Bimbia Slave trade village: The door of no return
Bimbia Slave trade village. Cameroon slave trade served a very important supply zone for the export of African slaves to the New World after the Portuguese exploration on the Cameroon coast.
Cameroonian slaves were mostly sold to the Fernando Po collection center. The island of Fernando Po was one of the main collection points for slaves taken along the Bight of Benin. The Duala Kings were the predominant slave-trading middlemen in these transactions.
The majority of slaves traded from the Cameroon coast came from inland invasions as well as from the neighboring Bataga, Bassa, and Bulu.Four groups Tikari, Douala-Bimbia, Banyangi and Bakossi, Bamileke accounted for 62 percent of the people carried out of the River and from Bimbia in these years.
The door of no return
Bimbia was an independent state of Isubu people of Cameroon, in 1884 annexed by the Germans and incorporated in the colony of Kamerun.
It lies in Southwest Region, to the south of Mount Cameroon and to the west of the Wouri estuary.
It is situated at the East coast of the Limbe Sub Division.
Bimbia consists of three villages: Dikolo Bona Ngombe and Bona Bille.
In 1932 the population of Bimbia was about 2500 peoples.
Bimbia was the first place the Jamaican and English Baptist missionaries led by Rev. Alfred Saker set foot on the Cameroon shore in 1858, from Fernando Po. There he built the first school and first church. Later he went to Victoria where he built the Ebenezer Baptist church. The Bimbia man was the first person to go to Saker’s school and the first to become Christian.
Bimbia is just endowed with lavished tourism potentials with historical tourism being one of its greatest attractions. Slave trade may have come and gone but relics of this callous activity which saw the buying and selling of human beings like commodities can still be spotted in the old time classic village of Bimbia.
Though in ruins, this over a century old slave market still has vestiges that can be used to tell the story to future generations. The “door of no return” still stands tall as no slave returned after passing through it.
Another site worth a stop around the area is the first ever Baptist church built by Alfred Saker and the “Camp Bimbia” which served as the missionary’s home.
The slave trade site has existed for over centuries and till date has maintained its naturalists look.
With the creation of a Sub divisional council and a Municipality in Limbe III, the hidden potentials of Bimbia and Limbe III in general came to the limelight.
The Bimbia slave trade site has been an attraction to many visitors who visit the site in a bid to relive the experience. The residues of this site are still very obvious even after over a century of their construction.
Get the chance to fathom what life was for a captured Cameroonian (prospective slave) at the site and beyond once they crossed the “door of no return”.
Over the years a good number of tourists, approximately 5000, have set foot in the historical site.
The first were the Afro American Root Tracers, under the guise of Ark Jammers Inc.
Since 2010, through the ARK Jammers’ Ancestry Reconnection Program, close to 150 Americans whose DNA traced their origins to Cameroon, have travelled to Bimbia, giving the site increased national and international attention.
This opened the way for many other groups of persons to storm the slave trade site and discover the marvels of the 18century slave market.
School Children,Researchers, Parliamentarians from different Countries, Assorted Tourists on recommendation, Government Officials, Non Governmental Organisations, The Former US President, Robert P. Jackson and Wife etc Tourists who visit the Slave trade site will be marvelled by a handful of historical elements such as;
The traced path from Dikolo mainland to the Departure point, the remnants of slave chains, huts where the slaves were kept before taken off to the west, the exit beach and the enactment of a Slave Trade scene by the Limbe III Council theatre group.
In 2012, The United States Department of State Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs approved $76,400 (FCFA 40 million) in funding for a cultural preservation project to preserve and partially restore the remains of the Bimbia slave trade port.
The cultural preservation project entitled “Documentation and restoration of the 18th Century Slave Port in Bimbia,” was proposed to the US Embassy by a Limbe based Civil Society organisation, Cameroon Association of Media Professionals, CAMP.
The “Documentation and Restoration of the 18th Century Slave Trade Port of Bimbia” was one of the nine projects in Sub Saharan Africa selected for funding through the Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation. However due to conflict of interest the project was never started.
This has made the socio –economic impact of this site on the locality to be hardly felt.
Please contact us for trip details. Note that the prices attached to these trips include comfortable hotel lodgings, 3 square meals and others.