Methinks the article by Comrade Dr. Lucas Cho Ayaba published by Comrade Mark Bara is confusing the use of a word as a noun and the use of the same word as an adjective. The name of any country is a noun. That noun may also be a geographic description without denying its value as a noun.
The same sovereign authority that empowers Southern Cameroonians to name their country Ambazonia allows them to call it Southern Cameroons if they choose to or to call it Ambaland.
South Korea, North Korea, or South Sudan are not only geographic descriptions even if they all also happen to be situated to the south of the country whose name they share. Equatorial Guinea is a country; not just a geographic description, even if it is also this particular Guinea happens to be situated closest to the Equator. South Africa is a country, even if it is also the country situated to the geographic south of Africa.
In other words, the name “Southern Cameroons” – capital “S”, capital “C” (a noun) – should not be confused with the adjective and noun “southern Cameroons” – small “s”, capital “C”. If Southern Cameroons was a geographic description, it would be situated somewhere closer to Ebolowa.
Naming our Homeland does not mean disowning our history, any more than a party to divorce disowns their past. We are at liberty to retain our name post-separation, if we wanted to, notwithstanding the stain recolonization may have put on it. For example, Eritrea did not deny its name simply because at one point Eritrea became submerged as a province of Ethiopia. For the time being, referring to our Homeland as Southern Cameroons is not out of some “Cameroonian-ness”. It is to ensure that the rights we inherit from Southern Cameroons flow to us. We are laying our claim to being the legitimate and legal “chop Chair” of the former British UN Trusteeship Territory of the same name.
Besides, there is no running away from geographic descriptions. Even if we were to ban any reference to anything Kamerun, Cameroons or Cameroun in describing us, we will still be obliged to describe the location of our country on the world map by saying we are located to the southwest of Cameroun, to the southeast of Nigeria and north of Equatorial Guinea.
People who refer to Mark Bara as Mark Bareta are still referring to the same person. When the time comes for the flag of Ambazonia to be walked into and hoisted among the flags of world nations at the United Nations, the name that will be handed over as the official name of our Homeland will be the only name that has legal currency… and it may be Ambaland or Zamonda. Whatever it is, nothing will stop us, in the future, from changing it… again, and again, and again, if we wanted. After all, today’s republics of Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana, and DR Congo were once Dahomey, Upper Volta, Gold Coast, and Zaire. Remember?
Whatever we call ourselves, our history shall recognize that we were once known as Southern Cameroons… even if we should all be disgusted that anyone thought it acceptable to accept a name that celebrates the shrimp or “djanga” found in one river versus celebrating the peoples of that land.
Ntumfoyn Boh Herbert (Yindo Toh)