News coming in from Bamenda, Cameroon: The AFCON champions were welcomed with a complete Ghost Town in the city of Bamenda today. The nation wide tour with the AFCON cup was a huge fail in this region of Cameroon. The cup will be heading to the city of Buea shortly, were a ghost town will be activated aswell. Like in Bamenda, there will be no one on the streets to celebrate or welcome the cup. This is a silent protest strategy against the Cameroonian government.
I am very moved by the injustices that plague society. And as an advocate for social justice, it pains me to see how the people of the Northwest and Southwest regions of Cameroon are being ridiculed and subjected to questionable conditions, one being the network cut off.
How can internet be cut off from an entire region just like that? How are businesses supposed to function? How would researchers access articles? How would international transactions be done? How would families in these regions communicate with their loved ones at home and abroad? In addition, living in anxiety of what may happen next, in fear of the ones meant to protect us and in fear of not being heard does not only cause stress but also long term trauma, especially for children. As I ponder on these happenings a verse from scripture which has taken me through many times of difficulty comes to mind. Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
To be honest, how can I truly celebrate this phenomenal win, when the Southern region of the country is currently militarised, suppressed and network is cut off. I can’t pretend and I can’t brush aside the tough reality they are facing in that region of the nation at the moment. Football has always united Cameroonians. We take great pride in our Lions, but this time, the joy does not feel complete. I want to be glad but… Alot is going on back home which does not permit that. How can I? When one can’t even communicate with love ones back home to celebrate the win? When people are living in fear. When I walked around Bamenda recently, I saw broken people, burdened spirits and deep struggles. The streets were no longer the same. And now with the internet cut off, who knows what will happen next?