FRANCOPHONES MUST APOLOGIZE TO ANGLOPHONES!!!
Translated by EDWIN TANGWA
As the saying goes, “as you make your bed, so shall you lie on it”. That’s why I would like to start by telling you how I too was educated like many francophones, in condescension and distrust vis-à-vis our anglophone “brothers”, first in the family, then in society.
I am a son of the Mfoundi and from a blue blood family; a “prince” at that. My family still has a fairly significant real estate legacy in Yaoundé. As a result, my father had many Anglophone tenants (and that’s still the case). In addition, during my childhood we had many “housekeepers” from the Southwest or North-West regions. Even today, according to francophones, Anglophone girls have a reputation of being perfect babysitters and housekeepers, though underpaid, while Anglophone men are exploited in our plantations and our various economic activities, for a ‘catechist’ salary.
In the neighborhood where I grew up (which is also my village), we used such derogatory terms as “Anglo-fools or anglo-foufou”, “Bamenda” etc to refer to Anglophones. « Bamenda » was not used to designate their origin; it was intended to portray them as less-than-human, fools… Example: “you bamenda”, “you ‘bamenda’, you are always left”, “do you take me for your bamenda?” Etc. these are expressions we sometimes used in a mischievous way and each of us, in all honesty, used them a few times in our life.
Yet, the Anglophones in Yaoundé with whom I relate in various ways, have always had an attitude of respect towards us that sometimes borders on submission. I still remember these “Anglo” dads who, knowing me to be the son of the “Nkùkùma” (Chief), revered me, and would take off their caps before greeting me.
Later during my studies at the University of Yaoundé I, my position as a student delegate gave me a glimpse into the core of the malaise inhabiting my anglophone mates in the university. For instance: exams intended for all the students were often set in French only. I’ll spare you the taunting they received from the tribe-baiting Francophone students and teachers on various occasions and much more.
Professionally, I have not really rubbed shoulders with anglophones except, serendipitously, those who were already pretty well integrated. But I do acknowledge that even at the professional level, they are stigmatized to their core, when I observe, for example, that we make almost no effort to at least communicate with them in English; even worse, when in our town halls, ministries, and other public services in Yaoundé, French is substituted with the local language or bùlù. I admit to having used the code “mbëmbë kiri” several times instead of saying “Bonjour” or “good morning”, to be easily and promptly received. However, Yaoundé has ceased to belong solely to the Éwondo since it became the political capital of Cameroon. Now, it should be called, “Ongola-bi-bësë” (the common-Enclosure)!
My departure from my old “beliefs” about anglophones started in March 2015 when, with a group of friends, I went on an excursion to Mount Cameroon, the famous “chariot of the gods”. In Buea especially, I was very impressed by the cleanliness, order and civility in the streets, both from pedestrians and drivers of all types of vehicles. And this, without any police presence. I discovered a people at odds with my assumptions: so affable, welcoming, warm, honest and overflowing with joie de vivre. The Foreigner is almost venerated. The ‘living-together’ that is becoming political among Francophones is atavistic among Anglophones.
This short stay was for me an invaluable lesson in humility, noting that, the other exasperates us when we do not know him. Initially self-centered and so proud of my village in the heart of Yaoundé, I began to question my achievements, having discovered in the Anglophones that we despise in many ways, values that we francophones, have lost. That is why I understood and have strongly supported the struggle for federalism and social justice from the very first day. The marginalization of the Anglophone minority has gone on for too long: let’s be true and conscientious!
Why this unjust “terrorist” label that the political elite, the patriarchy, the bureaucracy, the armed forces, the francophone intelligentsia … want to tag on every anglophone who says NO to the debasement of the lord of Etoudi and his valets and griots?
As far as I’m concerned, the most dangerous terrorism in Cameroon is that of the senile delinquency of its francophone leaders, of which we, Éwondo and Bùlù are the main actors. The fear/panic of losing our privileges and comfort, has anesthetized us to the point of, perhaps unconsciously, transferring our guilt, truncating historical truth. If we indulge in lethargy, laziness, prevarication, mismanagement, stagnation, impunity, especially moral emptiness, to the point of living in denial, let others at least express their exasperation without demonizing them. It is we who are solely responsible for this calamitous situation. Our indifference is cowardly and guilt-ridden. History will judge us.
To defuse this crisis, we francophones, must therefore ask forgiveness from the English, for having mismanaged the social capital of Cameroon since the Reunification to the present, and francophonized the Administration. If it is not too late, let us also amend our disdainful attitude towards the plight and malaise of a minority and left-out people.
It is not the anglophones, but the succession quarrels amongst Francophones over the post-Biya that will finally break the hypothetical ‘peace’ and ‘unity’ that we claim to defend today. In fact, what peace and unity can we talk about, when in the same family, injustice and inequalities are the norm???
DEAR ANGLOPHONES, I APOLOGIZE TO YOU.
Translated by EDWIN TANGWA
North West Senior Slave Fon Teche Thanks Biya For Excellently Managing The Cameroons Conflict
The Chiefs in the good old days of West Cameroon were people of high repute. They were respected by their subjects because they were apolitical. The House of Chiefs was created therefore to an advisory instance of the other branches of the state of West Cameroon. The House of Chiefs was constitutionally NOT a partisan institution. Then came La Republique Du Cameroun- LRC. The Chiefs and Fons have been transformed into “Nchindas” of Biya. They spend their time writing and shouting motions of support, thanks, immortality, wishes, congratulations and prayers to Biya.
Like subjects in kingdoms like Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Lesotho and many others, these so-called Fons and Chiefs always wish that their so-called FON of FONS lives and outlives the oldest person that ever lived. They even send Biya motions of immortality. They wish that Biya should live forever. He should be like the Almighty GodNo wonder Colonial administrators from LRC do not have any respect for Southern Cameroonian CHIEFS and FONS. These so-called traditional rulers have themselves to blame for their predicaments. They have sold their consciences to LRC in exchange for a few marginal and ephemeral favours. These so-called Custodians of the traditions of their ancestors were not even ashamed to desecrate the same traditions in order to please the Dictator in Etoudi.
The NW Fons shamelessly awarded the brutal Dictator, Paul Biya, the title of FON OF FONS.
The emeritus President of the North-West Fons, Teche, recently sent a motion of support to Biya thanking him for his excellent management of the Anglophone Problem. He even went further to beg Biya to take another seven years as President. However, this so-called Fon did not have the balls to remind Biya that innocent Southern Cameroonians have been kidnapped and taken to Kondengui. He did not have the courage to tell Biya to release the leaders of SC who are unjustly being held in prison awaiting trial because of trumped-up charges. He did not have the wisdom to tell Biya that the latter’s cosmetic solutions will never resolve the impasse.These so-called traditional rulers have been used by the Etoudi Junta to stifle the liberation struggle of their own people as championed by their youths.
Most, if not all, of these so-called traditional rulers, have shamelessly mortgaged their consciences to the Etoudi oligarchy by accepting membership of the CPDM crime syndicate. Most of them have now become members of Biya’s election rigging syndicate.
These so-called traditional rulers have refused to positively team up with their subjects for the improvement of the lot of Southern Cameroons and of their people, They prefer rather to stand in the way of their subjects by actively thwarting the latter’s efforts in exchange for a few marginal and ephemeral favours from LRC.
These so-called SC Chiefs and Fons are a disgrace to humanity. They should be ashamed of themselves. In my opinion, there is no moral justification for Southern Cameroonians to create a House of Chiefs for the present generation of Chiefs and Fons after we reach Buea. They do not deserve such an honour. They lack the moral authority to represent their people. It is legitimate therefore to consider the Chiefs and Fons of SC as ” les enemies dans la maison, les traites”. They always work against their own people in order to please Biya.
Traditional Rulers: 21st Century Political Bandits
Traditional Rulers: 21st Century Political Bandits
Traditional Rulers and elites are still in self denial of what is actually taking place. They keep believing that what is happening is a tiny minority who want to cause destabilisation of their one and indivisible Cameroun. They still look up to Biya, begging audience with him, begging him to visit their region. These rulers who are supposed to be neutral having a high moral authority to speak on both sides have become the worst enemies of their people. They have become political agents, actors and promoters of the regime and in this light they have all lost the respect the people had for them. For some of them, they think the lives of civilian matters not and many can die. Their lives have become more important than the thousands the regime has massacred since 2016.
Pity to learn that these ones who called themselves South West Chiefs and South West Elites Association are begging for an audience with Biya and they are meeting on August 25 in Buea to talk and the theme of their meeting is how to ensure an end of the social-political crisis so that an enable environment for elections will hold. These bandits who call themselves chiefs and elites are not interested in stopping the senseless war. These are people that for once have not raised a voice against the massacre going on in their communities.
Every day at least 2 civilians are killed by the military, yet the numerous burning of villages, killings, these bandits in the name of chiefs have offered no word likewise their colleagues in the Northern zone. You can see all they are interested is elections-how to help Biya win so that they continue to reap from the regime at the expense of the people. Their move is only self interest because in no time, not even once have they shown sympathy or stand with their subjects. They failed.
The Chiefs are complaining that there is a deliberate attempt by some people to crumble the economy of the region as if those fighting in Bangem, Manyu, Lebialem, Meme, Mbonge, Fako etc are some strange people taken from space and transported to fight there. They are still in ‘wakalanda’ land thinking that what is happening in the region is being done by some strange people, whereas it is their very subjects, those they have lived with for years but these subjects have risen to say “NEVER AGAIN”
Today is Monday and Restoration Day (Ghost Towns) is 100 percent effective in all 13 counties from the Southern to the Northern zone. The chiefs are complaining that their region is being crumbled with ghost towns trying to regionalised the crisis- another failure. The conflict has enveloped all communities in the Southern Cameroons yet they do not see. Now we hear of mega South West and North West conferences, holding in Buea and Bamenda respectively in the weeks ahead sponsored by these chiefs/Fons and CPDM elites. Again, these nincompoops are in stark off reality with what is happening on the ground. Their interests are elections and nothing else.
The revolution is one of either we live free or die and let all Chiefs, Fons, so called elites be aware that the Never Again Generation are watching and if they think this generation will sit and watch them sold out then they really have been hypnotised by Biya and have no idea on what this generation can do.
Unity And Collaborative Conferences- The Canada And Washington Meeting
Unity And Collaborative Conferences- The Canada And Washington Meeting.
We are at very delicate stage of our revolution. While self defense is paramount in bringing us to Buea, diplomacy and the support/Perception of the International community is paramount in sealing our journey to Buea. In fact, self defense is the activator of diplomacy and international help. That is why restoration days (Ghost Towns) and civil disobedience only CANNOT bring us Independence. It could only lead to minor changes in administrative issues which is far below our objective.
To get Independence, there are things we must do and I must confess, we are already doing all those things, but the one most single aspect we are yet to achieve is to get all Nationalists Movements and the IG finally collaborating to tell the world that these are people they can work with. To tell the world that we are serious in what we have. Our movements and leaders are bound to collaborate, they are condemned to collaborate and therefore we must help them so. There are many opportunities our movements and IG have lost because those that matter want to see a true unity platform. We are the ones delaying ourselves to Freedom.
As we delay our own moves, the enemy is now busy. La Republique has now engaged in a fierce communication campaign in the diaspora as well as buying lobbying firms. These firms are only interested in their money and clients and have no pity or sympathy for human rights abuses and what our people are going through. This is the moment we have to rally as a person for the last push to make sure we use all social media platforms to counteract everything they will say. We cannot go silent now.
There has been too much talk about the Canada and Washington conferences, all of which geared towards one objective- Unity and Collaboration. I already see some people trying to throw punches here and there. Fellow Ambazonians, what do we really want? Are we being aware that we are face up with La Republique, its allies, world power and now lobbyists are joining? We are on our own, but if we as a people succeeds in uniting, I bet you, no power out there shall be able to kill us. This is what the international community, especially those sympathetic to us and want to come in is asking from us- Unite and Collaborate. Yes, this is possible.
So my people, these leaders are talking behind the scenes. Let us whether activists, members of different movements, citizens and ‘surrogates’ allow these leaders to talk and bring forth a solution for our people. If these leaders really mean well for our people, they will damn all politics, interests game, talk and come to a compromise on what our people needs. Talking, collaboration is not ‘bonbon’. It takes tolerance, patience, effective communication, love for homeland to achieve. Even in our small activists forum, it has not been easy. What then amongst leaders? Yes, we can.
While doing this, we must also bear the truth that before the Interim Government called a Collaborative conference, which had been mentioned in one of Sako’s live Facebook shows, the 3C initiative has been on and we have had Sako, Ayaba on the records of this particular conference. In fact, I am aware that all movements and IG had sent representatives who were already talking about this 3C Conference in Canada discussing on how to make it work. I know how difficult it could be but it is possible.
I have had persons come on my platform and others to talk about this conference. Let’s allow these leaders to talk. Let’s allow them to find a workable plan for these conferences because the moment activists, citizens and others start making authoritative statements in favour of this or that, or throwing one under the bus, we risk loosing it all. Hear me now very well. No conference will succeed without either of the movements or IG less the purpose is defeated
Therefore, whether we like it or not, these leaders are condemned to collaborate. The IG or the groups cannot do it alone. Trust me, they cannot do it alone. Maybe our people have no idea, no idea why the international community is slow to support, especially those who sympathise with us. It is because they see the lack of a unity platform. Some people rubbished other movements and say, they are in the minority, they have nothing on ground zero. Some say ground zero does not recognise them, etc. so the IG should just go ahead. WE ARE WRONG. It is not a popularity contest.
I have said these things in some of my Facebook shows, that no matter how popular the IG is, she cannot do it alone. No matter how much ground support the IG gets, she cannot do it alone. Because these other movements most people call as minority with no support matters a lot. We have seen how one or two of their actions can cause an entire week and sometimes a month, to be centered about debates on their actions etc, and that is what the international community sees.
I have told our people to be watchful that the international community does not see this popularity of the IG. They do not see the vast support of the IG because we have no statistics or measure to tell them or show them that the IG is the lead so they do not care. These are truths. What the International Community sees is a genuine revolution that can succeed, but with many groups and leaders. It is only you and I as well as Ambalanders know that the IG is popular which is the truth. It is only us that know that the IG is listened to by the vast majority of Ambazonians and they are indeed in charge. The world doesn’t see that so we are condemned to engage these other groups and IG to collaborate. Recognition is not forced. Recognition is dialogue, Recognition is a compromised, it comes with terms and understanding. This is what our people must do.
Let everyone out there continue to push these leaders to do the talking behind the scenes, disagree and argue behind the scenes and find a compromise between the Canada and Washington conferences, come to the public and tell us. OUR LEADERS OWE US THIS.
As activists, most especially, let us mind our language, our tone towards every movements, leaders, etc. We must push these leaders to talk amongst themselves with all respect, dignity and humility. We must learn to be an activist for the revolution, for AMBA and not an Activist for IG, AGC, Groups etc.
I am called Mark Bareta.
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