Monday, July 25, 2022

The Colbert Factor: Letter to Emmanuel Macron, French President

Your Excellency; welcome to Cameroon, 'land of promise' and 'land of glory'; after winning your second and last mandate as President of France, Cameroon's (former) colonial master. I know you come as a master who wants to see first hand how his (former) estate is farring. No gainsaying the fact.

Your decision to visit Cameroon this Monday July 25, 2022, may seem innocent to many, but by God's design, it's providential. July 25, in the church's year, is feast day of St. James, one of the two sons of Zebedee and first matrye of the 12 apostles. James is famous in the Bible because his mother, wife of Zebedee, who had great influence on Jesus went kneeling infront of Jesus, requesting that he commands that his two sons, James and John, take the first position in Heaven: one on his left and one on his right. Although Jesus disappointed her by saying that her sons may only have the privilege of sharing in his suffering, the decision on who goes to Heaven is that of his father, not his. 

The announcement of your visit to Cameroon today creates the same anxiety and expectation Zebedee's wife and children had as Jesus was approaching the end of his mission on earth. Just as they thought Jesus could reserve the two privileged positions for them in Heaven many a Cameroonian in general and citizens of native West Cameroon in particular, look up to your visit and meeting with Cameroon's long serving President, as a moment of clarity. Just like Jesus used the opportunity of Zebedee's wife's intersection to clarify the limit of his powers, you may also use this visit to clarity your concerns about the plight of Cameroonians, to which France has contributed directly or indirectly.

You are visiting Cameroon, when citizens of the native West Cameroon are yearning for greater autonomy or outright autonomy from mainland francophone Cameroon because of the French colonial legacy of assimilation. President Biya himself confessed to have found difficulty absorbing the Anglophone minority when he last visited France; but for their tenacity. Today, Anglophones and those who have opted to call themselves 'Ambazonians', are monitoring every move of yours in Cameroon today, and looking up to knowing whether you have understood anything about their language since 2016.

Like James, the first apostle to be martyred, thousands of native West Cameroonians have been martyred for their fate in the former British colonial heritage for their English language and common law system. You are visiting when the remaining few surviving English speaking Cameroonians are 'afflicted in everyway, but not perplexed; persecuted but not forsaken; struck down but not destroyed', (confer 2 Corinthians 4:7-15). And still hoping you may do something (even though a majority do not believe in your sincerity). 

Like Jesus, you may be telling them you don't have the powers to divide Cameroon into two (that is, grant tge wish of Ambazonians), but you can bring pressure to bare on our leadership to grant native West Cameroonians (living in the North West and South West Regions), greater autonomy. France's concern about the welfare of minorities pushed them to fight for greater autonomy for Quebec in Canada. 

Today those living in the French speaking region of Canada proudly refer to themselves as nationals of Quebec in a united Canada. That is why Canadian Prime Minister could easily declare that Quebecois are Quebec nationals in a united Canada. That is why they enjoy greater advantages than ordinary Canadians. That is why they attend schools in France on home tuition. That is why they go to 'Le Jeux de la franchophonie' with a Quebecois-only football team, not Canadian national team as Cameroon does for Commonwealth games, year-in, year-out.That is why it suffices for any Canadian to declare that he/she is Quebecois and becomes one, just as Cameroon nationality code indicates who can become a native West Cameroonian.

His Excellency, can you impress it on Cameroon leadership that a better way of ensuring Cameroon remain one and indivisible would be to replicate the Canadian example of a special status to the Cameroon situation?

Would you be kind enough to reason President Paul Biya to the effect that if he continues delaying on granting greater autonomy, many an English speaking Cameroonian could change their minds, given that the Universal Declaration of human rights is categorical on the fact that no one be forced to belong to a country s/he no longer shares its modus operandis and modus vivandis? 

Given that with technological advancement and free movement today, nationality has been reduced to one's ability to contribute to the social, cultural, political and economic growth a country, not just the fact that one born there and that the constitution states so (and many a native West Cameroonian are not fulfilling such criteria toward Yaounde today), can His Excellency from France agree with His Excellency at Etoudi, that henceforth, native West Cameroonians should proudly refer to themselves as Ambazonian nationals living in a united Cameroon?

Even if the point were not to go back to 1961, can English speaking Cameroonians be offered the same privileges Quebecois have in Canada today? Can they be allowed to organize their Anglo-saxon school and common law systems their own way? Could they be allowed to take part Commonwealth games with Ambaxonian-only team as Québec does for la francophonie games ? Affaire a suivre...

In the meantime, welcome Mr.Emmanuel Macron, French Président. Kindly make hey while the sun shines.

*Colbert Gwain is digital rights advocate, author, radio host and content creator @TheColbertFactor

WAIT! BEFORE YOU GO ON about your daily chores, ask yourself: How likely is it that the content you just consumed would have been created by a different news outlet if The Colbert Factor hadn't done it?

Just think of what the media landscape in Cameroon today would look like without The Colbert Factor thinking out of the box. Who would accompany you in challenging the boundaries of conventional thinking? Who would help you relive John Naisbitt's paradym's shift to the effect that: 'The new source of power is not money in the hands of a few, but information in the hands of many'?

There's no gainsaying the fact that the kind of content we create not only helps in putting the right information in the hands of many, but is also necessary for democracy. It emboldens us to uphold our freedoms and inalienable rights.

In these challenging times, a truth-seeking and informative local news organization like The Colbert Factor is essential. But, it's not easy, cheap or profitable. The Colbert Factor is a solution-oriented, independent non-profit content creation medium. It serves as the 'first draft' for newspapers, radio and TV stations, online news outlets and blogs. We don't have ads and we are independent of corporate and government interests. 

You can help us continue creating more investigative, balanced, fair, reliable, credible and educative content, by donating your widow's mighty mite through MTN momo number: 677852476

...And you would be contributing to a free press.

When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)

Monday, July 4, 2022

The Colbert Factor: Cry, the beloved SDF

The Colbert Factor

Cry, the beloved SDF

Certainly, Ni John Fru Ndi sold the book: "Cry, the beloved country", by Alan Paton when he ran his Ebibi bookshop at the Bamenda Central Business District in the 70s and 80s. The book that captures the extremes of human emotions and chronicles the themes of social, economic, cultural and political alienation as well as identity in the South African society, today, more than ever before, speaks to Fru Ndi and the leading opposition SDF party he abandoned the book industry and birthed. 

Formed in 1990 to right the wrongs of social, economic, cultural and political alienation of Anglophones by the majority francophone body polity after the 1961 reunification arrangement, SDF since encounted teething challenges unsitting the entrenched autocratic Yaounde regime fronted by President Paul Biya. One of the regime's vocal supporters at the time, late Francis Nkwain had challenged Fru Ndi's claims to Cameroon's Presidency on grounds he was a 'common' bookseller. Intriguingly, and immediately after he was dropped from Biya's government, H.E Francis Nkwain authored a book that was described by the Chronicle newspaper at the time, as 'just a common book'.

And so, a chain of 'common' things ranging from the SDF Chairman's mesmerizing dance gone viral on social media, with the wife of Cameroon's Labour and Social Security Minister, Gregoire Owona, who doubles as assistant Secretary General to the ruling Cameroon People's Democratic Movement, CPDM, through unpaid rents at the Bamenda Party Offices, to the now famously famous missive to the party's Chairman by a group of 27 bigwigs yearning for greater transparency and accountability in the management of party affairs; seriously threaten the very existence of the SDF. 

Many are those who thought leading opposition SDF party Chairman, Ni John Fru Ndi, would be sitting quietly at home burning up the midnight candle and reeling over the acquisitions levied against him by some party bigwigs. To their dismay, the enigmatic character had decided it was a non-event and went partying with his political adversaries.

Although many others have been quick to compare the recent Fru Ndi dancing spree at the 'enemy's home to that of former Vice President of the then Federal Republic of Cameroon, H.E John Ngu Foncha, in 1972 in Foumban, where he was seen dancing off with a young, beautiful and irresistible Foumban girl, while the 1961 federal constitutional arrangement was being torpedoed; Fru Ndi's partying only went a long way to enable former native West Cameroonians re-live the pre- independence epoc. Then, politicians of different divides would board the same car to campaign venues, mount the same soapbox, rain abuses at each other and after that, drink in the same bar as if they had no political and ideological differences.

Unknowingly, Ni John Fru Ndi, longest challenger to incumbent President Paul Biya, made a powerful political statement at the Gregoire Owona event. Adorning himself in grassfield traditional regalia and beautifully doing it out with Gregoire Owona's wife to the rhythm of rumba music (rumba has just been recognized by UNESCO as protected cultural heritage that promotes cultural diversity in the age of globalization), Fru Ndi made good the political statement that Cameroon could only pretend again to be one and indivisible if gentlemen's agreements' are respected. 

Although Fru Ndi has since the unfortunate outing of the 'Mbouda 27' worked to give the impression it was a non-event, the memo arrived like a hand grenade thrown into the SDF house to blow out the boundaries of unilaterallness.

The group seemingly accuses their party Chairman of running the SDF (in the same way Biya does with Cameroon), like a village provision store. Those who grew up in Muteff village would quickly grasp the imagery. A certain store owner, Bobe Jacks Nsani, (apparently the only comprehensive store owner in Muteff village), would actually see a villager approaching his shop, yet he carefully locks it up and goes to his farm, requesting you come back by evening if you still have need for what you wanted to buy. He could lock up the store for one-two weeks and travel out of the village. On return, he offers no excuses or justification for the prolonged absence. He would rather expect the helpless villagers of Muteff to be thankful he came back in the first place. He would determine prices of articles depending on who was infront of him. If at the moment a customer was approaching his counter, he had a change of temperament, the customer was likely not to be served any article from that store. No questions asked. The 27 party bigwigs who recently met in Mbouda think the SDF is down that my village store road. 

For over 30 long years, SDF National Chairman, Ni John Fru Ndi, had been the leading voice for change in Cameroon. He is today being seriously challenged by the group of 27, to be the change he wanted to see. Just like Stephen Kumalo in "Cry, the beloved country", whose journey from the remote South African village of Ndotsheni to Johannesburg makes him to be deeply aware of how his people have lost the tribal structure that once held them together (as his sister, Gertrude, who has become prostitute and liquor dealer in Johannesburg disappears after arrangements have been made for her return to the village), Ni John Fru Ndi is now beginning to realize how the SDF have lost the social structure that once held them together. And, he would be leaving an unfinished manuscript if he leaves a divided SDF house. 

Although the wrangling within the SDF is set in the present, (misunderstanding over party's participation in last May 20 National Day activities), the undeniable past informs each faction. Like in John Osborne's play, "Look Back in Anger", the past highlights each faction's dreams and desires for the SDF, yet hides any readily available notions of what the future might hold for them. The current conflict is rooted in alienation and identity in the post-2018 SDF.

Just like in the 50s where the phrase 'angry young men' was coined to refer to a group of young British writers who were railing against the Establishment, the group of 27 who met in Mbouda to sign the memo against SDF chairman, are certainly the 'angry old men'. Perhaps the key to understanding the stalemate is not in the 'angry' or 'man' part, but rather in the 'old'. The group of 27 are apparently looking back in anger at the SDF of yesteryears where each time NEC was to meet, all eyes and ears were turned towards Ntarikon-Bamenda and where Yaounde regime elements would nose around, all day, to know what again was off SDF sleaves. Today, they are certainly being haunted by a too-docile and too-complacent-to- their-liking SDF. They are haunted by a sense of time slipping by unused (to borrow a Larkinesque turn of phrase), as the 27 see themselves drifting ever more quickly and inexorably towards old age. 

They think Fru Ndi, (who had in the past, insisted it was the militants and not him to decide who would be his successor), is leaning dangerously towards his Vice, Hon Osih Joshua, a Yar'Adua-like figure (in reference to a one time weakling Nigerian President). Perhaps, they need to be reminded that Fru Ndi, while expressing his intentions to step down from active politics at next year's elective convention, already expressed the wish to see the younger generation take over. And the young generation does not come in short-supply, both from within and without the country.

Like Fru Ndi, Jacks Nsani, the Muteff store owner, was a strong and robust personality who was always on his feet trying to grow his business. When he got bogged down by age and ill-health, he started encountering challenges of succession in his image. Unfortunately, he cast his net on a 'Yar'Adua-like figure. And before he died, the village provision store was already in fast decline. Hopefully, it shouldn't be the case with the SDF.

Certainly not our wish. Fru Ndi still has the wherewithal to quickly fix things. He has overcome more daring challenges in the past. He may lack the likes of the Joseph Mbah Ndam (imposing and level-headed personalities) besides him, but he has groomed enough minds in 30 years to assist him weather the storm by bringing back the 27 'rebellious' members into the fold. If he can today see eyeball to eyeball with the Owonas who stole his Presidential election victory in 1992, what would be difficult in reconciling with disgruntled militants?

Cameroon is already into so many conflicts needing SDF attention than this one brewing from within. SDF's quick reconciliation from within may act as a booster to greater Cameroon reconciliation to end the bloody Anglophone conflict.

As the National Chairman begins the journey of understanding how the people he painstakingly groomed in the past tortuous years, are posing a serious challenge to his last days in office, the SDF that he courageously birthed, still offers hope for a better future.

When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Donga Mantung Family Agro-pastoral Farms Beneficiaries Share Best Practices

Representatives of 42 leaders of farmers organizations in Donga Mantung that have benefitted technical, material and financial support from the Programme for the Consolidation and Sustainability of Family Agro-Pastoral Farms(PCP-ACEFA) have validated the 2020 group analysis publication. The document was validated on June 8, 2022 in the presence of the Divisional Delegate of Livestock, Fisheries and Animal Industries, and the Divisional Delegate of Agriculture and Rural Development for Donga Mantung respectively. One of the most thrilling exercises of the day was the presentation of best practices. During the workshop that took place at CEDID Conference hall in Nkambe, participants were given the opportunity to share their field experiences and results achieved in order to permit their peers to capitalize on best practices. 
In order to valorise the results so far achieved in the various speculations, emphases were laid on the aspect of the technical itinerary, which resulted to good results, or which necessitate improvement. In this regard, the main focus was on the margins of crop and livestock activities as well as the results of the production system. From the presentations, indicators were rife at that in 2020, ACEFA generated a geometric increase in crop production as well as other two livestock activities (goats and mixed cattle rearing). Analysing the experience shared by the farmers, Tarla Valentine, Coordinator of ACEFA in Donga Mantung Division said that the exercise is very important given that it showcases the agricultural potentials in the Division and shall go a long way to bring various stakeholders closer to the farm families so as to develop fruitful partnership. He added that the exercise will empower farmers and more so, it will develop more adaptable policies that can impact family agriculture positively through strategic sub sectors, given the presence of the references produced. It is worth mentioning that PCP-ACEFA is funded under the debt relieve contract (C2D Funds). The programme started in 2008, with Donga Mantung coming onboard in 2015 and has been in her third phase since 2019. The programme funds projects between FCFA 500.000 and FCFA 6.000.000 to the tune of about 70-85%. Projects which can easily benefit from ACEFA funding include among others, production equipment, tree crop nurseries, production infrastructure, storage facilities, conservation, processing, marketing etc. 

 Analysis of References 

The Family Agro-pastoral Farm Programme was launched in Donga Mantung Division in 2015 with main objectives geared towards improving on the income of the family agro-pastoral enterprises by consolidating and improving agropastoral counselling devices. The programme equally seeks to modernize the production apparatus through the financing of investment projects of producers organizations as well as institutionalize the agro-pastoral counselling system through the creation of an agropastoral agency. 
In 2020,out of 42 Family Agro-pastoral Farms, the publication highlighted that 11 farmers (approximately 24%) were involved in goat rearing, with per head range from 02-25 goats making an average of 09 goats per head. In cattle rearing, 15 family agropastoral farms out of 42 were involved in cattle rearing and the per herd range from 3-91 cattle with an average of 77 cows per herd. In crop production, 41 farmers had 66 plots with farm sizes ranging from 0.1 to 1.5ha, giving an average of 0.5ha. 

Geometric Increase Recorded

Farmers during the presentations testified that they recorded in increase in production and revenue. The grazers reported that they recorded in average income of FCAF 1.2 million as compared to the FCFA 300.000 they used to have. On the other hand, goat breeders recorded an average income of FCFA 375.000 thanks to the programme. As for the crop farmers, there was a geometric increase in the production of maize associated with other crops like beans, potatoes, cocoyams, sweet potatoes, yam, groundnut etc.
Isa Sale from  Binka said from the training he received from ACEFA, he is able to know how much he spends in a year and how much benefits he makes. At first my family used to depend only on maize cultivation and njama njama, but now we have integrated market gardening in our farm. And we have recorded an increase in our family income. 
Another fascinating story was that of a young Fulani herdsman who said he was advised by one of his uncles to go into gardening. He said when he started, his friends saw it strange but after 12 years in gardening, he says he is a proud rich farmer. Another farmer told the story how she from her farm, she is able to pay school fees for her kids, pay hospital bills and meet up all the house needs. My farm is my office and it is thanks to ACEFA that I am making huge income from the crops i grow. My annual income ranges between FCFA 200.000 to FCFA 300.000 per season. 
 However, the socio-political crisis and the humanitarian support from FAO which were distributed in the Division by SHUMAS affected the prices of maize and other food items as rice was given out to families for free. Besides, the report equally revealed some constraints faced by the beneficiary farmers organizations. These problems include no proper control of animals, high mortality rates, poor health measures and the rampant farmer/grazer conflict. It was agreed that in order to mitigate, farmers have to first of all adhere to technical advice, acquire quality seed material or breeds, embark on the development of improved pastures and to seeks the support from the competent services of MINADER and MINEPIA. 

When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)

Friday, May 27, 2022

GLFx Nkambe 2022 Activities Launching on World Biodiversity Da


At 2pm on May 22, 2022, members started arriving the conference hall of Millennium Star Hotel in Nkambe. At 3pm, Haruna
 Mohamadou announced the arrival of the chairman of the event in the person of the Divisional Delegate of Forestry and Wildlife for Donga Mantung Division. The event started with prayers. Madame Gwei Kindness took the floor to prayer for God Almighty to be the main guide of the event. After the prayers, Fai Cassian Ndi, coordinator of Youth Development Organization-Yodo/ GLF welcome all the members and partner organisations. He used the opportunity to expressed gratitude to the entire GLF community, GLF team, CIFOR and the Robert Bosch Foundation for the timely support which he said will enable them to engage communities to act on landscapes. He added that GLFx and Yodo Cameroon will also work in close collaboration with other organizations through active engagement and sharing of ideas to ignite communities to actively participate in restoration activities, conservation practices so much so that everyone could secure sustainable livelihood. He emphasized that this year, GLFx Nkambe chapter will work with schools, traditional leaders, fish farmers, local water management committees and the Nkambe council. On the local partnership, he cited Camitex, Pan African Parliamentarians Network on Climate Change, Pan African Climate Justice Alliance, Sustainable Run for Development, Foundation for a Green Future and the Cameroon Telecommunication-Camtel. He also announced the names of chapter members who were to receive certificates of participation for the two days Youth Leaders Summit( world peace game) organized by Boston Green Fest Future Leaders Summit and Foundation for A Green Future as well as participants of the 2022, World Water Day Youth Summit. The certificates were handed over by the Divisional Delegate of Forestry and Wildlife, and the Farm master of Technical School of Agriculture Nkambe, Mr. Tamfu. After that exercise, Madame Gwei Kindness, knowledge coordinator of the chapter presented the Community Action Plan for 2022 highlighting the major axes, expected results and the indicators. These activities ranges from planting trees, distribution of trees to fish farmers, support to local water management committees, award of prizes to students trees growing competition (winners) and the holding of open dialogues. Speaking during the official launching of the Divisional Delegate of Forestry and Wildlife for Donga Mantung, Periementah K.N appreciated efforts by GLFx Nkambe to scale up restoration activities at community level. He reiterated that GLF programme is unique because it addresses very pertinent issues that seek to mitigate the loss of forests and land degradation among the several challenges people are facing nowadays. According to Periementah K.N addressing problems that undermines land productivity, food security, water scarcity or restoring biodiversity is a lofty initiative which ties with government agenda. Harping on the importance of Biodiversity Day, the Divisional Delegate was categorical that planting and nurturing trees to grow go hand in hand with promoting biodiversity. “Trees help bring nutrients back to into the depleted soil, help protect water sources and provide shade for crops” and that trees also help to protect species that are in danger by preserving their habitat. He however promised that the Divisional delegation of forestry will support and work in close collaboration with the chapter to ensure success. After that, members were handed Camtel sims to enable some of them to get access to the internet at very moderate rates. It is worth mentioning that GLFx Nkambe Chapter benefitted from Blue package flitte which will improve communication in the chapter. Members will benefitted three free numbers and low cost data under the special the event launch, HRH Fon Stanley Chifu called on the population of Nkambe plateau to join GLF to protect water sources and the small patches of forests. He said that in recent years, water has become a scarce commodity. To him, water scarcity has reached crisis level. He equally used the occasion to call on the Ministry of Forestry and Fauna, through the Divisional delegate to support communities to restore degraded landscapes. “Climate change is already here and GLFx is the surest partner”, HRH Fon Stanley Chifu concluded. The event ended at 5:30 pm with group photos 

When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)

Monday, May 16, 2022

The Surprisingly Positive Flip Side Of Nalova Lyonga's Student Pregnancy Pass

The Colbert Factor:

The Surprisingly Positive Flip Side Of Nalova Lyonga's Student Pregnancy Pass

Secondary Education Minister, Professor Nalova Lyonga's radical new move to correct the scripts of decades of Government's authoritarianism in systematically dismissing pregnant students from colleges in Cameroon may at first sight seem controversial.
Yet, a deeper reading reveals a tsaunami of equally systematic injustices to generations of female students who have been deprived of their education, and by extension, life-long opportunities, simply because they got pregnant.

Despite years of lobbying and advocacy by local women's rights' campaigners who were largely inspired by regional and international instruments duly ratified by Cameroon, it took the courage and dogged determination of Professor Nalova Lyonga, to reverse the retrogressive Government decision.

Cognizant of the fact that the Minister's decision was informed by UN human rights instruments that urge state parties to 'recognize the vulnerability of adolescent girls', school authorities and the education community must only be encouraged to implement Nalova Lyonga's decision, to the letter.

For, once the girls are allowed to drop out of school because of pregnancy, they are easily lured into 'early and forced marriages, which reduce their opportunity to complete school, develop employable skills, and contribute to community development'* 
To better understand the import of the recent ministerial decision, one only needs to go through available research on the subject. Going by a reproductive health report published on January 5, 2022 by some seasoned Cameroonian researchers, including Joelle Sobgwi Tambekou, Marthe Tsague Agnoux, and Flavien Ndonko, under Open Access, 77% of pregnant school dropouts in Cameroon, never return to complete their education. A situation Secondary Education Minister, Professor Nalova Lyonga is fighting tooth and nail to reverse.

More dangerously, the research results point to the fact that almost one in five (19.3%) of teenage mothers interviewed confessed to have had induced abortion, at least once. And this is where Professor Pauline Nalova's preemptive foresightedness comes alive. Her logic: If a student and by extension, some parents, know for sure the child's education would not be tampered with, they would not take the risky option of abortion-a thing many parents and sometimes authors of such pregnancies, have forced the victims to do,-a thing the victims themselves have voluntarily done. 
What results in immediate risks of death for some, and long-term consequences of infections and barrenness, for others.

The Open Access researchers reveal that Cameroon's national registry for single mothers, Reseau Nationale des Tantines (RENATA), or National Network of Aunties, (an auntie being a single mother trained in reproductive health and adolescent rights), has over 20,000 members, belonging to 305 associations nationwide, with 42.3% of them having dropped out of school due to unplanned pregancy. The study also names pregnancy as the second cause of school dropout in girls with 16.9% dropout rates, after financial problems. It was probably for this reason therefore, that the Minister sort to reverse the alarming situation, and in a more productive manner.

With some studies already conclusive on the fact that the long-term consequences of early child birth on a teenage mother's social status and child development could be lessened by continuing education, and that educational continuity may reduce the risk of subsequent pregnancies, one could only applaud H.E, Professor Nalova Lyonga's decision to reverse the outdated 1980 circular prescribing dismissal as only sanction to a pregnant student.

Professor Nalova Lyonga's proactive decision not only helps to bring back Cameroon to the table of Commitment Makers at the UN Women's Generation Equality Coalition, but also aligns with the thinking that since student pregnancy is just a temporary disability, and that since a woman does not get dismissed from her job simply because she got pregnant, the female student should be allowed to continue her education. 

Professor Nalova Lyonga's recent directives come to correct and complete Nathaniel Hawthorne's story of sin and punishment, of the strengths of women and the weakness of men, in the famous American novel, 'The Scarlet Letter'. Although the Scarlet Letter 'A' that Hester Prynne, the main character in the fictional story, is forced to wear, is a punishment for adultery in Puritan New England, Professor Nalova Lyonga, who was long time lecturer of 'The Scarlet Letter' in the University of Yaounde and beyond, completely redefines it in today's Cameroon to mean, 'able' or 'angel', and no longer a badge of shame.

Just like Rev. Dimmesdale, the clergy man in The Scarlet Letter convinces the Governor to allow Hester tokeep her daughter, Pearl, with her as a constant reminder of her 'fall and transgression'.
This could be evaluated to, Cameroon' Secondary Education Minister convincing school authorities, both public and private, to allow pregnant students to stay in school, as a constant reminder of their 'fall and transgression'.

If 'The Scarlet Letter' continues to be taught in schools today because it is a direct path to students engagement with the past and the future, Professor Nalova Lyonga completes that relevance in her directives by tasking school authorities to systematically include sexual and reproductive health education into all lessons.

Professor Nalova Lyonga's latest edict is therefore, a wake-up-call that we cannot continue to live in a repressive and authoritarian society, as it is analogue for the girl child in particular and humankind in general. 

It demonstrates in triumphant detail that change is possible in Cameroon once we have the right people with the right mind frames.

*Colbert Gwain is digital rights activist, author, radio host, Commitment Maker at UN Generation Equality Coalition, and content creator @TheColbertFactor

WAIT! BEFORE YOU GO ON about your daily chores, ask yourself: How likely is it that the content you just consumed would have been created by a different news outlet if The Colbert Factor hadn't done it?

Just think of what the media landscape in Cameroon today would look like without The Colbert Factor thinking out of the box. Who would accompany you in challenging the boundaries of conventional thinking? Who would help you relive John Naisbitt's paradym's shift to the effect that: 'The new source of power is not money in the hands of a few, but information in the hands of many'?

There's no gainsaying the fact that the kind of content we create not only helps in putting the right information in the hands of many, but is also necessary for democracy. It emboldens us to uphold our freedoms and inalienable rights.

In these perilous times, a truth-seeking and informative local news organization like The Colbert Factor is essential. But, it's not easy, cheap or profitable. The Colbert Factor is a solution-oriented, independent non-profit content creation medium. It serves as the 'first draft' for newspapers, radio and TV stations, online news outlets and blogs. We don't have ads and we are independent of corporate and government interests. 

You can help us continue creating more investigative, balanced, fair, reliable, credible and educative content, by donating your widow's mighty mite through MTN momo number: 677852476

...And you would be contributing to a free press.

When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)

Saturday, May 14, 2022

The Numfor Solange Foundation Empowers Communities in Limbe on Waste Segregation

Two localities in Limbe II Council in the South West Region of .Cameroon have benefitted material support from The Numfor Solange Foundation to engage in waste segregation at community level. Speaking during sensitization and handing over of waste bins to the beneficiary communities, the Mayor of Limbe II Council expressed gratitude to Dr. Numfor Solange for the timely support. Chief Ndive Woka Daniel Ngale equally used the opportunity to thank The Numfor Solange Foundation, Tohoko University and The Numfor Solange Foundation for extending a hand of fellowship to his fast growing municipality. Harping on the importance of the project to his municipality, Chief Ndive Woka said plastic pollution is one of the major problems in his municipality. 
The Divisional Delegate of Nature Protection and Sustainable Development, Madame Ekwangeh Mercy applauded the donor for encouraging waste collection, reuse and recycling. She added that the waste segregation and sensitization project will go a long way to impact the lives of the poorest of the poor. However, before handing over the support to the beneficiary communities of Batoke and Mokundange, volunteers carried out sensitization campaigns moving from household to household where they lectured on household waste separation and how families could generate compost manure from homes. 

Talking to the press after the handing over ceremony, Dr. Numfor Solange, CEO of The Numfor Solange Foundation said plastic pollution is everywhere due to the poor management of waste at local levels. She emphasized that the segregation and sensitization project is the begining of a large recycling project that will in the nearest future cover the entire Fako Division. According to Dr. Numfor Solange, the project will impact lives given that it will generate more compost manure and stimulate farmers to go into regenerative agriculture. The representatives of communities of Batoke and Mokundange communities promised the support will be used for the purpose intended. Due to the hike in the prices of fertilizer, beneficiary communities expressed much thanks for the support. It is worth mentioning that The Numfor Solange Foundation also received support from Hon. Agho Oliver Bamenju, a Master Degree student at Tohuko University, the same institution that funded the project. 

Sunday, May 8, 2022

WICUDA Goes Blue with CAMTEL

The Wimbum Cultural and Development Association has gone Blue. The Wimbum Cultural and Development Association's head quarters was today dressed in Camtel colours. The thousands of Wimbum people in Yaounde are expected to switch to Blue Camtel network. Prospects are high at that all WICUDA branches nationwide will join the bandwagon to switch to Blue Camtel so as to enjoy cheap and latest digital technologies. 
Following the contract signed between CAMTEL and MTN, where there is MTN network, there is equally CAMTEL network. Sources at CAMTEL have hinted that in the few months, Camtel network will covering the entire Donga Mantung Division. An authoritative voice also adviced that it will be of great advantage to get Camtel sims to access the fastest G4 network. 

Sunday, April 17, 2022

Ndu Council, WICUDA, Ndu MP Donate to Displaced Population of Mbongong

There was euphoria at the Ndu council esplanade on April 16, 2022 where the Ndu Council and its partners; Wimbum Cultural and Development Association(WICUDA) and the Honorable member of Parliament for Ndu, Hon. Naomi Ngando donated to the displaced population of Mbongong affected by the recent crises of March 29th that led to death of four persons and destruction of properties.
Beneficiaries included Wimbum and Mbororo people. The crises sparked off when three mbororo men were executed in cold blood by separatists operating in the area. In retaliation, the Mbororo community went on rampage and burnt houses in Mbongong which resulted to one person losing his life. However calm has return to the area with a call for peaceful coexistence to reign among the two communities as it has been in the years past. "Nobody is a stranger in mbongong and we shall continue to live together as one people" reiterated Mayor Abdou Kanfon Borno during the distribution exercise. The item shared ranges from food to mattresses, blankets, dresses etc 
*The Mbongong Community Received Relief Package From Ndu Council, Ndu MP and WICUDA*

Sources say a consignment of basic needs and food items got to Mbongong today Saturday 16th April 2022.
The Ndu Council donated -100 bags of 25kg rice 
-30 cartons of groundnut oil
-10 bags of maize
-5 bags of beans
10 cartons of sugar and
-50 two-place matrasses.

The Ndu MP Hon Ngando Naomi Mbonyor and WICUDA donated 20 bags of 50kgs rice, 4 belts of used clothes and blankets, 3 bags of maize and 2 bags of beans.

The above items were distributed to the Wimbum population of Mbongong, the Fulani of Mbongong, Njipyang, Ntayi and Sirtang.

Speaking on behalf of the Ndu Council Mayor, Ibrahim Jiberu Ndzi used the tongue/teeth relationship to emphasize the need for peaceful coexistence despite man's imperfections and his tendency to sin. 

Imam Ahmadu Babaiya, speaking for the Mbongong Community thanked the donors immensely and prayed that Allah bless them abundantly for this wonderful act of generosity. The Joro of Mbongong, Abdullai Ndzi equally extended the deepest regards of the affected Community to these friends in time of need. 

 Imam Ahmadu Babaiya, expressed the helplessness of the population of Mbongong in the face of growing insecurity in the area and called on the living forces of Ndu to help reconcile the Wimbum and the Fulani communities of Mbongong as there were still visible signs of tension. In times like this, he continued, it's needless crying over spilled milk and concentrate efforts towards averting future reoccurrence.

The Fulani community of Mbongong received their own consignment at the cattle market. The Fulani of Njipyang, Ntayi and Sirtang were present and collected their own consignment as well.

Speaking for the Fulani community, Alhadji Yukuda Nana expressed deep feelings and added that the gesture was timely judging from their precarious condition. He said they know only Mbongong village and no other place in this wide world. Living in peace with their Wimbum brothers, he said, is not only necessary but an imperative. They are very conscious of the need for peaceful coexistence and shall exploit any given opportunity to work towards that. 

The body language of both communities indicated regret for the senseless lost of lives and significant material damages.

On their way back, the distribution caravan passed through Mbipgo Fon's Palace to Fai Ngantu and Fai Ngotong sub palaces of Fuh and Njipmbo respectively. At every stop, the palace or sub palace package was delivered and the essence of the mission explained. The Fon, Fai Ngantu and the representative of Fai Ngotong all expressed happiness for the goodwill gesture and in turns recounted their ordeal with the influx of people from Mbongong on that faithful day and the days that ensued. 

The mission was a huge success and feedback from both communities signalled hope. The ground is very fertile to sow the seed of reconciliation. The authorities of Ndu must seize the opportunity, for "a stitch in time, it is said, saves nine."

Ndu Council shall continue with the relief package to Gidado and Mbandfvung communities on Sunday 17th April 2022.

When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)

Monday, April 4, 2022

Hon. Agho Oliver Takes Parliamentary Goodies to Elderly

 77 years old Mama Lum Monica of Njibujang- Bafut is the first beneficiary of Hon. Agho Oliver Bamenju's parliamentary largess to the elderly. What else could an elderly person needs in life more than a comfortable sleep in a clean environment. This is exactly what Hon. Agho Oliver, the MP for the Bafut/Tubah constituency is doing for the elderly. 
Working in collaboration with Juliana Sirri's community-based foundation, Vision for Hope, the program seeks to reach out to the poorest of the poor in the Bafut/Tubah constituency. This is however, the first of it's kind from a Member of Parliament. Prospects are high at that this action by the MP for Bafut/Tubah constituency will ignite Parliament to look into the living condition of elderly in Cameroon. A school of thought holds that Hon. Agho Oliver could be the right person to advocate Cameroon Parliament to look into the challenges of the elderly, to bring together those of interest on issues of the elderly, as well as creating awareness for Parliament to adopt laws that provides minimum benefits to the elderly to live decent lives. Why not a Parliamentary Network of Ageing and Old People in the Cameroon Parliament?

This action by Hon. Agho Oliver puts to spotlight that there is need to provide minimum standards of living conditions for elderly persons like, Mama Lum Monica. It should be recalled that the parliamentary largess to Mama Monica was made up of a new bed, bedsheets and blanket. 
Overwhelmed by the magnanimity of the MP, the old widow thank God Almighty for making her smile again after years of living in deplorable conditions and abandonment. She saw in Hon. Agho Oliver and Vision for Hope Foundation, the husband to widows and the underprivileged and prayed God to continue to replenish and protect their sources. For the Bible teaches us that God loves the cheerful giver. 

When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)

Thursday, March 31, 2022

Act 1 of Mbum Fons Union: Franklin Ndzi Nformi Coronated Ntumfon

The constituent general assembly of the Mbum Fons Union held in the Nkambe Fon's palace from March 28-29, 2022 to review, amend and adopt the constitution of the newly created Fons Union. At the end of the two-days meeting, an executive bureau headed by the Fon of Talla ( Tang clan head) was elected. Prospects are high that this union will act as a catalyst for peace and sustainable development. In order to engage in its mission, the Mbum Fons Union coronated one of their sons as Ntumfon. ( The union's messenger). Franklin Ndzi Nformi alias Shey Frank, was coronated and catapulted be the Ntumfon of Mbum Fons. Ntumfon Franklin Ndzi Nformi is President of Nkambe Central Fish Farmers Cooperative and one who has for years moved up the ladder of tradition and culture. To many who had the opportunity to witnessed his coronation, he is the right man in the right place. A school of thought holds that no other person deserved that honour more than Shey Frank. When it comes to the Wimbum promotion of the Mbum cultural heritage, he has been a real role model. There is no palace in Mbumland that Shey Frank has not reached out to.
 While waiting for administrative papers which will confirm the legality of the Union, impressionists are holding shoulders high that the future is likely going to be bright in Mbum land. This is so because of late Mbum land has recorded several skirmishes amongst fondoms which could easily be solved amicably but nothing was being done in that light. The new generation of Fon might be able to create this long expectation as the union has taken on right (left) foot with energetic move. 

When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)