Foning’s Double Marriage,Title Spark Controversy Over Burial
Controversy has sparked off among the Bamileke community in Douala and beyond, as to where the CPDM bigwig and Mayor of Douala V, Francoise Foning, should be buried. Foning died in Yaounde on January 23, following a ghastly road accident.
The controversy is due to the fact that Foning was not only a Queen Mother (Mafo) in the Chief Palace of her native Bafou, but she also got married to more than one man. Questions are even being raised as to whether she was formally married to her supposed first husband, who is also of blessed memory.
Meantime, some unpleasant information about late Foning’s marriage life that was rarely talked about is now coming out and being discussed in Douala and fueling rumours and debates. The situation is aided by the fact that, while Foning lived, she persistently evaded talking about her family life in public, except about her parents, especially her late father, HRH Salomon Tsopgny, who was the Paramount Chief of Bafou in Menoua Division of the West Region.
One of the debates is on the exact number of children the late Foning had. The expression being used now is that she had many children. Foning has always lived with many children, mostly extended family members, and rarely called any of them by name or shown any special affection to one or the other. She had the habit of fondly calling each of the children as “my son” or “my daughter.” Jean Robert Wafo (an SDF Shadow Cabinet member), who knew Foning’s first husband closely, told The Post that late Foning had three children with her first husband, who was of the SDF.
Francoise Nguiazong Tsopgny, reportedly first got married to Nkueté, who hailed from Babadjou in Bamboutos Division, West Region and they had three children. Apparently, the marriage did not go well and they separated. Francoise later got married to another son of the Bamboutos, Foning, who hailed from Bangang Village. But the separation between Nkuete and Francoise seemed to have extended to politics, with Nkuete joining SDF upon the party’s creation, while his former wife, consolidated her position in the ruling CPDM. Foning got into Parliament in 1992 on the CPDM ticket, while Nkuete became the Mayor of Douala V, when the SDF won the Council for the first time in the 1996 Municipal Elections. Francoise was re-elected into Parliament in 1997. Thus Nkueté was Mayor of Douala V and his former wife the MP of the same municipality. However, Nkueté died during his mandate as Mayor of Douala V. Foning reportedly played an active part in her former husband’s funeral, considering especially that they had children.