From July 2 to July 4, 2004, Fako Dallas, the association headed by Mola Edwin Ndoko, will play host to Fako elements in the United States as they come together to celebrate the tenth anniversary of Fako America Organization. The fact that Fako Dallas, the youngest of all local Fako associations in America, would be hosting this historic event is a tribute to the dedication of its members and to their resolve to succeed against all odds. To paraphrase that famous inspirational children’s novel, this is the story of the little chapter that could.
Shortly after the July 2000 Fako America convention in Washington, DC, Mola Henry Njie, then Vice President of FECA Houston, and Mola Jimmy Jackai of Dallas, started informal discussions about the possibility of creating a Fako Association in the State of Texas. To this end, Mola Jackai became a member of the FECA Houston. In April 2001 Mola Njie and Mola Jackai held further discussions specifically relating to the creation of a Fako organization in Dallas. This was after Mola Njie mentioned his desire to move to the Dallas area in the near future.
When Mola Njie moved to Dallas about a year later in November 2002, he and Mola Jackai continued to brainstorm on the idea of starting a Fako association in Dallas. A month later, Mola Edwin Ndoko, the current chapter President, also moved to Dallas from Chicago. He was briefed on the discussions about having a chapter in Dallas. He enthusiastically endorsed the idea and promised his total support.
Arrangements immediately began in view of holding the first meeting of Fako elements in the area. Mola Jackai was instrumental in identifying Fako elements resident in Dallas, and informing them of the planned meeting. In January 2003, the first ever meeting of Fako elements in Dallas took place at the residence of Mr. and Mrs. Mokonya Lyonga. The turnout was remarkable and the enthusiasm quite high. Members were encouraged to attend the second meeting to take place at the residence of Mola Njie. All those present were advised to fish out more Fako residents in the area and to invite them to the meetings.
In the second meeting, Mola Jimmy Jackai was selected by the members present to head a temporary executive team until more permanent structures were put in place, and elections duly held. Mola Jackai graciously agreed.
Shortly thereafter, work began on the bylaws of the chapter. It is expected that the final document will be debated upon and adopted shortly after the July convention.
In October 2003, Fako Dallas held its first ever election during a meeting at the residence of Iya Embelle Dorothy Njeuma. The following members were elected into office:
- President: Mola Edwin Ndoko
- Vice President: Mola Henry Njie
- Secretary: Iya Mrs. Lenna Ndoko
- Treasurer: Mola Muambo Limunga Oben.
- Organizing Secretaries: Iya Embelle Dorothy Njeuma and Iya Efeti Kah Mbaku
Once in office, the new executive decided to give Fako Dallas a solid legal foundation by incorporating the association as a not-for-profit corporation in the State of Texas. Articles of Incorporation were duly submitted to that effect, and they were approved in February 2004.
According to the Articles of Incorporation, the goals of the chapter are as follows:
1. Promoting healthcare and literacy among indigenes of Fako Division in Cameroon, Dallas/Fort Worth and around the world;
2. Promoting the interests of its members by means which include networking, fostering fellowship and encouraging communication;
3. Providing leadership and advocacy for the needs of and interests of indigenes of Fako Division in Dallas/Fort Worth and around the world;
4. Developing and encouraging cooperation with other associations in furtherance of the aforementioned purposes.
Fako America 2004
It should be noted that barely six months after its creation, Fako Dallas won, during the 2003 convention in Chicago, the bid to host the historic 10th Anniversary Fako America convention. Fako Dallas plans to live up to the challenge and give FA members a convention for the history books. Already, the chapter already organized a test run for Dallas 2004 when it organized a successful fund raising gala on December 20, 2003.
Although still a very young chapter, Fako Dallas has come a long way. We seize this opportunity to thank all those who have directly or indirectly contributed to the continued success of this endeavor. We also thank all those across the United States who have given us the moral support and encouragement needed to pull of this huge undertaking.
Fako Dallas hopes to live up to its goals. In this regard, it has a number of projects lined up for execution in the coming months. We will keep all FA members informed of developments in this regard. For now, however, all hands are on deck for Dallas 2004. We await you with open arms.
President Fako Dallas
Host Chapter FA '04