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The Colbert Factor
How Anglophones are increasingly becoming Angrily Happy with Night Curfews


This reflection is inspired by the fact that although introduced as a form of collective punishment to boiling spots in Anglophone regions, many bona fide Southern Cameroonians, rather than having ill feelings, are beginning to be thankful to government for helping them recover a part of their lost culture that was being eroded by  overbearing influence of unregulated francophone night life. It is also inspired by the fact although the dust to dawn curfew kills other sectors of activity that flourish more in the night, this is more than compensated by the fact that more and more people are saving hard earned money as they are pushed back home earlier than later. It is the more informed by the fact that although before the imposition of night curfews, people used to stay out late into the night and come home when children have gone to bed, on grounds that they were busy at work, the curfew now forces them to meet their children still awake and in the process, engage in home tutoring for with the children.
Point is, for over the years Anglophones have beaten the record as champion of creative suffering. The more you inflict pain on him or her, the more she or he develops a certain je ne sais quoi resilience. Such creative suffering has made the Anglophones to be able to make the best out of the worst situation. It is such that even when others are singing a lullaby, he sings a dirge, and when they sing a dirge, he sings a lullaby.
As veterans of creative suffering, Anglophones have had to go through all the structures of injustices that Cameroon can pride itself of. Anglophones volunteeringly accept all such creative suffering as part of their course of action to make Cameroon better. After all, when Cameroon becomes better, it is others  that enjoy, not the suffering masses. Just last week, and in an attempt to provide solutions to the growing unrest in Anglophone Cameroon, a new ministry of Decentralization and local development was created and a francophone whose voice has never been heard since the crisis erupted was made minister. Our Adolf Lele Lafrique who has been having sleepless nights trying to figure out ways and means of solving the problem and who has been sending all kinds of proposals to Yaoundé, was not even considered for that key position. As an accepted component of their struggle and protest, Anglophones do so uncomplainingly. This creative and redemptive suffering is in response to the cruel and unusual suffering imposed on them by the ruling establishment, as has been captured in the book: 'Bamenda: Source of Inspiration for Modern Cameroon.' Truth be told, the advantage with Anglophones creative suffering is that it can never go in vain. The more the curfew last, the   become. Not bitter but better.
Imposing collective punishment on a whole population by decreeing dust to dawn curfews only helps in deferring a dream. As documented in my book: Bamenda, Source of Inspiration for Modern Cameroon, life has no meaning without a dream. If you are not living for something you are living for nothing. 'When a dream is locked up, what happens to it? Does it dry up like a raison in the sun? Or fester like a sore, and then run? Does it stink like rotten meat? Or crust and sugar over, like a syrupy sweet? Maybe it just sags like a heavy load. Or does it explode?' If we go by this poem by Langston Hughes, it will mean that whether we like it or not, dreamers and dreams are indistinguishable. A bottled dream emits frustration and has a dynamo effect. Delayed dreams stink of resentment. Resentment towards themselves that they could not realize their dreams and resentment towards those who prevented them from realizing their .  feeling of second class citizenship by Anglophone Cameroonians is a dream deferred. Those in prison today are a representative of those who have suffered the pain of injustice and want things to change for the better. That's the main message Mancho Bibixy handed down to the military judge in Yaoundé, that their actions were meant to make Cameroon better, not bitter, and that if freed he and his companions would work towards building bridges of peace and stability. Needless to recall that in Fru Ndi's last letter to Biya, he reiterated the same message. Needless to say that if their dreams continue to be deferred it may one day lead to an explosion. It is not only  the new generation of Anglophone leadership that has been jailed but a completely new Cameroon spirit. There is no gainsaying the fact that the Anglophones arrested and incarcerated are representing the aspirations and hopes of a majority of Cameroonians. They are the new Cameroonian spirit, a spirit yearning for a peaceful, just and inclusive society. Back to the basics. The origin and history of curfews date back to the 18th century. The word curfew originated from the old French word courvre feu, meaning 'covering the fire'. It was an order signalling the time when a bell rings for all fires in the community to be put off. This was because houses were built of timber. As time went by curfews were transformed into laws giving specific times citizens are supposed to stay indoors, especially from 8 pm till dawn.
If Anglophone reward for fighting to democratize Cameroon while Yaoundé is fighting to camerounize democracy is curfews, let it be. Before government could introduce ghost nights, that is, its own version of ghost towns, activists like Tapang Ivo and others, were already contemplating the shifting of ghost towns to run from 6 pm to 5a.m. Their understanding was that people back home were not as supportive of heavy  of alcohol each night. To them, ghost night were the only thing that could directly affect French interests given that French breweries controlled the largest market share in Cameroon. If government has now helped them to achieve their objective, who are we to judge.
That was the Muteff Boy's take
Derick BAKAH

Derick BAKAH

Bakah Derick is a Broadcast Presenter and Multimedia specialist with focus on sharing with the rest of the world the daily happenings in the Northwest Region of Cameroon. You can contact us on +237 675460750 or debakah2004@gmail.com.

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