I too sing Cameroon.
I am the ninth and tenth provinces
Or is it regions?
I just want to be human,
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.
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
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).
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