Cameroon: ‘King Bell’, a monarch like no other

By Georges Dougueli
Posted on Friday, 18 November 2022 13:11

The current King of Canton Bell, Jean-Yves Eboumbou Douala Manga Bell, in Paris at Jeune Afrique headquarters, 11 October 2022. ©Bruno Lévy for JA

More than 100 years after the execution of his great-grandfather, who was hanged by the Germans, Jean-Yves Eboumbou Douala Manga Bell continues to fight for the recognition of the crimes of colonisation.

He arrives at Jeune Afrique’s headquarters in Paris in a traditional Sawa dress, wearing two necklaces made of cowrie shells and pearls around his neck.

Jean-Yves Eboumbou Douala Manga Bell is the heir to a dynasty that has “reigned” since 1792 over part of the Douala community. He has come to talk about his great-grandfather, Rudolf Douala Manga Bell, who was hanged on 8 August 1914 by the German colonial administration, which accused him of inciting the population to revolt.

Original martyr