Category Archives: English

Long live the Federative African Republic of Fako (FARF)/Vive la république fédérative africaine du Fako (RFAF)

For at least one year now, the “république du Cameroun/Republic of Cameroun” is experiencing some  turmoil, due to social upheaval in its so-called “Anglophone” Regions, in the Western side of the country. Many and everything have been said about this crisis, its social, economic, administrative, and political root causes, possible solutions

In this paper, I just want to explore future, nationally-rooted possible solutions.
For instance and since the name “Cameroon/Cameroun” itself seems to be part of the problem, why not rename the country according to its own, historical features, characteristics?  Everybody there and elsewhere knows that the name derives from the Portuguese who noticed an abundance of shrimps (camaroes in their language) upon their arrival in the area – especially where the Wouri River enters the Atlantic Ocean. They gave the name to that area and it became Camarones in Spanish, Kamerun in German, Cameroon/Cameroun in English/French.
Now that there are not so many camaroes/camarones/shrimps/mbeaatoe (in local, seaside tribes languages)there, my suggestion is for the country to be renamed according to a perennial and impressive landmark that has been and will always be there for millions of years.  A unique landmark in the African West Coast, from Cap Town in South Africa to Rabat, in Morocco.

This landmark is the so-called “Cameroon Mountain/Mont Cameroun” which is locally known as “The Fako Mountain”. Therefore, why not rename the country “Fakoland” in short or more formally, the Federative African Republic of Fako” or “République fédérative africaine du Fako”?

Federative Republic because I strongly believe in African unity, which will transform the country into a State among the 53 or so that will make up the African Federal State.
“Fako” because this is an indigenous name, contrary to the given, Portuguese name the country bears now, which is an insult to our collective intelligence as it shows that people living in the country are incapable of reinventing their own realities.  Are proud of bearing a name someone else gave to their country and are proud of it, even though this name is dividing them, among other, deeper issues. This will not be a unique example in History, especially in Africa where Senegal, Gambia, Kenya, Tanzania, the two Congos, neighboring Chad and Central African Republic, etc., bear the names of remarkable landmarks there, be they Rivers, mountains, lakes. Taking from Bantu languages which make up the majority of Cameroonians in its Southern part, a Fako person – woman or man – would be called a “Mufako”, long plural “Bato-ba-Fako” which could be shortened into “Bafako”. That’s the way it goes with Burundi (Murundi, Barundi), Rwanda (MunyaRwanda, Banyarwanda), Kenya (MwaKenya), all predominantly bantu countries,etc Other names taking from the Sudanese of semi-bantu languages from other parts of the country, could be found.

From the so-called “Anglophone” Southwest and Northwest Regions to “Francophone” Littoral and Ouest ones, this linguistic principle is fully understood.
Furthermore, the new African Federative Republic of Fako (AFRF) , République fédérative africaine du Fako (RFAF) would consist of 15 States. They too, could be renamed following local landmarks, customs and traditions.

For instance and starting with the bones of contention of Southwest and Northwest so-called “Anglophone” Regions and their misnamed neighboring “Francophone” of Littoral and Ouest Regions, taking from their largely shared History, customs, traditions, languages, tribal unity, they could become Sawa North (Buea), and Sawa South (Douala or Edea) Regions on the one side, Grassfields West (Bamenda) and Grassfields East (Bafoussam) Regions, on the other.

Then from Adamawa/Adamaoua (Ngaoundéré) to Nyong-&-Sanaga (M’balmayo or Mfou), other Regions could be renamed Benoue (Garoua) Dja-Ntem – &- Mvila(Ebolowa), Nyong-&-Dja (Abong-Mbang),  Lom-&-Kadeï (Bertoua), Sahel Region (Maroua). This move would present the advantage of going beyond different colonial dominations, and affiliations which were forcefully imposed upon the country, and of  regaining national pride, showing some creativity in reshaping our country’s identity according to our own perspective.

Then cities with an important meaning in our national history such as Buea (first Capital),  Douala for obvious historical and present  reasons many know about), Yaoundé, Ebolowa (birthplace of the first national independence hero, Lt. Martin-Paul Samba), Boumnyebel (birthplace of Ruben Um Nyobe), Garoua perhaps, Foumban, would become administrative entities by themselves: Douala as the Nations’s Economic & Historical Capital (DCE), Yaoundé (to be renamed Ongola, it’s true local name) could henceforth know as “Ongola, capitale nationale” (OCN), and Buea a Historical Capital (BHC).

The other cities would become “Historical Cities/Villes historiques. Foumban as the place where a national alphabet was invented a few centuries ago could become, together with the Noun Division, a Special Region/Région spéciale du Fombina. Historians would be tasked with identifying other locations, worth of national importance or meaning, and suggest measures to honor them.
Just some suggestion from a grassroots, but worried and concerned citizen

African Diasporas and the True Measure of Transparent, Free and Fair Elections in Some Countries

Since the 90’s when one-party political systems began to crumble in Africa, true democracy has taken an uneven path in the continent. While some of the 53 States or so that make up the continent’s polity can legitimately claim to be democracies, where citizens are really free to choose their leaders and to fire them, some still cling to the old style, strong man system so vehemently decried by President Obama a few years ago in Accra (Ghana). Certainly Senegal, Tunisia, Benin, Liberia,  Mali, la Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea-Conakry, Tanzania, Mozambique, the Central African Republic very recently, can legitimately lay claim to have become genuine democracies. But many other among those who recently held elections in the Central Africa’s region, can hardly convince anybody of their true democratic credentials. Especially when some of them decided to cut off social media connections so that elections took place in loud silence.

For them, here is a challenge.  hold if not elections, at least opinion polls/surveys in your respective diasporas. They are more or less representative samples of the people you tightly control at home.  True, those who oppose your system may constitute the majority of your diasporas.  However, you still can rely on a certain percentage of those likely to support you.  Meanwhile, all of them hold a distinct and decisive advantage on those who remain at home: they are totally free to speak up their mind, free to say whatever they like – for or against you – and not land in a torture chamber, a prison cell or worse, dead and thrown in a ditch.

Therefore, their votes in any way are more reliable and credible than those of people who may not be so free when casting their ballots in designated – and perhaps heavily controlled boxes your political parties, cronies, militia, political Police can so tightly control. So, let’s go for it and have independent observers hold opinion polls/surveys within your diasporas. Since you really have no choice, let’s accept their results.

Can we bet?

The price of bigotry

Just wondering how much wealth would have been created, how much misery, crimes, etc., avoided, how many prisons wouldn’t have been built, Police and Correction Officers not recruited, how many African-American families would have accessed middle class status, how many of their youngster would have been well or better educated, then able to find their rightful place in society instead of petty crime, theft, etc., if and only if former slaves were actually offered the 40-acres and a mule after Abolition.  All that was lost because of that missed opportunity have since then, cost a lot to the Country.  This, as with slavery, Jim Crowism, and all forms of racisms and discrimination – against women for instance – is the high price we all pay for bigotry. And it’s almost always, unbearable, as Rosa Parks proved it to be.

ISIS, DAESH, Al-QAEDA and their likes Must Create their Own Religion

Everybody agrees.  These groups do not act, speak, senselessly kill thousands, maim, torture, violate human rights of millions, destroy highly valued and universally respected ancient cultural artefacts, civilizations and infrastructures in the name of the Islam billions practice peacefully, without having to kill anybody. Therefore, why these groups do not create their own brand of religion, not linked to Islam.

Then they will freely choose their ideology or doctrine of destruction, killings, assassinations freely, attracting those who willingly join them, and sincerely believe in these; meaning all the sadists, serial killers, assassins, masochists, power hungry, deviants, etc., and create their own, completely isolated “State” somewhere, in a barren land where they will be free to kill each other, up to their own and complete extinction.  A ‘State” that will not entertain any relations whatsoever with any other known State in the World, transacting with no other known entity.

Where those who enter will never be allowed to exit or come back to the rest of the world.

That way, the rest of the World will live in peace and these deviants will be free to do whatever they like, want or do to unsuspecting innocent people in different countries. Everybody will live happily ever after.

White supremacists and Black Tribal Dominators

I was just reading and article on “'” about those who are preparing to replace the aging president Biya.  The article by Anicet Ekanè, a political leader in the country denounced the fact that some of his colleagues party leaders in the country think that they will access the position when it eventually becomes vacant only on the “merits” of their respective tribes. Not so farfetched, when the regime itself, while proclaiming its “unassailable” passion for national unity, actually works as tribalocracy, selecting most of its cadres in the public administration, the government and State enterprises from the group to which the Head of State belongs, and from a few other groups, provided that they stay putt, share some spoils and do not disturb the present status quo.

Does this have to be repeated for the next 40, if not 2000 years? Aren’t we able to find creative, innovative and moreover – inclusive solutions – to this disaster that puts the whole country into the grip of Black tribal dominators while a the same time all of us reject the motives and actions of White Supremacists?

Africans and the International Criminal Court: The sheep that want “their own” wolves protected against external justice

It’s quite surprising that many Africans, following their Heads of State claims, are against the International Criminal Court, denouncing the fact that the Court is “obviously” biased against African leaders. This, for me, looks like sheep protesting against the arrest and prosecution of wolves that have been decimating them for years, because they are their own and must be judged by their own sheep, Yes, the likes of Pinochet were never dragged into that Court, although he committed similar crimes against humanity, by killing 3,000 Chileans during his reign of terror, from 1973 until 1989.  However, Gbagbo did the same, just from December 2010 until April 2011. And contrary to Gbagbo, at least Pinochet left behind him a richer country with a flourishing economy that exports goods (especially wine) everywhere in the world, including in Côte d’Ivoire and neighboring Liberia!

Ggagbo only left behind him a ruined, deeply and ethnically divided country, heavily armed from the presidential palace to the remotest villages. Generally speaking, African dictators are disrespectful of their own people, of their basic, fundamental and human rights, including their right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  Unfortunately, coming together in Addis Ababa for one of their infamous, fruitless,  so-called “Summits”  in what have adequately been nicknamed “African Heads of State Trade Union” meetings by a progressive one of them, they have succeeded in convincing their victims to defend their right to not be dragged to the Hague, even in light of their long standing, officially sanctioned human rights abuses and crimes against their own people.  Therefore, their victims duly caution these Heads of State long lasting unaccountable governance, their reigns of terror upon these same populations, for reasons of injustice against Africa, covert neocolonialism, etc.

How deeply shameful and regrettable!

African Unity from below

Slowly, little by little, Africa may become one unified State one of these days.  Although politicians seem to covertly resist the idea, only paying lip service to it during regular former OAU (now African Union) Summits in Addis Ababa or elsewhere in any one of the 52 Capital cities of its member State, the people have apparently and  fully embraced it.

For instance in Yaoundé, Cameroon, there is a “Madagascar” Quarter (Borough), another part named “Dakar”, and in Douala, a “quartier” named “Brazzaville”. In Rubavu (Rwanda- former Ruhengeri), one part of the City is named “Yaoundé”.

Monrovia is champion in this move, with a “Somalia Drive”, Matadi, Douala and Congo quarters.

Almost everywhere, there are Lumumba and Mandela avenues/Boulevards.

If you happen to know of such examples in your own country or in any other, please share this with the readers of this blog. Thanks.

Please don’t ask me whether I am a “Francophone” or an “Anglophone”

Whenever and wherever a person of Cameroonian origin introduces him/herself to new people, the question that arises immediately is know whether the person is an “Anglophone” or a “Francophone”.

Please do not ask me that question anymore, because I am none of these categories. My ancestors, staring from those I personally such as my maternal great and grandparents did not speak any of these languages.  Yes, my father received a French education in Dakar as a “Médecin africain”, as well as his father transitioning from a German to a French education and becoming a nurse, primary school teacher and clerk in a  business. But I refuse to define my own identity through that of someone else. Who by the way forcefully imposed himself into my History. If or when Germans, British and French people will start define themselves through the identity of people and countries they dominated, then I will reciprocate.  Until then, please do not ask me this infamous question anymore. All Cameroonians are either Bantu, semi-Bantu or Sudanese people. Full stop. Nothing more, nothing less.

Living up to 256 years: The dream of would-be Presidents for Life

According to the “Time” magazine, quoted by a D R Congo daily newspaper (La Référence Plus, No. 6320, dated September 28, 2015, pages 9 to 11) a Chinese man named Li Ching-Yuen or Li Ching-Yun, apparently born in 1677 or 1736, died on May 6, 1933.

True or not, this is a dream those who, anywhere in the world and – especially in Africa – seek a” President-for-life” position would like to see becoming reality. Certainly a nightmare for their people.  Fortunately Li Ching-Yuen or Yun, died a few decades ago… with his elixir of an almost eternal life.

The fight for transparency in extractive industries is not over yet

Following the Kimberley Process that sought to introduce more transparency in the way diamonds were mined in developing countries, carried through borders, traded, transformed and sold in developed countries, then the products of these transactions used in the purchase of guns and ammunitions that fuelled wars throughout Africa, efforts have been consistently deployed by stakeholders in the extractive industries to limit their nuisance effects in Africa and elsewhere in the developing world.

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