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The Disillusioned African

2007, author(s)-editor(s) Francis B. Nyamnjoh

This humorous tale of the naïve and curious African student-cum-philosopher wandering between North and South, the rural and the urban, has been in gestation for a period of nearly two decades. With allusion to traditions of the philosophical novel and the picaresque, Nyamnjoh’s protagonist travels from his African village to the sharply divided and socially cruel world of 1980s Britain. By casting aside his disillusion and the traps of servitude and victimhood, The Disillusioned African reveals his creative potential for curiosity and adventure. He brings a bird’s eye view, always affectionate, gently mocking, to the cultural idiosyncrasies of the new world he encounters, which throws his own African culture, politics and socio-economic realities into light relief.

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ISBN 9789956558025 | 264 pages | 203 x 127 mm | 2007 | Langaa RPCIG, Cameroon | Paperback

8 Book Reviews

  • The Disillusioned African, by Francis B. Nyamnjoh 25 May 2009 19:30, author(s)-editor(s) Rosemary E. Ekosso

    The Disillusioned African, by Francis B. Nyamnjoh
    Reviewed by Rosemary E. Ekosso

    Francis B. Nyamnjoh. The Disillusioned African. Bamenda, Cameroon: Langaa Publishers, 2007. 264 pages. Available on Amazon.com & Michigan State University Press

    The relatively few people who read books published and/or written by Africans (when they can find them) might find that some of these works are famous for little other than their typesetting errors. I once got into trouble for telling a rather self-regarding young reporter that while I thought it was a good thing for a country to have a vibrant private press, its effect was somewhat marred by the fact that half the words in his newspaper were spelled backwards.

    Needless to say, we did not part on friendly terms. However, the reason I mentioned this is that Langaa, which last year published the book I am attempting to review (it was first published in 1995 by Nooremac press) seems to have escaped this. It is true that a meal is much more that the plate on which it is served, but one does rather like clean plates in these matters.

    The page numbers I give below refer to the Langaa book.

    The preface to the book describes the author’s "subversive intent" as follows:

    "…to strip pretensions, to expose phoneyness and humbug, to expose the sores that underlie the veneer of African modernity…"

    No doubt this is in some manner true, but I saw the story rather differently myself.

    I would not call this book a narrative in the conventional sense, but it tells a story nonetheless. It is a story of time, the times we live in. It is also (and this is where then non-narrative part comes in) a story of a man’s mind. Charles is this man. His story is an engaging mixture of curiosity, great learning, down-to-earth humour, and social comment. He has left Cameroon for Merrie England to study philosophy, and he compares and contrasts the English society (and to my mind, the entire Western society by extension) with Africa. The hilarity occasioned by some of his observations is alone adequate recompense for buying the book.

    In some ways, this is a chronicle by an outsider looking in, sometimes with sardonic amusement disguised in intepellatory bonhomie, at the white people he sees in England.

    The writing style has a flavour reminiscent of what friends say to each other over a bowl of pepper-soup okra with liver, or the sort of eru, sold at 150 CFAF (plus canda, mind you) that I ate at the roadside near a garage in my impecunious student days.

    One reads Nyamnjoh with a sympathetic frowning laugh, because he will amuse and distress you at the same time. He will amuse you because his humour is the sort of laughter shared by friends in a truly convivial atmosphere (the like of which I have not often experienced outside Cameroon), and he will distress you because some of the things he writes about touch raw spots in an Africa psyche rubbed raw by humiliation and the power-grabbing antics of our aging President-Monarchs (such as constitutional reform).

    I am probably being frightfully uncharitable and may have misunderstood the prefacer, but the charge that Nyamnjoh is "throwing out the baby with the bath water" because, for instance, he "is disgusted by the publicity methods of aid agencies launching Third World disaster funds" seems a little curious. How many REAL lives has Bob Geldof actually saved? I think much of this publicity is aimed at giving a morally apathetic society the impression that it can still muster some stale dregs of goodness while, perhaps unwittingly, furnishing it with the handle with which it wields its great sceptre of superiority. The "Third World" (where did the second go?) needs fair trade, not aid.

    Among the themes dealt with in this book is that of the dislocation felt by many educated Africans, who labour under a feeling of inferiority to the white man and a feeling of superiority to the black man. I think our salvation would be greatly hastened if we examined this dislocation, and if we analysed the reasons for the white man’s "superiority". He wasn’t born that way, after all. But, as the protagonist says further on (p. 77), "Beliefs in one’s superiority or the inferiority of others are seldom informed by science, which in a way explains why such beliefs…are often repugnant to reason or common sense…"

    I particularly enjoy the side-swipe at the World Bank on page 60. It is a beautiful illustration of why outsiders will not solve our problems for us.
    Early in the second part of the book, the protagonist affords us a view of the English which is as clear as any I have ever seen. He talks about the ignorance in people who have the means to learn a great deal, even without really trying: "I can’t help feeling insulted by such inflationary ignorance amongst a people so endowed and felicitated." Later on, he says: "I’m tempted to think that no one here really thinks seriously of ignorance as a vice".

    On page 7, Charles says: "…the issue of double standards brings back to mind the pathetic case of the Koreans, who despite a 500-year history of self-government, saw their country sliced into two, ’because they were incapable of self-government’ after a brief 36 years of colonialism under the Japanese []". The author goes on to refer to the proposition that those who dominate you define you.

    That’s why I don’t want Bob Geldof to tell me he will give me food because I am not able to get it for myself. He has no idea why I am hungry.

    In places, the book reminds me of Ngugi’s Devil on the Cross. On p. 15, for example, there is "Prince Capital or Lord Greed".

    As I said in the beginning, the book, for all that I consider it to be a serious work, is replete with episodes of humour. A particularly good one is on p. 73, when the protagonist says that he does not wish to infringe a mythomaniac old white man’s "democratic right to falsehood". On p. 148, Charles says: "The English have set aside a particular day as one during which misfortune is most likely". That puts accusations of superstition and backwardness rather nicely into perspective, does it not?

    Nyamnjoh is scathing in his condemnation of what is wrong with Africa, but what I like most about it is that in writing this book, he, and others who think like him, are harbingers of change. For, as he says (p. 40): "But the day is not far away when the peasants will pull down their scales and trigger riotous anger. That day, there shall be no turning back".

    With fears that the regularly elected president-for-as-long-as-he-can-possibly-wangle-it in Cameroon wants to change the constitution, who knows when that day will come?

    Source: www.ekosso.com

  • Book Review: The Disillusioned African 25 May 2009 20:03, author(s)-editor(s) Kangsen Feka Wakai

    A Concoction of Paradoxes 
    Francis B. Nyamnjoh, 
    The Disillusioned African. 
    Langaa Publishers, 2007.

    Meet Charles, able-bodied African male of decent character with Herculean aspirations. Born sometime before independence swept through the continent; sometime before its echoing chants became the refrain of daily discourse; he is witness to the political and economic sameness of his world as it assumes different names but holds on to an ancient personality—tyranny. 

    An aspiring philosopher with the eye of an amateur anthropologist; Charles is a man of his time with a worldview molded by a ceaseless current of historical, socio-economic and political forces. It is the collision of these forces that compel him early on in his correspondence to make this confession:

    “…I have never read Marx. I don’t intend to in the near future either, and would challenge anyone who thinks I lack legitimacy as a philosopher because I ignored dear old beardy Marx! Just as one doesn’t need to be literate to be intelligent, so too, one doesn’t read Marx to be philosophical or critical-minded.”

    He is opinionated, compassionate, bitter, idealistic, profound, funny, idealistic, wounded, pragmatic, naive and often times outright dangerous—a sort of concoction of paradoxes. Yes indeed, Charles is a dangerous man; both to himself and to anyone not prudent enough to associate with him, but one with an uncanny sense of humor cascading through a world that defies his comprehension; Charles is an alien to his world, a stranger in familiar terrain. 

    He did not earn this undignified characterization and flaw in personality, being dangerous that is, because he possesses traits often associated with deviants or psychopathic maniacs: the type that prey on the innocent and feast on ill-gotten bounty, no! On the contrary, Charles is a non-violent and principled man who has earned a rank amongst ‘the dangerous’ because of his opinions, which by African, non-African, capitalist, and communist standards would be considered subversive. 

    Even though as an independent minded philosopher, his line of work is career-miles away from the frontlines of violence. But when all is said and done, Charles is a nemesis armed with an encyclopedic mind and a vitriolic pen.

    Charles could well be considered a product - social, economic, political and cultural - of the meeting between the conquered and conquistadors. He inhabits the chasm that lies between what was, what is and what ought to be; the embodiment of the foreboding questions that pester the collective African psyche.

    Like the high priest of urban ‘spirit’ music, FelaKuti, Charles is a mouthpiece, some kind of a medium, for the reexamination of his Africa [past and present], its scions and the root causes of the disillusion that he, a citizen of that space, knows and fully understands. It is a disillusion that stares at him like a phantom. 

    Francis B. Nyamnjoh’s The Disillusioned African is a relevant text in the pantheon of literature that emerged out of the continent following the political euphoria that erupted after Berlin’s reunification. Like Alice Walker’s Color Purple, The Disillusioned African unfolds as a correspondence between Charles, our philosopher friend sojourning through England, and his friend Moungo in the home country. 
    But unlike Walker’s protagonist who is engaged in a psycho-spiritual discourse with God, Nyamnjoh’s provocateur, Charles, is engaged in conversation with a fellow earthling, a confidante, and a friend, a fellow disillusioned African. 

    The novel can thus be summed up as Charles’ treatise on the African condition, as he understands it anyway. Oftentimes too polemical, it is tempting to confine it within the restrictive boundaries of ‘protest literature’ especially when one considers the prominence that Charles’s venomous dislike for all non-peasant rural Africans takes in the story. 

    According to Charles, the urbanites, middle class and most of all the ruling class are ultimately to blame for Africa’s current problems. One can only speculate that such sentiments were borne out of the failure on the part of the ruling class’s lack of vision in some cases and not out of a sheer malice on the part of our philosopher.

    In doing so, he doesn’t only decipher the mirage of modern nationhood but spits in its pretense and farts in its face. Charles challenges the reader to reexamine concepts as fundamental as national identity. At times audacious Charles mocks and condemns the ruling class.
    “My contention, dear Moungo, is that the traditional Africa, allegedly epitomized by the peasant class, which I happen to know well enough, is a symbol of tradition despite itself; the African peasants have been forced to pose as custodians of a tradition of which nobody, least of all the leaders, is proud.”

    But then, The Disillusioned African is also a story about a man trying to make sense of his world. It is a story about friendships. But it is also about an individual’s experience in nineteen eighties England. It is a story about alienation and disappointment. A story that floats from the gray walls of the Mandela hotel to the generous beds at the Hospital for Tropical Diseases; it is a disheartening but humorous journey through unfamiliar and forgotten landscapes. It is a journey through one man’s soul. 

    In a different context, perhaps under different circumstances, he [Charles] might have been a fountain of ideas, a visionary of sorts, whose input might carry enough weight to constitute the ideals on which forward looking nations are forged. But that is not the case with Charles. He never had that opportunity and as the novel unfolds, he would never get that opportunity.

    It was Wole Soyinka who pointed out that:“The crimes that the African continent commits against her kind are of a dimension and, unfortunately, of a nature that appears to constantly provoke memories of the historic wrongs inflicted on that continent by others. There are moments when it almost appears as if there is a diabolically continuity (and inevitability to it all?) to it all—that the conduct of latter-day (internal) slave-runners is merely the stubborn precipitate of a yet unexpiated past.”

    It is this “burden of memory”, as Soyinka calls it, which seems to permeate Charles’s outlook. 
    So, who is this Charles? Is he a person or a symbol? Or is he a creation of the prolific Nyamnjoh’s imagination? Perhaps he is both person and symbol inhabiting the countless spaces that Africans now occupy, as indigenes or exiles: in Bamenda, Lagos, London, Atlanta, Douala, Berlin, Paris, Dakar, Abidjan and Kinshasa. Charles is everywhere.

  • Book Review: The Disillusioned African by Francis Nyamnjoh 26 May 2009 00:33, author(s)-editor(s) Louise Cuming

    Some time ago, in 1993, a forum of Anglophone Cameroon writers held under the auspices of the Goethe Institute of Yaounde produced, among many excellent articles, a reflection by Tatah H. Mbuy on "The Moral Responsibility of the Writer in a Pluralist Society". Every such writer, says Mbuy, is to see himself as a spokesman for his society. He must seek the truth, propagate it and defend it. He is to be the prophet and soothsayer of his society, pricking the consciences of all and trying to correct faults where these are to be found. Elsewhere in this forum other participants described present-day Anglophone writing as concerned with "deconstructing victim hood", through a discourse revolving around shared values or reference points.

    This also entails the need to move on, into reconstruction of heritage that Cameroonians, and indeed all Africans, are clinging to precariously, in the pluralist era of Africa’s democratisation.

    It is in the new, post-election scene, which Nyamnjoh has described elsewhere as "a decline to one-dimensionalism", that "The Disillusioned African" takes his bearings on the world. Its framework is the ongoing politico-economic process of the 1990’s with its own peculiarly African ’fin-de-siècle’ flavour, seen from the distancing haven of an imaginary trip to Britain. The vehicle of communication is the letters of the philosopher-hero to his friend Moungo back home. The air-flight and touch-down, the first sight of London, the brief stay in academic Manchester, and an interlude in hospital, laid low with malaria, provide the author with a variety of jumping-off points from which to view both British society and his own.

    Part One, situated in the "Mandela Hotel", evokes reflections on leadership, class systems and the universal greed for wealth - or what may be called "officially-sponsored theft".

    Part Two provides much paradoxical comment on the foibles and attitude of what Nyamnjoh refers to throughout as the "Queendom" of Britain.

    Part Three chronicles life as the only student of a university department of philosophy, bringing in its train wry observations on the ambiguous cross-cultural influences that followed in the wake of colonisation and including an appalling, scarcely credible specimen of official memoranda from the Belgian government to the departing missionaries to what is now Zaire.

    From his hospital ward in Part Four, the narrator muses on the demise of Communist autocracies and their effects on the world balance of power: "Today, people have got to find new enemies, which isn’t easy... The truth is, people have simply got to have something they fear, for people are united more by FEAR than by LOVE." After drawing a parallel between leftist dictatorships such as that of the Ceasuscus, and the present modes of government of various African leaders, the book takes a helter-skelter, tumble-down free fall to the present day, to the chicanery of the 1992 Cameroon elections, and the hero’s flight from the central critical arena into his native Grasslands village.

    The book was written before the accession to power of Nelson Mandela, the Rwandan genocide or the depredations of devaluation in the economies of francophone Africa could provide further examples of both the best and the worst scenarios for a problematic future.

    Satirical writing has an honourable history among Anglophone Cameroonians, whose use of language as a political instrument is as powerful as any polemicist in nineteenth century England. Readers of Nyamnjoh’s previous work have grown to expect, beneath the racy, humorous style, an incisive and merciless analysis of social ills. Here is indeed a seeker after truth. However, where the previous book, Mind Searching, adopted the light-hearted and hilarious device of an extended daydream taking place in church, as a vehicle for his observation of the Yaounde bureaucratic and religious scene, this work seems to fish in murkier waters altogether. By the medium of an apparent, tongue-in-cheek naivety, by repeated digressions and diverse literary and historical parallels, Nyamnjoh’s subversive intent remains constant: to strip pretensions, to explode phoniness and humbug, to expose the sores that underlie the veneer of Africa modernity, particularly among the elites and their sad counterparts, the under classes. The vigour of expression reveals the bitterness that underpins the author’s surface urbanity:

    The African elite today loves kingly life so much that, at independence, what mattered to him most was political power, not economic power. The economic power was largely retained by the Europeans and expatriates, which is why the leaders suck the peasants like ticks in order to sustain their kingly appetites. Had the African leaders been sensible enough to think seriously of economic power as well, African countries today would certainly not be this dependent upon the unmechanised efforts of the peasants. And they would also be in a position to carry out their own development efforts, without necessarily posing as "les Mendiants du monde"."Beggars of the world, unite," Marx is likely to have written, had he been born in Africa." As he remarks elsewhere: "Nothing man-made is neutral, and this includes language..."

    A counterpart to the African dimension is the book’s extended commentary on life in the UK. Here is no innocent anthropologist. Charles’s uproarious tour of London, in the company of those unlikely twins, Thompson and Thompson, and compared by him to circumcision or an initiation rite, occasions a mixed bag of comments on the British world view. A few well-worn themes come up for comment: the behaviour of the British on trains; the national meal of fish-and-chips; and, inevitably, the weather: "The sun has not shone since I arrived in this Queendombut the English say this is the best summer they’ve had in decades."

    Many in his host country would share his reaction to instant foods, to the paradoxical attempts on both sides of the racial divide to change the colour of one’s skin. Though they might be puzzled by other assertions, such as the inferiority of the Queendom’s methods of washing-up, or the supposed inability of its subjects to dance? No doubt many a Dark Continental visitor will have suffered the same frustration at the Western doctor’s ignorance of malaria; even in the "Hospital for Tropical Diseases." Better not to go in the first place, but to stick with the traditional healers!

    Keba, like many other tourists, is ambivalent about Britain; not without his own ’idées reçues ’. At times, indeed he could be regarded as throwing the baby out with the bathwater: when, for example, he deplores the impact on Africa of Western education, or is disgusted by the publicity methods of aid agencies launching Third World disaster funds. In his search for inconsistencies, everything is grist to Charles’s mill; but one cannot be a universal sender-up without falling at times into inconsistencies of one’s own.

    In the wide spectrum of contemporary Anglophone writing Nyamnjoh’s genre stands somewhere between the sardonic humour of the political lampoonist and the anguished cry of prophecy. Bernard Fonlon, in his open letter to African students, declares:

    "Still I persist in the belief that it is necessary, even imperative, that at least some intellectuals should steel their will and brace themselves and enter the arena of politics in order to usher in and further though and conscience and righteousness and integrity in the conduct of public affairs."

    Is Charles’s withdrawal, at the end of the book, into his Menchum peasant community an admission of defeat, or a case of ’reculer pour mieux sauter’? Is there hope for the future? Does Nyamnjoh, in the terms of his fellow-authors quoted above, provide any ways forward to the reconstruction of the African heritage? Coming as it does at a moment of even greater economic peril, political passivity and mendacious propaganda than that prevailing at the beginning of the story, one is bound to say that the vision is indeed sombre, the sense of despondency profound.

    Yet this is a fighting literature and the analysis of victimhood is not wholly pessimistic. As witness the final, dream-letter from Keba to Moungo’s wife:

    "What we are witnessing are the signs of a crumbling system, one deaf and blind to the needs and wishes of our people. One in which the stomach has for thirty years been the only political compass. The violence and bloodshed show the tyrant as cornered and desperate, and with a little more effort and coordination on our part, tyranny would have met its Waterloo. Whenever the rays of change do at last penetrate the darkening thickness of our suffocating jungles, it shall be the result of a massive all-involving effort, the fruit of our collective suffering."

    Whatever the imagined future for Africa, this courageous book will certainly provide, for both its foreign readers and the young generation of Cameroonians, a provocative insight into the complex web of despair, frustration, paradox and hope that, on the eve of the twenty-first century, constitutes the "downtrodden and forgotten bulk of the Darkened Continent."

    One such young man, recently encountered in the North-West province, voiced his surprised discovery, rapidly growing into a conviction, that the liberation of Africa was not, as he had always thought, a process that would come upon it from outside, but a deep transformation to be wrought by each one from within.

    To all who have Africa’s interests at heart, the heartfelt cry of "The Disillusioned African" will come as a powerful incentive to set about the task of ’redeeming the time’ and, whether from without or from within, of building a better future for the Continent.

  • The Disillusioned African 23 June 2009 11:05, author(s)-editor(s) Harri Englund, University of Cambridge

    The Disillusioned African: Preface to the Second Edition

    Twelve years after it was first published, The Disillusioned African continues to speak to present-day predicaments. It is a remarkably prescient novel, one that demands no benefit of hindsight from its reader. The African is not simply disillusioned, both now and then. On the contrary, The Disillusioned African shows, both now and then, how disillusion stimulates creative energy in the African, forever alert to the evils of servitude and victimhood.

    In order to understand its current significance, The Disillusioned African must be seen in the historical context of its creation. The first half of the 1990s was an exhilarating period in Africa. Often seen as the second liberation, the democratization that swept the continent brought auspicious constitutional and economic reforms in its wake. The number of political protests increased dramatically from 1990 onwards, followed by unprecedented guarantees of basic political liberties. During the first half of the 1990s, the number of African countries holding competitive legislative elections more than quadrupled to 38 out of the 47 countries in the sub-Saharan region. By 1994, not a single de jure one-party state remained in Africa.

    Why disillusion? The African was unlikely to be surprised to discover that the de jure was different from the de facto. Colonial contrivances had etched on social memory the ever-present possibility that things are not what they seem to be. Disillusion, this novel shows, is essential to the creative tension that keeps Africa on the move, for only an Afro-pessimist would claim that the more things change in Africa, the more they stay the same.

    Africa is on the move not only through its political ferment but also quite literally through migration, no less now than when The Disillusioned African was written. Disillusion can become despair for those who seek a slice of the cake their forefathers helped Europe to bake. Some of them lose their lives even before they have found a big enough hole in the fortress to smuggle themselves in. Others, such as the protagonist in this novel, have qualifications to offer and a thirst for further education but find that their degrees and diplomas entitle them to little else than a job at the BBC (British Bottom Cleaners). Add to this the need for new enemies in the New World Order and the foresight of The Disillusioned African seems almost uncanny. ‘People are united’, our narrator observes long before 9/11, ‘more by fear and than by love’.

    It is in the protagonist’s eventual break with the conditions of his disillusion that we get the clearest indication of disillusion’s creative potentials. The much-travelled philosopher submits himself to the philosopher-peasant. A populist reversal of roles, perhaps, but also one that conveys careful consideration of what has kept the African disillusioned. The insight that emerges is made virtually timeless by the infinite ways in which a sense of intellectual and cultural inferiority informs the self-image among those Africans who deride their less educated compatriots. Disillusion, fomented at the heart of European hypocrisy, carries the promise of another future.

    Francis Nyamnjoh has consistently avoided, here and elsewhere, the sociological abstractions of tradition and modernity that have too often stifled literary expression in and about Africa. Just as philosophers and peasants enter a dialogue in The Disillusioned Africa, so too have Nyamnjoh’s more recent writings explored relationships between apparently separate worlds. The Convert, for example, offers a remarkably subtle perspective on the mundane problems that drive young Africans to new forms of charismatic Christianity. A Nose for Money, in turn, looks at salient social distinctions – village and city, women and men – through the lenses of consumerism.

    These distinctions recall others in The Disillusioned African, such as between Europe and Africa, philosophers and peasants. In this literary aesthetic, distinctions are not mutually exclusive alternatives. By attending to their creative tensions, Nyamnjoh takes his readers back to the future.

    Harri Englund
    University of Cambridge
    July 2007

  • Launch of The Disillusioned African by Francis B. Nyamnjoh
    Buea, Cameroon, 1995

    The launch ceremony for The Disillusioned African by Francis B. Nyamnjoh was chaired in Buea, Cameroon in 1995 by Prof. Sammy Beban Chumbow, with Francis Wache as Master of Ceremony. The following remarks by the Chair and guest speakers still ring eerily true today, 14 years later. The second edition of the novel was published by Langaa RPCIG.

    1. Opening remarks, collocational incongruity, and more by Chair, Prof. Sammy Beban Chumbow
    2. Literature and national consciousness by Dr. Talla Kashim
    3. African unionism by George Ngwane
    4. Transforming the way we see ourselves by Asonglefac Nkemleke
    5. How an idealistic disparager uses letters to communicate by Dr. Nalova Lyongo

    Download the document: Launch of The Disillusioned African by Francis B. Nyamnjoh

  • The Disillusioned African 27 June 2010 18:58, author(s)-editor(s) Sammy Beban Chumbow, Professor of Linguistics, University of Yaounde (...)

    Francis Nyamnjoh has a particular way of saying very serious things in the most unserious manner. He entertains, and in the process he moralises, he teaches, he gives you lessons learning experience and philosophy to give you a view of the dilemma of the African.

    Sammy Beban Chumbow, Professor of Linguistics, University of Yaounde I

  • The Disillusioned African 27 June 2010 18:59, author(s)-editor(s) Piet Konings, African Studies Centre, Leiden, The Netherlands

    In his characteristically humorous style, Nyamnjoh portrays the various social ills in society and castigates the political elite he holds largely responsible.

    Piet Konings, African Studies Centre, Leiden, The Netherlands

  • The Disillusioned African 27 June 2010 18:59, author(s)-editor(s) Louise Cuming, Catholic University of Central Africa

    Whatever the imagined future for Africa, this courageous book will certainly provide, for both its foreign readers and the young generation of Cameroonians, a provocative insight into the complex web of despair, frustration, paradox and hope on the eve of the 21st century.

    Louise Cuming, Catholic University of Central Africa