samedi 23 juillet 2011


By Tikum Mbah Azonga

I will spread it out
I mean, spread it out
With my index finger
It doesn`t matter if it`s too thinly
As long as we square the half mile
We won`t accept any grren notes
Nor the baker`s long loaves
Nor loose euros blowing in the wind
We will tone down any strident calls for blood from DC
We will question and vet
Any petitions to Amnesty and Transparency from Brussels
They`re all talking drums that sound hollow
Because their music is drenched and drowned in sour cheese droplets
And odd bits and pieces of chicken and chips
And left-overs of last night`s burgers.
We want our own voices to rise up and tower and dwarf
We want our young to grow and step forward
We want our on to show us the way
We want our type to rule and govern
But we reject any go-between
We don`t want godfathers
Just let us be
We turn down all mediators and arbiters
Why should we trust them?
They have betrayed their own people
They carry guns wantonly and shoot randomly like Adolf`s underlings
They coldbloodedly strap up humans and inject them to death
They wire them up like some new building and electrocute them
Their stages and arenas are worse than Hitler`s gas chambers
So who are they to stand and give us lessons?
They`re nothing but opportunists who say one thing and mean another
They can be all over the place
They can be everwhere
Yet nowhere
They`re brief
A nine day wonder
So why trust them?

Copyright 2011

mercredi 20 juillet 2011


By Tikum Mbah Azonga

The priest is tired
His silk cassock has gone grey
His hands tremble
His mantle no longer fits
His crook looks too heavy for him
Isn`t it time he went?
Shouldn`t he also get a rest?
Or must it only be the pastor?
Leadership is leadership
Unless Rome thinks otherwise.

Copyright 2011

mardi 19 juillet 2011


(For Marelen)

By Tikum Mbah Azonga

The girl in white and purple
That’s who I am today and tomorrow
That’s who I was yesterday
I am my own mistress
I build my own bridges
I trace my own path
I fight my own battles
Life has taught me that the world is inside of us
Not somewhere else
That’s why I’m the girl in white and purple
But the colours are the Almighty’s, not mine
He alone pulls the strings
And I go at his bidding.

My white and purple
Are not bows without their arrows
They are not the valley lily birds fed yesterday
No, they are a new breed of flower sash from the seamstress
But certainly not a re-enactment of Benson and Hedges.
When we read the Wife of Bath
We do so with due regard for her rattles
That’s why my students come here daily without fuss
And my staff work harder than Oscar Wells.
Here at ABCIT where standards are high and far from rubble
We invite all and sundry to come and discover our deep gold mine
If there is anything tied here, it’s certainly strings
That’s why with my verse stringer, I’m prepared to go in hiding.

Copyright 2011


(For Bernadette)

By Tikum Mbah Azonga

Wao! What a good weather!
Don’t you simply love it?
See how meek and lowly
Yet how sweet and charming it is
Yes, it may change
We all know the weather is fickle
But who isn’t?
That’s life.

For all the exotic readings, I thank the Father
The cumulus, the nimbus, the stratus, they all do it
So does the torrential rain when it rumbles slowly
As a Gemini, I know when the weather is amiss
Like a true child of Babungo, I can measure its full range
So it doesn’t matter whether it’s a down pour or a trickle
Thank God for the splendid weather and the snow it isn’t
After all, without the changes, our Faculty has no real life.

Copyright 2011

dimanche 17 juillet 2011


By Tikum Mbah Azonga

A contribution to the ongoing debate on FACEBOOK about the forthcoming presidential election in Cameroon and incumbent President Paul Biya`s supposed role in it.

Victory in politics comes from action. It does not come from rhetoric alone. It is not enough to simply WISH that Biya goes and you expect to get up from your bed the following morning and find him gone. Elections are round the corner. What have you done concretely in preparation? Apart from Biya, there are at least ten other candidates. Are you throwing in your weight behind any of them and giving that one total support? Or better still, are you running as your own candidate, instead of expressing wishes at the sidelines while the real battle goes on with you only as a commentator. The SDF for instance is `doing something about it`, by being there and challenging and opposing and arguing. They are engaged, they are committed. They may not make it now, but if they persist, they may make it some day. It might not be them as such but their children. . It doesn’t matter. People come and go but the nation remains. Biya is at least present and fighting his own battle. The best arena on which to challenge him and effect change is through the ballot box. Shouting and insults and emotions will not change anything.

Copyright 2011


By Tikum Mbah Azonga

I’m not a man to roam
I carry heavy bagpipes
Like the Kilimanjaro poet
Watch my eyebrows
Don’t you see them twitch?
So, what more of the wanton birds at Charing Cross?

Copyright 2011


(For the victim`s of Schindler`s list)

By Tikum Mbah Azonga

Some inches were unspeakable
Imagine a yarn without fins or spreadsheets
Where on earth would you then begin?

Copyright 2011


By Tikum Mbah Azonga

I couldn’t find the gas pedal
Nor the gradient level
So did I have to sip Ukrainian Cognac?
Just because of that?
What about the charcoal trade?

Copyright 2011


By Tikum Mbah Azonga

I quenched it
Not with holy water
Nor tears for fear
But with God’s own spirit
It didn’t take long
Although the breath of it was so short
And its Fallopian tubes severed
I did it standing on the Kilimanjaro
Yet, I did it
Don’t mind the band master.

We’re all damned, profit or no profit
Even if we’re offered the best Twin Otter
That’s why for ever our offspring will speak from the rear
Especially for those who know Tikrit
And the scapegoat Washington gnawed and gored for so long
The charge is nothing short of tort
It’s also nothing short of the leader who once was revered
Forget the dirty bodices and shrunken payroll
What really matters is the last candle no one really lit
And the fact that son is equal to father.

Copyright 2011


(For Lydienne Blanche)

By Tikum Mbah Azonga

Give me an example, dear Lord
And a good one, too
For too long I have groped in the dark
Today I want light
I want sunshine
I want your shoulder
I want your hand.

Give me grace, but of your own accord
I don’t want to stick like glue
I want to run and worship you like in the park
I want to win with you without a fight
Lord, be my grapevine
Be my solace, my fortress and my giant boulder
So that I too can see the Promised Land.

Copyright 2011

vendredi 15 juillet 2011


(For Linda)

By Tikum Mbah Azonga

I’ll think
I’ll think and grow rich
Just like Napoleon
Just let the tides ebb away
And the bottom line of Ant & Soc, thicken
That’s when we’ll even the scores.

I’m not at the brink
That’s why I refuse to twitch
Instead, I demand brand new dandelions of neon
If you will, that’s my way
That’s why I must think and ripen
And then get rid of all the pores and sores.

Copyright 2011


(For Mayayong)

By Tikum Mbah Azonga

Every new creation is good
On condition that it doesn’t get stuck in the mud
And in the process
Attract odd bits of iron filings
Or some adulterated God’s bits of wood
Or even get steeped in sour lime wine.
And that’s the plain truth.

Whether I’m called Sandrine or Vera
As long as Spanish is my oyster
And the instructor, this man who makes me laugh
And forever I have this leg in JMC
The world shall continue to spin on its axis
I’m not reinventing the wheel
No, far from it, I’m calling a spade, a spade.

Copyright 2011


(For Agbor Ambang)

By Tikum Mbah Azonga

SO what are you going to do about it?
Let all the chickens loose
Or get them pent up for another month?
Do you think that’s fair?
To show a hungry lion meat from the booby
And then abruptly withdraw it?
Is a hungry man not an angry man?

I have come for my search
And I have a torch, just in case
I’m not seeking the heroin
Neither a I seeking the villain
I’m seeking the way to Mamfe
Call me another lotus eater, if you like
I will stand my ground.

Copyright 2011

jeudi 14 juillet 2011


Por Tikum Mbah Azonga

Cuando todos mis hermanos
Se van a la catedral
Me llevan solo a casa
No quieren que ir tambien
De ninguna manera

Cuando regresan a casa
Siempre, sin jaqueta
Y sin comentarios
Y que hay para comer
Me dicen que el vecina esta infermo
Pero cuando hay trabajo para hacer
Me llaman todos
En el mismo tiempo.

Copyright 2011


(For Kelly)

By Tikum Mbah Azonga

Why don’t I always have what I want
Why is this life this way?
I love my fellow human being
I offer help wherever necessary
But I also want something in return
It’s something for something
Not something for nothing
That’s what I want.

Yet when I move nearer, they move away
When I go in, they go out
When I go out, the go in
When I call, they giggle
I want my presence to be felt
I want to be present
I want to be seen
I want to be heard
I want to lead
I want to rule the world.

Copyright 2011


(For Ngong Bertrand)

By Tikum Mbah Azonga

Could people still be this good
Or am I dreaming?
Have heaven’s doors and windows
Suddenly flung open and whisked everyone up
With no ticket, no money, no strings?
Why have all the girls` faces brightened up
And all the boys` grips become firmer?
Surely there must be something in the offing.

Cars drive past and I am ticked off as ready food
Amphi 750 is full to the brim and still streaming
All oil paintings I see are like obsolete bows and arrows
Any attempts at changing money simply flop
Science students talk of nothing but concentric circles and rings
When I attempt to walk up the wrong way, all strung
Multiple hands stop me short of the garner
Today, I wonder how so suddenly man can be so much of an underling.

Copyright 2011


(For Ronard)

By Tikum Mbah Azonga

A girl with the fear of the Lord
That’s who I am
No more, no less
And I stand my ground
I do so because I know myself

Each time I fall
I pick up myself promptly
And look up to the source of all life
Instantly my spirits return and I take off
The next minute, I`m hearing from him.

lundi 11 juillet 2011


By Tikum Mbah Azonga

Hi All,

Our brother Akaba Ajitum asked whether I am Bambui, as a matter of genuine concern and not a challenge, I must say .I welcome that and below is my response:


I was born in Baforkum (Ala-akubeuh) which according to the beautiful write up posted on this forum by our brother, Tobby Neba, is one of the (five) “sub-chiefdoms of Manju, Mallam, Matula-ah, Fingeh, and Ala-akubeh.” I grew up in Baforkum with my parents who lie buried there today, in our compound currently inhabited by my elder sister, Ma Martina Ncha Mbah (who incidentally was a classmate of Mr Ephraim Amungwa`s, uncle of the present Fon of Bambui, at N.A. School). Our compound is being supervised by my Uncle Mr Victor Mbaku and overseen by the Chief of Baforkum. My father worked at the Agric Farm in Bambui from 1940-1984 when he died. I am his successor and a notable in Baforkum. Pa Geh who has a very large following of Bambui children was an elder brother to my mother.One of my father`s best friends was a certain Pa Forba from either Ntemban or Fulieh. His children and I interacted well with each other. Unfortunately I we lost touch with each other over the years. If anyone reading this knows how I can reconnect, I would be grateful.


When Yaounde hosted the annual jamboree of the Bambui Cultural and Devekopment Association of some years ago with the Fon of Bambui in attendance, I played a key role in terms of organization. I was instrumental in obtaining CRTV coverage of the even as at the time I was a full time employee of the corporation. I also got Bambui onto the TV programme, THE MONDAY SHOW. When in full view of everyone the Fon was given the honour to cut the cake with the Queen who accompanied him, he took everyone by surprise by basically saying that he would like that honour to go to one of his most distinguished sons. And so it was that it went down into the annals of history that it was I who cut the cake with the Queen. I once more thank the Fon for that recognition.


When the Tubah Union of Cultural and Development Associations was revamped some six or so years ago in Bambui with Dr. Mundi elected President, I was elected Publicity Officer and specifically counted as one of the statistics from Bambui. Just before the election took place, Tubah sons and daughter s were given some time to congregate under the canopy of the four main villages and plan their strategy. I was in the Bambui group along with other sons and daughters of Baforkum.


When I was principal of Nacho College in Bamenda from 1999-2001, I offered the palace of Bambui a 100 per cent scholarship so that the palace would send me a child to educate without the palace paying fee for the five years in the first cycle, as a way of returning something back to my own community. The Fon effectively gave me a little girl whom I enrolled in Form One. Unfortunately, relations between the prorpietors of Nacho and me turned sour and I had to leave. As a result, that plan disintegrated.


I am also Baforchu by virtue of the fact that my parents were both born there and I have a large family there on both sides. I am also largely accepted there as a son of the soil. But both the Fon of Bambui and that of Baforchu who is a cousin of mine, know about about my “dual nationality”. In fact, some four years ago or so, when I invited the Fon of Bambui to the funeral of my uncle (father`s junior brother ), HRH did me the greatest honour and turned up heavily accompanied. His presenc e scored high points for me. While the Fon of Bambui sat with the Fon of Baforchu, the former joked by telling the Fon of Baforchu: ” Mokorokah (III), look, you know Mr Tikum has one leg in Bambui and one leg in Baforchu. I accept that but if you are not careful, I will drag him so that he has both legs in Bambui and no leg in Baforchu!” That was a joke that went down very well because we all laughed.


Because of that Baforchu connection, we can bring a lot of good things to Bambui. If we have the fundraisng event as I suggested to Bambui Village Council Chairman, Mr Nchami, as a way of refurbishing the dilapidated Bambui Palace, and I invite my Baforchu family to come and support us, they will come. By extension, I can also invite the Batibo and Metta communities and they will come. This diversity can be a richness for us in Bambui.

Long live our Bambui!

Copyright 2011

dimanche 10 juillet 2011


For Akye

By Tikum Mbah Azonga

You didn`t look everywhere
Did You?
Did you look among the daffodil beds?Di you look under the enamel flower pot?
Did you look between the Tilly lanterns?
Did you look among the rejected ballot papers?
Did you even look on the honours list?
That of the newly elected ASJUB officials?

I have a future cut out like Chinaware
I have no fear of that which is new
If you like, I can spin you new threads
What I hate is leadership rot
That`s why our new team will always carry lanterns
We do not doubt the value of our peers
So that when the time comes our names shall be on the scroll
That`s why the world, this world, needs presidents.

Copyright 2011

jeudi 7 juillet 2011


By Tikum Mbah Azonga

This paper is an adaptation of an earlier one I delivered on the Cameroon Radio Television (CRTV) national radio station on the 3rd of April 2003. The paper was broadcast on the occasion of the meeting of the National Monetary and Financial Committee at that time. The piece was one of the daily political commentaries I delivered on the 6.30 a.m. prime time national and world news on CRTV, Yaoundé, between 2002 and 2005.


Whenever the National Monetary and Financial Committee meets, it is an event which economic operators and international donors such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank., monitor very closely because the meeting leads to a reading, if not an analysis of the state of the nation’s economic health, as it were. On the occasion, statistical analyses are done in comparison to previous periods and projections duly made for the period ahead. As such, the forum serves as a vital barometer for measuring the state of the economy.

One major revelation that has emerged from the current meeting is that the Cameroonian economy is alive and kicking. Growth rate is positive, standing at 4 per cent, although falling short of the projected 5.3 per cent. Inflation on the other hand has performed better than expected, standing at 3 per cent, instead of 4 per cent as expected. Real term growth which had marked some key sectors in recent years has continued to firm up. The sector includes telecommunications with one major change within it being the mushrooming of call boxes all over the country. As a matter of fact, the speed with which call boxes as a business have taken hold of the country is breathtaking, compared with the abysmal failure that led to public telephone booths being swept away some years ago, almost as soon as they were installed by the State. Not only were the booths shunned by the public, but they were also largely vandalized by them. Call boxes, on the other hand, have literally received a warm embrace from the public. Perhaps this is because as a privatized business in which those who are capable are allowed to operate, and they do so with their personal touches so that the user can pick and choose.

Public transport is another domain that has done well, with more and more inter-city bus companies taking their place on the market. Concerning urban transportation, taxi fares have remained relatively stable for over ten years at the rate of 150 Francs CFA per drop, on average. In the big towns such as Douala and Yaoundé, private bus companies and motor bike taxis are helping to solve the problem of congestion. Agriculture has continued to be the mainstay of the bulk of Cameroon’s active population. The decades-long support from the oil sector oil has continued unabated, even if there have been fluctuations in production quantities. Nonetheless, there is some feeling of disappointment on the part of some observers who feel that President Paul Biya has failed to lift the veil of secrecy his predecessor, Ahmadou Ahidjo, threw over oil production revenue.

Cameroon’s balance of trade deficit was cut from -CFA114.6bn in 2001 to –CFA64.7 bn last year. The overall situation of the world’s economy has been favorable, thus lending the national economy a shot in the arm. For instance, the world economy has grown at 2.8 per cent, better than the 202 per cent growth rate registered two years previously. In the CEMAC region, GDP stood at 3.7 per cent, with projections for this year put at 4 per cent. Inflation is expected to level at 3 per cent. Furthermore, it is expected that once the Douala Stock Exchange goes fully operational, the overall reading of the economy will improve even further.

Even so, it has not all been a bed of roses for Cameroon’s economy. The vexatious question of endemic power cuts from the national supplier, AES Sonel has put a sour taste in the mouth of many a Cameroonian and even businessman. The aluminum parastatal, ALUCAM, for instance, has been so rocked by inconsistent electricity supply that it now functions on only 30 per cent of its normal capacity. What is even more baffling about AES Sonel is that it is largely a “private” sector company which bought over the former SONEL when it was put up for privatization by the government. Paradoxically, many are those who wonder today why in the days when SONEL was owned by Cameroon and run by Cameroonians, power users were never subjected to such “torture”. On another sad note, the national carrier, Cameroon Airlines, has seen its turnover drop by 8.3 per cent to 37.9bn, mainly as a result of stiff competition from airlines such as SN Brussels and Swiss International Airlines. Although privatization has taken place at SONEL – despite the hitch – the same result is still awaited of the national telecommunications giant, CAMTEL, and its water distribution counterpart, SNEC.

The state would do well to address these thorny issues, in order to place the economy on a better footing. Even so, no amount of first aid is likely to yield the desired results unless it is accompanied by indispensable accompanying cleaning up measures such as good governance, including and especially the intensification of the fight against corruption. It is only then that sustained economic growth can have any meaning for the country.

Copyright 2011