The Rong people are believed to have originated from Kimi/Tikar in the Adamawa Region of the Republic of Cameroon, from where they migrated in company of their Warr brothers of the Wimbum tribe. From Tikari the Rong people migrated and settled at Ntem before proceeding to Rom (RO) on their way to Mbem. They finally settled at Mbirboh in Mbot Village around the later part of the 15th Century. During this time the Warr people lived together as a family. When the head of the Warr family died, trouble arose as to who was to succeed him. He had willed that at his death he should be succeeded by his youngest son, Bomnsa. When this happened his brothers as well as his elder sons became angry. Brothers to the Warr family head included Ndi Mbong (founder of the Rong dynasty) and the head of the Namor family (the present Binjeng of Binka) . His elder sons included the founders of Ntumbaw, Sop, Chup and Bum dynasties. This succession dispute brought about factions in the family which culminated in a wave of migrations in groups from Mbirboh (Nkambe plateau) to different areas. It should be noted that the name” Warr” means disperse or scatter.
The Rong faction went behind the hills of Mbirboh and settled at Marong in Mbot. At Marong the Rong people planted crops to include raffia palm and kolanuts. Ndi Mbong the founder of the dynasty died at Marong. He was succeeded by Nyagang who also died in the same area. Nyagang was succeeded by Tonila. The Rong people under the leadership of Tonila later migrated to the Mbaw plain leaving behind Jim Konda and Nkwanda Jiti to take care of their property. (The family of Jim Konda and Nkwanda Jiti are the original settlers of Mbakah in Binka village. This family is presently headed by Samuel Martong (alias Lapsamba) and Shey Johnson Njaba.) It should be recalled here that it was due to population pressure and the need for fertile land that the Rong people migrated from Marong to the Mbawplain. It must also be noted that in the Mbaw plain the Rong people settled at Nyurong in the Sabongari area.
Under the leadership of Tonila the Rong people escaped from the Fulani invaders (baramnyaa) to the Wangsi Mountain to take refuge in a cave. This was around the 17th century. (Some antiquities that had been hidden in that cave were brought to the Rong palace as recent as 1980).It is believed that when the Rong people escaped to the Wangsi cave they were betrayed by a grandson (from Ntem) to their enemies, the Fulani raiders. Consequently, Fulani invaders raided the Wangsi cave and suffocated about eighty six young men to death. It is believed that one of their Fons was captured in this raid. This invasion led to a split in the family. A prince and a princess escaped to Bui Division. Others escaped to Wat. The prince who escaped to the Mbam area in Bui Division was called Nformi Tarboti and the princess was called Nawoh. It is believed that Nformi Tarboti and his sister Nawoh escaped with a Royal stool, royal cap and other regalia used in enthroning new Fons. At this time the Nso dynasty was fully established at Kovifem. It is equally believed that when the Nso Kingship identified Nformi Tarboti as a Prince with royal materials, they crowned him Fon Rong woo Tansi in the present Nkum Sub Division of Bui Division. Nformi Tarboti’s sister Nawoh is believed to have gotten married to the Fondom of Nso. Her descendants included Goh, Gohla and Chih, one of whom is believed to have been married to the Fon of Ndzerim. It should be noted that while Nformi Tarboti and his sister escaped to Bui Division, part of the royal family escaped to Wat to join the rest of the Warr family. At this time the Rong people were led by Tonsee who died and was buried in the present Wat palace. The Rong people later returned to Wangsi from Wat. They were later joined by Nformi Tarboti who had escaped to Bui Division with enthronement material but was now returning as a Fon. He was driven back as the Rong people could not do with two heads. Presently he is called Fon Rong woo Tansi in Bui Division (meaning the Fon of Rong who is in Tansi).
How the Rong people acquired the Land
The Vast Rong land was acquired through conquest. It is believed that Kamangong (founder of the Ndzigammnsi family) led the wars. He is believed to have possessed mystical powers. Besides the use of the bee, his greatest weapon, he also negotiated alliances with the neighboring villages especially the Fondom of Sop. Under his command the Rong people conquered all the twelve fondoms in the Mbawplain. These included the Ngang ( Sehn, Njimnkang) , the Ntem , the Ngashong, Mfonjong now in Mbah, Nkwi Gwan now in Kitiwum, Nkwi Ndzen now in Kumbo, Nkwi Ngahndzifor now in an area around Shisong, and Shokop villages. Kamangong is also believed to have gambled the lives of two Fons and two Yaahs to acquire the vast land.
THE RONG PALACE, NTUMBAW AND THE LION
During the reign of Gangtar the Rong people caught a lion. This was an event of historic magnitude given that it had never before happened in any of the villages in Mbum land. Jealous and envious of this big catch, the brotherly Ntumbaw Fon mobilized his people who marched into Rong palace and confiscated the lion. However, as time went on, the Ntumbaw people died in their numbers as it was believed they had confiscated the Rong Fon’s sacred animal which tradionally did not belong to them. This traditional violation had therefore brought curse and misfortune to Ntumbaw village. When Nganjo I ascended the throne in 1933 Ntumbaw began negotiations with Rong which resulted in the resolution of the problem. Following these negotiations Ntumbaw agreed to ( 1 )Return the lion’s skin back to the Rong palace( 2) give a wintoh (wife) to the Rong palace (3) give a Nchindap ie a messenger to the Rong palace. In this respect, Sosong, a princess from Ntumbaw palace was given to Nganjo I as wintoh. Nganjo refused the Nchindap stating that the wintoh was going to give birth to the Nchindaps. Sosong gave birth to four children ( Mbafon, Ngah, Nfor and Nteh) . Meanwhile, the Lion’s skin which had been returned to Rong was handed over to Yerima Ngiri a senior prince in the Rong palace for preservation. This lion’s skin was unfortunately damaged by rain which leaked through the roof of Yerima Ngiri’s grass house. Thus the popular sayings by Rong princes and princesses that unlike other royals they were born on” a lion skin and not a leopard’s.”