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Tuesday, 12 January 2010


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The Entrepreneur Newsonline Inc.

...I have been grappling with mental images how 'this'would be received, if the author were to stand with a microphone in hand and then recite this to a form 3 poetry class of 200 students in Sacred Heart Mankon....

....the look on the faces of the kids,
some of whom may have received corporal punishment for speaking in this vernacular...

...would they cheer, would they memorize and recite, would they then march to the Principal's office, chanting: we are free, 'botoukou', to hell with you...How would they receive this vernacular?

...assuming they loved it, and there were a question in the end of year exams, 'to write down your best poem'....60 students present this...what would be the look on the teacher's face....

....just wondering aloud......


Wow! a posting from The Entrepreneur without insults???? Please pinch me!!!! Or is he just holding his fire until he eats dinner?:-)

dango tumma

thats the jargons camerounese invented to retard our kids in primary schools after unilaterally cutting the school length from seven years to six without our authorization, yet knowing fully well the world appeal of english, they are quick to send their children to our schools , when we have no control on the education department, which used to be run from buea. they call it camfranglais, some idiots are copying them
up to a point of posting it here on intellectual board.


how doctor go do nyoxer sick woman. whatttt. cameroon

Tanifon Silvanus

I don't think Vakunta's choice of language should be of any concern. He has a message he wants to impart on the general cameroon public, and he does so quite succinctly through this version of camfranglais,or whatever. Just for the record, Vakunta has published an array of creative works, both in English and pidgin!
He is not an idiot!


This is communication at its best! majority of the population in Cameroon will understand this. The author is not trying to impress anyone but simply to reach out and be heard and undertsood.
Goog job. This is so real and I understood everything.

The Entrepreneur Newsonline Inc.

...yeah you are right, reaching maximum public..

...when you have your company and you are recruiting, and a candidate walks in, and greets you: Ma complice dem for inside office, wuna good morni oh, big olga haw naw, Sef de wan dem for da shide for ofice, i salut u too oo...

...he is trying to communicate, with the maximum number of workers in the office, so recruit him!

Pablo (yo)

Great blog!!!
If you like, come back and visit mine:

Pablo from Argentina

Bob Bristol

The idea of reaching to the public in written pidgin doesn't hold to me. We could try that through oral means but then how do we harmonise the far-fetch varieties of Pidgin?

The instrumental motives of learning Pidgin are not that compelling. If the "buyam-sellam" is at the benefitting end, English wouldn't be much of a problem to him/her. Politicians may need their votes but how many of them are interested...? How do we get them involved? At the moment, I think speeches in what ever language will get it.

VaKunta is till one of those who think Pidgin doesn't have a negative effect on non-native users of English. I strongly oppose this view.

Bob Bristol

Correction please,

At the moment, I don't think speeches in what ever language will get it.

The Entrepreneur Newsonline Inc.

...Your are right..

...And ever heard of Negro Dialect? 'Obama could speak one, when he wants,' (sen. Harry Reid)

...Sounds as if Negro dialect is pidgin vernacular...some run-down broken english by people who are too lazy to either learn any other structured language, such as English, French, German, etc....

...How come semi illiterate Cameroonians can speak structured French when they reside in French Speaking Cameroon, yet same people from English speaking Provinces can't speak structured English when they return to Buea and Bamenda? They resort to pidgin vernacular...

....something is missing somewhere...I can't figure it out. Very strange...Help

...if you don't want to speak colonial language, e,g, english or french, then not pidgin, for pidgin is remnant of english, french, portuguese, german etc..., why not start our own structured language. Our ancestors left us with huge language capital that Vakunta and others could refine, and write his poetry in Ngemba, per se ! Sell millions of books, literature, films, etc in African language (perhaps called Afro) and keep the money in our community? Just like the Afrikaaners who decided to start a new language, and today what a dozen caucasian started, 10 million people now speak it, and its economically enriching to their community....


I am a strong supporter of Pidgin,English is not my first language.If you want to speak english or french,Please kindly migrate to UK or France.


...Sounds as if Negro dialect is pidgin vernacular...some run-down broken english by people who are too lazy to either learn any other structured language, such as English, French, German, etc....

Another classic from our teacher-in-chief.

Va Boy

I claim mastery in both. The problem is failure to properly instruct kids. I think Vakunta has no problem discoursing in English, but he has fun in pidgin as well. Who said Pidgin has no structure? As any linguist worth his salt, and he will differ vigorously. The level of self-contempt of some gas bags here is troubling. Keep your toxicity to yourselves.

Vincent Wetiah

I'm surprised that all comments have focused on the medium of expression (pidgin English) and no mention has been made of the content. Vacumta has, in a nutshell, x-rayed the Cameroonian society and enabled us to see it for what it is: a society with a pervasive and pervading form of corruption; corruption which has eaten into the very fabric of the society; corruption that is nauseating, firmly lodged in every nook and cranny. There is no hiding place. No one is immune, no one can stand aloof. We're all dragged into it, willy nilly; for you can't live in a sewage and expect to be clean. If you don't take, you'll be forced to give, either directly or by proxy through a niece, nephew or some other relative who takes your money and bribes to obtain service that is theirs by right. This poem equally depicts a defeated or should I say, a "defeatist" people; a people that is resigned; a people that has been pushed to the utter limit; a people held hostage by the very persons responsible for their welfare and security; a people with an inordinate propensity to take punches, but lacks the will to throw back a few: On va faire comment? Cameroon na Cameroon. This attitude sums it all. We have all become passive and willing victims of a situation from which any people with the least sense of dignity will strive to unshackle itself. Thank you Vacumta for holding up the mirror that brings the situation once again into sharp focus. I must confess that when I look into that mirror I do not like what I see. There is no point bickering over the medium of expression, for I believe the poet chose this medium for special effect and has amply achieved his goal. By the way, ever heard of poetic licence?


A few points worth noting Mr Entrepreneur:

There are thousands of young Cameroonians today, whose mother tongue is pidgin-English. They do not speak the traditional African (Cameroonian) languages of their parents. Speaking pidgin-English to them is not about being lazy, or being unable to learn structured speech in English and/or French. Pidgin is their First language!

We have been (mis)-educated to construe our own as inferior. We don't encourage our kids to speak in our native tongues - for fear of affecting their English or French. Surely we are being protective to ensure that they find a space today's globalised business world. Fair enough.

But the Chinese have become one of the biggest economies in the world (2nd or 3rd?)while speaking Mandarin. Indians speak Hindi but are among the fastest growing techies around the world. People who think speaking English or any other international language is an advantage in business, make the effort to learn it but continue to use their national languages.

We chide our own and belittle what we grew up using because we think it is inferior and doesn't make us modern enough.

In Sierra Leone, Krio (their variant of the language), is the national language. After many years of disdain they are gradually including it in curricula and there are schools using it.

People learn better when they are taught in the language they understand best. Instead of criticising the likes of Vakunta by saying that written forms of Pidgin cannot work or are not structured to be a language, we should be urging them (linguists) to work on the codes, grammar, etc to make it a usable.

It could take ages, but it is possible to get there. Afrikaans, spoken in South Africa, is neither pure dutch nor English; it is not even Zulu or Xhosa. Yet, it is a language today and people are proud of it.

Mr Vakunta,

thanks for that description of Cameroon. Some of the points hurt so bad but they clearly depict who we are and how we have decided to react to our country's misery.

You may offer this piece to Lapiro de Mbanga as the lyrics for his next Album. On va faire comment? No bi Cameroon, c'est le Cameroun?

The Entrepreneur Newsonline Inc.

...who cares about the content? The content is the author's perception. millions of people in Cameroon are poor. Millions are also well-to-do and are having a swell time: many wives, many children, many beer bottles, many everything, throwing away food, etc....So, too in America or UK. Millions have food, whilst thousands live in soup kitchens, food stamps, welfare etc, can't afford warmth in winter, etc....So both groups can write anything they want. You won't force me to accept his content, when its his perception and his agenda.

The Entrepreneur Newsonline Inc.

Pidgin: which board decides on the structure of pidgin. How do you spell the following words in pidgin: Book, Pot, spoon, Cup, house, Chair, Boy, Girl...etc. Everone can decide to spell these words in pidgin different, isn't it?

...the notion that someone can take english words and butcher them, shuffle the consonants and vowels around, and then call it a language is absurd, simply because the product will now have a sound that resembles its known english variant. can never compare pidgin to Afrikaans. Never try that....

....because millions of people speak pidgin so what? Does that make it valid? If millions of people decide to speak poor butchered 'ngemba' or 'Duala', will that make it a new language?

...again, fans of english should take it beyond the streets: translate physics and medicine books etc...into pidgin could possibly earn income, as millions of students will purchase the books or why not start a blog or write a newspaper like we have Kiswahili, Hausa and Yoruba Newspapers.

....assuming your young medical 'dokta' and his patient with swollen prostate, he would say: da ya kanas don tu hai, ehhhhh? does this make any sense?

....The postnewsline offers opportunity to have a page for yourself, start something, translate all news contents you can find into pidgin. Its easy, go ahead and start one right now, with just a click...after three paragraphs you see the impact of what we are talking........

John bull

You are full of trash Entrepreneur, wonder how someone like you could even pose with a newspaper.

John bull

I now understand why people who cannot engage themselves in any form of creativity can only resort to one thing: bringing others down.


Entrepreneur, with the newspaper reminds me of impostor Ekumu in Nsanda Eba's The Good Foot. Ha ha ha

Sesseku Arrey.

The most important is that the message has been sent across,Instead of coming up with ideas on how to remedy the problems in your country ,some only look unto attacking the writers and spelling errors.What have they themselves written?
NEPOTISM AND CORRUPTION ARE FORMS OF SOCIAL EVIL, THEY DESTROY AND RETARDS DEV'T; e.t.c: what goes up will surely came down. Those stealing our money's and taking to foreign banks, that money doesn't belongs to you. I think that they are helping us to save the money.For the time will surely came when they will find themselves giving account if not now , in the nearest future.They will surely payback.No man is above Justice.


You are right Arrey. People who have no ideas of their own instead divert from the content of issues published herein to attack the form and quality of writing.

Dr Bill F. NDI

Dear all,

I tried posting my response to you all a few weeks ago on this forum and for some weird reason the forum will not accept my posting. But another web link that has been following keenly our discussions here did post it and until now I am wondering where all those advocating the Queen's English for Cameroon have gone to. It so happened that after the fact the above chastized author and I have jointly published a master piece in the language we acquired as a second foreign language, i.e. French Cf. Nul N'a le monopole du français. and until now no Cameroonian has had the courage to review the book. Here below is what I think about any position for or against the use of Pidgin English in Cameroon.

Just a line to all those arguing against pidginisation or the profuse use of Pidgin English in Cameroon. It may be interesting for these guys to note that at least two Nobel Prize winners in literature viz. Wole Soyinka and Derek Walcott have both written works in Pidgin English or Creole in the case of Walcott. This did not stop Walcott from being appointed professor of poetry at Bristol and currently at Oxford. Or better still labeled the "Best Poet the English Language ever produced in the twentieth Century."

I won’t elaborate a lot on this. As I read through the postings put up by those strongly against the use of Pidgin English, I realize that their use of Pidgin English is responsible for the plethora of grammatical misuse of prepositions and English writing conventions.

Again, I wonder why all the poems written by many a Cameroonian poets (me inclusive) in an English so impeccable that would stun many a British and have been posted on this same forum have received the attention they deserve and have been carefully analyzed and appraised by the anti pidgin squad.

I thought I would stop at that but I have the obligation and responsibility as an authority in the areas of the History of languages (precisely the History of the English and the French languages), History of ideas and mentalities to point out that the language(s) most belonging to the anti pidgin squad claim to defend tooth and nail were all once pidgin forms of other standard languages. The use of pidgin is language in evolution! So, let the young grow! Long live Pidgin English! Long live its use in Cameroon poetry and everyday life! Kudos my broda and partner in crime. We are the pidgin English use warriors!

 Dr. Peter Vakunta


Some sick dong come for Cameroon,
Yi bad sotai pass come no go,
Da sick dem di call’am sei tchoko.
Tchoko na popo come no go!
All Camers dem dong katch da sick!
Dem daso tchoko, soso tchoko!
Big man tchoko, small man tchoko!
Da sick trong sotai pass all pipo.

You wan put eye for youa dossier
For any office for Ongola,
Dem go sei mek you tchoko.
Tchoko na popo ‘cancer’ for Ongola-o!

You wan write concours
For enter big scchool,
Dem go sei mek you tchoko.
Tchoko na popo SIDA for Cameroon-o!

You wan put pikin for sukulu,
Sep small school,
Dem go sei mek you tchoko.
Tchoko na popo ‘epidemic’ for we own kontri-o!

Mbere-khaki stop moto for road,
Sep voiture personnelle, ‘I drive myself’,
Yi go daso sei mek driver tchoko,
Tchoko na popo ‘pandemic’ for Abakwa-o!

Woman wan born for hospita,
Sep for ngomna hospita,
Dem go daso tok sei mek yi massa tchoko.
Tchoko na popo come AIDS for Nooremac-o!

Youa répé die,
You wan mof yi die body for mortuary,
Dem go sei mek you tchoko.
Tchoko na Sick Number One
For di Republic of Clando-o!

You go for fain wok,
Dem go sei mek you tchoko.
No wanda all man dei for Chômencam for Ngola-o!
Tchoko na wandaful sick-o!

You wan mek marred for Church,
Sep marred for Mairie,
Fada and Mayor go sei mek you tchoko.
Da sick dong katch all man-o!

Youa pikin wan tek baptism,
Pastor go sei mek you tchoko.
Yi dei like sei God for Ongola
Yi sef dong gring dis palava for tchoko!
Tchoko na popo kwashiokor for Cameroon-o!

How wey yi be so,
Wusai we go tek melecin
Before we mof dis bad sick dei?
Magan pipo for Oku,
Dong try yi pass dem.
Melecin pipo for Nyos,
Dong try yi pass dem.
Marabout dem for Adamawa,
Dong try yi pass dem.
Malam dem for Foumban,
Dong try wit gris-gris yi soso pass dem!

Mukala dem dung try wit antibiotics,
Yi daso pass dem.
Na yi wey ‘Transparency International’
Dong vex sotai yi tok some gramma sei:
Cameroon is the Sick Man of Africa,
She is afflicted with CAMEROONOSOMIASIS!
Woomoh! Woomoh! Woomoh! Barlok-eh!
Na which kain barlok tchoko sick dis-eh!
Yeee! Ein! Yeee! Ein! Yeee! Ein!

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