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Friday, 13 February 2009

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Manga

While the Government of Southern Cameroons may have instituted a "youth and sports day" on October 26, the transformation of February 11 (not October 26) into the youth day in 1966 by the Ahidjo Government does not in any way refute the anglophone argument that this day was instituted as part of a systematic policy to erase Anglophone history and identity.

So, while this article is interesting from a historical and informative perspective, it completely misses the boat in trying to explain the politics around the institution of Youth day in 1966.

Our good Dr. missed the boat on this one.

Bob Bristol

The struggle for the liberalisation of the Southern Cameroons should see the possibility of launching a campaign that can make Southern Cameroonian youths to abhor the celebration of 11th as Youth's Day.
This should be a 2010 agenda. I am sure the consequences will be far reaching if we succeed.

VictoriaBenton25

People in every country receive the business loans in various creditors, because it is comfortable.

J. S. Dinga

How Cameroonians expect to solve a problem by rendering its contours murky remains a mystery. The problem of Anglophones in Cameroon, especially their marginalization in daily life is well known. Yet those who should stand up and be counted are often the very ones who bring up preposterous arguments to stymie efforts at resolution, in this way, putting what my good friend Amougou aptly calls “un faux problème” as an obstacle.

People who pass for the country’s intellectuals have reduced Anglophones to mere tribes and in so doing, trivialized their plight and rendered it on par with the plight of ordinary tribes. Hear them name the tribes of Cameroon: Bamileke, Bassa, Ewondo, Fufulde, Anglophone, …. Yet it is no secret that at the time Ahmadou Ahidjo and John Ngu Foncha went into the many negotiations to reunite English-speaking Cameroon and French-speaking Cameroon, the two entities were geographically defined and composed, each of many indigenous ethnic groupings called tribes. The English-speaking tribes occupying what was then known as the Southern or British Cameroon gained their independence from British colonial Administration whereas the French-speaking ones, occupying the former East Cameroon received their own independence from France. While the Common Law applied to the former, it was the Napoleonic Law that was practiced in the latter. The adoption of Anglophone for the former and Francophone for the latter was a simple expedient to facilitate reference to them in daily transactions. No doubt individuals in both sectors of the country could command a certain amount of experience in expressing ideas in the other colonial language. The emphasis was on the language of Administration even if everybody did not speak it.

It is discombobulating to hear people today, fifty years down the road, asking the vexing question “But who is Anglophone and who is Francophone?” simply because a few individuals from the French-speaking part of the reunited country can now express themselves in English. This outlandish claim downplays the fact that from the onset of reunification, hordes and hordes of English-speaking Cameroonians from the British Southern Cameroons went to school, studied French as a foreign language and became the first crop of translators and interpreters for Ahmadou Ahidjo and John Ngu Foncha. The list is long – William Mbelem, Francis Yango, Teneng Mongwa, Joseph Chumfong, Peter Vakunte and lots more. Towering above them all was a certain Bernard Nsokika Fonlon who made Cameroon proud by editing the bilingual publication ABBIA in addition to assuming other responsibilities at the top. The late Nzo Ekah Nghaki went to become Secretary-General of the Organization of African Unity, thanks to his flair for expressing himself in English and in French. None of these many Cameroonians of English expression ever doubted his Anglophone identity. So why should the problem crop up simply because some Francophones thought they had become bilingual?

limbekid

@ J. S Dinga,

There is a difference between ethnicity and citizenry. Ethnicity is defined by DNA at birth, while citizenry is defined by choice (after fulfilment of statutory pre-conditions). Thus, you can be ethnically Somalian but a British citizen. If Southern Cameroons were a sovereign state its citizens would be defined by law and not nature; hence the conundrum: who is Anglophone? It`s a universal headache not limited to Cameroon.

I hope this answers your question.

J. S. Dinga

No, it doesn't. And I prefer answers from persons who do not mask their identities.

Siaja Kingsiabe Godlove

J.S. Dinga and Limbekid, both locked in this game of arguments-good ones by the way-may do readers a favor if they also provide photos of themselves, rather than throw out these comments about who is masking behind computer screens. Fair game?

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