FRENCH CAMEROONS: Out of the Kettle

Down among the French Cameroons in equatorial Africa, there lived a Sultan, a chief of the Bamoun tribesmen, who decided to be on the side of progress. The 17th Sultan of Foumban invented an alphabet of his own, taught his subjects the virtues of hard work and discipline and sent his son Seydou N'jimoluh Njoya off to learn French in a Protestant mission school. In time, Seydou himself became Sultan and decided to outdo his father in progress. Though he surrounded himself with the traditional swarms of wives and concubines (59 in all), and wore the heavy cloaks and...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!