Cameroon: I too sing Cameroon | Sarah Anyang Agbor

I too sing Cameroon.
I am the ninth and tenth provinces
Or is it regions?
I just want to be human,
Not superhuman
Accepted as a person

I know how you perceive me:
“Traitor”, “Opposition”, BamiAnglo2
A figment of your own imagination.
Why do you see an Anglophone and you hear-
“Gunshots!? Crisis!? Protests!? Grumblings!?
You got criminals! We’ve got criminals!”

I too can feel
I too can dream
I too can lead.
But you look down on me
And call me “Anglofou”3
You say you are the top dog
And I the underdog.
Now I am the country nigger “Anglofou”
Now I am the house nigger.

Tomorrow
When the stakes are down
Will it be my turn to look down at you?
Will I call you “Franco Fool?”
Or will I call you brother?
That tomorrow will surely come
No one will dare say to me:
“Anglofou”4; “Parlez Anglais”5
“Les Anglos-la”6

Besides, I have walked up the ladder
With the virus of bilingualism
And I will sit at the table
And you will see the good in me.

I too, sing Cameroon!


1 Inspired by the talk on Harlem Renaissance, DVC series at the American Embassy in Yaoundé on 28-09-2007.
2 A Bamileke who has grown up with English as a second language, hence, such a person is a Bamileke from predominantly French-speaking Cameroon by origin and Anglophone by culture.
3 Anglophone fool; crazy English-speaking person
4 An abusive term, most often used by Francophones, to denigrate Anglophones.
5 Speak English
6 Those Anglophones

Sarah Anyang Agbor has a PhD in English from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. She was a Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence at the University of Scranton, PA, and is currently an Associate Professor of African Literature at the University of Yaoundé I, Cameroon. Her works include published articles in journals in Nigeria, Cameroon, the USA and the book, Critical Perspectives on Commonwealth Literature (2010).

The African Book Review is posting a poem from each of Africa’s 55 countries over the next few weeks. Poem suggestions can be sent through the comments form below. ‘Like’ us on FacebookTwitter, and Tumblr to read all the poems.

One thought on “Cameroon: I too sing Cameroon | Sarah Anyang Agbor

  1. Loved the lyrics, the immediacy, the passion/pain, the brutal truth in succint words. Sit proudly at that table o daughter of Cameroon

    Like

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