Maitre Atome Ribenga

Maitre Atome Ribenga

Maitre Atome Ribenga, known in civil life as Marcelin Eyéné Abaga (1940-2022), was a highly regarded Master Initiator of the Dissumba Fang Bwiti Rite, also known as "Biyeyem."

He held the prestigious position of President within the Traditional Bwiti Initiation Circle (CITRAB). Maitre Ribenga was a fervent public advocate for Gabon’s rich tapestry of rites and traditions, and he left a lasting literary legacy through his authorship of numerous books on this subject. With a background as a former officer in the National Gendarmerie, where he attained the rank of Chief Warrant Officer, he dedicated his life to destigmatizing Bwiti.
Notably, Maitre Ribenga took on the formidable task of challenging misconceptions about Bwiti through televised debates. These debates were broadcast during prime time on the nation’s premier television channel, pitting him against pastors who vehemently opposed this ancient mystico-spiritual practice. In 2006, Maitre Ribenga initiated Yann Guignon into the Bwiti rite known as “Mboumba Eyano.”

Yann Guignon was initiated by Maitre RIBENGA

This was followed by Yann’s participation in the “Mimbara” and “Biyeyem Ozeng” rites in 2007. Maitre Ribenga, in accordance with tradition, bestowed upon Yann the name “Mwana Maghanga,” signifying “Son of Sciences.” With this act, he entrusted Yann with the responsibility of preserving Gabon’s ancestral rites in the face of encroaching Western cultural influences. Additionally, he charged Yann with the vital mission of safeguarding iboga against the interests of international pharmaceutical enterprises. Throughout his lifetime, Maitre Ribenga provided unwavering moral and intellectual support to Yann. In return, Yann consistently kept him informed about the progress and endeavors of Blessings Of The Forest.
Maitre Ribenga
One of the founding spirits of BOTF

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