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Cultural Center
In Memoriam   



Rafael Evita Enoy was born on September 24, 1934 in Udubuandjolo, Bata, the seaside capital of Rio Muni in Spanish Guinea, a small country in west-central Africa which is now called Equatorial Guinea. He came from a prominent Guinean family. He was the son of Gustavo Evita and Mrs. Enoy. His grandfather Raimundo Evita Makachi was the most prestigious Kombe tribesman during the thirties to the fifties, a leading Guinean nationalist and one of the precursors of the auto-determination and independence movement in Guinea. He conceived the idea of the Guinean independence coat of arms, represented by a silk-cotton tree, during the independence struggle for Spanish Guinea. In 1967, at the time of designing the national flag, the idea was retained by the independence movement MONALIGE (National Liberation Movement of Equatorial Guinea) and drawn by the Guinean painter Gaspar Gomán. Rafael’s brother Leoncio Evita was one of Guinea’s leading painters and a writer. His novel Cuando los Combes Luchaban (When the Kombes Fought), published in 1953, is the milestone of Equatorial Guinean literature written in the Castilian language.

Rafael’s education began in his native Bata, attending government public schools and then the Colegio de Bata (Bata College) of the Claretian missionaries where his father Gustavo was the organist at the Bata Cathedral. In 1948 Rafael was sent to the Seminario de Nuestra Señora del Pilar de Banapá (Banapa’s Our Lady of Pilar Seminary), in Fernando Póo, to study for the priesthood. Rafael studied humanities, philosophy and theology at the Banapa Seminary. In 1957 he was sent to the University of Propaganda Fide, in Rome, Italy to continue with his ecclesiastic studies. As a student in Rome and a fine musician, he was made an organist at the Vatican. Rafael graduated with a B.A. in philosophy from Propaganda Fide. Rafael decided to leave Italy and went to Switzerland where he was admitted at the University of Fribourg. He graduated from this institution with a B.A. in economics. In 1965 he came to the United States and studied at Howard University with an American government’s scholarship (Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs). Rafael graduated with a master’s degree in economics from Howard. As a student in the United States Rafael was also active in politics as a petitioner for his country’s freedom from Spain at the United Nations during the sixties. Rafael represented MONALIGE at the Constitutional Conference in Madrid, Spain, in 1967, and was one of the signatories of the Magna Charta of the Guinean independence at the U.N. in 1968.

After leaving Switzerland, Rafael lived in Washington, D.C. and he had a prominent role in maintaining contacts with other Guineans. His son, Raphael, died two years ago, and his wife, Dorothy, died earlier this year. He is survived by his son Emmanuel Evita, a graduate of Yale and Georgetown universities.

By Dr. Adolfo Obiang Biko

A Rafael Evita Enoy

Hoy canto con pena tu adiós,
amigo y hermano Evita,
gigante de entre gigantes,
recordando con congoja y amargura
esa tu alegre sonrisa,
voz cascada de Rumbo sin filtro.
¡Cuántos recordarán
tus magnánimas proezas,
dedos de algodón
sobre teclados de metal,
recreando sones de ángeles y querubines
en un Vaticano de ayer, lejos,
sólo en tu memoria, mi memoria!
Año y medio siglo
duró tu apenado exilio,
añorando siempre en silencio
aquel retorno nebuloso
a tu amado Udubuandjolo.
Duerme en paz, hermano Evita,
y haré que tu nombre,
sellado, aparezca
en mentes y corazones todos
de tu pueblo, mi pueblo.
Hoy canto con pena tu adiós,
amigo y hermano Evita.
Y para siempre recordaré
tu alegre sonrisa,
tu voz cascada,
de Rumbo fuerte sin filtro…

De Juan Manuel Davies Eiso

Obituary for Ademba a Ndomi (Rafael Evita Enoy – 1934-2008)

There are no coincidences in the cosmos. If one analyzes the family genealogy of the recently deceased Ndowe elder, Ademba a (child of) Ndomi (Rafael Evita Enoy), one discovers that it makes perfect sense that he was one of the signatories of the Magna Carta of the Equatorial Guinean independence at the United Nations in 1968. Ancestral notions of peace, freedom, democracy and economic prosperity flowed through the veins of Ademba a Ndomi.
For over 200 years, up until around 1870, there was great animosity between two warring Ndowe ethnic groups, the Kombe and the Bweko. A Ndowe IKONGONGOMO (armistice or peace treaty) was organized around 1870 by King Vilangwa vya Metyeba of the Boveka clan of Bomudi. It obliged Isova ja Ngonde of the Bongapende clan of Kombe, from the village of Udubwanjolo, to marry Kuyeye, a Bweko woman from the village of Tika. This Ndowe IKONGONGOMO was supported by the American Presbyterian missionaries who had been evangelizing along the Ndowe coast since 1842. According to King Vilangwa, the best way to end the animosity between the Kombe and the Bweko was to have their children marry. A Ndowe proverb asserts, "A marriage that produces children never ends." Isova ja Ngonde and his wife Kuyeye begot Evita a Isova (Raimundo Evita Makatyi), who sired Ndomi a Evita (Gustavo Evita), who in turn sired Ademba a Ndomi (Rafael Evita Enoy).

Ndowe oral traditions give credit to Ngonde a Metyeba of the Bongapende clan of Kombe as being the founder and urbanizer of the modern coastal city of Bata, in Equatorial Guinea. Ngonde a Metyeba was the father of Isova ja Ngonde and the great-great grandfather of Ademba a Ndomi. In the middle of the nineteenth century, Ngonde a Metyeba made frequent trips in his canoe to the Mpongwe village of Olamba, a section of the modern city called Libreville, in Gabon. He gathered ebony and elephant tusks, from Udubwanjolo, to sell to Protestant English traders from Liverpool established in Olamba, in exchange for European merchandise. When a Liverpool merchant named John Holt (1842-1904) established his trading firm in 1867, Ngonde encouraged one of the John Holt Ltd. agents in Olamba to move north and open up a shop in Udubwanjolo, among the Kombe and other Ndowe ethnic groups living along the coast near Mount Bondelo (Bata). As a result of the pioneering efforts of the hardworking entrepreneur, Ngonde a Metyeba, many European trading firms established shops in and around Udubwanjolo, leading to the creation of Bata. Among the many trading firms that established shops along the beach facing Mt. Bondelo are: John Holt Ltd., Hatton & Cookson, Moritz, Friedrich, and Adolf Woërmann.
The Ndowe people mourn the passing of Ademba a Ndomi a Evita a Isova ja Ngonde a Metyeba of the Bongapende clan of Kombe, but find solace in the fact that his edimo (ancestral spirit) has joined the blessed Ndowe bedimo (ancestral spirits) in Mediya, the land of blessed Ndowe ancestral spirits.

By Enenge A'Bodjedi