From BCC,Essence online to Global Grind, media outlets are still buzzing about the outfit worn by the Cameroonian delegation to this year’s Olympic opening ceremony in Rio. Cameroon is blessed with so many tribes and there’s a traditional outfit for each tribe or region. The outfit the delegation wore is called Toghu and it’s from the North West region of Cameroon.
My dad always used to wear his toghu attire with so much pride. Apart from a pair of white socks and well polished black shoes that always attracted the sun rays, It consisted of a wrap skirt that was worn underneath the big black thick cotton ankle length gown embroidered(using mostly white,red,green and yellow threads) with gongs and other traditional symbols and overflowing sleeves. I’d watch my dad fold his sleeves and rest them on both shoulders , revealing his immaculate white singlet underneath. Then over his head and on his neck, he’d carefully place his traditional deep purple and white glass beaded neckless. Then the knitted colourful hat(Bamenda countri cap) would be placed nicely on his head. He’d then collect his the woven bag with the map of Cameroon on it and place across his left shoulder to his right hip, then the traditional ‘horn’ cup for palmwine drinking would be place nicely in the bag with some few Kola(cola nuts) Once the ritual of putting together the toghu outfit was complete, dad would seal everything with a lavish spray of his special perfume with a strong but soothing smell which always still lingered long after he had left. Standing in all his full toghu glory and holding his specially crafted waka(walking) stick, all I could see was a man full of pride…pride for his culture…pride for his country.