Ngondo

The Ngondo is a festival held by the Sawa ethnic groups in the city of Douala, Cameroon. It is organized in the first two weeks of December. The most important part of the festival is a ceremony honouring the Jengu. Jengu (in plural miengu) is a water spirit and deity worshipped by the Sawa. These mermaid-like creatures with gap-toothed smile live in rivers and the sea. They bring good fortune to their worshippers.

The ceremony is held at a beach on the Wouri Bay. During ceremony a worshipper enters the sea. It is believed that he/she visits the underwater kingdom of miengu. Locals believe that the person can stay under water for hours. What's more, he/she can return out of water completely dry. Children are not allowed to be present at the ceremony. The authorities managed to ban the ceremony in 1981. But only ten years later the Sawa started organizing it again.