It was a wonderful experience during my journey to Shabur a place between Michika and Maiwa in Cameroon. It is just 10km from Michika although this place is not being considered as part of Nigeria but yet they speak the native language of the Michika’s people and other language. Shabur is a small community with forty five houses and two well as their source of water. They don’t have schools or hospitals, yet these people live happily with the little they have. The Shabur people are mostly Farmers, Hunters and Sculptures. They specialize in moulding pots, people from the neighboring villages come to buy pots from them. I was so surprised with the warm welcome from these people, starring at us as we walk past them yet smiling as if they have seen their own.
I was pleased and happy by their reaction toward us immediately we entered the palace, the king ordered his wife to come. Group of people started singing and cheering which signifies a welcome song from the Shabur people. I couldn’t resist and danced to the tone even while seated as my friend Sakina starring at me smiling. Minutes after the king stood up and cheered his people and speaking in their language that I don’t really know what he was saying but am sure he is just telling them why we are here and we came from the city. The king already knew why we came, is all about the special pot. We are neither the first people nor we the last. People came from different part of the country to see things for themselves. Our purpose of the visit is to see the special pot called Shubur, which means sparkle.
Shubur pot is a special pot that is passed on to this wonderful people from generation to generation. It is a pot made of aluminum and mud and with uniqueness of beauty attached to it which is the interesting part of it. This pot is only use during harvest season or when they have special visitors and special dish is being cooked with that pot called Shandabar. Nobody is allowed to cook that dish except the king’s wife. The most amazing thing about this pot is that if anybody tries to cook that dish apart from the king’s wife will die and that person’s family will suffer till their dead, therefore the community will identify your family as an outcast in the village. Quite an interesting thing, I couldn’t wait to see the pot, wondering how it looks.
The king then ordered his wife to bring out the Shubur pot after his speech. He ordered her to use the pot to cook for his special guest, Couldn’t resist just starring at the pot as the king was talking in high and low tune holding the pot in his hand. “Humm… really this pot is very special” said to myself as I sighted. Stunned with the activities taking place, as the wife walked in with a leaf between her lips collected the pot and just walked out without saying anything. Our guide Mr. Zira telling that the king’s wife neither will nor remove the leaf from her mouth until she finish cooking. The pot is usually put to use during their harvest festival which is known as Kurbo or when they have visitors like us “just as I told you earlier on that It is a symbol of respect and honor by them to show how important you are to them” said Mr. Zira.
These friendly people entertained us singing their local song and their poets that captured my heart even though I don’t understand what they were saying yet I felt a touch of the atmosphere. My mind occupied with surprises that kept me wondering why these people are not recognized by the Michika people. After the fun and everything we went to our resting room, we were about to go to bed when the king asked for us, my heart skipped wondering what it is this time again. Sakina and I were just trying to figure what is going to happen this time around. Immediately we stepped into the king’s palace the king ordered us to wait for him outside the palace, we were all speechless and scared hoping all this well. Our guide just approach us explaining to us, that is a duty of a visitor to offer sacrifice to the pot, “is it necessary” I asked as Zira continue by saying is a tradition that as a visitor you most do that to thank you to their Gods.
We were told to sit on an iron seat in the compound, then a woman gave us a live cock, I couldn’t hold it because I was afraid while my friend Sakina collected and held it in her hand. Almost immediately, the king shouted “kushir barku” three times and asked my friend to throw it on the floor, motionless. People started singing and dancing as we were told to join them. It was not easy for me so I was busy dancing and at the same time starring at the cock on the floor motionless slowly moving after some minutes the cock just stopped moving then one the women picked it and break the neck and throw it on the floor again and cheering as she join us dancing while shaking her head like a mad woman.
Throughout the night I was just thinking about the little cock and yet I appreciating these people’s culture which I think is not a new thing to the African community when it comes to scarifies, is part of them for decade. The next morning as I was packing my things the king’s wife came to me speaking her language and just gave me a wooden spoon then just smiled and left. I was just clueless and wondering what that meant, anyway I said to myself “thank you old lady” and continue packing. When we reached where we parked our car the king and the people cheering which signifies farewell, that moment I feel like one special person as if I should stay for more days I enjoy being treated like a VIP person. But hey I have to go back to where I belong and that is home, I really had fun and it was a wonderful experience.