Writing Cameroon Women HerStory
Thomas Sankara once said “May my eyes never see, my feet never take me to the society were Half the people are held in silence”. Therefore, it is imperative to redressed such situations and the case of Cameroon, history (herstory) must recognized the women orally or written, on online or offline.
Even at a very tender age, I could understand the meaning of pain and discrimination. Directly or indirectly, I experienced most of it. I grew up witnessing mature men and women, the old and young people subjected on to severe torture, violence, intimidation, abused and /or harassment of all forms, for either criticizing a particular structure, especially those in power or for having disrespected a ‘senior’ etc.
In context like this, where people live in fear from abuse, imprisonment, starvation, rendered homeless, jobless or even assassinated, by the forces that be, however prevent openness as well as the contributions of valuable information that can enhance the growth of the community. In this situation, women and the young people particularly, become the absentees either voluntarily or by peer (societal) pressure. Meanwhile, most men lead the forefronts. This privilege is based under the ideology that men are ‘stronger’ and ‘gigantic ‘therefore can withstand pain and torture more than the women (and the young people). In this light, you and I very much know such beliefs is established to bring imbalance in a society, so as to strengthened the concept of ‘might is right and right is might’.
Cameroon, just like any other nation has its history. But how many people know the Cameroonian women’s history? I feel so desperate and frustrated not being able to say, I know a, b, c woman in Cameroon pre-colonial and colonial era and even post-colonial where the figure still remains very insignificant. On May 2008, in an attempt to react from my little chained angle on the Africa (Patriarchal) Day which is always on May 25th, I wrote this poem entitled African Woman speaking… see excerpt below;
…Africa Woman, who are you?
You are Ida Queen, Mother and Daughter of Africa,
You are Amina conqueror of Kanu,
You are Makeda of Sheba of Axum,
You are Maathai Wangari for the Green Belt Movement,
You are Yaa Asantewa
Indeed you are Dahlia Al Kahina who gave Arab invaders fierce resistance when they sought to snatch our land.
Today, I ask my fellow sisters and brothers, who is a Cameroonian woman? The thoughts of not knowing much about Cameroonian women prompted a friend and I to create a Facebook page on Cameroon heroines and heroes and so far, 99% of the information pasted on the page is on heroes.
Rewriting the history of Cameroon with emphasis on women not afraid of the front line and making positive change is my overall goal as of now. I look forward to seeing that day where I can sit comfortably on my sofa and hear the women voices in my community loud and clear, speaking freely without any fear. I dream to see the day where the world shall realize that women are not just tools for manipulation or subjugation but vital agents for world peace and social good.
Just like I said in my VOF2, there are three principal reasons to why I am applying for this program is to Acquire the ethical skills in citizen journalism; to Improve my understanding on web 2.0 and Exchange critical knowledge on issues that confronts women’s engagement locally and globally and seek for best solutions to get women more involve.
Consequently, this in effect will not only raise the continental bar(s) on women making a difference, Cameroon women inclusive; it will also serve as a motivation to the young generational movement of women.
I end my story with one of my best quote by Dr King who said - “Our Lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matters”.