WHAT IT TAKES TO BE A CAMEROONIAN
This is crazy right? Ever heard of things you only see in China? I am going to tell you of the things you see only in Cameroon. I am going to tell you WHAT IT TAKES TO BE A CAMEROONIAN.
- Can you guess the number of mother tongues we have in Cameroon? One Nation, ten Regions, two official languages and about two hundred and forty-seven native languages huh! The count of native languages we have in Cameroon will make you wonder on the how we get to understand each other. If there are still some Cameroonians who can’t speak our two national languages then please tell me what happens at the level of our native languages? Big disaster isn’t it? Trust me the diversity in native languages really makes communication difficult between natives from different tribes. Ha ha, its so funny how a country like mine will have so such a wide variety of native languages. Why can’t we just be like the Nigerians who have four native languages or Congo with just one? Anyways if you must be a Cameroonian, then you must learn to live with this.
- This might be funny but I tell you something, this particular one has always made me laugh because its so funny, hahaha: even our national television station finds it so difficult to meet up with time respect. In the past, Info time over our national television was programmed for thirty minutes and after many years of exceeding time, Info program has been extended from thirty minutes to forty five minutes. Hahaha so tell me, where is the lie? If you ever watched series over our national television then you will agree with me that the news always takes five minutes into the series time. Being a Cameroonian eh! It is a lifetime of amazement as we do live along with the odds and I believe you too can learn to get along.
- It’s only in my sweet country at a popular roundabout known as “round point Sandaga”, Douala Littoral region, that you will notice law and order with long wipes ready to flog stubborn bike men in a bit to make them respect the rules and signs of road usage. Hush! But this is no joke the rate at which some bike riders in Cameroon are careless and stubborn eh it just makes me wonder why and if these people value life because most often they act like animals who need a master to put them back on track. You find bike riders using the wrong tracks just because they are escaping traffic and can’t wait to drop off a passenger and pick up another. Its a pain but we have to deal with it and getting used to it is becoming the only option.
- Which other country will you find office occupants take their break at twelve noon and make it a three hours thing? In my country, you will go to an office and find offices still closed at 2:30pm on grounds that their occupants stepped out for break. Isn’t this funny? I remember visiting an office in Douala and couldn’t get attended to just because of this. On that lucky day, it was rainy and I got to that office by ten A.m and due to crowd couldn’t be attended to immediately and before I could notice, it was twelve noon and the next thing was the door closing anyways it was break time and I just had to wait till break was over but the more I waited the more I saw no trace. Got tired and looking at my time it was three P.m and few minutes after Mr man was here but most annoying thing was the words that came out of his mouth as he made his way into his office “you all will have to return tomorrow as you can all see it’s late and I can’t do anything for you now”. I felt like: What??? Are you serious?? In this my country eh, nothing miraculous you won’t see and I bet you have just heard of a few of “Les ways du Kamer”.
- Funny how you get to a service point and you are disrespected hugely by the receptionist or secretaries. If I’m to mention where the real issue comes from I mean the highest rate of disrespect will be from service points like snacks, restaurants, and hotels. When you see how most waiters and receptionists talk to clients in this country you will wonder if you owe them a service rather. You salute them, they ignore you and do not say a word, you try to get an information and all they do is answer you like they don’t remember their paycheck is from the services they render you. In few words most times I just wonder if some people actually work because they need money or because they like what they do but one thing is sure when you come to Cameroon be ready for disrespect from most services points because its a hobby to them.
- Have you ever stopped perhaps to buy a set of articles sold at a determined price? Only to propose to buy half the item for half the price and the seller is like “Its all or nothing”? Well welcome to Cameroon the land of unimaginable happenings. Do you know, I once stopped by the roadside to buy oranges from a lady and it so happened that this lady had put six oranges at a cost of a thousand francs CFA and when I asked her to give me three for five hundred francs eh , guess what! Oh! this woman calmly said “NO” to my proposal saying it was either I bought it all or nothing. Ha ha I was so shocked and I just couldn’t believe my ears again it happened at the level of the market when I wanted to buy smoked fish I just ask myself what some of these sellers are doing out there because it doesn’t even make sense. Now don’t be surprised if your visit to Cameroon makes you witness this or something similar.
- Have you ever been the one to give a refund to the seller? Welcome to Cameroon where these days you go to the market, supermarkets and bakeries to buy and the seller comfortably sits there and ask you if you have coins to makeup your purchase because they don’t have change and you really see them putting no efforts to get it. Do you know in this situation you either try to get the change or they rather not sell? What a messed up situation? You won’t believe I went to the market, got some items worth one thousand two hundred francs and gave that woman the sum of two thousand francs and she looks at me without taking the money and says she doesn’t have coins to give back to me. I just laughed and took something from her to round up the sum to one thousand five hundred francs. Hhhmm nothing you won’t see in this country!! Can’t figure out what happened to my sweet country, before now buying was way smoother and you were flattered to buy. Times have changed!!
- Being a Cameroonian means carrying your own plastic bag to our supermarkets and bakeries. I is such a disgrace that big sale points with big names will treat you with no respect but small retail stores in residential areas will package whatever you buy from them. Its such a pain when you are well dressed and need to take a plastic bag along with you to a supermarket or a bakery damn! Where do they expect things bought to be put in? Well if you are new in Cameroon and want to buy from a shop just go along with a bag and don’t be surprised if you are asked to buy a plastic bag: that’s how we roll here.
Guys lets have a break here because if we keep on its going to be non stop and we’ll be rethinking, laughing out lungs out. Cameroon is a sweet place and visiting won’t be a bad idea and I choose to share these so that an experience of any of the above; won’t surprise you. In a nutshell, it takes more to be a Cameroonian than just being a Cameroonian.
What do you think it takes to be a Cameroonian?