Monday, May 18, 2009
Other Europeans settled on the Cameroon coast in the mid 1800s, with the British arriving first, followed by the French and Germans. The French influence is reflected in the presence of some foods, such as omelettes and French bread, as well as in the preparation of some dishes; however, for the most part, Cameroonians continue to prepare their own traditional foods.
The staple foods eaten by the people of Cameroon vary from region to region, depending on climate, and what is grown locally.
In the Centre and South provinces, plantain is considered as the staple food of the populations. maize is also very popular, while rice is consumed on special occasions. The Centre and South region is particularly characterized by certain dishes like Kwem (young cassava leaves with the juice from palm nuts), Nnam ngon (marrow paste cooked with plantain leaves), Nnam owondo and Ndomba tsit (meat cooked tied in plantain leaves). However the food most typical in the southern region of Cameroon is ndolé, which is made of boiled, shredded bitterleaf (a type of green), peanuts, and melon seeds. It is seasoned with spices and hot oil, and can be cooked with fish or meat. Bobolo, made of fermented cassava shaped in a loaf, is popular in both the south and central regions.
While tuber crops and plantains are staple foods in the southern part of Cameroon, cereals, millet are the staples in the northern parts. maize is consumed almost everywhere, especially in the western part of Adamawa. In the Nord, Extreme-Nord and Adamawa provinces, the most commonly eaten meat is Beef taken from the herds which make up the wealth of North Cameroon. In both north and south regions, the starchy foods are cooked, then pounded with a pestle (a hand-held tool, usually wooden) until they form a sticky mass called fufu (or foofoo), which is then formed into balls and dipped into tasty sauces. The sauces are made of ingredients such as cassava leaves, okra, and tomatoes.
In the cuisine of the Littoral Province the most important ingredients are cocoyams, cassava, beans, kolokaschia, leaves, grains and nuts. These vegetables are cultivated, but in some regions they grow spontaneously. There are many ethnic groups inhabiting this province, each with its own culture and traditional cuisine.
Fufu made using corn is the staple food of this province. Besides corn, other important ingredients in the West Province’s cuisine are tubers like yams, cocoyams, cassava and sweet potatoes. Tubers and banana are quite often cooked in a mixture with a variety of meats (goat, sheep, pork, beef, chicken and bush meat). These mixtures are called Kondre and they are served with corn fufu, pounded kolokashia or yellow Soup. There are many leaves used as vegetables in this cuisine. Some of them are kolokashia, cocoyam, cassava and beans leaves. The usual cooking method for these leaves is mixing them with palm oil and seasoning with salt and pepper. In some parts of the West Province (Bamboutos Division and parts of Menoua) people eat more exotic dishes.
Fresh fruit is plentiful in Cameroon. The native mangoes are especially enjoyed. Other fruits grown locally and sold in village marketplaces include oranges, papayas, bananas, pineapples, coconuts, grapefruit, and limes.
FOOD FOR RELIGIOUS AND HOLIDAY CELEBRATIONS
During the month long observance of the holiday of Ramadan, Cameroon's Muslims fast from dawn to dusk. This means they are forbidden to eat or drink during this time. The evening meal during Ramadan may include a rich soup. In most areas, a fete des mouton festival is celebrated two months after Ramadan to remember the willingness of Abraham to sacrifice a sheep from his flock. This celebration lasts for several days, during which it is customary for people to slaughter a sheep and then visit their friends and neighbours, giving them gifts of meat.
Most Cameroonians celebrate Christmas, even those who are not Christian. It is a time for visiting friends and family, and exchanging gifts. Holidays and events, such as coronations; saying goodbye to someone going abroad; weddings, and even funerals, are marked by feasts and meals at which friends and neighbours gather to eat local favourite dishes. It is traditional to slaughter and cook a sheep or goat at important occasions. Chicken dishes are also popular holiday fare.
SOME CAMEROONIAN RECIPES TO SAMPLE!
two to four cups of Black-eyed peas, Hariccots, Ibo beans or Koki beans
one or two sweet peppers to taste
Salt to taste
Palm oil to taste
Plantain leaves or (aluminum foil) and string
Clean the koki beans in water in a large pot. Cover them with water and soak them for at least 4 hours or overnight. After soaking them rub them together between your hands to remove the skin if need be. Rinse to wash away the skin and any other debris. Drain them in a colander.
Crush, grind, or mash the Koki beans into a thick paste. Put the crushed beans in a mortar and mix. Slowly stir in little water if needed to make the paste smooth. Grind or cream the Koki beans until it’s smooth and creaming. It is important to incorporate small air bubbles into the paste. Heat the oil for a few minutes, when warmed; add half the oil to the bean paste. Then add pepper and oil to the bean paste. Add salt to taste and mix well.
Warm the banana leaves for half a minute over hot flame or in a hot oven, or on a grill, or in a pot of boiling water. This makes them easier to fold. Remove the center rib of each leaf by cutting across it with a knife and pulling it off. Cut the ends off each leaf to form a large rectangle. Fold the Plantain leaves to completely enclose the ingredients in a packet two or three layer thick.
Place sticks or a wire basket on the bottom of a large pot. Carefully stack the packets on the sticks, add enough water to steam-cook them (the water level should be below the packets). Cover tightly and boil for one to three hours. Cooking time depends on the size of the packet. The finished Koki should be cooked to the center, like a cake.
Koki can be eaten hot or cold and it’s served with Koki Corn, Koki Plantain, boiled Yam, Plantain and Cocoyams.
By Isabel S Sangha Mateng (in Mbo meaning small nail) Bezeng
The Mbo tribes are a collection of Semi-Bantu ethnic groups most highly concentrated in the Central (Littoral) and the West Provinces of Cameroon. The Mbo dialect is also a spoken in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Mbo traditional dance is called Ewane. The Mbo people are known for their traditional dish called Koki (Mbo Cake) and Tala Andre Marie even named his first album after the famous Mbo traditional dish Koki. There are three different types of Koki’s consisting of Koki beans made from Ekoki, Haricot beans, Ibo beans or Black eyed beans, Koki Corn this could be made using fresh or dry Corn and finally Koki Plantain made from plantain.
Palm oil or vegetable oil (for the health conscious)
Maggi (Meat or Chicken Broth)
Dry fish/meat/Cow skin/snails (or anything you want to in put)
Spinach or Waterleaf
Put the meat/cow skin, salt, etc into the pot you will cook the eru in and boil till half done. Then blend the crayfish and part of the pepper together and pour into meat pot add more salt and maggi. Let simmer for about 15mins and then add dry fish. While the pot is simmering put eru in a bowl and pour hot water into it and rinse (this kills part of the strong eru smell). After rinsing well put the squeezed eru into the pot, pour a small quantity of oil into the pot and stir. Cook on medium high for about 20mins and now add the cut spinach or waterleaf into the pot and add oil, stir everything together, then cover and let cook for about 15-20mins. Towards the end, blend a small quantity of pepper then add into the pot, add oil**stir and let simmer with the pot open for about 5mins.
** The idea here is to put enough oil until it is easily scouped out from the pot without scouping out the eru with it. It sounds really unhealthy but oil is part of eru and it is good! Don't forget to let it burn just a tad bit, slightly burnt eru taste better!
**Also beware of over cooking, because eru when over cooked does turn bitter so when you squeeze the eru and spinach or waterleaf do it well so that way you can easily control the amount of water as the cooking progresses. if you realise there is too much water in the pot, cook with the pot open, don't cover it.
You can eat this with any fufu or garri
By Phebe Etchu from Mamfe, South West Province
Ginger, garlic, pepper, salt, maggi
Boil the meat, blend the peanuts and add to the boiled meat (with broth from meat). Cook for about 20 mins until peanut is well cooked. Another alternative is to boil the peanuts first before adding to the meat. This means that you wouldn't have to cook it for as long as 20 mins. Add ginger, garlic, pepper, salt and maggi to taste. Also add the washed bitterleaf, stir and cook for another 10 mins.Taste for salt and maggi and then add the crayfish and leave to simmer for another 5-10 mins or so. In a separate pan heat vegetable oil and add sliced onions to it and fry for about 5 mins and then add this to the ndole when you are done and leave to simmer for about another 3 mins, taste for salt and maggi et voila! The Ndole is done!
Serve with plantains or miondo or bobolo or yams or even rice
By Wakuna Bernice Lima from Bali, North West Province
1/2 cup ground njangsa
4 country onion nuts
1 table spoon bee nuts (country black pepper)
1 dry roasted green plantain
1 Hot pepper salt to taste
3 maggi cubes
Fresh basil (small bunch)
1 whole red onion
2 tablespoons peanut oil
4 whole white fish cut into 4 inch steaks (you may use tilapia, catfish, snapper, sea bass)
Blend all the ingredients above and place over fish steaks. Place fish smothered with ingredients in aluminum foil (traditionally plantain leaves are used). Place these in a pot with about 3 inches of water and steam on low heat for about an hour. You will need to watch the water level and continually replenish the water as the steaming progresses. Alternately you could also use a steamer. Serve with plantains or yams.
By Liz Oton from Mamfe, South West Province
Ingredients (for 6):-
1 gros poulet de 2 kg
8 plantains mûres
2 gros oignons
3 tomates moyennes
2 cuillères à soupe d'huile
200 g de coulis de tomates
2 gros poivrons (1 rouge et 1 vert)
2 petits piments (facultatif)
4 grosses carottes
Gingembre en poudre
1 bouquet garni
Nettoyer le poulet et le découper en morceaux. Cuire le poulet pendant 10 minutes dans un grand volume d'eau avec du sel et du poivre. Une fois cuits, faites dorer les morceaux à la friteuse ou la poêle sur toutes les faces.
Eplucher 6 des 8 plantains. Les couper en deux dans le sens de la longueur, puis en petits cubes épais dans le sens de la largeur. Saler légèrement et faire frire dans une friteuse jusqu'à ce qu'ils soient bien bruns. Réserver. Préparer les légumes. Eplucher les carottes et les couper en diagonales pour obtenir des morceaux épais et esthétiques. Réserver.
Préparer les légumes. Eplucher les carottes et les couper en diagonales pour obtenir des morceaux épais et esthétiques. Réserver.
Emincer les oignons. Réserver.
Laver, évider et couper les poivrons en quartiers épais. Réserver.
Laver et détailler les tomates fruits en tous petits morceaux. Réserver.
Dans une grande casserole, faire sauter les oignons dans l'huile chaude. Dès qu'ils sont translucides, incorporer les autres légumes et les tomates. Couvrir et laisser cuire à feu moyen pendant 5 minutes. Incorporer ensuite le coulis de tomates, le bouquet garni et toutes les autres épices. Couvrir et laisser cuire 10 à 15 minutes (fonction du degré d'acidité de la tomate).
Ajouter les morceaux de poulet. Bien les mélanger à la sauce aux légumes. Incorporer enfin les cubes de plantains frits. Mélanger délicatement pour ne pas les émietter (2 minutes), puis éteindre le feu.
Eplucher et couper les deux plantains restants en diagonales, faire frire les morceaux et servir avec le poulet DG
By Soraya Sone (Bakossi / Ewondo) from South West / Central Provinces
HUCKLEBERRY STEW (otherwise known as "njama-njama")
N.B: Dried and preserved huckleberry is used.
200g of huckleberry
Palm oil (2-4 cooking spoons)
2 large fresh tomatoes (or 3 medium size tomatoes)
Maggi cubes (>3)
Salt (small amount)
1 large fresh red onion
¼ cup crayfish (“njanga”)
1 large African red pepper
Overnight soak the huckleberry in fresh cold water.This will help in substantially softening the huckleberry. Do this in a large pot as the huckleberry will rise doubling its original amount of 200g.
The next day, rinse out the huckleberry in fresh cold water(x4) using a strainer and put to boil. Once boiling hot, reduce heat and leave to simmer for 30 minutes.
Then drain water and leave to cool.
Next finely chop tomatoes. Also chop onions in medium chunks. Do not mix tomatoes and onions.
Blend the crayfish (“njanga”) using a blender or if bought ready blended, do not re-blend.
Depending on type of palm oil, “bleach” or heat palm oil. When palm oil sufficiently hot and well “bleached”, reduce heat.
Now add finely chopped tomatoes and fry until tomatoes are well “sautéed”
Then add onions. Fry for about 3-5 minutes. Be careful not to over fry onions. Sprinkle small amount of salt.
When the melange of onions and tomatoes are well fried, start adding the huckleberry in small amounts stirring well with a wooden spoon as you do so. Add the large African pepper as well.
When all huckleberry is added, add more salt and maggi cubes to required taste.
When required taste achieved, add blended crayfish (“njanga”) and stir well. Leave to cook for 10-15 minutes.
Serve piping hot with boiled ripe plantains or with corn fufu flour; otherwise known as “fufu corn” Yellow corn fufu is a healthier option. Remember to have more huckleberry vegetable on your plate than the corn fufu or plantain, as part of a healthy balanced diet.
By Mambo Forya (proud native of the Kingdom of Mankon and a Princess of the Fondom of Nkwen) from North West Province.
Hmmm, I am soooo salivating! Here are 6 recipes for you to try at home...go and get cooking!
Thanks to the sexy six who sent in their recipes...mucho love!
Hope you have enjoyed our week long Cameroon affairs, here on DC!
Today also marks the end of the Baka competition which we had on DC and we now have 2 winners...thanks to all that took part, watch out for more competition here on DC.
Thanks for visiting and checking the blog.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Cameroon shot to global fame during the FIFA World Cup 1990 in Italy . Who can forget the dribbling skills of Roger Milla and his corner flag waist swivelling goal celebrations!Today we look to our new star, Samuel Eto’o Fils of Barcelona.
Our nation’s achievement in football is impressive: a World Cup quarter final first for an African country, an Olympic Football Trophy Sydney 2000, Finalists at the 2003 FIFA Confederation Cup, 4 Times African Nations Cup Champions and much more. As a football nation our next ultimate challenge would be to lift the World Cup. Let us hope playing on on African soil for the very first time is a good omen for South Africa 2010.
A sad note in our sporting history was the death in 2003 of Marc-Vivien Foé during the semi-finals of the FIFA Confederation Cup in France. Foe was an icon and a role model in Cameroon football.
If you think football is the only sport which draws passion and an audience in Cameroon , think again. There are Cameroonians who also have a specific love affair with all types of athletics.
I have to make a special reference to a unique lady: Francoise Mbango Etone.
A world class athlete, she made her Olympic debut at the age of 24 in the Sydney Games and won a gold medal four years later despite training without a coach. Etone dropped out of international competition for nearly three years to have a baby and go to college. She made history at the Beijing Olympics by becoming the first ever repeat champion in her event (women's triple jump), only six months after returning to the sport. Her story is very unique. If Hollywood was in Cameroon I am sure there would be a movie about her.
But Cameroon almost lost its champion before the Athens Games. A lack of training facilities and coaches took Etone to Paris in 2000. In France, she resisted pressure to change her nationality and compete for her host country - a true test of patriotism indeed.
“Sometimes, as an African, one needs more disciplined. Perhaps people consider us less (marketable) than Europeans,”said the national heroine.
Cameroon has competed at several weightlifting events and won a string of medals. During the Commonwealth games in Manchester 2002, Madeleine Yamechi scooped all three Gold medals in the 69kg competition. We also won 2 medals during the Pune, 2008. Commonwealth Youth Championship.
This is a well-loved game at Secondary schools and Universities in Cameroon . At the national level the Cameroon national basketball team has recorded few successes. They won a silver medal at the FIBA (The International Basketball Federation) Championship in 2007. However, with players like Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (Milwaukee Bucks - NBA), Franck Ndongo (Virginia Commonwealth University,USA), Gaston Essengue (Turkish Basketball League.), Joachim Ekanga-Ehawa (ÉS Chalon-sur-Saône of France's Ligue Nationale de Basketball) and more, the future could be bright.
Cameroon is one of the few tropical countries to have competed in the Winter Olympics. Isaac Menyoli became to first Cameroonian to compete in skiing, during the Salt Lake 2002 games. An Architect by profession, he trained on dry land for two hours each day after work.
Cameroonian sport spans several other disciplines and individuals who cannot be ignored. We can recall the likes of Yannick Noah (Tennis), Issa Hamza (World Welter Weight Boxing Champion), Victorine Fomum (First Cameroonian Table Tennis Player in the history of the Olympics), Joseph Batangdon (200 metres sprinter, won Gold at the African Championships 2004), Franck Martial Ewane Moussima (Gold medalist at All-Africa Games in Judoka half heavyweight,100kg), Paul Etia Ndoumbe (represented Cameroon in Rowing at the Beijing Olympics 2008) and many more.
Cameroon became an affiliate member of the International Cricket Council in 2007 and has enjoyed international Rugby Union exploits.
A major part of the celebration of our National Day (May 20th) should be a celebration of our nation’s endurance and perseverance; from the trials and tribulations of it’s difficult past to the successes in sports of its current and future generation.
Ours is a nation endowed with immeasurable talent. Let us hope for even bigger successes!
A very big thank you to Terence Ndikum, co-founder of Happysend.com a number 1 eCommerce service to help Cameroonians in the diaspora buy mobile airtime credits, gifts and a variety of products for their family and friends back home. Check the link here: http://www.happysend.com
He is also a founding member of Holy Moses F.C set up 10 years ago in Birmingham to serve Cameroonians and friends in the West Midlands area of the UK.
Come back tomorrow for more....we shall feed you, yes we shall!
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Before this, see below some ways in which we dress traditionally! (sorry but Camer's web presence is very limited so couldn't find a wider representation!). Nonetheless, please enjoy!
Typical of Manyu (South West Province)
The Bamileke Ndop Cloth (Western / North Western Provinces)
A Bamileke Chief (Western Province)
Imane Ayissi was born in Cameroon and arrived France in the 1990’s. This lover of fabrics has tailored himself a strong reputation among the Afro-Caribbean community as a reputable designer. His designs are very varied; they can be fluid and elegant as well as daring and extravagant. Find out more about him on: http://www.imaneayissi.com/
Anggy Haif’s talent knows no bounds. This designer, singer, composer and model’s creations blend modern textiles with natural materials, such as raphia, roots, liana, leaves and other gathered items. From eye-popping haute couture pieces to hip and trendy clothing, Haif’s style is as rhythmic as it is classic. Check him out on: http://www.anggy-haif.com/
Based in Cannes, Monaco, Olivia Ervi is inspired by the richness of the African cultural inheritance and its endless evolution. Indulge in her sophisticated and elegant creations on: http://www.olivia-ervi.com/
Based in Brussels, Belgium, Louise Assomo’s designs are fluid, sensual and very feminine. She uses "real" women as her creative inspiration rather than fantasy figures. In her bid to discourage anorexia in young girls, the principled artist makes nothing smaller than a European size 36 (UK size 8 ).
Kibonen Nfi and Anrette Ngafor are the force behind KiRette Couture. Roused by the concept of synergy, the über trendy pair weave traditional and contemporary chic to bring African sexy back to the street and catwalk. Their trademark style is inspired by the "toghu" – a colourful and intricately embroidered robe, typically worn (on special occasions) by the people of their native Western Highlands region. KiRette Couture’s exquisite designs drape clients with class, style and confidence that distinguish them from any crowd. Find out more about and join the “KiRette Couture” Facebook group via:http://www.facebook.com/inbox/readmessage.php?t=1064930585506&f=1&e=0#/group.php?gid=111259020386&ref=ts
Côté Minou: For childhood friends, Stephanie Mouapi and Maryanne, Fashion is art that express one’s personality. To put their continent on the map, the cool duo chose the African fabric as their signature print. Get a feel for their hip style on: http://www.mycoteminou.com/
· Choupa Joelle
· Terranga Couture
· Joli Mike
Join his Facebook group here: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=569050694&v=feed&story_fbid=88050905597#/group.php?gid=63906973700&ref=ts
Friday, May 15, 2009
Cameroon became a German protectorate in1884 following negotiations between explorer Gustav Nachtigal and local chiefs. Despite this, leaders like Rudolph Duala Manga Bell of Douala and Bakweri chief, Kuva Likenye led inspiring anti-colonial struggles.
A World War I defeat cost Germany its colony. One-fifth of the former German Kamerun, which bordered eastern Nigeria, was assigned to Britain, and the remaining four-fifths was administered by France under League of Nations mandates.
The Post World War II era ushered in a renewed zeal for self-governance. In 1957, the French government created the autonomous state of Cameroun. Its political institutions mirrored those of French parliamentary democracy.
The following year, Cameroun’s Legislative Assembly voted for independence by 1960. French and UN assent marked a victory for Cameroonian nationalists whose unwavering – and bloody struggle forced the occupying powers to the negotiating table. 1959 saw the formation of an internally autonomous government of Cameroun. Ahmadou Ahidjo became prime minister.
Meanwhile, in British-ruled Southern Cameroons, the Kamerun National Democratic Party (KNDP) and John Foncha had become prime minister. Soon Foncha and Ahidjo were discussing the possibilities of unification upon the achievement of independence.
On 1 January 1960, Cameroun became an independent republic. But these were restless times for the young nation as political rivalry dominated its quest for an identity. The Union des Peuples Camerounais (UPC) – a nationalist party, led riots in the Dschang and Nkongsamba. Clashes between Ahidjo and the UPC maquisard*** guerilla fighters, culminated in the French-controlled assassination of party leaders Um Nyobe and Felix Moumi.
Despite this, intermittent uprisings continued.
A draft constitution was approved in a referendum of 21 February and on 10 April a new National Assembly was elected. Ahidjo's Cameroun Union Party won a majority. Running unopposed, he was elected president in April 1960.
In the same year, consultations between Foncha and Ahidjo continued, and a proposed federation was tentatively outlined. On 11 February 1961,***** separate plebiscites were held in the Southern and Northern British Cameroons under the auspices of the UN. The voters in Southern Cameroons chose union with French-speaking Cameroun while those in Northern Cameroons opted to join Nigeria. Less talked about is politician, Paul Monyongo Kalle’s unsuccessful push for a third option to realise a nation state comprising Cameroon’s two English-speaking regions. Kalle’s sentiment is echoed by the separatist Southern Cameroons National Council (SCNC) movement.
During the months that followed the plebiscite, guerilla campaigns restarted. In response, the Cameroun Republic devoted one-third of its national budget to crushing the opposition. A draft constitution for the federation was approved by the Cameroun National Assembly on 7 September 1961, and the new federation became a reality on 1 October. The Cameroun Republic became the state of East Cameroon, and Southern British Cameroons became the state of West Cameroon in the new Federal Republic of Cameroon, with Ahmadou Ahidjo as president and John Foncha as vice president. Both were re-elected in 1965 but Foncha was later replaced as vice president, and the office was abolished in 1972.
A proposal to replace the federation with a unified state was ratified by popular referendum on 20 May 1972. Under a new constitution, the country was renamed the United Republic of Cameroon and the two stars on its flag were replaced with one. Ahmadou Ahidjo remained president of the republic. Running unopposed, he was re-elected for a fourth five-year term on 5 April 1975. A constitutional amendment led to the creation of a prime ministerial office and Paul Biya was appointed to the post.
In November 1982 Ahidjo resigned and was succeeded by Biya. To see a clip of Ahidjo resignation speech, please click on this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xbg9nx6OlrQ
In spite of giving up the top office, Ahidjo remained head of the ruling party, the Cameroon People's Democratic Movement (CPDM). But Biya proved more challenging than he had anticipated. Following allegations of a military coup plot, allegedly masterminded by Ahidjo, the former president retired to France in August 1983 and Biya became party chairman. Ahidjo was sentenced to death (later commuted to life imprisonment) in absentia in February 1984.
Watch the former president’s widow, Germaine Ahidjo, respond to accusations against him:
Biya's own presidential guard attempted to overthrow the government in April. The rebellion was stamped out by the army. Purges followed, and 46 of the plotters were executed. A state of emergency, which lasted several years, was declared. Late in 1984 the position of prime minister was abolished, and the country was renamed the Republic of Cameroon.
The 1990s presented another turning point Cameroonian politics. A bloody launch of the Social Democratic Front (SDF) on 26 May 199o steered in reform.
Cameroon came closest to civil strife in 1990 when a purported Biya election victory unleashed violent protests. Opposition supporters accused the president of rigging the vote. Biya reportedly got 39% of the vote while wildly popular SDF leader, John Fru Ndi won 35%. Ndi briefly proclaimed himself president before the government released the polling figures. By late 1992, Ndi and his advocates were under house arrest. Their plight drew international condemnation of Biya’s actions.
Credited by some for steering the nation through nearly 30 years of stability Paul Biya’s detractors cite Cameroon’s ethnic diversity and the resultant lack of serious inter-group rivalry as a more plausible explanation. They also point out the president’s failure to stamp out corruption and realise Cameroon’s full economic potential. Biya’s closeness to France (renowned for its neo-colonialist policy of francafrique) remains a constant source of criticism.
On the 10 April 2008 the National Assembly overwhelmingly voted a bill to change the Constitution of Cameroon to provide the President of the Republic with immunity from prosecution for acts as President and to allow unlimited re-elections of the President (it was previously limited to two terms of seven years) along with a number of other changes. The changes took place after a walk-out of the National Assembly by the opposition SDF representatives and just one month after widespread violence resulting in dozens of deaths and hundreds of arrests protesting price rises and the proposed constitutional changes. Five members of parliament voted against the bill. Opposition lawmakers and at least one member of the ruling party, Cameroon People's Democratic Movement, Hon. Paul Abine Ayah, member for Akwaya, criticised the bill as a setback for democracy and the country in general.
Deft politics, a bamboozled opposition and political indifference have not only ensured Biya’s grip on power but also led Cameroon down a political wilderness.
****Cameroonian Maquisard fighters inspired South Africa’s anti-apartheid force Umkotho We Sizwe (spear of the nation). Led by Nelson Mandela, it was the military wing of the African National Congress.
*****The date of the plebiscite was dedicated to Cameroon’s youth and is celebrated as a national holiday in honour of the nation’s young people.
Political Parties: major ones, CPDM, SDF, UNDP, UPC.
Type of Government: Parliamentary Democracy.
National Assembly / Assemblee Nationale: Parliament of Cameroon with 180 members, elected for 5 year terms in 49 single and multi seat constituencies.
Video links courtesy of YouTube.
Hope you are learning!
Come back tomorrow for more.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Its wildlife draws safari-goers and big-game hunters from around the world. Iconic animals including cheetahs, chimpanzees, elephants, giraffes, gorillas, hippopotami, and rhinoceroses grace its forests and parks. However a relatively minor but improving system hampers a full exploration of Cameroon’s splendour. But as one Africa’s older countries, Cameroon boasts several World Heritage Sites. The diversity of languages is also one of Cameroon's great cultural heritages.
Kapsiki Peak / Mountain: found in the Adamawa province, this is worth seeing!
Falls of the Lobe: 310 km from Yaoundé these falls constitute a small arms progressing in a series of smaller falls which cascade into the mighty Atlantic Ocean. Bask in the stunning scenery and mix friendly locals.
Korup National Park: Created in 1986, this rain drenched park is located in the southern parts of the country. The four types of vegetation particular to this forest are - The Atlantic forest biafrèene, the marshy forest, the forest submontagnarde and the forest of piedmont. It houses 1700 species of plant, 410 species of birds representing 53 families, 480 species of butterflies, 82 reptilian species and 161 species of mammals. If bird watching is your thing, the Korup is the place to be!
Korup National Park
Korup National Park
Craters of Mount Cameroon
Waza National Park: A jewel of the North, Waza is Cameroon’s most accessible and rewarding wildlife viewing experience. Elephants, giraffes, hippos, antelopes, monkeys and abundant birdlife welcome the visitors to this natural reserve. With some luck and a very early start, tourists can catch sight of a lion within the premises of the park.
In the twentieth and twenty first centuries, the calcareous marble on which the engravings stand has been extracted for use at nearby cement and marble factories. This activity endangers the engravings, which received provisional protection when the site was included in the Cultural category of the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List, on April 18th, 2006.
Looking forward to visiting Camer soon? Well get booking and don't forget your cameras...do I hear cheesssssseeee!
They have collaborated on a hot track entitled "C'EST LA VIE". To listen go here: http://www.sendspace.com/file/s62igh
To listen to more of this dude's sultry sweet voice, get some more Wax experience here: http://www.myspace.com/waxexperience
He is doing great things and rocking the boat down in SA. If you are over in New York on the 31st of this month, catch him at the Boucarou Lounge performing at the KiRette Couture fashion show. More details to follow later.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
The Bana Chief's House
A house in the Far North
Mankon Palace, Mankon
St Engelbert Cathedral, Limbe
Sultan of Foumban's Palace
National Anthem: Chant de Ralliement or The Rallying Song. The music was composed by René Djam Afame, who also wrote the words along with Samuel Minkio Bamba and Moïse Nyatte Nko'o. Revised lyrics were translated to English by Bernard Nsokika Fonlon
You like? Well come back tomorrow...we will feed you some more!
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
The earliest inhabitants of Cameroon were probably the Bakas (Pygmies) who still inhabit the forests of the Southern and Eastern provinces. Linguistic evidence however indicates that the area now known as Cameroon and eastern Nigeria was the place of origin of the Bantu people.
- After the 12th century AD, the organized Islamic states of the Sudanic belt, especially those of the Kanem and Fulani peoples, at times ruled the grasslands of northern Cameroon. Small chiefdoms such as the Bamoun chiefdom led by the Sultan Ibrahim Njoya, dominated the western highlands and coastal areas.
- Cameroon derives its name from the Portuguese language. Fascinated by the large shrimps they saw on Cameroon’s coastline, 16th century Portuguese explorers named the area Rio dos Cameroes (river of prawns). However Hanno from Carthage in North Africa (Tunisia) was the first navigator who reported the sightings of Cameroon after seeing Mount Cameroon. Astounded by volcanic activity the mountain, he called it the “Chariot of the Gods.”
- Malaria prevented significant European settlement and conquest of the interior until the late 1870s, when large supplies of the malaria suppressant, quinine became available. The early European presence in Cameroon was primarily devoted to coastal trade and the acquisition of slaves.
- Northern Cameroon was an important part of the Muslim slave trade network. The trade was largely suppressed by the mid-19th century. Christian missions, freed Jamaican slaves from Sierra Leone established a presence in the late 19th century and continued to play a role in the Cameroonian life.In 1884 Cameroon came under German rule after the explorer Gustav Nachtigal negotiated protectorate treaties with the local chiefs.
- One key resistance leader during this period was Rudolf Duala Manga Bell, successor of Manga Ndumbe Bell. A well educated Duala King in Europe and understood the colonial system. He became the leader of a pan-Duala resistance to the policy of the German Reichstag who had developed a plan to move the riverain Duala inland to allow for wholly European riverside settlements. Manga Bell’s ferocious anti-colonial resistance culminated in martyrdom; he was hanged for high treason by the Germans.
- When World War I broke out, the territory was invaded by French and British forces. After the war, one-fifth of the former German Kamerun, which was contiguous with eastern Nigeria, was assigned to the Britain, and the remaining four-fifths was assigned to France under League of Nations mandates.
- The post-World War II period ushered in a new wave of self-governance struggles across Africa. In 1957, the French government created the autonomous state of Cameroun, and Cameroonian institutions were created along the lines of French parliamentary democracy.
- The following year, Cameroon’s Legislative Assembly of Cameroun voted for independence by 1960; France and the UN General Assembly assented. In 1959, the last step in the evolution of political institutions prior to independence took place when a government of Cameroun was formed and given full internal autonomy. Ahmadou Ahidjo became prime minister.
- Earlier in the year, on 1 January 1959, the Kamerun National Democratic Party (KNDP) had won the general elections in Southern British Cameroons, and John Ngu Foncha became prime minister. Soon Foncha and Ahidjo were discussing the possibilities of unification upon the achievement of self-governance.
- On 1 January 1960, Cameroun became an independent republic, with Ahmadou Ahidjo as the elected president.
- During 1960, consultations between Foncha and Ahidjo continued, and a proposed federation was tentatively outlined. On 11 February 1961, separate plebiscites were held in the Southern and Northern British Cameroons under the auspices of the UN. The voters in Southern Cameroons chose union with the Cameroun Republic, while those in Northern Cameroons opted for union with Nigeria.
- A draft constitution for the federation was approved by the Cameroun National Assembly on 7 September 1961, and the new federation became a reality on 1 October. The Cameroun Republic became the state of East Cameroon, and Southern British Cameroons became the state of West Cameroon in the new Federal Republic of Cameroon. Ahmadou Ahidjo was president and John Foncha his number two.
- A proposal to replace the federation with a unified state was ratified by popular referendum on 20 May 1972.
- By constitutional amendment, the office of prime minister was created 2 months later and Paul Biya was appointed to the post.
- In November 1982 he resigned and was succeeded by Biya. Ahidjo remained head of the ruling party, the Cameroon People's Democratic Movement (CPDM).
- Following allegations of a military coup plot allegedly masterminded by Ahidjo, the former president retired to France in August 1983 and Biya became party chairman. Ahidjo was sentenced to death (later commuted to life imprisonment) in absentia in February 1984. Biya suppressed a military attempt to overthrow him and later abolished the prime ministerial role.
- Despite the launch of democratic reform in 1990 political power remains firmly within President Biya’s oligarchic system.
Mountain: Mount Cameroon, 13,350 ft
National Name: République du Cameroun / The Republic of Cameroon
President: Paul Biya (1982)
Prime Minister: Ephraim Inoni (2004)
Population: 18,467,692 (2008 est)
Provinces: 10 namely: Adamawa (1), Centre (2), East (3), Far North (4), Littoral(5), North (6), North West (7), South (8), South West (9), West (10).
Largest City / Economic Capital: Douala
Monetary Unit: CFA Franc
Languages: French & English (Both official) plus 24 major African language groups.
Ethnicity/Race: Cameroon Highlanders 31%, Equatorial Bantu 19%, Kirdi 11%, Fulani 10%, Northwest Bantu 8%, Eastern Nigritic 7%, other African 13%, non-African less lan 1%
Religion: Indigenous beliefs 40%, Christian 40%, Islam 20%
Main Rivers: Benue, Nyong & Sanaga
Echoes memories of your school days, stuck in histoire geo class?