University of Buea, Cameroon
The Mbeem Play: A Gender Inclusive Traditional Sport among the Laimbwe of Cameroon
This study investigates the genesis and popular nature of the Mbeem play. It is a time-honoured gender all-encompassing sport among the Laimbwe speaking youths of the North West Region of Cameroon. Mbeem is a team game which over the years has brought together young boys and girls of the ages between twelve and twenty five to play make merry and scoff at those who fail in the game. The play involves each person, boy/girl lying on the ground and swinging round a long rope fastened to fresh grass while others jump over it. The one who obstructs the rope takes his/her turn on the ground and does same. This game which takes place in compounds or other open court yard is usually after toiling in the farms and mostly on traditional rest days like the Utuo’mestche and Utuo’Mbiekoghe. The importance of this sport lies in the fact that it is gender inclusive, opens avenues for friendship, relaxation and enriches t!
he social and sport history of the Laimbwe of Cameroon. Through focus group discussions, observation and interviews we shall investigate the beginnings and survival of this popular game among young people.