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People of my generation will remember Adalbert Owona,a History Lecturer at the University of Yaounde. Owona thought he would endear himself to Ahidjo's regime at the time by producing a pictorial history of Cameroon in which the then President would be seen as the man of providence who almost singlehandedly created Cameroon. Same as the spin one hears these days about Paul Biya being "the only person who can guarantee peace and stability in Cameroon". Unfortunately for old boy Owona, 6th April 1984 occurred and Ahidjo became ostracised - like the leper with whom no one would want to associate. "Paper no dey lie", my Sierra Leonian friends would say. Owona was stuck with all the crap he had written. He had lost credibility with the new regime, he was no longer wanted at the University having disgraced himself professionally, his friends avoided him because it had become too dangerous to be seen associating with someone who had identified with the "enemy" of the regime in power etc. To put it in more graphic terms, he had become like toilet roll after use. Owona quit the limelight in shame and pain. He subsequently died like a pauper, unheralded, unsung and unwanted. People like Dr. Abety or Professor Elvis Ngolle Ngolle -to mention just those two - who have become the choirmasters in the coterie of sycophants must never forget the judgement of history. It is unforgiving and implacable. There just may not be time to repent. When the tables turn, oblivion becomes the fate of the sycophant
Toggle Commented Feb 25, 2008 on In The Emperor's Mindset at Up Station Mountain Club
When I read this kind of one-sided, narrow and thoroughly parochial write-up on a futile quest for cheap publicity, I really wonder what it is intended to achieve. Do people still engage in this kind of low-grade propaganda fit for the gutter press? I was in Jakiri and trust me what I saw - the intimidation and glaring misuse and abuse of State-power (both civilian and uniformed) coupled with the tsunami-like rigging - then for someone in his right senses to come and write this kind of outright rubbish to vanish, whitewash or justify what clearly amounts to a miscarriage of the wishes of the people of Jakiri. No, no, no forget it Mr. Nsahlai, in free, fair and transparent elections under the supervision of an independent agency, your party stands no chance - I daresay - not even in Cameroon. Go try this crap somewhere else. Not here!
Sam is right! Subsistence has taken over from politics - and rightly so!It is difficult to listen (let alone absorb verbal noise)on an empty stomach. However, on some other matter not unrelated to Cameroon, the Daily Nation (a Kenyan newspaper)made extensive reference to the chaos, disorder and bureaucratic mishaps that occurred in the wake of the Kenya Airways Crash. It concluded as follows: "If you think Jomo Kenyatta (the Nairobi Airport)is bad or inefficient, then try Douala. Cameroon is a country which has lost its soul. It is managed by an absentee landlord sustained by a coterie of uniformed and civilian sycophants who lord it over a population prompted by poverty and want in the midst of plenty, to obey every utterance of theirs like zombies". What caused me pain and sorrow was the fact that this was - and is - true!
The new Bishop of Buea, Emmanuel Bushu (not "Immanuel" as it was spelt on some banners)appeared calm and in full control when he emerged from his car at Mungo Bridge and at the playground in Small Soppo for his installation. I- excited like everyone else - was there on both occasions. It was a real struggle just to greet him, let alone receive his blessing or even shake hands.A smile would just be fine. But then the Lord works in wonderful ways. Banlanjo or Mr. Ban as he was known in his junior seminary days in Sasse College recognised me in the crowd and stretched out a hand.I barely heard, let alone understand, what he said - the noise around us was indescribable. I was grateful for having greeted a venerable man of God. I was above all happy for having been recognised by my classmate for all five years in Sasse. My slumber that night was peaceful.
Could someone explain to me why people don't resign in Cameroon?Anyone with a conscience knows that this so-called Human Rights Commission is a mere whitewash intended to mislead the masses and appease foreign donors.Cameroonians are still being tortured in our Police and Gendarmerie stations. People are still being arrested on arbitrary charges. The governor is still allowed to lock up anyone for 15 days. Dr. Banda, why serve as an alibi in the sale of your people? What is your legacy? Do you want to be remembered as the man in charge of some toothless agency? How do you intend to live with your conscience when you are ultimately sacked from that Commission? Think about it. How about resigning. Thats an option!!
Is the purpose of bilingualism to ensure that all Cameroonians are fluent in two foreign languages? If that is the raison d'etre of bilingualism and for the proliferation of bilingual centres,then let me say this in unequivocal terms:IT WILL NEVER SUCCEED.You only need to consider the case of countries like Canada and Mauritius which are more experienced in this experiment. Let me also say the following: fluency in English and French would certainly be the ideal. However, there will be no time when Cameroon, same as Canada or Mauritius will achieve that ideal. Unfortunately,the government of Cameroon seems to be focussing almost exclusively on individual bilingualism with the proliferation of all these bilingual centres. I can say with a measurable degree of certainty that there will NEVER be a time in the history of this country when we will ALL be fluent in English and French.So let us deal with this matter of bilingualism in a manner that would not only meet our objectives but also cater for the day-to-day needs of Cameroonians. The Government in my view should focus on INSTITUTIONAL BILINGUALISM. It is achievable and is in fact in conformity with our Constitution.From the constitutional standpoint, when Cameroon decided that it would be a bilingual country, it meant, I submit, that government, through its agents and institutions, would be providing those seeking its assistance (citizens and non-citizens alike)with services in both languages. It definitely did not mean that all Cameroonians had to be bilingual.That would have been a foolhardy pursuit on the part of the government. With the number of Cameroonians currently deemed to be bilingual, it is possible to run all government services (including parastatals) with people who are able and capable of providing services in the two official languages. Institutional bilingualism is therefore an achievable goal.If the government were to institute a language policy whereby it would be mandatory for any and everyone seeking employment with any of its agencies to operate in both languages, then the concern about clients being served in both languages would be resolved. The current stock of Cameroonians employed, directly or indirectly, by the government is far less than a million. I submit that there are more than a million Cameroonians who can more than hold their own in English and French.Emphasis should rather be on organising short-term crash or refresher courses for civil servants to improve on their language proficiency.Monies currently spent pursuing an unachievable goal will be saved. Those seeking to learn English or French should go to the conventional schools.
Tombele is right to an extent. Any good translator - or linguist for that matter -will tell you that language always operates in a context. "Sensibiliser" in French could indeed mean "to create awareness"; it could also mean "to educate", "to sensitise", to conscientise". It all depends on the context. my quarrel is with English - both spoken and written - in Cameroon. A few examples suffice: "he was installed in his new functions" actually means "he assumed office"; "the concours has been launched" is the competitive examination has been advertised".Prizes are "awarded" not "attributed". Examples abound.
A few sobering facts about the appointment of ministers in Cameroon: Fact 1: All ministers are appointed. They are answerable to the person who appointed them.They stay in office for as long as he finds no particular reason, including no reason at all, to throw them out. Fact 2: Cameroon has one of the highest turnovers as far as appointment of ministers is concerned. Exceptions notwithstanding, the average tenure is 6 (I mean six) months. Fact 3: Since ministers are not elected, they are not accountable to any constituency. Sorry, that is wrong: they have a one-man constituency: the person appointing. Some conclusions: a)Efficiency and dedication to duty are not a primary concern (Remember Sanda Oumarou at P and T). Satisfaction of the person appointing is an overall priority. b)Satisfying the appointing authority and resolving the problems of any other constituency do not necessarily amount to the same thing. The question is why rejoice when life expectancy as minister is in any and every sense one of the shortest on earth? Why rejoice when performing the duty for which one is appointed may lead to his or her ouster from government in the shortest possible time? Why rejoice when, as a result of the brevity of tenure, one is constantly plagued by the anxiety of dismissal? Why rejoice really?
Paul Muma was a pioneer of Sacred Heart College. A soft spoken and superb footballer with a brilliant mind. May he rest in peace