1981

A group of villagers and university members established the “Organization for Promoting Agriculture and Culture in Gabonese villages” (APACVI Gabon) and began to work with cooperatives (rural development projects).

1984

There was a need to set up a private enterprise which could support small businesses from its profits. That was done by Hugues O.P (Tatayo) with the means of the enterprise “Trip Gabon Sarl”.

Private funding of small projects. For instance, funding and logistics of banana plantation with 7500 banana trees for 7 families near Kango).

Ebando would not exist today were it not for the meeting and subsequent bond between two men in a village near Kango: André Nguié Ovono and Hugues Obiang Poitevin. One night (August 2nd, 1976) a car broke down and one of the above men went from his car to knock on a nearby door for help (the only visible light in the area that night). This is when the encounter between the men occurred. André Nguié Ovono is a craftsman, liturgical harpist, an initiated great healer, father and grandfather of 15 children and grandchildren. Papa André, our dear honorary president, died on December 15, 2017. Peace to his noble soul! Hugues Poitevin (a French man from Gascogne) has since been renamed Obiang Nzondo MaMissoba with a Gabonese nationality).

1993

Hugues and Katy founded “le Festi-Village Culturel” of La Sablière in Libreville, a place for initiations, therapies, trainings, art and entertainment such as many cultural rites from the rain forest of Africa including Bwiti Disumba / holy wood.

1999

During the traditional initiation of a young French man and an indigenous child, a sweet miracle occurred after the evening dance. The event consisted of an organized program of a unique mixture of rites from Bwiti Dissumba and Bwiti Missoko. Also notable was the multi-cultural inclusive and spontaneous gathering which included representation of the following: white/black; male/female; north/south; West/East. At noon of a brightday and dancing, the elder of the village, as soon as he had wanted to sit down in the pygmy house “étudi”, was attacked by a colony of fleas. The old dog named Accosta was taken as responsible for the insects’ invasion and was caught once more to be taken straight towards the ocean, in order to dump its parasites in the sea. With low tide around midday, in front of Minkoué Mobiang, the witness; there, between the dog’s paw and the man’s legs, hence deep in the heart, appeared a floating mask.

Firstly identified in water as a bowl of wood; this magnificent genius had come here through the power of a dance performed by 7 ethnic groups from the deep interior of the country and known under the name of “Mvudi”. It had travelled all along the Ogooue River, then along the ocean; his long nose serving him as a drift to stay afloat. “I’ve washed my dog and I’ve met God!” the poet exclaimed. A respected and deeply involved customary chief, the “Mutamba”, gave council. An old man who did not know to whom he could pass on the “Djin” (of his lamp) relied on the decisive power of water (the foundation of all genies, human beings, and deities). No sooner had “The Mask” arrived in the village it was named Ngenza (in Punu language), “Abel Ebela” (in Fang language), MaMissoba (Ebongwé) or “La Vérité” (in French) by a 10 year-old child initiated that very day. This painted wooden face, conjuring-up life spirits from the deep forest, came with an open mouth (immersed) and we immediately resurrected it by putting on it a leaf from a fruit tree and our love. Mamisoba Maganga! It also draws the tongue as humans do, such as Albert Einstein, the Rolling Stones and all children of the world, either mocking, concentrated, or rebelling.

Ebando has contributed the following in the area of socio-economic development:

Eco-information:

private or small group knowledge acquisition sessions about nature and cultural riches of the country.

1995 – 2002

We worked on the production of 4 documentary films on Gabonese traditions and initiation rites of Gabon with the french filmmaker Jean-Claude Cheyssial.

1998 – 2001

Langon Festival. And 3 audio CDs are available of recordings made of traditional and modern music performed by 2 musicians from Ebando. These include recitals of the mouth harp (male rite) by Kassy Minanga; and harp with 8 strings (female rite) by Ndonguy, the current president of the organization.

2000 – 2001

Active involvement in environmental conservation ventures via information campaigns and related projects. Children and teenagers staying at FestiVillage Ebando (participants aging between 10 to 27 years of age) took part in forest pharmacopoeia training.

In 2003

training was extended to include a wider diversity of habitats such as lakes and forests around Lambarene and later in 2004 in savannas and the forests of Gisira region (Mandji). ANCE also focuses on promoting and providing training for environmentally supportive traditional Nature and Human resource management and conservation.

Cultural events:

2002 – 2003 – 2004

Preparing the “First International Festival of String Musics” took time. Going around the country to find out the right musicians was the first step.

Then, make them work together for 2 months. Solo instrumentalists playing in between themselves was a great experience! Then the Festival came from the 1st of April to the 12th, 2004. Guests and local artists were on their best by that time! A film and a music CD will come after that.

Ebando received £ 10’000 subvention by U.E for organizing the Gabonese side of the event. This Festival was very successful and we want to repeat this experience every 3 years.

November 2003

We led Discovery TV crew to film daily ritual life of the Baka Pygmies in the north of Gabon.

February 2004

We organized the leading for one month among Babongo Pygmies of a
BBC team.

June 2004

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC TV has spent six days in our Festi-Village to film initiation of two Gabonese.

July 2004:

We were guiding Two Utrecht university students, so they could make a film about Iboga’s Therapy in the Tsogho ethnic group .

August – September 2004

Going around the whole country (5200 km.), to meet villages’ people, film some of their wonderful cultures and understand how National Natural Parks could help them live better. This was organized financially by WCS Gabon.

2005 – 2011:

111 IBOGA personal initiations of different persons (North/CENTER/SOUTH Americans – Africans – West/east/south/north Europeans – 2 Australians – 1 Asian)

2020

350 Banzis were initiated at Ebando.