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The Significance Of A Name – By Simon Fuh Ngwa

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A name is the means by which a person or thing is known and distinguished from others. When a child is born, that child is given a name by which it will be known and called and as nature will have it, the child usually does not have a say in the choice of his or her name. Those responsible for attributing such names at times do so in honour and memory of particular individuals or events; for instance, the Baptist Missionary, Alfred Saker after buying a piece of land off the coast of Bimbia named it Victoria after the Queen of the United Kingdom.

In certain cases when these children come of age, they change their names because they are dissatisfied with what such names represent; reason why late President Ahmadou Ahidjo changed Victoria to Limbe because according to him, Victoria is reminiscent of British colonial rule in Cameroon. The irony in the whole saga is that while they were exterminating the name Victoria in the Southern Cameroons, they were at the same time projecting the likes of General Charles De Gaule, Marechal LeClerc, Eugene Jamot etc. in La Republique du Cameroun. When the allied powers defeated Germany in world war1, German Cameroon was partitioned into what became known as French Cameroon and British Cameroon and for administrative convenience the British further divided their stretch into British Northern Cameroons and British Southern Cameroons.

When the time came for the U.N to terminate its trusteeship agreement and grant total independence to all trust territories British Southern Cameroons was forced into a union with French Cameroon and the two were to adopt a new name; The Fed Republic, a name that was never to be. As babies at the time, our British Southern Cameroonian leaders had no say in the choice of name that was imposed on them. But today, having come of age and deciding to change the name to suit our present geographical dispensation, some super power in some distant land still think we are babies on whom names have to be imposed. They still believe they can spoon-feed us with milk whereas our teeth are solid enough to crack cow bones.

In his book, ‘ROOTS’, ALEX Haley, a Black American writer presents the main character Kunta Kinte who braved all the odds and resisted the name his slave master wanted to impose on him. Despite all the torture both physical and psychological he stood tall and told his slave master that he will accept no other name than Kunta Kinte and so was it.

I read a recent post from Bareta News talking of a purported meeting in the British House of Commons which dwelled on re-introducing the debate on a possible return to a Federal system of government in Cameroon. No matter how authentic that may be, I hereby make bold to tell the United Kingdom House of Commons that we have come of age and have adopted the name Federal Republic of Ambazonia and no human power on earth shall take it away from us.

If Ahmadou Ahidjo had the right to dump the name Victoria because he wanted to eliminate any trace of British colonial rule in Cameroon, then the people of Ambazonia have a greater right to discard the name Cameroon which leaves them with nothing but bitter memories of 57 years of bondage, sub human living and the recent genocide on our people. Like KUNTA KINTE we shall rise like one man and defend our name. What is good for the goose is equally for the gander. If Britain has the right to exit the European Union, then Southern Cameroonians equally have the same right to decide their political future without bowing to any external pressure from whosoever.

Simon Fuh Ngwa

S.C.N.C. activist

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