CAMEROON`S NATIONAL DAY CELEBRATION
(This paper is an adaptation of an earlier one I delivered on the Cameroon National Radio Station on the 20th of May 2002, the day the Cameroonian nation celebrated the 30th edition of its national day. The paper was one of the daily political commentaries I delivered on the 6.30 a.m. prime time national and world news on Cameroon Radio Television (CRTV), Yaounde, between 2002 and 2005).
Today is a birthday, that of someone born thirty years ago, on the 20th of May 1972. We call that 30-year old, person - let’s make it a man to make things easier - Unitary Boy. After all, why not? Have we not heard of men calling themselves names such as, `Fineboy`, `Kamerun` and even `Afrika`? As Unitary Boy celebrates his thirtieth birthday today, other people born on that same day will no doubt join him. We all know – don’t we? – that it’s not everyday that one comes across someone with whom one shares the same birthday.
Unitary Boy’s father came of age on the 1st of January 1960, and his mother, on the 11th of February 1961. On the 1st of October 1961, both got married in Foumban, what was and still is today, headquarters of Noun Administrative Division in the West Province of Cameroon. On the 20th of May 1972, Unitary Boy was born, much to the joy of his parents. He was born an only child and was consequently the apple of his parents` eyes.
Astrologically speaking, Unitary Boy is Taurus. As a Taurean, he is one of the three zodiac signs that belong to the natural element, Earth. For the record, it is worth stating that the twelve signs of the zodiac are divided into four groups, which correspond to the four natural elements, with each element having three signs in its triangle. In addition to Taurus (April 21 – May 21), therefore, the other two Earth signs are Virgo (August 24 – September 23) and Capricorn (December 22 – January 20). The Air element comprises Aquarius (January 21 – February 19), Gemini (May 22 – June 21) and Libra (September 24 – October October 23); while the element Fire contains Aries (March 21 – April 20), Leo (July 24 – August 23) and Sagittarius (November 23 – December 21). The Water signs are Cancer (June 22 – July 23), Scorpio (October 24 – November 22) and Pisces (February 20 – March 20).
While Unitary Boy is a Taurean, his father (January 1) is Capricorn and his mother, (February 11) is Aquarian. The sign under which the couple got wedded (October 1) was Libra. As Earth signs, father and son are characteristically solid, dependable, realistic and fertile. As Air signs, Unitary Boy’s mother on the one hand and the date on which the couple (as an entity) got together, on the other hand, are both intellectual, idealistic, politically correct, too text book oriented.
Looking back, the Aquarius woman and her Capricorn man may have some regrets about falling in love with each other. The woman may have the impression that the husband is too demanding while the man has the impression that the woman is having problems with adaptability. Nonetheless, the marriage will prevail because the Capricorn Man who is symbolized by the mountain goat, the symbolic and mythical goat which when faced with climbing to the top of the mountain, knows that it will slide and fall as many times but also knows that it must prevail and win in the final analysis. However, as the Aquarius woman is ruled by the element `Air`, she lacks the patience and foresight of the Capricorn man. As a result, she may begin to look for a quick fix, not patient enough to realize that quick fixes do not last long. In other words, she may not realize that not all that glitters is gold.
The Aquarian wife’s dilemma is considerable: Does she quit? If she does, where does she go? Will her parents accept her back? Are they still there, in any case? And will divorce really solve the problem? What about Unitary Boy, in case of divorce? Does he go with the mother or the father? Or does he gain his independence? If he does, will he be able to survive alone? Surely, he will be between a rock and a hard place, as the Americans say.
The problem is that Unitary Boy is not just a by-product, a hybrid, a crossbreed, a mixture, an amalgam or even a fusion of his parents; he is also a genius in his own right. So far, he has done well in practically every field. He has come top in most examinations; he has distinguished himself in sports, diplomacy, public administration and even politics. In fact, if his parents are honest to themselves, they will admit that their son is a blessing.
At the ripe age of thirty, Unitary Boy is today contemplating marriage and would like to have both parents by his side on the day of his wedding. He tells them, just like Former Zambian President Kenneth Kaunda told the then British Prime Minister, Mrs. Margaret Thatcher¹, that they have the right to be wrong by breaking up their relation. Nonetheless, he also points out to them that in the end it is he who will have to pick up the pieces; it is he who will suffer, just like the grass does, when two elephants fight. The parents, he says, were the ones who freely chose to give birth to him without him having any choice in the matter. So they are duty bound to stay together, for his sake, and sort out their problems.
As Unitary Boy celebrates his thirtieth birthday, he is fully aware of the problem his parents have. His most fervent prayer is for them to sit down at the table and talk things over. What matters to him is that in the end peace, harmony and national unity should prevail. After all, what god has put together, let no man put asunder.
Mrs. Margaret Thatcher¹:
At the end of a Commonwealth Heads of State and Government Meeting that took place in the 1980s, a journalists asked President Kenneth Kaunda what he thought of Mrs. Thatcher’s continuous opposition to sanctions being slammed on the Republic of South Africa in retaliation for its racist apartheid policy. Kaunda responded by saying that Mrs. Thatcher ²has the right to be wrong.²
Tikum Mbah Azonga