Cardinal Tumi was born on October 15, 1930 in Kikaikelaki in village in Kumbo in the North West Region of Cameroon. He was the first and only Cameroonian cardinal.
He had been Bishop of Yagoua in the Far North Region, Archbishop of Garoua in the North Region where he was named Cardinal and subsequently Archbishop of Douala where he retired from church administration at the age of 75 in line with Catholic doctrine.
The man of God was staunch advocate for a just society, a defender of the rights of the oppressed, suppressed and marginalized. He played an active role in the Major National Dialogue organised in 2019 to resolve the socio-political crisis in the North West and South West regions.