Shufai Wo Ngaiy – Leading by Example

Shufai Wo Ngaiy

In a land where many owners of goats and sheep leave their animals to roam free, this traditional authority, Shufai Wo Ngaiy, is opening the way that will end disputes by action. He heard the Appeal for Hope message that introduced the Initiative to the public. Now, bit by bit, he is getting a structure in place that will in keep his animals in well managed in an enclosure. He is a crop farmer too, like most of the locals, and wants to help open the possibility for all year round crop cultivation to put an end to cries of crop destruction by errant livestock once and for all.

Who is Shufai Wo Ngaiy?

Shufai at his residence in Tobin

Meet him on the way and you believe you are seeing an ordinary cheerful man. Quite at ease with the people around him. A farmer and

livestock keeper like most of the people in the community. But in reality, he is no less than a Shufai; a clan leader, Land Lord (as in nobility), and high ranking traditional authority in a community steeped in and proud of its culture…

Until recently.

With the crisis, the authority of the once powerful, respected traditional institutions has been disconcertingly subdued; its voice, a timid whisper in the raging thunder of diplomacy by the barrel of the gun. Who listens to a Shufai these days? But Wo Ngaiy chooses to go the way of the wisdom of the elders. Action is the speech of peace he chooses. And he prefers gentle eloquence.

What Prompted Him to Action?

At a time when the precarious “food near sufficiency” of Bui Division is under real threat, the Appeal for Hope launched the activities of the Initiative. In practical terms, it was a plea for the people of Kumbo to garner their courage and act to stave of impending food shortages by planting second cycle crops. The initiative also called on the good will of livestock owners to tether their animals to give a chance to the crop farmers to cultivate more food than ever before. In turn, the promoters of the Initiative would do their very best to make sure that livestock keeping became a more reliable source of livelihood for the keepers. While the team of the Initiative set to work for lasting solutions, people like Shufai Wo Ngaiy chose to go further in their actions, not just tethering.

How is he Trying to Make a Change?

Chopping up fodder he gets himself. This is an uncommon practice in Kumbo.

Shufai is the owner of a modest number of the local breed of goats. Goats play an important role in many of the traditional rites of the Nso people such as in weddings, death celebrations and so much more. He has had to listen to many of the neighbourhood quarrels that in recent times have taken a distinctly more dangerous edge between aggrieved crop owners and the seeming deaf goat owner.

He contacted our team to help him plan and take care of his animals in small enclosure. This is somewhat a novelty in Kumbo. He is committed to muster his modest means to implement the full plan bit by bit. Not easy to obtain credit for such ventures these days. He is strongly motivated by the belief that, seeing the example, more goat owners will be likely to attempt this path. It will allow crop farmer to confidently grow their second cycle crops and cultivate vegetable gardens. It would be a win for everyone.

Where does Shufai Wo Ngaiy hope to go from here?

Having contacted Hope Farms Iniitiative veterinary personnel, Shufai learnt of the plans in the works: Move ruminant keeping to the future with a cooperative of goat owners that would increase revenue, stabilise the income flow and promote the secondary industry. He likes the idea of affordable cheese for children and… (Sorry, folks – That’s a surprise for later!). Shufai and many other small ruminant keepers are now eagerly await the implementation phase. They are counting on the Hope Farms Initiative and ultimately on the goodwill of the individual benefactors and donor organisations to make this dream come true.