Author: babei

Africa Science Week Cameroon 27- 30 June 2017

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Africa Science Week Cameroon 2017

The African Science Week: Next Einstein Forum

The Next Einstein Forum’s (NEF) Africa Science Week (ASW) will be Africa’s annual weeklong celebration of science and technology with thousands of individuals – from students to scientists to technologists – actively engaging in coordinated science events across the continent throughout June 2017.

The Africa Science Week wants to encourage citizens to get involved, participate in the NEF’s 1mil1 campaign and become interested in science and technology, and how it impacts their daily lives.

For this maiden edition, the NEF’s Africa Science Week will be held in 13 countries: Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania.

Led by NEF Ambassadors, this signature program is designed for many age groups and provides an opportunity for citizens to engage in everyday science. The program is designed to instill a curiosity of learning and interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) pursuits among the public and allows young Africans, especially women and girls, to become excellent scientists and technologists.

Africa Science Week Cameroon 27- 30 June 2017

NEF Ambassadors will work with local partners both in the academic and private sectors to make it a success.

There are over 200 Institutions of Higher Learning that purport to offer tracks for students interested in pursuing careers in STEM in Cameroon with the majority of these students attending public schools.

According to the recently concluded World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, an investment in Science, Technology, Research and Innovation is poised to be a game-changer for the entire continent of Africa.

There have been several Public and Private initiatives aimed at turning Cameroon into a major ICT hub in Africa. Sadly like in most African countries, unemployment is still at an all-time high due to corruption, bad governance, political instability, and sheer greed.

Many young people have had their hopes shattered after realizing that they could come out of school with excellent degrees and still roam the streets with no job. This has forced many along a path of self-learning and mastery like the 17-year-old Nji Collins Gbah whom despite the internet blackout in the NW and SW regions of the country, managed to defeat 1,229 other contestants in order to emerge as the first African to ever win the Google Code-In challenge. This earned him a trip to the prestigious Googleplex in Silicon Valley and a Twitter shout-out from the CEO of Google Sundar Pichai (and may be a possible future role at Google).

African Science Week Cameroon_Nji

“The future of work is global and distributed and therefore the importance of Science, Technology and Innovation at this point in the country’s history cannot be overemphasized. We believe that this is what will deliver the future we desire to live in,” says Arreytambe Tabot.

About the Next Einstein Forum’s Ambassador

Arreytambe Tabot is the Founder and CEO of the EduTeens Science Development Foundation, a nonprofit organization which works to improve student achievement, enhance teacher effectiveness and overall school quality through the implementation of technology-led initiatives.

Arreytambe Tabot

                                           Arreytambe Tabot: Next Einstein Forum Ambassador

Prior to becoming NEF’s ambasador, he was the Deputy Head of Department for Computer Science at the Nigerian Turkish Nile University where he served in volunteer roles as Android Student Club Facilitator, Google Computer Science First Advocate and capped it all by winning the highly competitive Google Computer Science for High Schools grant (one of the only four African Universities that won it globally that year). He was a former Google Student Ambassador, and now serves as an Ambassador for the Next Einstein Forum, and an Ambassador for Global Education at A World at School.

He was selected in 2016 as one of the Young Global Leaders to join the White House Emerging Global Leaders-Atlas Corps Fellowship program in the United States. He is currently serving as a Senior Software Engineer with Affinis Labs, a Virginia-based Social Enterprise where he builds digital platforms for community development. He is an alumnus of the INSEAD Social Entrepreneurship Program class of 2016. He most recently served as the UNESCO delegate representing Cameroon at the UNESCO Week for Peace and Sustainable Education in Ottawa, Canada.
He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Physics with a minor in Computer Science from the University of Buea in Cameroon, and a Master’s degree in Computer Science from the African University of Science and Technology, Abuja in Nigeria. He is currently rounding off his PhD in Computer Science at the same University where he was an African Development Bank scholar. He is a frequent speaker on various platforms Nationally and Internationally.

The Events

Tech Meetup: Gathering of industry leaders and some of the country’s finest tech entrepreneurs for a time for networking, forward thinking, and bonding. Sessions will include panel discussions, presentations, pitch sessions and networking. In attendance will also be representatives from Academia.

Women in STEM: Digital Literacy, Web and Mobile development training for Women. This is geared towards empowering women and girls to start, lead and grow tech companies and thus increase their visibility in this mostly male-dominated fields.

Ignite Talks: 5 minutes presentations by for-profit company representatives, researchers and social entrepreneurs on the work they are doing towards creating sustainable communities.

Hackathons: 8 hours code sprints during which teams of developers will be required to come up with a viable for-profit or non-profit idea that will be judged by a panel constituted of entrepreneurs and potential investors during the Tech Meetup. Free food will be provided throughout so that they don’t have to leave the arena.

Dates

Tuesday 27 June 2017 (Official Launch of the African Science Week in Cameroon)

Time: 8am to 6pm

Venue: Chariot Hotel, Buea

Tuesday 27 June 2017 (Hackathon)

Time: 8am to 4pm

Venues:

Douala: Activspaces, Immeuble TECNO, Boulevard de la Liberté, Douala, Cameroon.

Yaoundé: NexGen Technology Center, P.O Box 30936, Besides Victor Hugo, Nsimeyong Yaoundé, Cameroon.

Buea: Activspaces, First Trust Building, Great Soppo, Buea, South West Region, Cameroon.

Limbe: TBA (To Be Announced)

Registration for Hackathon (Please read the instructions carefully)

Follow this link to register for the Hackathon

Wednesday 28 June 2017 (Women in STEM event)

Time: 8am to 5pm

Venues:

Douala: Activspaces, Immeuble TECNO, Boulevard de la Liberté, Douala, Cameroon.

Yaoundé: NexGen Technology Center, P.O Box 30936, Besides Victor Hugo, Nsimeyong Yaoundé, Cameroon.

Buea: Activspaces, First Trust Building, Great Soppo, Buea, South West Region, Cameroon.

Registration for Women in STEM event

Follow this link to register for the Women in STEM

Thursday 29 June 2017 (Tech Meetup)

Time: 3pm to 9pm

Venue: Chariot Hotel, Buea

Friday 30 June 2017

TV interview

For any inquiries, please send an email to aswcameroon@gmail.com and click here for more information about the African Science Week.

ActivSpaces is a Strategic Partner

 

 

Why An Entrepreneur Should Not Attend All Meetings

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entrepreneur_meeting

We all know the importance of meetings when it comes to sharing information, brainstorming, strategising, planning, welcoming of new members, pitching a business idea, etc. All of these and many others constitute the reasons why we call people around. Be you an entrepreneur or a successful business man you have to decide whether to attend or not attend meeting. Meetings suck up time like ‘wow’.

A meeting is not an occasion for chit-chatting. It is not also an occasion for making friends. It is purposefully for business, whatever that means. Since entrepreneurs are ultimately responsible for every aspect of their business, allocating the right amount of time to the right tasks is critical to keeping your business running smoothly.

One of the moments when you spend (waste) time is when attending meetings. Most of the times these meetings pop up from nowhere and you will get pressure from a friend to drop whatever you’re doing and be part of the meeting. No no no! Meetings should be well planned and purpose made known to those involved.

As an entrepreneur, you will receive many invitations to attend meetings and in some occasions, you will be the one doing the invite. Before you gather for a meeting, be it formal or informal, you should ask why you should be attending. Yes, you should answer that question or else that activity will just be a waste of your precious time.

In this article, Jon Westenberg writes about the three essential elements of a meeting  in these words:

  • You must have a clear answer to the question, “what do you want and what do you want to give?”
  • You must have a story for your meeting
  • You shouldn’t want to be my best friend instead of focusing on the purpose of the meeting.

The above points might seem subtle at first glance. Take a read again and let them sink. The points capture the significance of purpose and benefits of a meeting.

entrepreneur meeting sleeping

An example of how an entrepreneur would behave when he discovers there’s nothing to benefit from a meeting. Photo Credit: Corbis

It’s commonplace to hear an entrepreneur say “I’ve been invited to attend a meeting.” Would you loose anything if you don’t attend or is there anything you would be benefiting from attending? The answer to this question should be very clear to you to make the decision either to attend or not.

Every meeting is a transaction. I mean it when I say those words. You should know what you want and what you’re ready to give during meetings. It appears easy for anyone to rally people for a meeting. Take the case of a community like the Silicon Mountain as an example. Every now and then there will be calls for the members (founders) to come around because XYZ is in town and would like to have a session with them. In most of the cases, the community members have said the meetings have been a complete waste of time.

The act of choosing whether to attend or not to attend a certain meeting to which you’ve been invited is an aspect of ‘informed decision.’ This concept has been very well understood by essentialists. In his book, “Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less”, Greg McKeown promotes the philosophy of “Less but better.”

Make a great use of your time. If you can’t figure what’s in a meeting package for you, just sit down where you’re and get that work with. No time to waste!

 

 

 

How I Closed a Deal and Learned 6 Lessons in Golf Game

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Gabila is a trained Environmental Geoscientist, youth advocate, passionate waterpreneur and founder of NEBACAM. NEBCAM a local initiative providing potable water and improved sanitation to schools, hospitals, and villages through the drilling of low-cost boreholes in rural communities in Cameroon. He is also a Royal Commonwealth Society Associate Fellow, a YALI West Africa Fellow, a World Bank Youth Advocate for youth in development, a World Climate Negotiation Simulation Facilitator, a Technovation Challenge Coach and an Ashoka Changemaker Scholar.

Today, he will share some lessons he got from a golf course which correlates directly with the life of an entrepreneur.

Hey Gabs, over to you.

I am in the US for a working group meeting with the World Bank / IMF to shed more light on how the global community can leverage the full potential of young people for shared growth and development in the years ahead as 2017 marks the tenth anniversary of the World Bank’s 2007 World Development Report: Development and the Next Generation

A few days back, I Was invited by Mr. Ashu Nkongho to join him in playing golf. Mr. Ashu is a Health Practioner who has partnered with NEBACAM for our improved sanitation project in rural communities.

I am not a golfer, but I seized the opportunity to meet new people, catch some fun and God blessed me to convert a prospective partner to a partner of NEBACAM. I also learned a couple of lessons which I will share below.

We will look at how I closed the deal later

Immediately I got on the Teeing Ground, I remembered reading one of Robert Kiyosaki’s write-ups saying that if you want to do business with somebody, discuss it over a game of golf. You can discover if he’s a worthy partner just from playing golf.

I know it is obvious that almost every young entrepreneur in Cameroon knows about Golf. However, most have never tried playing golf. The reason why I enjoyed my every second on the Golf course last weekend, which became so glaring to me why this game is unique and also referred to as ‘The Gentleman’s Game”.

Being an entrepreneur and recognizing that entrepreneurs are a unique breed of people, I noticed that when it comes to sports and their connection to the business landscape, golf has no equal. The relationship between the business world and the sport of golf is one that has continually existed in harmony over time. Below are some of the take-home points I learned from the game of Golf relating it to life and business.

Honesty

It is very easy to cheat on a golf course by shifting the ball position with a few inches yet I realized Golf is the only sports with no referees nor judges on the pitch. Being honest with yourself as a young entrepreneur is one of the greatest lessons that golf can teach us.

Mutual Respect

Golf requires that you communicate with much respect and treat everyone like you want to be treated – mutual respect. This may be golf’s biggest advantage in the corporate environment because an experienced over 60 years CEO can play around with an under30-year-old rising star with no problem. Not many other sporting activities offer that kind of flexibility.

Concentration

Golf requires an amazing amount of concentration. A quality peculiar to successful business people – the ability to be quiet and focus with the determination to win. A focused and prepared mind is always ready for challenges. Once you are always ready for challenges, you will be marveled at how well you will play yourself out of a difficulty which is almost a daily routine with young entrepreneurs facing challenges with the different variables involved in their business. Focus is key!

Maintain Alignment

While on my driving range routine practice last weekend, I realized that keeping my head down with my eyes on the ball keeps the entire body aligned to the ball even as the rest of the body is in full motion. Failure to do this resulted in embarrassing shots. As an entrepreneur, maintaining alignment of your business activities to your business strategies is the difference between success and failure. This implies staying true to your strategy even when all of the activities around you will try to distract you.

Never Give Up

Above all, Golf teaches us that no matter the number of bad shots, it is not over. You can always pick yourself up and win – you can always turn things around. The natural instinct for someone who is in trouble in golf is to press harder. For instance, if you have a poor Tee-shot, the instinct is to take a more powerful club and try to power the ball to make up the difference. In business, if you find that you are losing, you need to slow down and step back –observe and assess the situation and then re-engage. When faced with adversity, we evaluate and adjust – we don’t just give up or settle for mediocrity.

Entrepreneurship is a Game

So no matter where you find yourself, no matter how difficult you think your situation is, just assume that you are in a golf game and you have to play the ball where it lies.
Don’t dwell on a bad shot, focus more than ever, enjoy the game, respect others and above all be honest especially with yourself.

Conclusion

To conclude, a round of golf last around four hours, at least three of which could be spent discussing business, wooing a client, or brokering a deal. This has been known to lead to a handshake ‘done-deal” before return to the clubhouse.
#LifeLessonsFromGolf #BusinessLessonsFromGolf

By Gabila Franklin Neba

Follow Gabila on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

N.B: If you want to know how I closed the deal, ping me or leave a comment.

 

 

Rev. Fr. Gerald Jumbam’s Open Letter to Arch Bishop Samuel Kleda

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Arch Bishop Samuel Kleda

Any message to be taken back by Arch Bishop Samuel Kleda after visiting in the Southern Cameroons? Come on let’s peep into the envelop.

Since October 2016 the English speaking part of Cameroon (West Cameroon/Southern Cameroon which constitutes the North West and South West Regions) has been in for a nonviolent civil strike action which was initiated by the Common Law Lawyers and later gained much energy when the Teachers Trade Unions lent their support to the struggle. This strike action is what is commonly called “The Anglophone Problem” in Cameroon

It is six months plus since the struggle began. During this time a number of persons including the prime minister, Philemon Yang, and a host of ministers have been to that part of the country to calm the unrest. A number of promises have been made by the government to address the situation but have fallen on deaf ears.

This week saw another delagation. This time around a delegation of church ministers of the Roman Catholic Church led by the Arch Bishop of Douala and President of the National Espiscopal Conference in Cameroon, Samuel Kleda, paid visits to the different diocesses of the Bamenda Ecclessiastical Province, with the exception of the Diocese of Kumbo, in an attempt to get Catholic schools which have been closed since four months ago as a consequence of the strike action to reopen.

The Arch Bishop Samuel Kleda and his team wrapped up their visit yesterday in Bamenda. After following through with the delegation’s tour, one of the Roman Catholic priests, Rev. Father Gerald Jumbam resolved to pen the letter below to express his thoughts on the struggle and the mission of the Arch Bishop Samuel Kleda’s visiting team. The letter is here reproduced unaltered.


AN OPEN LETTER FROM FATER GERALD TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE NATIONAL EPISCOPAL CONFERENCE OF CAMEROON (NECC) – Archbishop Samuel KLEDA

Your Grace,

When I yielded to the earnest desire within me that I should write you, a friend encouraged me to do so. I consented with something of the reluctance which I developed when I thought of the huge and exalted task of writing you. I rejected the thought of writing. After a little moment, I went on deep thought, meditation and personal prayer about this issue. When I felt the call, I held my pen and began writing until I arrived at this letter before you. It may happen to some persons to feel surprised that it is a priest who is writing an Archbishop. I do so with the happiness and conviction of speaking my own mind, in conscience, about a situation which touches us all in Cameroon. These are my own thoughts and solutions to our recent predicament – welling from unshakeable convictions. I have written them freely without coercion from anyone but only being guided by my conscience – a small voice telling me, ‘Gerald tell the archbishop and the world your own convictions about the crisis bedeviling your homeland. Do so freely without any fear knowing that you and the Archbishop are just citizens and Christians seeking to know and serve God’. It is this voice in me that has enabled me send you this letter in its entirety and helping the world also – by addressing it an open letter – to learn from its ideas. I am happy to embrace this challenge.

Opening Remarks

I wish to begin straight away by informing Your Grace of the raison d’être of my letter. I share the conviction of the Cameroonian who has recently commented about your letter that “It is discernible from an anxious reading of the first letter of the Bishops of Cameroon, that of the Bishops of the Ecclesiastical Province of Bamenda and the present letter of the Bishops of Cameroon that the latest letter of the Bishops of Cameroon is actuated by political rather than Christian motivations.” To me the tone and spirit of your recent letter is not only Pontius Pilating your brother bishops of the Southern Cameroons, but the silence over what you were supposed to have done and have not done, is an impeachment of your brother bishops West of the Mungo. What were you supposed to do? I fear to expose my own ignorance of Episcopal policies and proceedings, but I had thought that as leaders who feel for their suffering brothers of English speaking Cameroon, you bishops of French speaking Cameroon would write a public letter condemning the act of taking whole bishops to court. We know who is behind these things; not so Archbishop? Why are we pretending to call a spade a spade when we have been given the mandate as Apostles of Jesus (who is The Truth) to defend the truth even on to the cross. To me it has been a betrayal which the Church leaders of East Cameroon ought to hang their heads in ashamed.

Your silence has given the impression that the Bishops of our Church province have been disobedient to the country. Our Bishops have not been unfaithful to the State. They have been united to the State very much like a believing wife to a husband who is about to commit suicide and so as a Christian wife holding to the relationship, the Bishops have struggled recently to save not themselves, but the government from the crime of political apostasy.

We of the Southern Cameroons, if we act consistently with our history, we cannot be loyal subjects to the despicable and tyrannous Yaoundé government. Archbishop, you speak of Decentralization and you offer us it as the best gift you think fitting for the resolution of this crisis? We are determined to decline a gift so laden with spurious promises and deceitful propensities. And who can blame us for so doing? Who should be surprised that Yaoundé would still do to Buea what it did after the Foumban constitutional conference of 1961 – turn traitor to the very constitution that bound them together as brothers with two equal strengths (and not that spurious decentralization you are talking about that wants to equate Buea with Garoua as if you do not know that Buea is the capital of a country and Garoua is a mere region of another country) or turn Cain against his brother Abel by killing everything we (Abel) had as culture, economy, jurisprudence, education, politics, military etc. The Church is the joy and happiness of all of us, and therefore, when justice cries out as it did in the Southern Cameroons (with rapes and killings and abductions and military bestiality over defenseless civilians), it is the duty of the Bishops to speak out loud for the poor and the underprivileged. You spoke but we never got that loudness and that weak voice gave the Yaoundé political cabal encouragement to go ahead. Our Bishops of the Southern Cameroons took the bull by the horns and spoken out loud for the poor and used history, scriptures and the Church’s social teachings to state their case because they love the Church which is people and not money.

The world of politics has its own logic and truth that brooks no breaking. One of them is that of nemesis – that any despotism that goes up would come down. Yaoundé has perpetuated that tyranny on Buea and that tyranny is about to have its nemesis. Remember history – that there are two states in Cameroon represented by Yaoundé and Buea. That is why I will always equate the two capitals for that is how it was supposed to be.

I wish to let you know something of the people of the Southern Cameroons which many French Speaking Cameroonians seem to be ignorant of. They are people who do not distinguish between their love of country and their love of the Church. They love those two things with their whole hearts. Their patriotism is ethical, concrete, and religiously dutiful – reason why your brother bishops of Southern Cameroons (in the example of that pragmatic culture) have spoken for their subjugated and dispossessed people against such a stinking political tyranny as Biya’s. That is why though many from East Cameroon are comfortable with the atheistic political system glorifyingly baptizedlaicite, it has been scandal of the highest order to the religious sensitivity of Southern Cameroons who like true Africans (and tinged by Anglicanism’s reverence for God and respect for the Monarch) believe that without God and indigenous culture life is impossible. We know very well that this atheism we see in Cameron politics is not from your own ancestors but it is borrowed from France. The people East of the Mungo have been educated in Gallican opinions. We of the West have been educated in Anglican opinions. The respect of each other’s opinions from those educational systems have been what La republique du Cameroun has deprived us of, and it pains us to the marrow. That is why our teachers and lawyers took to the streets to peacefully demonstrate their anger and protest against an evil system. They were met with an autocratic response by a government you fear to criticize.

The Testimony of Early Church History

To explain my case I make the first century of the Church my special model; It was a virgin Church, yet, a period afflicted by the political autocracy of the Roman empire and its emperors. When Emperors Decius and Diocletian slaughtered thousands of Christians because they stood for truth, the Christian family stood courageously strong against that political cruelty. Both bishops and laity were one against such political tyranny in the example of the Bishops of Southern Cameroons with their maligned flock. They publicly and formally abjured to worship the gods of the Roman empire’s totalitarianism. The picture is what is happening today in our land the Southern Cameroons by the colonial emperors of La Republique du Cameroun. St. Athanasius as a result would go on exile and St Chrysostom would be sent off to Cucusus to be worried to death by an empress. St. Ignatius of Antioch would be arrested by the political authorities and taken to Rome to be given to wild beasts to eat him up because of the Truth. And that is why I am angry with the behavior of the Bishops of Southern Cameroons to have allowed you walk around doing what you are doing and giving the impression like they have no authority over their jurisdictions as full consecrated bishops of Local Sees of the Holy Roman Catholic Church. If the governance of that Church called Cameroon is beyond your governance, the best thing is to inform the Pope to send a Vatican delegate to do that job. I feel your going round Southern Cameroons for such an exercise is the unwisest thing the Bishops of that Church province have allowed to happen in recent times.

Good Shepherds lay Life for Flock

Times like this are dangerous times. Times when our future is decide by a clay footed political clique that has bastardized the fortunes of the British Cameroons to a shambolic muddle. Sacred altars have been desecrated. For if we are to score the Church leadership performance in these times, it will be clear to all that the tail has been wagging the dog.

In moral and spiritual terms, much has been given to religious leadership, and much is expect of her. That is why the tenacity and integrity that Christian giants like Cardinal Christian Tumi and Cardinal Albert Malula, Mgr. Oscar Romero and Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. have mustered in the world, take us back to the visionary words of President John F. Kennedy:

Of those to whom much is given, much is required. And when at some future date the high court of history sits in judgment of each of us…recording whether in our brief span of service we fulfilled our responsibilities to the state…our success or failure, in whatever office we may hold, will be measured by the answer to four questions:

Were we truly men of courage…

Were we truly men of judgment…

Were we truly men of integrity…

Were we truly men of dedication…

With the towering paradigm of Pope Francis in recent times, the world correctly recognizes that Christianity has the potential to lead the way as champion of mores and faith. Perhaps it would be much truer in the Cameroon context. However, the current Catholic national leadership certainly has not lived up to its possibilities, for the most part because the majority of its bishops have been intimidated into silence and inactivity. A Bayangi proverb goes that, “a man who cannot challenge what is wrong is not better than a corpse”. We are living in times where our political and spiritual shepherds have been found wanting in challenging falsehood, and therefore Cameroon has turned in to a graveyard, a cemetery of silence in the face of blatant half-truths, divide-and-rule tactics, flagrant disrespect of human rights, mass abductions and killings.The National Episcopal Council (NEC) has been silent because it concerns the British Cameroons. Though it is disgraceful, we thank them. We thank them for the powerful memento sent to the world that there are two countries in this country. It reminds us of the evil of silence before evil.

We know very well that when theNational Episcopal Council (NECC) speaks out, it is listened to by the political powers in Cameroon. When tinged by the inspiration and endorsement of Cardinal Christian Tumi in 2000, the NECC spoke against the canker warm of bribery and corruption. The whole world listened and the government of Cameroon adjusted. Those were prophetic times for the clergy. Spiritual leaders the world over are always pace-setters; their intervention on socio-political disasters has always been prototypical, precisely because it sets the tyrants quaking. With the retirement and deaths among your circles, of names like Ndongmo, Tumi, Etoga, Wouking, Verdzekov, Awah, the national Episcopal Council all this while has been a sleeping bag. Today, NEC has been a fiasco, if we must speak the truth.

Cameroon should be courageous to accept they are flawed and stop blaming France or Britain. The Bribery and corruption that we have been African champions for more than a decade, is self-inflicted. Bribery and corruption are a moral and spiritual problem. And therefore the moral and spiritual authorities are to blame. If the Church truly cared for its members, the problem will not be happening every now and then. And the oppressed people of British Cameroons are undergoing something of a genocide now because the National Episcopal Council (NEC) is on holidays, and the world knows that too well.

We know what the bishops of the British Cameroons have gone through from the national episcopacy because they kicked up the storm in the daring letter they wrote (despite earlier hesitations) not because they were hoping the leadership of NEC would notice, but precisely because they knew that with the 2016-2017 NEC leadership in charge, every raped, maimed and unjustly imprisoned British Cameroonian might as well add NEC to their laundry list of Do-It-Yourself. The bishops of the British Cameroons came up with another communiqué by the very to the effect that they have not closed down their schools and that they are waiting for the Catholic pupils and students to return to school. But right up till now, the pupils and students have not returned, meaning that the parents have lost faith in the Church’s hierarchy. It is precisely because the Cameroon National Church lacks the courage to support what is right that people are going their own sweet ways. Is it asking too much from Church leaders to say good shepherds must lay life for flock?

The Writing is on the Wall

If situations were still as they used to be (by bishops not being able to be taken to court in the face of a pernicious silence demonstrated by their brother bishops), I would not hold my pen to write you and I would not have the heart to write this letter to so high an authority as you. Your public silence on the matter of the Bishops of our Church Province being taken to court has provoked this letter from a priest of the Church you belong. We are not unmindful of the history of La Republique du Cameroun when it concerns bishops betraying bishops.In fact, if those ignorant of history are doomed to repeat it, the Christian who is ignorant of what role the Cameroon Church has played in the governing of Cameroon is even less fortunate. And the metaphor of Bishop Albert Ndongmo’s life is the one great example. Albert Ndongmo was Bishop of Nkongsamba, born to a Christian family of La Republique du Cameroun. His statements on political subjects earned him the hostility of others in the Church as well as of the government. But the best statement about the life of this Oscar Romero of Africa came from the pen of none other than the revered Albert Womah Mukong:

Bishop Ndongmo understood those fellows and treated them as they deserved…A lot of rubbish was spread round about him then girls whom he had helped were brought there as his collaborators in crime. They were declared his girl-friends and even dirty pictures of him and one Marie Bella were produced which a criminally minded and gullible audience accepted without asking this simple question: how many respectable people in the community would ever degenerate to taking photographs of this act, how much more a highly respectable member of the clergy? Perhaps his brother, Bishop Jean Zoa, believed in those things, for neither in the BMM nor in the Tchollire days did he ever visit his brother nor did he send him any material or financial help.[1]

The comment above about Bishop Jean Zoa puts me in pain, so much pain because it is Albert Mukong recounting this story in a book and not just an essay. Albert Mukong is a respectable man in our parts of the world, and if you count three most highly regarded human right activists in our country he must fall among them. Consequently, there is truth in Mukong’s Zoa-Ndongmostory above. The story above tells us how the bishops allowed their brother into the hands of the ruthless political psychopath that was Amadou Ahidjo. It is a story of backstabbing and betrayal among religious leaders.

That is why I say perhaps the Bishop Jean Zoa cooperation with the Ammadu Ahidjo tyranny against his fellow brother Bishop Albert Ndongmo (recorded in the book above-mentioned) is a powerful metaphor of what is happening in the Cameroon episcopate today.

“Shweri yii shaa baa yen kinyi ke ngwev” as the Nso would advise you in our rich language. The wind has blown away the feathers to expose the anus of the fowl. The Ndongmo-Zoa story is a mesmerizing eye-opener, a revelation and the wind that did blow to remind me and any other clergyman under affliction in our country that you will suffer alone when trouble comes. When the Bishops of La Republique rejected and abandoned their brother Bishop Ndongmo into the hands of tyrant Amadou Ahidjo, was it not our Bishops of Southern Cameroons through the instrumentality of Mgr. Peeters that consoled Ndongmo and stood by him and even got a lawyer for him from the Southern Cameroons? So I expected from you the Bishop of East Cameroon this time to do to the Bishops of West Cameroon what Mgr. Peeters in a Christlike fashion did to Albert Ndongmo of East Cameroon . But recently you have failed us woefully.

There is a Country

“I wish I could shut up, but I can’t, and I won’t.”, Desmond Tutu

Your Grace, I have thought long and hard about my place in the plight of my native land and I find myself writing about what I have never written before. The right time for it has come. The story I am to tell. The story is: I am of the British Cameroons. Proud and unashamed. I am composed, a composed British Cameroon priest and glad I am. I say that the British Cameroons is part of my story, part of who I am. Its colonial character is what my countrymen and I have assumed for over a century. We are tired. It was time I come out from the security of the sacred sacristy to the market place of concrete truth and public debate. It was time I come out from quiet to tell those who still doubt, the justice of a State meriting restoration, of course, Independence. The British Cameroons. But it is just one part of my life: I am a human being. My village is the world.

By all means, Christianity loathes violence, attends to the poor, defends the oppressed, embraces peace, esteems the dignity of each human person. These are ideals espoused by the cause for the restoration of the sovereignty of the British Cameroons. Most likely there will be people with personal cruel agendas. The British Cameroonians have been Mahatma Ghandis. Contrariwise, the ruthlessness of their oppressors, has been registered by the high court of history as they callously emit cruelty on peace loving peoples:

Buea/Bamenda, tell me, is this you, this back that is bent,

This back that breaks under the weight of humiliation,

This back trembling with red scars

And saying yes to the whip under the midday sun?

But a grave voice answers me:

Impetuous son, that tree young and strong,

That tree over there

In splendid loneliness amidst white and faded flowers,

That is Buea/Bamenda,

That grows again patiently, obstinately…

The words of the Cameroonian poet comes down to us, warm with weight and wisdom. This adapted version of David Diop’s poem ‘Africa’, addresses Bamenda and Buea. Darkness has descended on the British Cameroons in the killings, imprisonments, abductions, rapes, graves of mass burials and maim. Bamenda/Buea is facing viral alteration of psychic conditioning. In this state of affairs, silence is criminal. The sense of urgency has lagged so much that a month ago I lost my anger on a letter to a compatriot invading media space with the banner, screaming: Homecoming or Homegoing – the Southern Cameroons! It is a wakeup call no more on failed internal religious and political bodies, but on Britain and International Human rights institutions and activists, not to delay, because what happened in Rwanda is at our doors. AU and UNO look up and act! UK look up and speak!

The urgency of speaking for despoiled peoples is so felt that I don’t really care if this anger breaks the bounds of office. How could it be when a priest is first and foremost a citizen. He owes his community a contribution to its wellbeing for his upbringing. He serves God and recognizes that the cry of the powerless and the voice of the voiceless is the cry and the voice of God. Vox populi vox Dei. Anna Quindlen, said: “Look back, to slavery, to suffrage, to integration and one thing is clear. Fashions in bigotry come and go. The right thing lasts.” God lasts. Independence lasts.

The Church teaches its leaders a preferential option for the dispossessed, for the hoi polloi. Before someone points the finger at me that I am taking the role of Pope to lay down ways a priest should live today, let me say that I do feel Christian ethics and the Holy Bible would be unambiguous that the priest takes sides with the subjugated. Evidently there is no moral compulsion as pastor to pasture the flock in a particular way. But there is, I believe, a moral obligation as a priest, not to allow oneself be used by tyrants to perpetrate spurious propagandas against the defenseless. A clergyman, in my definition of that office, would not be someone who takes sides with colonial governors against the oppressed. I strongly believe that a priest worthy of the name, should go ahead and dare those forces –morally, nonviolently and with determination – that keep millions of constituted people caged in a cruelty so dehumanizing as the yoke over the British Cameroons, our native land. This because, someday history will disclose to him that those who took courage to work for their mother country, those who spoke for the speechless, those who stood for justice, those who listened attentively to the cry of the oppressed, and those who championed the cause for the non-violently restoration of the sovereignty of a nation, have been champions of whom all upcoming epochs will be proud.

Your Grace, The cause for the restoration of the sovereignty of the British Cameroons is a one built on a big idea supported by legality. You don’t kill an idea with the bullet or prison cells. It is established on a winning banner that debate is stronger than the gun. The power of debate and not the debate of power. This power of debate and legality convinces us beyond all doubt that there is a country.

I look out of myself into the struggle of our cause and I see a sight which fills me with appalling sorrow. The ignorance of those who don’t see it coming, who don’t see the plain truth of which my whole being is full. There are two alternatives – the way to Southern Cameroons, and the way to la Republique. Federation is the halfway house on the one side, and New Deal decentralization is the halfway house on the other. I have been gravely disappointed with the federalists (the moderates). ‘Shallow understanding’, says Martin Luther King, ‘from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of bad will’; that is why the British Cameroon’s greatest obstacle in the walk towards independence is not even La Republique’s CPDM or Mgr. Kledda’s Decentralization, but the federalists. Federalists are cowards standing on the fence – neither cold nor hot. They have left substance to pursue shadows. The federalists do not know that it is their presence which is the triumph of the oppressor; it is the sight of them which is the Southern Cameroon’s confusion and helplessness. Our oracle of truth is independence, and it looms high and has a reality, and its “Truth can fight its battle. It has a reality in it, which shivers to pieces swords of earth.”[2] When we are skilled enough to dance truth’s music, that truth will set us free. Truth be told: our miseries as a people would accumulate from leaders being afraid to look difficulties in the face, palliate falsehoods which they should denounce and expect truths to spring from fabrications. I speak most earnestly when I say that our great reawakening like great Achilles, has the soft spot of ignorance – ignorance of who our opponent truly is. When we begin to see, all and sundry, that the issue at stake is Independence, we would notice that the enemy is not Paul Biya, but the structures put in place for a Paul Biya (or any otherla Republique party chairman like Ni John Fru Ndi ) to cage us inside this prison of despicability forever.

The cause we are undertaking is (to use the words of St. Augustine), “an abyss so deep as to be hidden from him in whom it is”. Many have only hints and glimpse of what it truly is. It is a herculean task. But it is hallowed by God and no one has to be afraid. Is it too difficult to realize that a constituted people are deprived of sovereign air and autonomous space in the 21stcentury? Is it too difficult to realize that they are bent and determined on anything to see their goal attained? The good news is that we speak with one voice, thrash out disharmony. It is good news. The British Cameroons’ struggle, its most significant quality is the re-opening of topics politicians of doom have tried to close down since the rain started beating us. It is a breath of fresh air we should be proud of, to stand tall and speak out, and speak out for future generations. I am comfortable to cross the red sea with a Moses. It may come out tough, yet there is no complexity that can’t be worked out with a good crack of Kolanuts, in the mouth. Kolanut in our traditions is symbol of integrity, symbol of unity, symbol of life, symbol of love, symbol of strength, symbol of sovereignty.

The Magna Carta of Liberation

Your Grace, Mahatma Gandhi once spoke disapprovingly of the followers of Christ when he read the Beatitudes. He said he was charmed by the magic Christ’s words held, and therefore he loved Jesus. He could, but he would not be Christian. Christians in India discouraged him. They did not practice Christ’s beatitudes, and so, “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ, ” Gandhi exclaimed. The beatitudes are the secret keys to the Promised Land. They are the magna carta of liberation. The beatitudes are self-determination. Self-determination championed by the poor, the meek, the weak, the humble, the voiceless, the persecuted, the upright, beside us: ‘Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for uprightness: they shall have their fill’ (Matthew 5:6). Blessed is the British Cameroons under colonial yoke, they shall have their independence restored to them.

Choose what you like, but you can’t open eyes and not see the valley of tears of our people and their quandary in a despicable CameroonNew Deal apartheid cage. It takes faith to keep their spirits afloat. And what is faith? Faith is a simple ‘yes’ to my heart and my conscience. Faith is Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s “I wish I could shut up, but I can’t, and I won’t.” Faith is Patrice Lumumba guillotined for an embattled continent. It is Nelson Mandela’s “if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die”. It is the British Cameroons’ “enough is enough”. It is a sweet kiss whistled on the lips of a fatherland in the restoration of its Independence.

There is a mustard seed that is deep in the heart of every human being. It is faith. “Were your faith the size of a mustard seed you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.” (Luke 17:5-10). Let us believe without seeing, and sing when our voices are cracked, and move to victory. And were your faith the size of Mount Fako, you will tell the mountain to move and plant itself in Ndop Plains, and it will do!

Criminals Without Crime

Our people say that when the mouse laughs at the cat, there is a hole nearby. That hole for us is God. We are fighting a battle of the oppressed and God has never failed underprivileged peoples. Sometime ago, I arrived at a motto of life which I like to remodel once more and bring to use: “You only Live Once”. Then some weeks ago I shared with a priest-friend, this good news of a rule in my life. The gentleman laughed. He asked me and I gave him the reason for such a pledge. I said I find it atrocious that poverty has been death penalty passed on the crimeless people of the British Cameroons. Criminals without crime!

Your Grace, there is a recent story of two girl friends, one Bafia(French Cameroon) another Babungo(the British Cameroons) who congregated along buyamsellam lines in Bamenda food market and after petty gossips of what caused the wild fire that consumed the market, they landed on the following informative discussion:

“A young man is suffering terribly in jail in Kondengui, my boy-friend” Babungo said. “It is the right thing for him. Are you for the restoration of Southern Cameroons independence?” Bafia intervened.

Babungo seems startled “of course”.

“You Francophones” she continued. “You’re so lucky to be free: free internet, free boyfriends, free husbands, free children, free people. But living in the British Cameroons, it’s impossible to escape brutality, it hangs in the air.”

“You can’t really blame the air for brutality” Bafia cuts in. “The brutality is generated by you Anglos. 55 years under domination, for nothing, for not taking your destiny into your hands. That’s quite a prison sentence!” And that is the word: prison sentence. crimeless criminals serving prison sentences. But the rumbling of the people’s anger is on.

I tell this story to say that it has reached a level where we have to dream our own dreams, live our own views, believe our own beliefs, and do so with dignity. On the recent imprisonments without crime of the cream of our native land, it is difficult to comprehend. But let us be consoled by the brave Martin Luther King Jr. : “I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for law.” Let this be known: arrests of freedom fighters is an advantage. It hastens freedom. Christ was arrested. The apostles were arrested, but sang alleluias in prison cells and bamboozled their oppressors to shock. They knew, as I know today, they only live once. The imprisonment of our leaders is a warning: freedom is important but fragile. Sovereignty and liberation are won at great price. We must guard our liberty stance like egg and not allow the British Cameroons’ non-violent revolution be hijacked by exploiters of popular anger. The problem is not Paul Biya, neither is it the military all over our land. It is disunity planted by those who enjoy the flesh pots of Yaoundé and won’t move an eye for a united moral force against a communal threat. But the poor masses are wiser than power seekers know. When the anger of Mount Fako’s Chariot of God and the Holy Ghost of the Kilum hills will rise! (The time is near):

You shall cross the barren desert but you shall not die of thirst.

You shall wander far in safety though you do not know the way.

You shall speak your words in foreign lands and all will understand.

You shall see the face of God and live.

A Stitch in Time Saves Nine

Your Grace, it was devastating as it was aching for me to find la Republique du Cameroun declared in the Vatican among peace loving nations in the mouth of Paul Biya – even though Pope Francis knows. His visit to the Vatican may be difficult to describe only to jaded viewers. It was a masquerade that deceived only the stupid people who give themselves to be mislead by such aimless travesty. This president is not unfamiliar with these apparatus of mass deception he has applied on subjugated peoples for over three decades. His blood-colored track record of brutal killings and unjust incarcerations is well-known to the high court of history except to the leaders of the National Episcopal Council of Cameroon. Talk less of the recent genocide he is perpetuated in the British Cameroons. The whole national edifice has been sanguinary taking into consideration that he inherited the same heritage from a brutal warlord of a president, Ahmadou Ahidjo. The British Cameroonians have turned refugees in their own nation. It is this decadent model of authority that has characterized us since 1961 that we must interrogate.

In a nation where silliness is given a standing ovation and fools ride on royal horses, a sell out like PM Philemon Yang who shamelessly takes himself a dishonorable recent trip around the North West, should be taken critically. Cameroon’s false impression of greatness and self-styled portrayal as the island of peace in a sea of troubled Africa has been exposed for what it truly is. The Internet blockage and the mass abduction of the British Cameroonians to Yaoundé by the republican forces of lawlessness and disorder, expose them as a flimsy country pretending to be tough. Our people say that there is no greater injustice than when anus farts, head receives a knock. The tyrant who is oppressor has engaged in placating international eyes that he is the oppressed. What a shame!

The heart of our people is bleeding. They are carted like cattle in groves into prison yards away from homeland to Yaoundé. In a country where you are arrested because you are poor, in a country where you go to prison because you have no godfather to back you up, in country where you are put behind bars because you stand for justice and freedom – in such a country, good men must rise up to say Enough is Enough.

Now that the shambolic regime is abducting our strong men, how do we gain patience when we are challenged by hurtful things? How do we pick up patience when a villain has cut the throat of a beloved, when a loved one has been raped from life by impious brutes? The undisclosed trick is to busy yourself with some other thing in the period in-between. Gandhi said “If patience is worth anything it must endure to the end of time.” Patience is protest in non-violence. Patience is Mahatma Gandhi’s “Non-violence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man.” Many people gamble with their lives. They take disasters for wives or husbands because of lack of some little patience. And they pay for it when the mask falls off. Patience is faith in a journey fraught with dejection but rewarding still. Once patience goes, everything goes. It might take a day, it might take a year, it might take a decade, what will be will be. So be patient. ”Be patient, brothers, until the Lord’s coming. Think of a farmer: how patiently he waits for the precious fruit of the ground until it has had the autumn rains and the spring rains! You too have to be patient; do not lose heart, because the Lord’s coming will be soon.“ (James: 5:7-10). One patient pause in ill-tempered times can save us painful apologies after. Organization is patience. Patience in other words is stock-taking. Patience is telling the tyrant NO, and giving time waiting to gain breathe, to build other strategies in the darkness of the cause. It is victory when it looks like defeat. Courage is patience. Leadership is patience. Truth is patience. Integrity is patience. Freedom is patience. Ma pipol, mumu don do. A mumurised people are doomed forever. We tried. Your Grace, we tried. We tried. We are tired. Patience is enough-is-enough. The danger signals are enough. UNO, AU, UK, act now or never! A stitch in time saves nine.

Conclusion

Your Grace, I wish to conclude here by saying that the capacity for self-determination is Christian. No one can conquer the British Cameroons. You can’t extinguish the fire that led our forbears out of Nigeria. That fire burns. If our effort is not enough to win the battle, our children will win it with better effort. But it shall not be postponed this time around. And yet, the cry of the agonizing British Cameroonian has fallen on deaf ears around the globe. For them, the pogrom in the British Cameroons is only some localized problem. The abductions and butchery of humans are hidden, ill-reported. Along with the nonstop infiltration of our land with armed killer squads and military bastards criminally excused from any probe, query or answerability, we are witnessing an experiment with “ethnic cleansing” authorized and sustained by the French Cameroon psychopath, Paul Biya. Strange that those that obtain the just publicity of terror in our land, are only the French Cameroons controlled media. A military selected for the assignment of absolute “pacification” of the British Cameroons is doing its work unopposed. Where is Britain’s assuagement in this matter? It is impossible to believe these things are happening under the nose of international human right bodies and the silence of Great Britain in this carnage in its trusteeship territory it sacrificed its independence in the altar of De Gaullism.

The fortunate have been able to break through this militarized and ignominious iron curtain with freedom songs in foreign lands. The rest back home have been blocked from internet use and therefore have had for about 93 days no media through which to inform the world’s people of goodwill of the shocking evils each day exacted on their British Cameroon compatriots. Alas, we have eaten the bitter fruit of blind compromises made with boorish neighbors. We have learnt from this concubinage with Cain, that he who keeps a scorpion in his pocket must constantly watch his groin and he who inherits a cobra should know a cobra is not a pet. The lesson is learnt once and for all.

Your Grace, because we are commissioned to preach “the good news to the poor… announce release to the prisoners and … to set oppressed people free”(Luke 4:18), I will do all it takes. I will comfort the powerless people. I will pull them out of the affliction of so painful a colonial yoke. The world must hear their story through me. There has never been a time like this fitting for this challenge. My defense for a fatherland is put on this context. In fact, preaching to empty stomachs without showing them how to come out of misery is as worthless as saying Mass to dogs. Go grant them the secrets to improve on their standards of living and conscientization to bring down the tyrant who has held their progress hostage. Go tell it on the mountain that injustice has been practiced on depraved peoples for the whole length of fifty-six years.

Of course, Amos’ denunciation of social injustices quickly puts the poor in perspective: “Listen to this, you who trample on the needy and try to suppress the poor people of the country” (Amos 8:4-7). Archbishop Desmond Tutu is told to have said that when the missionaries came to Africa, they had the Bible and we had the land. They said “let us close our eyes and pray.” When we opened them, we had the Bible, and they had the land. This may not have exactly been true but there is some grain of truth in it when we consider the type of doctrinal material we got from missionary pulpits in those days and how all wealth was bad. That Christians should have nothing to do with the things of the earth. Abandoning their lands and properties to gain passport to Heaven. That is bad and dangerous theology. Here is the type of theology that impoverished our people. They gave up their lands and forests and mines and best places in cities to imperialists and ended up empty. Churches, mosques and synagogues should be careful. Religion has sometimes been used to impoverish the already despicable situation of poor people. What I mean here is the social doctrine of the Church. And where Christianity stands there is Self-Determination.

Your Grace, you may wonder why such an important letter like this to such a respected personality like you was not written in French for your personal benefit and the rest of the Cameroon Francophone episcopate. The simple reason is that English is the language that the British taught their colonial subjects in the British Cameroons. And so I want to ask Your Grace, what France and her subjects are doing in a British colony at this time in history? Would it not sound strange if for instance the people of the British Cameroons moved to neighboring Equatorial Guinea and were asking in English the people of Equatorial Guinea to accept the British Cameroons control of their territory when everybody in Equatorial Guinea knows that Britain was not their colonial master?

Accept then, Your Grace, the expression of my gratitude for taking time to go through this message from the pen of a priest of the Church which you are Bishop.

Yours devotedly,

Fr. Gerald Jumbam

You and other African Intellectuals are Damn Lazy, says Walter

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You and other African Intellectuals are Damn Lazy

In one of my usual rounds of web surfing, I came across this masterpiece by Field Ruwe which highlights the lazy nature of African intellectuals. This article is in line with Afro Hustler’s concept of the continent of Africa

Field Ruwe is a US-based Zambian media practitioner and author. He is a PhD candidate. He also holds a B.A. in Mass Communication and Journalism and an M.A. in History.

The picture painted in words in this article hit me so hard that I couldn’t resist the urge to share. If many Africans, especially the ‘educated/intelligentsia’ class, could realise the task that lies ahead of them they would redirect their energies to transform our great African continent.


They call the Third World the lazy man’s purview; the sluggishly slothful and languorous prefecture. In this realm people are sleepy, dreamy, torpid, lethargic, and therefore indigent—totally penniless, needy, destitute, poverty-stricken, disfavored, and impoverished. In this demesne, as they call it, there are hardly any discoveries, inventions, and innovations. Africa is the trailblazer. Some still call it “the dark continent” for the light that flickers under the tunnel is not that of hope, but an approaching train. And because countless keep waiting in the way of the train, millions die and many more remain decapitated by the day.

“It’s amazing how you all sit there and watch yourselves die,” the man next to me said. “Get up and do something about it.”

Brawny, fully bald-headed, with intense, steely eyes, he was as cold as they come. When I first discovered I was going to spend my New Year’s Eve next to him on a non-stop JetBlue flight from Los Angeles to Boston I was angst-ridden. I associate marble-shaven Caucasians with iconoclastic skin-heads, most of who are racist.

“My name is Walter,” he extended his hand as soon as I settled in my seat.

I told him mine with a precautious smile.

“Where are you from?” he asked.

“Zambia.”

“Zambia!” he exclaimed, “Kaunda’s country.”

“Yes,” I said, “Now Sata’s.”

“But of course,” he responded. “You just elected King Cobra as your president.”

My face lit up at the mention of Sata’s moniker. Walter smiled, and in those cold eyes, I saw an amenable fellow, one of those American highbrows who shuttle between Africa and the U.S.

“I spent three years in Zambia in the 1980s,” he continued. “I wined and dined with Luke Mwananshiku, Willa Mungomba, Dr. Siteke Mwale, and many other highly intelligent Zambians.” He lowered his voice.

“I was part of the IMF group that came to rip you guys off.” He smirked. “Your government put me in a million dollar mansion overlooking a shanty called Kalingalinga. From my patio, I saw it all—the rich and the poor, the ailing, the dead, and the healthy.”
“Are you still with the IMF?” I asked.

“I have since moved to yet another group with similar intentions. In the next few months my colleagues and I will be in Lusaka to hypnotize the Cobra. I work for the broker that has acquired a chunk of your debt. Your government owes not the World Bank, but us millions of dollars. We’ll be in Lusaka to offer your president a couple of millions and fly back with a check twenty times greater.”

“No, you won’t,” I said. “King Cobra is incorruptible. He is …”

He was laughing. “Says who? Give me an African president, just one, who has not fallen for the carrot and stick.”

Quett Masire’s name popped up.

“Oh, him, well, we never got to him because he turned down the IMF and the World Bank. It was perhaps the smartest thing for him to do.”

At midnight we were airborne. The captain wished us a happy 2012 and urged us to watch the fireworks across Los Angeles.

“Isn’t that beautiful,” Walter said looking down.

From my middle seat, I took a glance and nodded admirably.

“That’s white man’s country,” he said. “We came here on Mayflower and turned Indian land into a paradise and now the most powerful nation on earth. We discovered the bulb, and built this aircraft to fly us to pleasure resorts like Lake Zambia.”

I grinned. “There is no Lake Zambia.”

He curled his lips into a smug smile. “That’s what we call your country. You guys are as stagnant as the water in the lake. We come in with our large boats and fish your minerals and your wildlife and leave morsels—crumbs.

That’s your staple food, crumbs. That corn-meal you eat, that’s crumbs, the small Tilapia fish you call Kapenta is crumbs. We the Bwanas (whites) take the catfish. I am the Bwana and you are the Muntu. I get what I want and you get what you deserve, crumbs. That’s what lazy people get—Zambians, Africans, the entire Third World.”

The smile vanished from my face.

“I see you are getting pissed off,” Walter said and lowered his voice. “You are thinking this Bwana is a racist. That’s how most Zambians respond when I tell them the truth.

They go ballistic. Okay. Let’s for a moment put our skin pigmentations, this black and white crap, aside. Tell me, my friend, what is the difference between you and me?”

“There’s no difference.”

“Absolutely none,” he exclaimed. “Scientists in the Human Genome Project have proved that. It took them thirteen years to determine the complete sequence of the three billion DNA subunits. After they were all done it was clear that 99.9% nucleotide bases were exactly the same in you and me. We are the same people. All white, Asian, Latino, and black people on this aircraft are the same.”

I gladly nodded.

“And yet I feel superior,” he smiled fatalistically. “Every white person on this plane feels superior to a black person. The white guy who picks up garbage, the homeless white trash on drugs, feels superior to you no matter his status or education. I can pick up a nincompoop from the New York streets, clean him up, and take him to Lusaka and you all be crowding around him chanting muzungu, muzungu and yet he’s a riffraff. Tell me why my angry friend.”

For a moment I was wordless.

“Please don’t blame it on slavery like the African Americans do, or colonialism, or some psychological impact or some kind of stigmatization. And don’t give me the brainwash poppycock. Give me a better answer.”

I was thinking.

He continued. “Excuse what I am about to say. Please do not take offense.”

I felt a slap of blood rush to my head and prepared for the worst.

“You, my friend flying with me and all your kind are lazy,” he said. “When you rest your head on the pillow you don’t dream big. You and other so-called African intellectuals are damn lazy, each one of you. It is you, and not those poor starving people, who is the reason Africa is in such a deplorable state.”

“That’s not a nice thing to say,” I protested.

He was implacable. “Oh yes it is and I will say it again, you are lazy. Poor and uneducated Africans are the most hardworking people on earth. I saw them in the Lusaka markets and on the street selling merchandise. I saw them in villages toiling away. I saw women on Kafue Road crushing stones for sell and I wept. I said to myself where are the Zambian intellectuals?

‘Are the Zambian engineers so imperceptive they cannot invent a simple stone crusher, or a simple water filter to purify well water for those poor villagers? Are you telling me that after thirty-seven years of independence your university school of engineering has not produced a scientist or an engineer who can make simple small machines for mass use? What is the school there for?”

I held my breath.

“Do you know where I found your intellectuals? They were in bars quaffing. They were at the Lusaka Golf Club, Lusaka Central Club, Lusaka Playhouse, and Lusaka Flying Club. I saw with my own eyes a bunch of alcoholic graduates. Zambian intellectuals work from eight to five and spend the evening drinking. We don’t. We reserve the evening for brainstorming.”

He looked me in the eye.

“And you flying to Boston and all of you Zambians in the Diaspora are just as lazy and apathetic to your country. You don’t care about your country and yet your very own parents, brothers and sisters are in Mtendere, Chawama, and in villages, all of them living in squalor. Many have died or are dying of neglect by you.

‘They are dying of AIDS because you cannot come up with your own cure. You are here calling yourselves graduates, researchers and scientists and are fast at articulating your credentials once asked—oh, I have a PhD in this and that—PhD my foot!”

I was deflated.

“Wake up you all!” he exclaimed, attracting the attention of nearby passengers. “You should be busy lifting ideas, formulae, recipes, and diagrams from American manufacturing factories and sending them to your own factories. All those dissertation papers you compile should be your country’s treasure. Why do you think the Asians are a force to reckon with? They stole our ideas and turned them into their own. Look at Japan, China, India, just look at them.”

He paused. “The Bwana has spoken,” he said and grinned. “As long as you are dependent on my plane, I shall feel superior and you my friend shall remain inferior, how about that? The Chinese, Japanese, Indians, even Latinos are a notch better. You Africans are at the bottom of the totem pole.”

He tempered his voice. “Get over this white skin syndrome and begin to feel confident. Become innovative and make your own stuff for god’s sake.”

At 8 a.m. the plane touched down at Boston’s Logan International Airport. Walter reached for my hand.

“I know I was too strong, but I don’t give it a damn. I have been to Zambia and have seen too much poverty.” He pulled out a piece of paper and scribbled something. “Here, read this. It was written by a friend.”

He had written only the title: “Lords of Poverty.”

Thunderstruck, I had a sinking feeling. I watched Walter walk through the airport doors to a waiting car. He had left a huge dust devil twirling in my mind, stirring up sad memories of home.

I could see Zambia’s literati—the cognoscente, intelligentsia, academics, highbrows, and scholars in the places he had mentioned guzzling and talking irrelevancies.

I remembered some who have since passed—how they got the highest grades in mathematics and the sciences and attained the highest education on the planet.

They had been to Harvard, Oxford, Yale, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), only to leave us with not a single invention or discovery. I knew some by name and drunk with them at the Lusaka Playhouse and Central Sports.

Walter is right. It is true that since independence we have failed to nurture creativity and collective orientations. We as a nation lack a workhorse mentality and behave like 13 million civil servants dependent on a government pay cheque.

We believe that development is generated 8-to-5 behind a desk wearing a tie with our degrees hanging on the wall. Such a working environment does not offer the opportunity for fellowship, the excitement of competition, and the spectacle of innovative rituals.

We believe that development is generated 8-to-5 behind a desk wearing a tie with our degrees hanging on the wall. Such a working environment does not offer the opportunity for fellowship, the excitement of competition, and the spectacle of innovative rituals.

But the intelligentsia is not solely, or even mainly, to blame. The larger failure is due to political circumstances over which they have had little control. The past governments failed to create an environment of possibility that fosters camaraderie, rewards innovative ideas and

The past governments failed to create an environment of possibility that fosters camaraderie, rewards innovative ideas and encourage resilience. KK, Chiluba, Mwanawasa, and Banda embraced orthodox ideas and therefore failed to offer many opportunities for drawing outside the line.

I believe King Cobra’s reset has been cast in the same faculties as those of his predecessors. If today I told him that we can build our own car, he would throw me out.

“Naupena? Fuma apa.” (Are you mad? Get out of here)

Knowing well that King Cobra will not embody innovation at Walter’s level let’s begin to look for a technologically active-positive leader who can succeed him after a term or two. That way we can make our own stone crushers, water filters, water pumps, razor blades, and harvesters. Let’s dream big and make tractors, cars, and planes, or, like Walter said, forever remain inferior.

A fundamental transformation of our country from what is essentially non-innovative to a strategic superior African country requires a bold risk-taking educated leader with a triumphalist attitude and we have one in YOU.

Don’t be highly strung and feel insulted by Walter. Take a moment and think about our country. Our journey from 1964 has been marked by tears. It has been an emotionally overwhelming experience.

Each one of us has lost a loved one to poverty, hunger, and disease. The number of graves is catching up with the population. It’s time to change our political culture.

It’s time for  African Intellectuals to cultivate an active-positive progressive movement that will change our lives forever. Don’t be afraid or dispirited, rise to the challenge and salvage the remaining….

This is the hard truth about Zambia as captured by a foreigner. Take out the words Zambia and Zambians and replace with those that represent your own African country and feel the pains as Rume did when he got the hurting truth for the first time.

Think of what you can do as an African intellectual to change this mentality and get to work. You can start something like Akon

Calée! Sama Tanya Proposed to Music Star, Daphne. Watch Video.

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Afrimar winning artist, Daphne Njie, of Steven’s Record released a heart blowing video yesterday 30th, March 2017 featuring her crush Sama Tanya (Blogger & Fashion maven).

The song titled “Calee” is love story that dates back in her secondary school days and finally yielded good fruits. Daphne found true love and vowed to stick to him this time around no matter what.

She had had a thing for this black ebony dude long time ago. His chiseled face and irresistible African looks made her gaga.

Daphne crazily telling her friends about her love, Sama Tanya

Daphne is a queen and her looks worth it. An epitome of a true African woman and Sama Tanya is madly in love. This is a story of true love and deep romance.

The video goes through several romantic scenes from classroom to hotel room and reaches a climax when Sama Tanya proposes to Daphne while she eats eru cooked by Sama Tanya.

I saw the joy, energy and ecstasy in her eyes. She was carried away by the looks of this gentleman. Having a crush for eru, my lady Daphne enjoyed her meal with her hands unwashed. This is the power of true love. Sama Tanya said.

This video was directed by the legend creative director and cinematographer Dr Nkeng Stephen, and was produced by Salatiel of Alpha Beta Record.

Congratulations Daphne this story and song is memorable.