Updated: Sep 2, 2018
This is where I'm from and I'm proud of it.
I was born in the city, Yaoundé, but my Grand-parents and my Ancestors come from the country side, or as we say in French " the village".
I wanted to write an article about it because I may have been to some very fancy and beautiful cities in the world, but I never forget where I come from: BOT MAKAK and ESEKA/BOUMNYEBEL.
I may be Cameroonian, but first and foremost, I AM BASSA.
African people suffered from slavery for 400 years, and as if it was not enough, we had to undergo colonialism.
What pains me even more is that when you open history books they give to the kids at school, either they barely teach it, or they try to pretend that nothing bad (or repressive)happened during all those years when the independence movements emerged.
I did the French education system, and whenever I would see how they portrayed the colonialism and independence eras in the books, I never knew if I should cry or laugh.
How about all those African people who thought for the Allies during World War I and World War II, and barely had a recognition and compensation for their contribution. They were just sent home as if they were nothing.
I am so thankful for the internet now for some reason, cause history details that used to be hidden cannot be so anymore.
If you have some time, you should check out on youtube a documentary called "Cameroun, autopsie d'une independence".
My people, the BASSA were upfront when we wanted to say NO to colonialism and I'm proud of it. They defended their land until the very last minute and that was THEIR RIGHT.
Everything starts from the land. The land fees you and provide you a place to build a house and expand your family.
Nowadays, there is even a new form a colonialism (or should I say neo-colonialism) where Multi-National Companies (MNCs) get to our country with their own employees, rarely hire the local population (or if they do, it's not to give them the high-skilled jobs), and sometimes dump their toxic wastes in our water. there has been so many scandals in the past decade from the Western Part of Africa, to the Central Part and the Eastern Side.
In 2015, I made a trip to Cameroon (Let me not start on why and how I got there cause that should be in a whole other post. Let's just say trying to reach the Cameroonian embassy when you live abroad is like trying to win the lottery).
I went to the country side and I got to see where my grand-parents where buried.
I am telling you I am glad I did.
The air and the water on the country side are so pure. There is no pollution.
The BASSA land is blessed with so many natural resources: Cocoa, Banana Plantains, prunes, lemons, cassava, yams, Palm Trees...
Our lands are so huge, it's like lining up numerous football fields side by side.
The cover of my article is actually a picture I took while my uncle (my dad's brother) was telling and showing me how cocoa was cultivated and produced from the first to the final stage.
How about you guys? what history do you want your kids and the next generation to remember?