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Sunday, 12 December 2010


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I am pleased that one of us bush fallers has been able to stand up for the malaisse of our diasporaic habits which I agree with him one million percent. To add to all his remarks, I think that it is also of great importance that our child/ren born or raised up in diaspora be assisted in understanding our culture as it is that which makes us Africans. As an x-High school teacher of 22 years in England, I was never short of shocks from our children particularly those brought into diaspora's very quick lesson at picking up very simple letters of the constitution of four letter words. And ofcourse was I never short of shocks of parents of diaspora who thought that neglecting the child/ren because they have to navigate cleaning jobs for their upkeep was something to be proud of. Our children are our future.They must be raised to understand where they come from to be able to know where they are going to.So, parents of diaspora, please,please, take care of the children particularly those brought into diaspora, as they tend to pick up the worse of the society, when actually, there is alot of good things they they can pick up or copy correctly to improve themselves.


Professor, you are describing extreme cases. Most people try to maintain a link with their origins by eating ethnic foods as much as possible. As you know, it takes some effort to do that. Most people wear ethnic garments when appropriate, belong to "contri" groups and so on. They socialize with their own people. I would say, in America, it is easier to stay connected than in Europe, because blatant discrimination is illegal, and people can assert themselves more easily. In general, my experience with this matter has not been like yours. When I lived in Nigeria for 7 years, my family and friends in Kumba thought I sounded like a Nigerian in my accent and choice of words. Man is affected by environment, and people change to more closely resemble their environment, not always because of a sense of inferiority. That said, people who are more grounded in African consciousness and dialectic, fare better than those who are not so prepared.


I am appalled by Prof. Vakunta’s distortion of the truth in this article. At one point I thought he was just showing off his writing abilities than stating facts. I will correct those that I can from my position as a bushfaller like him. But before I go on I don’t speak for the whole of the United States but for Maryland (more especially about Cameroonians) that I am familiar with.
Primo, De-identification is just a big word he uses without any grounding. Citing Fanon is obsolete. We live in an age that people should cite works that are recent. To add to this I don’t know any Cameroonians with the types of names Prof. Vakunta mentioned in the article. Secundo, in every Cameroonian household that I have visited always has a large supply of African food. Even my uncle who has lived here for 30 years still eat fufu and eru and get his clothes sewn in Cameroon. In every neighborhood in Prince Georges and Montgomery Counties with large African Diaspora population there is an African store that sells all the goodies that Prof. Vakunta mentions in his article.
Tertio, people beat up their spouse everywhere in the world be they immigrant or not. What will this learned Professor say about Cameroonians who beat up their spouses in Cameroon or Caucasians who killed their whole family here in the US? It has nothing to do with De-identification. It is just life. There are other things that the Professor could use to show De-identification, but in this article he clearly misses the point and was just way out with his facts (perhaps these facts are happening in Monterrey, California or friends of his).

Jibril El Saleem

Yeah Professor you said it all. We are who we are no matter what we are or want to become. It was not by chance that we were born Africans but by God's wish. You see this is exactly why I joined the Nation of Islam. it helps me re-defined my identy and respect where i come from. It helps me to be proud of being born a black man. You know The Honorable Louis Farrakhan calls this scenario: Crabs in that barrel. he says the owner takes one crab out of the barrel and place it at a clear view top angle spot so the other crabs think they too can get out if they push hard. Illusions. Wannabe Black People think think they can disguise their manners and fit into white man's world perfectly. He talks about a people robbed and spoiled. All we are left with is to deepen each other's misery. When I joined the Nation I realised how long I was living in Darkness. Today I will tell any one who wants to impose any illusionary view on me I know who I am and where I come from. I am not ashamed of it. For those who are still lurking in the wilderness you better Join the Nation because;

I say and I say it again, ya been had!

Ya been took!

Ya been hoodwinked!


Led astray!

Run amok!

This is what they do....

I will stay as what I was when i was born: A black African Man. Proud of it.

Va Boy

Islamists are guilty of oppressing Africans too. I see it as pointless adopting an Arab name when there are many good African names.

vally china

Well done pal.i am a bushfaller too living abroad with my children.I want to thank you for this have infact said it all.I have met freinds who have been living abroad for over 30 years without going home.some of them have children who have never seen Home and do not even know how their grand parents look like.when i told some of my freinds that as my children reaches the ages of two i am taking them back home to live and in Africa and be a true african,they said they cannever allow their children undergo the same stress that they went through when they were in children will have to go to the farm,carry fire wood on their heads wash clothes with their handsweed igbo coco and g,nuts too like i did when i used to go to farm with my dad.My children will have to speak our local dialect,and know their uncles and aunts,cousins,etc.My idea of travelling abroad is to take back some of the Gold that the colonialist stole when they colonise our motherland.when i would have taken some of it for my family,country i would return home to live our peacefull,homeland.In Africa our land and home ther is peace.Abroad you are constantly living like a slave.I am proud to say that The African race is the best.i am proud to be an African.Everyday when i call my freinds from all over the world i remind them that We travelled abroad because we want our homeland to be better place.i tell them that ,he who does not know where he comes from cannot also know where he is going too.We Africans should strive hard to protect our culture and traditions.

Jibril El Saleem

Va Boy, The Nation of Islam (NOF) is very different from main stream Islam. Please, investigate properly before you rant anymore rhetoric. We are Muslim Africans studying both the Bible and the Qur'an. the name is only an identical reference to where and when we were before the captives shoved in. We change for no one, not even you or any caucasian wife. I wish we could meet and talk this 'fox to wolf'. Greater is he that is in us(me) than he that is in the world. Maybe, he that is in you(ur native Afo-akom diety as I will crack that calabash any time, any day, any where, thereby killing the munyungu spirit). Light will always outshine darkness.

Emmanuel Konde

An admixture of fact and fiction, the juxtapositioning of these raises this piece to the level of drama by the author's penchant for generalization and oversimplification. Granted, some bushfallers may well be relunctant to eat certain African foods, especially if they live in apartment complexes where boiling "stock fish" can in fact cause an international war because of the smell it oozes. But those who live in homes have no such inhibitions because of locale, locale, and locale. Nevertheless, one cannot second guess the author's design, which may well have been to provoke thought. As a man of language, he succeeded in that regard--if that was part of his grand design.

Emmanuel Konde


People it depends how you look at this issue, I have just one question to ask,Why are Africans immigrating to other countries? and by the way it's not only us the Africans doing this.The chinese are everywhere too, so are we.
The problem of culture inheritance is a choise,I'm also married to what you call an iyobo or whatever and she eats everything that goes into my mouth and it's the same mouth she can die kissing.People the problem is the way you start off your relationship.I'll take my son to Cameroon to show him where I'm coming from it will be his choice to may be want to live or do something when I must have gone.
On the other aspect of names he got all African names,and here is something funny,he's four,when he upset about something just ask him to tell you his last name,he will smile,stop crying and tells you what it means.
Yes this a good article but, not all cases are the way it has been portrayed .Have fun you all and Merry Christmas.

John Dinga

People adapt to their environments for survival. There is no point being enslaved to a practice that confers little or no survival value to you at a given place and time.

In America you have to look for work and to do so you probably need to go for a job interview. Try putting on your agbada to such an event to show your Africanness and then let me know the outcome of your job interview.
Good luck.

Fidelis Asah

John Dinga:
I'm convinced you are a Cameroonian with very low-self esteem, although you go about critizing Cameroonians with nothing to offer in return. I'm convinced that if "Barack Obama", with such a name, had told you a few years ago that he would become an American President one day, you would have been the first to argue vehemently that with such a name, he would never become a U.S. President.
You want to teach? Go look for a big class, but what would be teaching since you have nothing to offer?
As the Native Americans like to say it, "the cowardly coyote barks loudest from the pack", and in this forum, you do it behind pseudo names. Please come forward with your own articles, with "John Dinga" scribbled below them as proof that you've got the guts to stand critisms as you so often want to throw on others. I'm convinced Cameroonians will also have something to say about your articles.


Interesting topic. As concluded, the "de-identification" is for the most part a survival stratagem.

How do you maintain your intonation if you carry out a front office job, or your mortgage depends on canvassing for business through cold calling? How do you insist on wearing your dashiki in sub-zero temperatures? As for culinary habits: in the rat race that is Western life, it is difficult to afford the time (and money) to prepare African dishes on a regular basis, not to mention the inconvenience of co-occupants in shared accomodation. My good friend is constantly harrassing his wife for "westernizing" their kids, and I keep reminding him to make up his mind, which is more important to him: culture or economics.

How do you maintain authenticity without inviting accusations of ghettorisation.


It seems to me the Mr. Vakunta is writing about the same things that reek his bushfallen ass. Looking at the complexity of his work tells the story of how much time he's put into learning the "whiteman's language". Not that I fault anyone for doing that, but our dear Prof is pointing fingers at others for doing the same thing that he does. Surely he knows what it takes to survive out there.


what a precise honest and objective analisis.what realy shorks me is the fact some african people turn to deny this simple truth.everthing in this world is about culture .i am convinced if we lose our culture we shall one day cease from existing .culture is what creats the sense of responsibility in us and helps us cultivate a deep sense of least we should be honest with ourselfs and accept the truth in oder operate needed changes.

Gan Charles

Those Africans who have been in North America for more that 25 years will attest to the barriers they encountered because of their names, skin color, race, accent you name it. Like a cameleon you learn to adapt to your enviroment (legitimately). Talking about name change, there is a reason the law allows for it -African or not. Choosing to make a change or abandon your past must not be construed as being self deprecating. It is the reason you left in the fist place - you left your past behind.
Like I said, those coming to American (of which I can speak) in recent years may find that such transformations are no longer necessary to land jobs or get ahead - beacuse there is a lot more acceptance of peoples from different parts of the world for several reasons - the world has opened up more - the technology revolution has brought in the H1 worker who's accent is thicker than the African. I remember I used to be hard to understand back in the 80's - today not so much, not because my accent has changed.
We only seek to introduce the culture that is palatable to the host's house in which we seek shelter, otherwise we stay in our lands and keep all of our cultures.
If a man decides not to adhere to the culture he left behind for reasons of surviving in the culture he finds himself in - grant him that!
I don't know when the good Dr. came to the United States. If during his stay he never found a need to shy from his culture - I say good for him!
I am often asked why I do not teach my kids my native language. If I felt they would need it someday to better their lives I would teach them. It won't - not in the society they the were born and in which they have to compete. It is just one more burden they do not need to shoulder. Amen!

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