Valleys woman is made 'queen' of African city.
Byline: tom houghton Reporter email@example.com
A SOUTH Wales woman has become queen of an African city - after having only travelled to the country as a visitor.
Carol Adams was anointed as Queen Mother Benevolence of Foreke-Dschang, a city in the west of Cameroon, and also given the role of advisor to the king of the region.
It comes after Carol, who lives in Aberdare, travelled to Dschang to help launch a programme celebrating the history and achievements of the city as part of its centenary next year.
As well as doing that during her twomonth trip to the region, Ms Adams - previously an advisor for the Welsh Government and the BBC - developed a programme that will help the community through sustainable development.
Having said her goodbyes earlier this month, Carol was unexpectedly anointed queen of the region for her good work.
"I was shocked," she said. "I had absolutely no idea what was happening. Not a clue. We were at a meeting towards the end of my stay in the city and the king was there.
"At the end of it the meeting transformed into the ceremony of making me a queen. I just thought he was going to thank me for what I have done. I was like 'What's going on?'" She was bestowed the honour by His Majesty Djoumesi Wamba III of Foreke-Dschang and also made one of his advisors.
She added: "It was an absolutely emotional experience and I had not prepared at all. I didn't know you could do that - anoint someone as queen. The next thing I know I'm the queen in this land - and a powerful woman."
In the UK you can only become a king or queen through birth or by marriage, unlike in Cameroon, where you can be anointed by way of a "sacred" ceremony.
She said: "There's this sacred powder that you then eat and it's the eating of this powder, by it going into your body and making you royalty, that you are transformed into a queen."
Carol said other parts of the ceremony included her being given a horse's tail - a symbol of strength - and a cup made from the horn of a cow.
Cameroon, where the official languages are French and English, has 20 different kings of its 20 different kingdoms and, while their wives are queens, Carol is now one of "around five" anointed queens.
Carol Adams, has been anointed Queen Mother Benevolence of Dschang, Cameroon. Left, the anointing ceremony PICASA