[There are several versions of this story. This is the version told by the elders in Zhopho Mokongo (Great Soppo), Buea]
Narrated by Mola Lyombe Eko
There was a very pretty girl, Molonga. Her skin was like burnished ebony, her eyes, long neck, and walk reminded everyone of a graceful antelope. The news of her stunning beauty was spread far and wide by the birds. Suitors came from all the Mokpe villages from Mwangai to Mokunda, from Wonadikombo to Wonakanda. She had one defect, she was proud. She refused to marry any of the men who wanted her hand in marriage. No one was good enough for her.
The story soon reached the sea. Ndondondume, the sea monster, was ugly, had tentacles, and a very rough skin. He decided to woo Molonga and eat her for his dinner. He borrowed the smooth, beautiful skin of a fish called "mwau." He also borrowed some beautiful feathers from birds.
One day, out of the blue, he landed in the center of the village, he dazzled everyone with his appearance, and his tales of wealth and beauty in his "home." The village maiden fell for him. After the wedding, he did not consumate the marriage. He would quickly undress in the dark, hop in bed and say he was not feeling well. He did not want to be touched. Everytime his wife asked him why he was so secretive, and didn't want the light on in the bedroom, he had one excuse or another. The fact is that he was planning to swallow the girl after he had finished digesting his last prey.
After a few days, Mwau, whose skin had been borrowed by Ndondondume, sent some birds to ask Ndondondume to return his skin. Ndondondume ignored them. They shouted:
ndondondume o'sza wea
Mwau ah mo'mongbe 'ekowo yeni
(Ndondondume, don't you hear, Mwau says you should return his skin).
When the girl heard this demand over and over from the birds sitting on the tree near her house, she sensed trouble. On the night Ndondondume had planned to swallow her, she quickly lit an "etulukangi" (bush lamp) and rushed into the room. She saw that Ndondondume was a huge, ugly monster with many tentacles. She ran out of the house singing:
Koti, koti, na mo whangi'eh aye'e"
Ndondondum'a Mbenga maliwa' eh aye'e
(I completely disown him, Ndondondume, monster of the sea).
(There were claps of thunder as Ndondondume escaped back into the sea).
The village came out and chased Ndondondume back to the sea.
• There are several versions of this story. This is the version told by the elders in Zhopho Mokongo (Great Soppo).
• Mekeva is the plural of Mokeva (thunder). You may recognize this word as the same as the anglicized "Mokeba" (thunder). In Mokpe when there is thunder, we say, we say, Lowa li kewa or keva. Literally, God is belching. Li keva (to belch).