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« Orange Cameroun Employs 400 Holiday Youths | Main | NACC Offers National Emblem To Bakassi »

Monday, 25 August 2008


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My comment might seem insignificnant and unneccesary but any objective mind would agree with me that it has far reaching consequences. It is and will continue to be the cause of many of our socio-economic problems in Africa.
In all of Africam one of the greatest problems people face is 'THE BIGMAN SYNDROME' All over the continent in different ways in the diffeent countries,the BIGMAN can defy the law, get even with the small man irrespective of the laws of the land. In the public administration there is also a clear distinction between the BIGMAN and any other civil servant. The most important point here is that this BIGMAN must be accepted as such or whoever does not suffers dire consequences. The BIGMAN recruits, fires, controls finances, decides payments, decides promotions, etc etc. Infact the BIGMAN is all powerful. In politics the BIGMAN orders the small man who to vote for. At times this is done through outright threats aided by the police which is also heavily influenced by the BIGMAN. This influence could be by what public office the BIGMAN holds or by the financial power he weilds.
I don't think I need elaborate any further because most of us Africans have experience with this BIGMAN syndrome everyday of our lives.
So because there are these BIGMEN, elections , recruitment, contract award, scholarships, admissions into schools, development priorities can never be fair in the society. Infact for the BIGMAN to exercise his power, he must make sure the public knows him well. That is why in Africa titles are extremely important. It would be generally 'insulting' if you do not address any member of parliament as 'Honourable' this or that. Once a member of parliament, the title Mr. Mrs. or Miss. is discarded and considered an insult when used again. The director f a corpoation ceases to be Mr. X or Y. MOstly in Francophone countries whether at home, in the office, at wedding celebration, funeral, in a joint with friemds etc etc, he is 'Monsieur le Directeur'
This use of titles, and in particular honestly and hard earned tiltes, is not a bad idea if they were not used to supress those of lesser social or professional classes. But in a society like ours where medical care, police protection, job recruitment etc. are all tied to being a holder or being a favourite of someone with these titles, it is always unprofessional for the media to influence public perception of members of society by their social or professional stations.
The victim of the fire accident in this report is a 'MAN' period. His operating a call booth for a living has nothing to do with being a fire victim. Was it the booth that caught fire and caused him injuries? Also identifying his friend as a bread seller had nothing to do with the entire incident. By doing that, a society poisoned by the BIGMAN syndrome would pay less than adequate attention to this victime because as a mere booth operator or bread seller what is there to benefit in assisting him? How would it sound to anyone's ears when you receive a call like this 'Please help, A BREAD SELLER'S house is on fire' as opposed to '...HON. TACHE'S house is on fire?'
Only hypocrites and a very insignificant objective few in our society will say such distinctions will never influence their responses to such situations.

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