English Blogs From Cameroon

Cameroon was colonised by both the English and the French. The historical legacy of colonial rule is reflected in the linguistic division of the country. It is divided between the French-speaking North and the English-speaking South. Although English speakers are the minority, the Cameroonian English blogosphere is very active. Today, we are introducing some of them to you.

Dibussi Tande is one of the leading English bloggers from Cameroon. His blog, Scribbles from the Den is about his personal view on people, places, issues, and events in Cameroon, Africa, and the world. He discusses what he calls “Biyaism”:

After close to a year of subtle and not-so-subtle calls by members of the ruling CPDM for an amendment of Article 6(2) of the constitution of Cameroon which imposes presidential term limits, President Paul Biya finally took a stance on the debate last December 31. During his nationwide end-of-year address, Paul Biya backed the opponents of term limits by arguing that: “In fact, there are arguments for a revision, particularly of Article 6 which indeed imposes a limitation of the people’s will, a limitation which is out of tune with the very idea of democratic choice.”

Bakweri is a group blog focusing on Bakweri culture and society. The blog celebrated the news of a Cameroonian born new President of the University of Pittsburgh:

Dr. Jem Spectar who hails from Buea at the foot of Mt. Fako, South West Cameroon, was on Friday 28th September installed as the 5th President of the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown in the United States.

Bate Besong is a special blog dedicated to the life and works of the late Bate Besong, a well known Cameroonian social critic. Kelvin Ngong Toh looks at his play, Beasts of No Nation:

Bate Besong is one of the most renown Cameroonian playwright of English expression, besides Bole Butake, Victor Epie Ngome and John Nkemngong, who is of the younger generation of Cameroonian playwrights in English. Even then, Bate Besong’s plays have not gained impetus in the eyes of critics. But examining the content and form of Beasts of no Nations, a play he published in 1990, one can rightly conclude that Bate Besong is an experimentalist playwright and a reformer.

Fonlon.org is a blog celebrating Bernard Fonlon who was described by his contemporaries as “Socrates in Cameroon”:

Twenty years ago, on 26th August 1986, Bernard Nsokika Fonlon died in Canada. He had gone there in the month of May of that year in order to receive a doctorate degree in Literature (D. Litt.) from the University of Guelph, and it was his intention to spend the 1986/1987 academic year in the United States of America, within the framework of a Fulbright programme. But the Lord, the Giver of Life, decided otherwise. Bernard died in Canada at the age of sixty-one years, and nine months and six days.

Tangwa's pages is a blog by Godfrey Tangwa, a prolific Cameroonian writer. His blog has not been updated for sometime, though. He once wrote about malaria research and ethics:

What has Ethics got to do with state-of-the-art malaria research and control efforts, let alone in Cameroon? If the word “Ethics” brings to your mind only images of churches and other places of worship, holy books and religious injunctions, priests, pastors and other preachers, all of which may seem rather far removed from science, let alone research, then this surely, is a pertinent question for you. Of course, religious people, religious discourse and religion generally are concerned with ethics or morality generally. But ethics or morality is quite distinct from religion and is or should be the concern of all human beings, be they religious or not.

Francis B. Nyamnjoh is Associate Professor and Head of Publications and Dissemination with the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA). One of his recent posts is about his latest novel, Souls Forgotten:

This novel is about coming of age and coming to terms in Mimboland. It is also about the fragility of life and the strength of the human spirit. The filth and screaming splendor of the city and the perplexed tranquility of the village are juxtaposed, as the tension and conviviality between tradition and modernity are lived and explored.

Jacob Nguni is a Cameroonian musician as well as a blogger. He writes about the popular African song, Sweet Mother:

Sweet Mother by Prince Nico Mbarga has been voted Africa's favourite song by BBC readers and listeners.

Chosen from a shortlist of 10, the 1976 hit celebrating motherhood won with more than 27% of the vote.

The wedding song Vuli Nadlela by the wild child of South African music, Brenda Fassie, who died earlier this year, came in second.

Mwalimu George Ngwane is a Cameroonian political and social thinker. He mostly writes about social, cultural and political issues. He recently wrote about 2007 being the year of heroism and martyrdom in Africa:

Heroism is the ability to triumph over adversity. Its kernel is fuelled by defiance and fired by a steel will.

Either as an individual or a corporate body, heroism urges the subject to go against the grain of conservative establishment. Motivated by independent assertiveness, the subject breaks free from monolithism and complacency to embrace the collective vision of his or her society. Ali Mazrui says heroes are symbols of achievements; they are ultimate victors.

Rosemary Ekosso is a Cameroonian translator and court interpreter living in the Netherlands. She writes about affecting Africans today, especially African women.


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