Nso people of Cameroon, a former German Colony could not have possibly been obtained under benign circumstances.
Because, why would you willingly give up your guiding spirit?
It is also important to remember that not all wounds are visible, some wounds we carry in our hearts, inherited from our parents, passed on to our children”.
She maintained that the discourse is not just about the Humbodt forum, but about museums in Europe, in France, the Vatican, in Britain.
Chimamanda however, acknowledge that Germany 🇩🇪 is the first of the powerful European nations to have made a gesture to send back Artefacts taken during the colonial period.
Leading a protest on the streets of Berlin, Shinnyuy Gad addressed those who joined him and the Nso people to signal the importance of Ngonnso and the need for her to be sent back to her rightful place.
“A great Artefact of honour, a spiritual object that represents, the founder of the Nso dynasty, the Ngonnso whose photo you see us carrying here today.
The Ngonnso is an epicentre of peace to the Nso people. Now as I am speaking to you, my people are in pains. My People are in real pains. When the Ngonnso is not in the Nso kingdom, it is like the Nso origin and heritage are in a foreign land. And that land is here in Berlin, Germany.
When Lieutenant Von Pavel brought this object to Germany, Germans welcomed it and kept it in the Ethnological Museum, the bunker for decades without bringing it out for exhibition.
Today the Humboldt forum is proud to bring the object out in public for exhibition, I therefore stand here to pass a message to the Humboldt forum”.
“Ngonnso is not an object for public exhibition. Ngonnso is not a museum object. She is the centre of what is sacred to the Nso people and her rightful place is only in the Nso palace, in the Nso Kingdom.
Shinnyuy urged those present to join him and the voices of the Nso people to say no to the exhibition of Ngonnso in public. No to the exhibition of other Artefacts with similar problems taken during colonial times.”.
“If we are truly are sincere to ourselves and say colonialism is over, let us do the right thing”, he said regretting that colonial has left the front and is now in the back stage.
Njobati Sylvie, the face behind the #BringBackNgonnso campaign travelled 3000 mile to protest the display of Ngonnso.
“I am a young person who is disconnected from her culture and identity, how can i move forward when i don’t really know where i am coming from? she quizzed.
“How i am supposed to appreciate my history when it has been twisted to suit a colonial narrative i do not choose to be a part of, she added.
Njobati condemned the imprisonment of Ngonnso and other Artefacts at the Museum.