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Writing Cameroon Women HerStory

Rewriting the history of Cameroon with emphasis on women not afraid of the front line and making positive change is my overall goal

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”.

Comments

usha kc's picture

My dear Ziwoh,,, thank you

My dear Ziwoh,,, thank you for letting us to know more about women of your country. My full support from my heart to rewrite the camaroon's history(herstory)!! May the god fufilled your vision soon.!!

cheers:)))))

zoneziwoh's picture

my dear sister--thank you so much

i am honor dear sister for your endless support. thank you so much and know that i cant do this all alone. you and the rest of the sisters are always with me in spirit and in present. slowly, you will get to know more about Cameroon. At least, Shekina did something very great and so shall it continue.
Thank you so much for the comment

Stay Blessed

Zoneziwoh

Blog: http://zofem.blogspot.com/

Facebook:Zoneziwoh Mbondgulo Wondieh

Twitter | Instagram: @ZoFem

YAOtieno's picture

Impressive

Just checked out your face book group and it is impressive!!! Well done. I admire your patriotic spirit.

Cheers,

Y

A candle looses nothing my lighting another

zoneziwoh's picture

Thank you so much dear

Thank you so much dear sister. Sorry, I have not responded to your email. I will get to you asap. Jus that i have been trying to finish my school assignment which is due this Sunday, and secondly, as you should have heard, cameroon is having its presidential election next Sunday 9th October. Apart from that 1st Oct is another crisis moment in the country as the English Cameroon always honor the day as their independence day. This month of Oct is therefore a very shaking session in cameroon--with all these, my hears are down and bend to report
I will get to you very soon. I read through the article, I love your concept. It is brilliant.

Stay Blessed

Zoneziwoh

Blog: http://zofem.blogspot.com/

Facebook:Zoneziwoh Mbondgulo Wondieh

Twitter | Instagram: @ZoFem

Patricia Otuka-Karner's picture

thanks so much

for sharing your story! your motivation and thrive are impressive!

I believe, that the world's history should be rewritten from a woman's perspective and based on HER achievements and force! there are sooo many women's stories untold in every country! I appreciate your patriotism (a characteristic I miss in my life) and hope you succeed! I wish you that the day you can sit comfortably on you sofa may come sooner rather than later!

[love your pic as well - nice posture ;)]

zoneziwoh's picture

stories untold

you are very right. our histories are all about maleness, how they worked etc. the women's feature either as home markers and keeper, if a little advance they are nurses or accompanying their husbands around the exploration. I tell you, that ideology must change.

I dont need some heavy archives to file my documentation or will need a publishing house..etc Now, I can sit in my village and share my story and those of my sisters in my community with the world. same as you to could.

Thanks for the comment.

Stay Blessed

Zoneziwoh

Blog: http://zofem.blogspot.com/

Facebook:Zoneziwoh Mbondgulo Wondieh

Twitter | Instagram: @ZoFem

Chinemu's picture

Unsung heroes

Great Contribution to society, kip it up, Women are the unsung heroes of this world

zoneziwoh's picture

thank you dear sister

You are amazing. Thank you so much. Your words are very motivating. we keep in touch

Stay Blessed

Zoneziwoh

Blog: http://zofem.blogspot.com/

Facebook:Zoneziwoh Mbondgulo Wondieh

Twitter | Instagram: @ZoFem

Stella Paul's picture

Here's the truth

Let me very honest: I never heard of the Cameroonian woman. In fact for me Cameroon meant a country with a good football team and a country where my brother in law once almost got posted to.

And I can tell you, there are millions and millions of people -women and men, Asian and in other continents, who don't know any better.

So what does this mean? It means, you are being the teller of a nation's stories - both past and present to millions! If you think deeply, that's a huge responsibility and also an opportunity.

And this only provides more teeth to your already strong resolution: to keep talking, to not stay silent and to use every tool possible to tell the story right and loud.

My ears are all raised like a fox. Keep talking O spirit!!!

Stella Paul
Twitter: @stellasglobe

zoneziwoh's picture

To Think Deeply

"To think deeply" Thank you so much. I love that particular word… 'think deeply ‘and that is what i pray for, which is why I am a member of a sisterhood like PW. There is this common saying that goes, two heads are better than one--therefore 10 000 heads will are far best than 1 head. I strongly believe, together - with our respective experiences, lessons learn, the story of cameroon women will be on text. And that I am more than convinced it is going to happen.

The task won’t be very smooth, that i know but jus the thought of knowing it is not ziwoh alone, it empowering and encouraging to keep moving gradually

LoL! Your ears are raised already--wao! it means i need not stop the music because you may fall asleep - and by the time i begin to sing, you will far asleep and won’t hear me sing. I shall be on, on and Live

Thank you dear Stella, you are amazing. Take care--we keep in touch

Stay Blessed

Zoneziwoh

Blog: http://zofem.blogspot.com/

Facebook:Zoneziwoh Mbondgulo Wondieh

Twitter | Instagram: @ZoFem

olutosin's picture

Love You Baby

I love this........and all your articles. Keep on the good work darliing.

You are almost there, posterity notes....

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale
Founder/Project Coordinator
Star of Hope Transformation Centre
512 Road
F Close
Festac Town
Lagos-Nigeria

https:

zoneziwoh's picture

no more fire-side story telling

My dear, thank you so much. It is a heavy task force and thanks to nowadays for web 2.0, I must not have affiliation with any publishing house or whatever. all i will need is the strength and clear mind to think and write down my story and the a pc to type and an internet connection to share my story. Cameroonians must know their women. no more backside (behind house or fire-side ) story telling.

Stay Blessed

Zoneziwoh

Blog: http://zofem.blogspot.com/

Facebook:Zoneziwoh Mbondgulo Wondieh

Twitter | Instagram: @ZoFem

Adepeju's picture

Nice! Women must be heard.

Nice! Women must be heard. They must feature prominently in the history of their country, and must be given an opportunity today to write tomorrow's history. Like Stella mentioned, I too have never heard of any cameroonian woman despite being African sisters...Keep up the fight and well done!

zoneziwoh's picture

No More behind house storytelling

Thank you so much dear sister. True! nowadays, women need to be heard and their stories also must sung in the minds of the people.
I am embarrass to hear that none of you have heard of Cameroonians feminist (women's activists). Though they exists in few numbers. and that is my greatest worries, even the few who exists are not known even in their community. I think, the strategy of activism in Cameroon needs to change. Cameroon needs a more reform method of advocacy and civil society vigilance.
together, through supports from one another sisters and lessons learn from other nations, cameroonian women will join the global voices.

thanks

Stay Blessed

Zoneziwoh

Blog: http://zofem.blogspot.com/

Facebook:Zoneziwoh Mbondgulo Wondieh

Twitter | Instagram: @ZoFem

Carlotta's picture

Im very convinced and

Im very convinced and impressed. You wrote this piece so passionately and i admire your facebook project. Don't worry when you become VOF correspondent you will be on the list of heroines! Best wishes sister!

zoneziwoh's picture

hola!!!

great dear sister!!! Amen to that dear sister - let keep praying for the strength and wisdom to continue doing the great work. Pray for your fellow cameroonian sisters-- Thanks

Stay Blessed

Zoneziwoh

Blog: http://zofem.blogspot.com/

Facebook:Zoneziwoh Mbondgulo Wondieh

Twitter | Instagram: @ZoFem

MaDube's picture

Clearly put and I believe

Clearly put and I believe what you say you will do is what you will do because you have already started doing it. Ziwoh, it has been such an honour gracing this space with someone as beautiful, talented and driven as you. Keep fighting for the women of Cameroon and let 'herstory' write you down as one of the icons you point out in your poem. All the best :-)

zoneziwoh's picture

the pleasure is mine

hola amiga ( hello my dear sister), i felt i begin my greetings in Spanish. hahaha!
many thanks dear colleague for the wonderful and lovely comment. the pleasure has been mine sharing this platform with you too. not too long, we didn’t know one another - but thanks to a space like this, we have been able to re-connect - through our written stories- so, you can now imagine how stories (orally told or written narrated ) can link people from far and wide.

I am glad to know that you appreciate the concern of writing the stories of Cameroonian women, either by themselves or by some people --and that, has started already.

Storing info online is still not a Cameroon culture and i see that as a challenge because it is not only limiting people’s knowledge and appreciation about Cameroon, but also excludes the society as a nation.

once more, many thanks for stopping by. we keep in touch--take care

Stay Blessed

Zoneziwoh

Blog: http://zofem.blogspot.com/

Facebook:Zoneziwoh Mbondgulo Wondieh

Twitter | Instagram: @ZoFem

Ruun Abdi's picture

What a great post from a

What a great post from a courageous lady! Keep up the good work my dear, You always uplift me with your great determination. :) Sending my love and support on your way.

Hugs,
Marian

zoneziwoh's picture

eHug

amazing comment. many thanks dear coleague. it was nice to hear from you and read your feedback.
thank you

Stay Blessed

Zoneziwoh

Blog: http://zofem.blogspot.com/

Facebook:Zoneziwoh Mbondgulo Wondieh

Twitter | Instagram: @ZoFem

SallyB's picture

Admirable

Good job with that facebook page! I really admire your goal of rewriting Cameroon's history.

zoneziwoh's picture

thank you

Dear Sally B, it was nice to read from you. Thank you so much for the nice words. I will do my best together with my sisters, including you--Women story will be told, Cameroon especially.

Stay Blessed

Zoneziwoh

Blog: http://zofem.blogspot.com/

Facebook:Zoneziwoh Mbondgulo Wondieh

Twitter | Instagram: @ZoFem

binapatel33's picture

Good post

Your are article is a good insight into the issues that women face.I can read your frustration and understand your desperation to help them. I wish you the best and much luck in your goal to help these women. Thank you for giving us an insight. Have you ever tried using influence or just your words to help women in Cameroon feel confident? I just wanted to know because a lot of the time the women do not know any better and are so caught up in this belief that men are bigger and so they have to conform to their needs. I think you have the talent to help these women. I can see that in your writing as it is very influential. I hope that you are able to help them. Thank you again for your post. It was very good!

Kind Regards,
Bina Patel
hc Mediate, LLC
www.hcmediate.com

zoneziwoh's picture

My Activism Engagement is Broad Based

Many thanks Binapatel for your warm and sincere respond. I feel deeply touched. I strongly believe it is only a matter of time, Cameroon Women will be in the history books. You can imagine the frustration, whenever, I engage myself in discussions on women within the globe and the continent, very little is often said about Cameroon. And that souks (saddens ).

In spite of that I havent folded my hands either, as well as I havent been using my writings only. I have also been on the field, doing intense rigorous activism. For instance, in 2009, I created a local organisation for young women economic empowerment and a No to GBV Against Women Movt called WFAC Buea , - which has organized several workshops, training sessions and seminar with over 50 young men and women trained with the necessary skills in advocating against GBV on women.
Besides, WFAC, there is also the Women Under 30 program, and in addition is also my blog at ZoFem . You can also view some posted pics of my work on my FB page at My Activisms Pic Space and Street Mobilization Pic Space

Aside from the street campaign or awareness raising, I also work in very close collaboration with sub-delegation on women empowerment, women CSO and agencies in pushing policies that call for the complete abolition of certain culture norms that impede women's development. The cases presented in this literature shall come from the University of Makerere, Uganda; University of Cape Town, South Africa and other Universities in the US.

There in my little way, I ensure that I explore all the portals necessary to bringing forth women’s struggle and movement to the limelight.

Stay Blessed

Zoneziwoh

Blog: http://zofem.blogspot.com/

Facebook:Zoneziwoh Mbondgulo Wondieh

Twitter | Instagram: @ZoFem

binapatel33's picture

Thank you

Wow, I am so proud of you!! you are a true leader and making a huge difference for women. Congratulations! I hope that you will succeed to the highest level. God Bless you and you are a true inspiration for all women! :)

Kind Regards,
Bina Patel
hc Mediate, LLC
www.hcmediate.com

zoneziwoh's picture

Amen!!

Amen!!! I pray so too. And please always put us; women activists in your prayers,

Thanks
I wish you all the best of Luck Life can offer

Stay Blessed

Zoneziwoh

Blog: http://zofem.blogspot.com/

Facebook:Zoneziwoh Mbondgulo Wondieh

Twitter | Instagram: @ZoFem

elizabech's picture

Great job

I can feel the passion and intent in your writing. You are a very powerful writer! Please keep writing and sharing the story of women in Cameroon!

Liz

zoneziwoh's picture

Re: Great Job

many thanks dear Sr. your words give me strength. I will always do my best to represent the voice of the women whose voices seem silent. The voices of the women, who were denied the chance to read and write their stories. Together, these women (including myself) shall be free from all exploitation.

Stay Blessed

Zoneziwoh

Blog: http://zofem.blogspot.com/

Facebook:Zoneziwoh Mbondgulo Wondieh

Twitter | Instagram: @ZoFem

Fungai Machirori's picture

Great stuff

Africa needs historians desperately; young people who embrace the past while shaping the future and the present. Here's hoping that through VOF you can get that platform to speak herstory into life. All the best x

from today i live out of my imagination
i am more than my yesterday
tomorrow i plant a new seed
nothing that lies behind easy
nothing that is ahead real
my within is all i have today
*Napo Masheane*

zoneziwoh's picture

Re: great stuff

This is a powerful feeedback. Thank you so much Fungai. True! Africa needs historians and women story must be on the pages of these book.

once again, thanks for the comment. it is always inspiring and encouraging.

Stay Blessed

Zoneziwoh

Blog: http://zofem.blogspot.com/

Facebook:Zoneziwoh Mbondgulo Wondieh

Twitter | Instagram: @ZoFem

zoneziwoh's picture

Re: great stuff

This is a powerful feeedback. Thank you so much Fungai. True! Africa needs historians and women story must be on the pages of these book.

once again, thanks for the comment. it is always inspiring and encouraging.

Stay Blessed

Zoneziwoh

Blog: http://zofem.blogspot.com/

Facebook:Zoneziwoh Mbondgulo Wondieh

Twitter | Instagram: @ZoFem

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