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Assuming our Own Turpitude
“Paint me as I am, warts and all” (Oliver Cromwell)

If you were born in Sipandang, you can talk. If you were born in Ambam, Jakiri, Bogo, Mokolo or even Bafia, you can talk. You are entitled. If you were born or have decided to live in Heaven, i.e. New Jersey, Lausanne, Bata, Québec, Marseille, Maiduguri or Sidi Bou Said, where they ride on silk roads, pay no bribes, play on manicured football pitches and never die of malaria or kidney failure, please go away. You cannot talk. You are not entitled.

Le 11 août 2017

The unfair and vicious bashing of anything Cameroonian must stop. We are increasingly looked down by the entire world, our integrity is openly questioned, our abilities are pooh-poohed and we are the favourite butt of jokes even in our backyard. It is now to the point where a puny fellow from a no-name country feels he can freely insult us on the football pitch. The nerve !

This is our country, warts and all, exclusively ours. We are better than most at what we do. We have nothing to prove to anybody out there mouthing off against us in search of a temporary spot in the limelight. We have renowned scientists, doctors, teachers, footballers, business people. We are a decent, fun-loving, hospitable and caring people. We have played football at the highest level in the world well before most countries in all of Africa. We have Milla, Bell, Eto’o, Hayatou. These people have taken African football to new heights. No other country in Africa, and very few countries elsewhere, has such a worthy quartet to showcase. If you cannot say “Thank you Cameroon”, just walk away and go hang yourself, for all we care.

We have lousy roads. So ? We are sometimes rowdy and loud. We love to procrastinate and have perfected the art of the makalapati. We may not be as honest as we can be, our healthcare system is perfectible, our Cabinet does not meet regularly, our National Assembly does not seem to legislate much and our judiciary is baffling. These are some of our many warts. We can see them. We need nobody to notice them for us nor recommend cures made in Heaven.

Léon Gwod



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