I am beginning to seriously pray that I find my own Naija guy. I talked about those personal perspectives of mine in our two countries love/hate affair in P1 which you could refresh on right here. To wrap up such personal discourses, a few announcements.
1) One of my cousins in the USA and her Naija beau are expecting twins anytime soon
2) I am attending a wine carrying ceremony right here in Kamerun (as our Naija cousins pronounce it) this weekend. It’s two sweet people I saw grow up in the parish I talked about in P1. The girl from Kamerun and another relation of mine, and the boy a Madu from Naija…
So, if all of that doesn’t tell you how much for better for worse our relationship is; then read on… even Ghana gets into the mix somehow…
- A) Learning 419 (419 is the art of scamming… simple is better)
When the Naija Nollywood star Ukwa sang maybe in the 1990s, that 419 is not a crime but just a smart game with a winner and loser; I think that song woke some of my Kamerunian ‘jobless’ brothers from ‘aimlessness’. I mean, we could all learn to play that ‘risky’ game right? Two decades later, at a recent workshop on cyber deviance and cyber insecurity in Spain, guess which three African countries topped the African continent’s ranking and even beat many Oyibo (white) countries to scamming? : 1) Nigeria and 2) Cameroon & Ghana in any order …
- B) Ghana must Go
There is a bag in our markets infamously known by that name. As the history goes, there were several Ghanaians in backyard Naija and yes, a smaller number here in Kamerun. We even have Koumassi street, Koumassi bar, Accra square – well nothing near the Naija names we have (ranging from Owerri to Ikeja of course via Lagos old road). I hear Ghanaians were no longer welcomed in Naija and the slang everywhere was ‘Ghana must Go’… we picked it up here in Kamerun and diplomatically asked them to Go… Today well, several years later, some Ghanaians may have gone from our both countries, but their presence, culture, and impact have stayed and maybe even become more prominent with their political ‘success’, movie industry and etc.
P.S to the above: Tonight I go to a movie premier (my first yeah) of the Cameroonian Movie: Why Marry? Our main stars therein are Patience Ozokwo (Mama G – Naija) and Van Vicker (Ghana).
- C) The Civil/Military Instability
I came across the CV of Africa on WhatsApp, and prominent on the continent’s expertise was the number of civil wars and coups she had masterminded. Sadly, one of the countries which topped the chart was Big Brother Naija. I remember my cousins who went to university in Naija and how they kept coming back after weeks because of one strike or the other; and then there is this appellation of part of my country (the Anglophone part) as Biafra. We are literally mocked and told Hey Biafrans if you don’t like it here, go back there after all the British administered that part of my country as part of Naija back then… But is that the way out? That may not be and I don’t know if that’s a good or bad lesson, but there goes our love/hate affair with Naija.
- D) Fanaticism or Religiosity
Let me go back to the 1980s again, abi don’t blame me, that’s how far back my memory goes… We used to hear stories brought back about the existence of ‘many different churches’ in Naija. We even saw some tracts and listened to some recordings. But hmm, call it fanaticism or religiosity, the bottom line is our Kamerun people caught up with that one. If not for population reasons, we can now beat Big Brother Naija to that one. We don’t need their stories anymore because we have plenty of ours – soon one per household. The names too range from flamboyant to single words like Fire, Wind, Light or a mild combination of two. The chic thing, however remains the invitation of a Pastor, Prophet, Anointed Man of God, Evangelist, Bishop etc from Naija to come grace your Crusade or big church event… Just put out the word one of them is coming and you’ll see the number of faithful triple in your congregation at least for that event.
All in all, we love each other, we love our music – at least I know here in Kamerun we honour Naija music and maybe play it even more than they do themselves. Even the bodyguard to a Naija star becomes a star to us if he shows up and Camerwood is bleedingly ‘copying’ from Nollywood… As for their signature Jollof Rice, I have still not gotten the secret, maybe an Easter trip to my aunt in Abuja will get this stuck in my head once and for all… It is for better and for worse Amen!
Visit Marie Abanga for more on her thrilling life, emotions, books and mental health over at : https://marieabanga.wordpress.com/