Cameroonian Outfits, Symbol of National Unity

I arrive Accra in Ghana for a meeting with people I have never met in person however, the moment I walk into the hall, I feel at ease… I see a young man dressed in Toghu walk in! Coincidentally, we were both dressed in this outfit.

Toghu / Atoghu

The Toghu also known as Atoghu is one of those attires which when worn, points to no other place but Cameroon.

Its exceptionality made it stand out at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London and it has since then been an object of national unity amongst Cameroonians.

The Atoghu which originates from the North West Region of Cameroon, consists of various designs marked on a velvet fabric. Silk versions of the atoghu also exist.


The Ndop is also another fabric, specific to Cameroon.


It originates from the West Region of the country and is a woven fabric with silk versions also available.

Nowadays, many people blend the Toghu and Ndop fabrics into one breathtaking outfit.

Kaba Ngondo and Sanja

The Kaba Ngondo, attire of the Sawa people who cut across the Littoral and South West Regions is easily identified as Cameroonian though Nigerians do wear the outfit as well.

The Kaba Ngondo is a loosely fitting gown made out of fabric and worn by women.

Men on the other hand, artistically tie the fabric around their waist in what is referred to as the Sanja.


Ever heard of the Obom? This is a material made from the bark of trees.

The Obom belongs to the Fang Beti people who make up the Centre, South and East Regions of Cameroon.

The Obom is also worn by some tribes in Gabon.

Gandoura / Boubou

As for the Sudano-Sahelian part of Cameroon, the principal outfit is the Gandoura. You could call it Boubou or even Agbada.

The Gandoura is usually made up of a shirt, trouser, a big overall worn over the shirt and a stylish cap.

Back in the days, the Gandoura was strictly for men but modern day fashion now has women adorning the Gandoura.

Women in the Sudano-Sahelian part of Cameroon are identified with their beautifully marked Boubous similar to those of Togo, Benin and other Moslem African countries. Others however prefer to sew plain blouses and long skirts from other fabrics. A head scarf is always part of this outfit.

The Adamawa, North and Far North Regions make up the Sudano-Sahelian section of Cameroon.

Cameroonian Outifits, Everyone Wears Them!

It is worth mentioning that Cameroonians from all walks of life put on these outfits irrespective of where they come from.

Others go as far as mixing a little of each attire to produce a new, fascinating attire.

So the next time you see the Toghu, Ndop, Sanja, Kaba Ngondo, Gandoura, Boubou or Obom somewhere, remember Cameroon and its people.

Eleanor Ayuketah Ngochi

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