Blakk Rasta, the Reggae man and Pan-Africanist has added his voice for the Francophone government and Anglophone secessionists to confer and make tradeoffs to quell violence and restore peace in Cameroon.
On October 24, 2020, armed men attacked a school in Cameroon’s southwestern town of Kumba killing at least four children and wounding at least 15 others.
The Cameroonian government blamed separatists who had ordered that schools in the area be closed. The separatists are fighting for the creation of an English-speaking state they call Ambazonia citing oppression from the majority Francophones who make about 80 percent of the population and government.
According to the United Nations, the separatist conflict in Cameroon has left over 3,000 people dead and half a million displaced.
Cameroon is a curious country. Its very name is a derivative of the Portuguese camarões or “shrimp.” Its bilingual identity was shaped by European colonial powers.
In 1916, France and Britain seized the territory from Germany, later dividing it between themselves. In 1960, French-speaking Cameroon won independence and established a new nation: La République du Cameroun. The following year, English speakers in part of the British territory opted to join Cameroon, and a bilingual country was born.
Although its home to more than 200 local languages, French and English are its official languages.
“French speakers largely control Cameroon’s government and its elite circles, and some Anglophones have long felt marginalised by the central government.”
By 2016, the conflict which has now extended to killing school children took shape when English-speaking lawyers and teachers organised peaceful protests against the government’s assignment of French-speaking judges and teachers to English-speaking courts and schools. Even graver, was government jailing these protesters enabling an even more defiant and militant group to emerge demanding a stop to the oppression.
Cameroonian troops stand accused of opening fire on unarmed civilians and burning down their homes in the Anglophone villages. Given that the Anglophone group is not particularly keen on joining Nigeria given their sour experience but rather for the agreements from the Foumban Conference to be respected, there’s hope.
In his Cameroon song, released via his YouTube channel on December 1, 2020 produced by HotMix, mixed by Nana Fynn and shot on location in Ghana by Stanley O, Blakk Rasta questions why the hate admonishing the parties to share the cake.
He said it was unacceptable for mother and babies to be dropping like flies while paying homage to Cameroonians Ahmadou Ahidjo-the country’s first President, Ernest Ouandié- leader of the struggle for independence in the 1950s and Roger Miller-one of Cameroon’s star footballers.
According to Blakk Rasta in a Deutsche Welle (DW) interview by Isaac Kelechi, he speaks up now because he doesn’t want “his children to grow on a continent that has nothing but thieves and demons.”
The Barack Obama hitmaker observe Cameroon was a beautiful country which must not be allowed to implode adding he hopes his Cameroon song will spark a campaign across Africa to put critical attention to the ill treatment being meted out to the English speaking folks in Paul Biya’s country who by law are desiring of rights, privileges and access open to their French speaking counterparts.