tangla david kongnyuy header


Tangla David Kongnyuy

senior engineer at imec, Leuven, Belgium

Tangla David Kongnyuy
“Limiting yourself to familiar things restricts your growth potential.”

Where culture, nature, and heritage combine

Tangla David Kongnyuy was born in the Grassland region of Cameroon. He came to Belgium to pursue his master’s degree in Photonics Engineering, a joint program of Universiteit Gent and Vrije Universiteit Brussel, in September 2011. After his studies, he joined imec in July 2015, working as an engineer on the characterization and validation of opto-electronic circuits.

bonassama - boats on wouri river bank
Bonassama - Boats on Wouri River bank
mbororo tribe village
Mbororo tribe village
white-crowned robin-chat
White-crowned Robin-Chat

A glimpse into Tangla’s journey from Jakiri to Belgium

Tangla grew up in Jakiri, a little village of the Nso ethnic group in Cameroon. In Jakiri, Tangla experienced an educational system where a single teacher guided the entire class throughout the year. As he ventured into higher education, the transition proved to be quite a whirlwind. Primary, secondary, and high school systems were structured so that students spent their entire weekdays attending classes. In contrast, university life offered a distinct experience characterized by scheduled classes and the importance of time management. Pursuing higher education also meant leaving the familiar family environment and relocating to a new city for independent living. This shift required the ability to autonomously handle various household responsibilities that were typically taken care of by parents. Nevertheless, Tangla’s pursuit of success broadened his horizons.

The sight of countless women biking through Belgian streets fascinated him, starkly contrasting Cameroon’s biking culture where men mostly used bike instead of women. Moreover, the allure of Belgium’s dry summers stood in stark contrast to Cameroon’s six-month rainy season, which reigns from March to September, giving way to a dry spell from October onward.

Cameroon’s rich tapestry of culture and celebration

Cameroon, nestled in the heart of Central Africa, boasts an array of over 250 ethnic groups, each with its unique language, customs, and traditions. The country’s ten primary regions encompass a varied landscape, featuring mountains, plateaus, rainforests, savannas, and coastlines, earning it the moniker Africa in Miniature.

Distinctive cultural practices flourish here. In the Far North, remains Fulani, while the West is home to the Bamileke, each adding unique flavors to the nation’s cultural mosaic. Music in Cameroon is a vibrant tapestry too, with Makossa and Bikutsi leading the way as popular genres. They’re known for their infectious rhythms and mesmerizing dance elements. Every ethnic group has exclusive celebrations and rituals led by kings or chiefs. Grand festivities honoring these leaders paint the landscape of Cameroon in revelry.

melong - ekom-nkam waterfalls in rainforest
Melong - Ekom-Nkam waterfalls in rainforest
buea - mont cameroon, an active volcano
Buea - Mont Cameroon, an active volcano

Discovering Cameroon’s treasures: UNESCO sites and natural wonders

funeral traditions
Funeral traditions
taro in sauce jaune - a bamileke tribe dish
Taro in sauce jaune - A Bamileke tribe dish

Cameroon holds treasures that have garnered UNESCO’s recognition. Like the Dja Faunal Reserve, a sanctuary of protected rainforest with diverse flora and fauna in the southeastern rainforest region of Cameroon. This reserve is a haven for forest elephants, gorillas, chimpanzees, and a symphony of bird species. Meanwhile, the Hilsa Cultural Landscape in the West highlights the distinctive architecture and culture of the Kapsiki people.

One of the remarkable natural wonders in the country is the majestic Mount Cameroon, an active volcano that Tangla insists is a must-visit. Travelers can also venture to Waza National Park in the far north for remarkable wildlife safaris or explore Korup in the southwest, one of Africa’s oldest and most biodiverse rainforests, a paradise for birdwatchers and wildlife enthusiasts.

Limbe is an enchanting destination known for its stunning black sandy beaches. The Limbe Wildlife Centre is dedicated to nurturing and rehabilitating rescued primates and other animals.

Must do

Discover Cameroon’s amazing animals like elephants and lions and giraffes, with stunning African landscapes on a thrilling safari in Waza National Park.

History enthusiasts will be captivated by Lake Nyos, with its eerie and unique tale. In 1986, a limnic eruption transformed its destiny, making it a mustsee for those seeking intriguing stories. Also, Shum Laka emerges as a hidden treasure. This archaeological site reveals Central Africa’s ancient artifacts, unraveling the mysteries of the Stone Age and illuminating the region’s prehistoric narrative.