MASON — The Mason County Community Educational Outreach Service (CEOS) recently entertained Line-Audrey Maeva Nkule Sonkeng, the 2016-18 West Virginia University Extension Service International Student with a cookout at the home of Johnny and Marcia Nibert on June 11.
Sonkeng is from the country of Cameroon and graduated in May from West Virginia University with two engineering degrees, one in mining and the other in civil/environmental engineering with a minor in geology. Sonkeng has studied in the United States for the past five years and speaks five different languages fluently.
Following the meal, Sonkeng visited with the group and gave a presentation about her home country of Cameroon.
Sonkeng explained to the group what her name represents. Nkule Sonkeng represents her lasts names while Line-Audrey Maeva represents her first and middle names. Her first name, Line, came from her father whose name was Linus. Her mother was a huge fan of Audrey Hepburn, thus the name Line-Audrey became her first name. Nkule means “call of the drum.” Sonkeng means “tree of peace” which is a symbol of unity and communication. Maeva, her middle name, represents two biblical names, Mary and Eve.
The Republic of Cameroon is located in the continent of Africa and is bordered by Nigeria, Chad, and the Republic of Congo. Cameroon is described as the melting pot of Africa and the name originated from shrimp fishing. The official languages of Cameroon are French and English, however, there are 250 other languages spoken by various ethnic groups in Africa. The life expectancy there is 53.69 years. The population of Cameroon is made up of several ethic groups such as the Sawa, Fulani, and Bamileke Grassfields people, etc. The main export in Cameroon is crude oil. In terms of religion, Cameroon has a high level of religious freedom and diversity. The predominant religion is Catholicism practice by 33%. About 30% of the country is protestant and other denominations are practiced by 5% of the population. Islam is practiced by about 18% of the country.
While visiting with the Mason County CEOS members, Sonkeng also attended the Mason County Older 4-H Camp visiting with the campers and giving her presentation at the camp in Southside. She also had to opportunity to learn about our county and its rich history by touring Tue-Ende-Wei State Park, the West Virginia State Farm Museum, the Mothman Museum, and the Pt. Pleasant Riverfront park.
Approximately thirty-five CEOS members and guests enjoyed a lovely evening with Sonkeng at the Nibert home. Her educational presentation also reached seventy plus 4-H members.
Submitted by Clinedda Austin.