The Etoudi Meeting: Protest in the Former British Southern Cameroons

The Etoudi Meeting: Protest in the Former British Southern Cameroons

British Southern Cameroons

There was nothing relaxing about this Tuesday evening. Instead of spending it listening to his jazz collection, Biya was waiting for the ‘anglo’ in his cabinet . The protest in the former British Southern Cameroons was beginning to interrupt everything and he had received a disturbing call from the U.S state department on the crisis. He had considered this a wind that will just blow past. All what he needed to do was stay calm, quiet and passive. Silence had, however, not worked well and he had had to use his military to scare the protesters but things were getting worse. The country seemed to have changed and the police could no longer inspire fear. It must be the social media and the android generation frustrating every plan with their smartphones. He thought. The Americans had sent him recorded evidence of abuse.

As he zapped through TV channels, he heard the faint sound of approaching footsteps. Atanga entered the room like a spider, trying futilely not to produce sound as he walked on the sparkling marble-tiled floor. He wasn’t sure what might vex Biya. As he approached, he plastered his face with his signature clown-like smile then stopped a few yards away from Biya and bowed until his forehead touched his knees. Atanga’s manners reminded Biya of why he loved him; he made him feel like God. Right now however, he wanted to understand what was happening and Atanga was the best man to tell him. He was an Anglophone after all.

‘Quel est ce problème dont parle vos frères Mr Atanga? N’ ai-je pas essayé de bien les traiter?’ Biya quizzed, the wrinkles on his face thickening to protruding ridges and deep furrows. ‘Qu’est-ce qu’ils me veulent faire? Me suis-je pas exprimé en anglais a Bamenda et Buea?’ Atanga kept nodding furiously in agreement, the smile on his face fastly replaced with fury. ‘Qu’est-ce que j’ai dit à Bamenda?’

“Bamenda is my second home!” Atanga chimed, happy to show that he could remember the line.

“Oui! Baminnda iz my zegund huum! Etait-ce pas bon?” Asked the president, now getting more and more agitated.

“C’etait fantastique votre Excellence.” assured Atanga.

“Alors où est le problème?”

Atanga took one exasperated breath then followed with “Je l’ai toujours dit, il y a quelques Anglophones qui sont intellectuellement malhonnêtes, Votre Excellence. Ils ne sont jamais satisfaits. Regardez-moi, Excellence, suis-je pas Anglophone? Regardez la poste que vous m’ avez confié? . Regardez le Premier Minister, n’est-il pas Anglophone? N’êtes-vous pas allé à Buea? Il n’y a pas de problème Anglophone! Il se plaignent de l’absence de la traduction du texte Ohada en Anglais , qu’il y a des enseignants d’expression française à Buea et de Bamenda qui parlent pas bien anglais. Est-ce un problème ? Pourquoi ne peuvent-ils pas apprendre le francais? Il n’y a pas de prob…”

“Mais Brenda dit que c’est chaud sur facebook.” Chantal chimed as she emerged amidst the staccato beat of high heel shoes echoing off marble floors and granite walls. She was a lot to look at. She was strapped in pumpkin green Chanel suit and white 6 inch stiletto heels. Her eyebrows were drawn with protractor precision, frosted pink eyeshadow and lots of smudgy grey eyeliner boldly plastered on her face and a lot of crimson on her cheeks. Then there was the hair. Good lord…then there was the hair! The hair seemed to have taken up the daunting challenge of making three political statements—I must be seen, fuck conformity, and fuck climate change. Today the tresses of the towering banane were auburn red, long and short, disheveled and controlled. Hair, makeup and clothing seemed to be in a tough duel for domination with no clear winner. But somehow she wore it all with unfazed confidence that made her surprisingly radiate a queer beauty and still possessed a loveable air around her. She stared into Atangas eyes quizzically waiting for his take.

“Eh bien…Brenda est si intelligente…elle comprend beaucoup de choses. Elle l’a hérité de ses parents.” Atanga replied, face brimming with pride at his ability to please hierarchy. “Je l’ai aussi entendu dire que les gens qui sont en greve sont payés . Ils ont reçu beaucoup d’argent des secessionistes pour provoquer l’anarchie et les jeunes ignorants sont dupes.”

“Donc, vous dites qu’il n’y a pas de problème avec vos frères?” Biya asked while picking up his phone.

“Absolument! Votre Excellence, vous êtes le seul apte à diriger ce pays. Vous êtes le père de la nation, le president naturel. En fait, les gens de Manyu même vous remercient de la route que vous leur avez donné de bonté de Coeur…”

“Merci monsieur le minister!” Biya impatiently interjected “Je ne comprends pas pourquoi Philemon dit qu’il ya un problème.. C’est ok monsieur Atanga…nous allons simplement envoyer plus des militaires. Cette fois-ci de Koutaba.

“Brenda dit la force ne résoud rien.” Chantal chimed as she moved towards the dinning room, her hair following valiantly. Meanwhile Atanga stood nodding endlessly as the president picked up his phone to call the minister of defense.

British Southern Cameroons.

British Southern Cameroons

Kwoh Elonge

Leave a Reply