Chapter III

Narrowing in On Cameroon

"This country is heading down to the abyss," I said to myself as I awakened the other morning. "If the situation is not quickly addressed and averted, then it might not take long." I was talking about Cameroon, of course.

How can Yaoundé, the capital city of this otherwise lovely country located at the heart of luxuriant Africa, a place that’s supposed to be a showcase of the entire nation, be such an unbearable place, such chaos? The city has no street lights. Its roads are full of pot holes, the houses lining the streets are muddied, pedestrians have to be extra careful otherwise they’d have their clothes splashed with mud.

How could the president and his ministers, who reside in elegant mansions, ever have respite in the face of this calamity? How could the president ever be so detached from the people he claims to govern? How could anyone rule a country for 15 years, preside over its demise and still smile? How could his ministers, who often travel abroad, be complacent with the appalling situation as it is?

It’s mindbending to know that there’s actually a ministry dedicated to tourism, equally baffling that there are those catering to diplomacy, trade and urban development and most especially the latter, whereas the streets of the administrative and economic capitals are impassable. You need a four-wheel-drive vehicle to make it through certain spots in Yaoundé and Douala. How long will it take the pot-bellied authorities of Cameroon to realize with the rest of the world that roads constitute the lifeline of a nation? I wonder what the Ministry of Tourism is selling and who presides over the mess that it is. How could the Ministry of External Relations welcome dignitaries to Yaoundé with a smile? Some say I talk too much, but anyone with a head would find this difficult to swallow, grasp and fathom.