By Tikum Mbah Azonga
Response to a question put to me by MICRO WAVE on camnetwork.
Yes, Micro Wave. My answer to your question is that I have lived outside of Cameroon. I was three years in France and fifteen years in Britain.
In the end I came to realize that I was helping the "nationals" of those countries to realize their national dreams at my expense, including paying taxes to them and cleaning up their backyard and educating their young ones. Even so, I was saddled with the additional battle of having to justify each day that I was "good enough" to study, live and work in their country. But then, that never stopped them from wondering loudly to me why I had to leave my "bush country where people live on trees with monkeys" in order to "invade" them, take away their jobs and even women.
Here in Cameroon, I still fight battles. But there`s a marked difference: they`re MY battles, in my own backyard; and I pay taxes to my own country. A lot of us in the Diaspora moan about Paul Biya. Some even upload on to this forum, photographs that according to them depict Cameroon as a "bad" country. That may be so. But your Texas or DC neighbour who sees the images will still identify them with you, whether you like it or not. It`s an albatross around our necks. And talking about uploading pictures, since you live in the US, why not also upload those of George Bush`s atrocities in Iraq or the spoils of the oil spill, or the abject poverty in the slums of America. In the end, we are like "civilized African monkeys" mounting the stage to entertain our White neighbours, thinking that we are vilifying the country of our birth.
Paul Biya may be a bad president. Yes, but what are you doing to give us a better one? Are you throwing in your weight behind a credible opposition leader who can take over? Paul Biya may have brought immense suffering to Cameroonians. But what have you done to alleviate it apart from shouting from your ivory tower? This is Christmas. Did you send Father Christmas gifts here for any of the children? How many wells have you sunk in the rural areas in a bid to provide potable water? How many children have you sponsored in school? Have you ever reacted to any disaster here in Cameroon, such as the Lake Nyos explosion, the Nsam Fire Disaster, the Mount Cameroon eruption, etc? In short, what do we have to show for all the talking?
While Billy is using his camera to mock the country, NGOs such as PLAN INTERNATIONAL are using theirs to mobilize funds for rural development in the country. Find out for yourself the work done by this and other NGOs so far.
I hear some people say Paul Biya should be stopped from running for president again. But tell us how, where and when. Tell us who will do it, accompanied by whom. This reminds me of the clan of mice that moaned the fact that the house cat was decimating their numbers. So after deliberating in a meeting, the mice decided that the best thing to do would be to tie a bell round the neck of the cat so that it would alert them whenever the predator was approaching. When it now came to who actually would tie the bell round the cat`s neck, everyone stepped backwards and there was no one to do it. Like I once said, it is not by wishing that Paul Biya will not run that he will also not run. As far as I am concerned, if the constitution allows him to run, he should run. But the constitution also allows others to run such as the opposition parties and single candidates of the lack of Kah Wallah. At least she is not just talking! Aren`t we tired of making exactly the same noises day in day out?
S.T, Muna once aptly remarked that “people come and go but the nation remains”. Paul Biya is not the first president of Cameroon and will surely not be the last. Even so, there is enough room for all of us in the”house”. The next elections are in 2018, as things stand. Those of us who find next year`s elections too close can look ahead. After all, politics is like football. It`s not screaming and hurling abuse. It is strategizing and self control.