Posted - 21 Jul 2022 : 09:35:38
DA MONSO CONDE: THE WOMAN WITHOUT WHOM, THERE WOULD BE NO SUNDIATA KEITA
By Dembo Fatty
IN THE BEGINNINGS
A long long time ago, there lived three sisters: Da Monso Conde, Tenengba Conde and Sungulung Wuleng Conde.
Tenengba Conde was the forster mother of Fakoli Dumbuya, the nephew of Sumanguru Kanteh king of Soso. She became Forster Mother of Fakoli after Fakoli's mother sacrificed herself to the spirit so that her brother Sumanguru could get the powerful balo(balaphone) from the spirit. The spirit demanded that Sumanguru must sacrifice one of his family members and while Sumanguru was negotiating with the spirit if someone else could be sacrifice, his sister showed up and volunteered to die and in she entered the dark cave never to return.
Sungulung Wuleng Conde was Sundiata's mother.
Da Monso Conde was the aunty of Sundiata who raised his mother and who was responsible for the hunchback on Sungulung Conde. To summarise, the attached is good description of how the incident happened. My battery is low thanks to Nawec.
Sungulung as a kid was being trained by her sister Da Monso Conde and was asked to perform some fetish task beyond her pay grade and as a result developed a hunchback and twisted legs.
Women naturally worship beauty and with a hunchback, she was unlikely to be married. Beauty has a place in a woman's world. So Da Monso took it upon herself to ensure Sungulung not only gets married but also to a man of substance in Manding.
An unrelated event would later be the catalyst for the consummation of the marriage between Sungulung Wuleng Conde and Farakoro Manko Faran Konkčn (Nare Maghan), then king of Manding.
Legend had it that Da Monso was denied her share of meat and as a punishment, she would turn into a Buffalo terrorizing the community and killing people. She was a great sorcerer par excellence among the 50 elite club of women sorcerers in Manding at the time.
The king tried to kill the Buffalo to no avail even after big rewards were to paid the person who killed the Buffalo. No body knew that the raging Buffalo was Da Monso.
At this time the king had no son and was looking for a heir. The story of the Buffalo travelled in the land of Manding and beyond and reward for killing it was tempting.
This news would be received as far as Morocco. Two Princes, Da Mansa Wulending and Da Mansa Wuleng Ba would take the challenge to travel south with the hope of killing the Bufallo. These two princes are the patriarchs of the Jobarteh and Trawally clans. That is a different discussion.
When the princes saw the Bufallo, they tried to kill it but failed and nearly lost their lives. Da Manso,after transforming back to being human, then told the princes how they could kill the Buffalo. They did not know she was the Bufallo. Thats why she was also later called "The Bufallo Woman ". She also told them of Sungulung Conde, the hunchback as the best woman for the king who would bear him a son he had been foretold. That son would later be none other than Sundiata.
Da Monso was later killed by the princes according to how she told them when she again transformed into a Bufallo. The great news of death of the Bufallo travelled across Manding and the Moroccan princes basked in the glory and fame that came along with the achievement.
They were the ones who introduced Sungulung Conde to Nare Maghan and without hesitation, the king married her despite her hunchback and twisted legs. The secret would survive a long time. Sungulung herself was a great sorceress.
Responsibility was a great thing in Manding. Sungulung was entrusted to Da Monso and because she acted the role of big sister and also because she was responsible for her hunchback during a fetish training, she ensured that Sungulung was married even if it meant she was going to die.
She died so Sungulung could be happily married. The sacrifice of a sister for a sister.
The morale of the story is how willing are you to correct an error on your part even if it meant you were to die. How caring are you for things given to you as trustee?
No wonder, in the Manding Constitution Article 26 says: "The bull confided to your care should not lead the cattle-pen"
A clear conscience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone