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Harmony O'Rourke

Cameroonian politician, educator, and farmer, was born Ngu Foncha in the fondom (similar to the concepts of kingdom or chiefdom) of Nkwen, of the colonial Southern Cameroons, to Foncha, a prince of the fondom, and his fourth wife, Ngebi. Though his father never became the fon (king or chief) of Nkwen, the boy Ngu grew up in the Nkwen palace precincts. He attended a Christian mission at Big Babanki, where he was baptized in 1924 and took the name John. In 1926 he went to the Bamenda Government School, where he impressed a Nigerian teacher, who enrolled him in Calabar’s St. Michael’s School. In 1934, Foncha returned to Cameroon to serve as a teacher but headed back to Nigeria in 1936 to seek further training at the Saint Charles’ Teachers Training College at Onitsha. From 1939 to 1947 Foncha taught in Njinikom Cameroon a stint that was ...


Lauren Derby

a field hand who became the most important early-twentieth-century faith healer and prophet of the Dominican Republic. He died at the hands of the United States Marines during the American occupation of the country (1916–1924). His spiritual influence later passed to brothers Plinio and León Romilio Ventura Rodríguez, igniting a major reincarnation of this faith-healing community until it was crushed by army repression in 1961. Called “El Brujo” (the witch) by his detractors, and “El Maestro” (the teacher) by his supporters, Olivorio continues to be a source of solace and spiritual sustenance in the southwestern region among the poor around San Juan de la Maguana, as well as a potent Creole emblem of popular nationhood, regional identity, and resistance to the state.

Olivorio, also known as “Liborio,” hailed from humble origins. He was born around 1875 in the rural commune of El Naranjal Maguana Arriba in ...