STILL STANDING AND GROWING STRONGER
Not so long ago, most Cameroonians like other Africans who came to the US had a transient mentality. Most of them were students. They came here with the sole purpose of getting their education and returning home to build their country. Through the years many factors have come into play to alter that trend, many Cameroonians are immigrating to the US to stay! We will not do an exposition here on why and how those factors came into play for fear of falling into any post hoc, ergo propter hoc or cum hoc, ego propter hoc arguments.
Whatever the case, Minnesota has benefited from this trend, currently over 4,000 Cameroonians have found abode within its borders. If you ask them why they chose this state to call home, be it ephemeral or permanent, you will have a potpourri of reasons. Family, friends, marriage, education, jobs, only to name a few and they would always end up by saying ” I no know weti I di do for here, dis place too cold, I di cam comot for here”. But they hardly ever leave! There must be something special about the land of 10,000 lakes, the land of the most shopping malls, the land of the biggest mall in US (Mall of America), the land of one of the best education systems in the US (always in the top 5 in SAT and top 10 in ACT scores for high school students), the land of one of the cleanest states in the US, the land of one with the lowest unemployment rate (3.7%) in the country and yes the land with one of the coldest winters!
Sobans have not been “immuned” to this trend and have also not been able to escape from the Minnesota “web”. Through the years our numbers have kept on increasing, some coming fresh from home, some transplanted from other states and some have just been here forever!! Different reasons brought them to Minnesota but Sobanly brotherhood brought them together to form Soba Minnesota. Soba Minnesota, perhaps like most other Chapters is an eclectic bunch, with members in its fold who went to Sasse during different decades, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and even 21st century! Check us out below.
Our little History:
- Sasse did it again!! Always the trailblazers, always the trend setters and always the pioneers of sorts, Sobans (in Minnesota) led the way again!
- Soba Minnesota took its first Sobanly “baby steps” by calling to order its first meeting in 1993.
- By that Sobanly act of “ingenuity”, it was the first such alumni or alumna Cameroon association in Minnesota!
- Since then despite typical growing pains, it is still standing and growing stronger under its young and vibrant leadership group.
- Soba Minnesota boasts of 17 active members with the following current executive. Soban Kinsley Ayangim – President, Soban Raymond Fru – Vice President, Soban Moki Ndobedi – Treasurer, Soban Fai Kanjoh – Secretary and Soban Francis Njila – Financial Secretary.
We are counted:
- Soba Minnesota has not only been active in almost all Soba USA endeavors but it has also had an endearing presence in Minnesota Cameroonian community activities.
- The Minnesota Cameroonian Community (MINCAM) is one of the most vibrant and well-structured Cameroonian “umbrella” organization in the diaspora, period! Soba Minnesota is one of its key alumni members.
- Soba Minnesota contributed financially to fund raising efforts used to secure the Cameroon Community Center (CCC) and has also participated and organized grassroots fundraising drives for its upkeep.
- Soba Minnesota has been very prominent in MINCAM leadership. The first President was Soban Michael Fondungallah. The current Chairman of the Board is Senior Soban Steve Ndely and the current Treasurer is Soban Moki Ndobedi.
- Soban Minnesota is the only alumni group which has sponsored and fielded a team to participate in the MINCAM annual summer soccer league.
We are counted (take two):
- Since Soba Minnesota was formed, it has been part of Soba USA and Soba America family.
- At least one member from its chapter has been present during yearly Soban national convention activities.
- Soba Minnesota has hosted many conventions and hosted the 75th Anniversary Convention celebration which raised the highest amount of funds any chapter has ever raised. It is now known as “The Land Of 10,000 Lakes and 10,000 profits”.
- In the past fifteen years, a Soba Minnesotan has always had a seat on the Soba USA / America executive table.
- Soba Minnesota organized a book drive for our alma mater and the books were delivered by Soban Celestain Fonge.
Get to know us – typical Soba Minnesota activities:
- Catch us at our “monthly” meetings on the second Saturday of each month.
- Reason and debate with us during our bi-monthly business meetings, when we discuss and vote on serious items pertaining to and concerning our group.
- Laugh and relax with us during the alternating bi-monthly social meetings, when we get together just to socialize and sometimes with our Sobanese. During these meetings, we might have discussions but nothing gets voted on, recommendations if any are moved to the business meeting. Sometimes we welcome the next generations of Sobans or Sobanese during these meetings. Thanks to Minnesota weather, there have been many of those!! LOL
- Enjoy and feast with us during one of our family orientated outings manifested in our yearly picnics, St. Joseph’s Day celebrations and Soba Minnesota sponsored dinner outings with our Sobanese.
- Exercise and have fun with us as we compete (more like partake) in the Minnesota Community summer soccer league competition. Victories are not guaranteed!! LOL
- Party with us during our almost yearly Fundraising Gala usually held during the Thanksgiving weekend.
Did you know?
- Did you know the Sobans who have served the longest as Soba USA National President, National Secretary and Financial Secretary are Soba Minnesotans?
- Did you also know that the Cameroonian who has so far lived the longest in Minnesota is a Soban?
- Did you know that Minnesota actually has summers and beautiful fall and spring weather!! LOL
- Finally did you know, we will give you a Sobanly Minnesota Nice welcome when you move to Minnesota?
- Did you know the Cameroonian who received the Martin Luther King Jr. Award in the state of Minnesota is a Soban?
Well now you know, COME ON THEN!!