Interviewing a few of them on phone, they told me they are in full support of the Anglophone struggle, aired out on the impact of the Anglophone marginalisation on their education and economic life and suggested a way forward.
26 year old Secondary school teacher in Lebialem tells us the effects are so huge he is now thinking of attempting farming to flush the emptiness:
'The Consortium is doing pretty well and its time government reacts to the demands and voices of the people. These ghost strikes airing the grievances of Anglophones are seriously affecting me as a teacher. I am not motivated to teach and study. As I speak, I am seriously thinking of farming, and also study music and ICTs. This does not in any way dissuade my belief and support for the Anglophone struggle for Federation is a system where different people live together as one.'
35 year old Beteck from Kumba thinks the buttons should be pressed a little further for action.
'This morning, the town of Kumba woke up to calm with the effective take off of flourishing businesses and the presence of police officers at every junction of the city. Some teachers have stormed their school premises but there is not a child with a uniform in any of the schools. I wish different parties engaged in a peaceful resistance that would not affect the studies of the children, thus spare UNESCO from declaring the academic year Blanc. I have not personally suffered from the Anglophone marginalization but I have suffered abuse and manipulation from persons close to me. This fight should help mute the different forms of abuse and insults Anglophones have endured in places of work situated in the French speaking side of Cameroon. I will shock you with some details about detained files in high offices kept by Anglophones. I have a case the Head of State should have addressed still warming the walls of an office cupboard of an Anglophone. However, I am an Anglophone who is in support of the Anglophone struggle. I have my personal grievances which the Lawyers and Teachers have denounced and addressed in these protests. I stand with them for a Federation because it will enable the united central government to function in accordance with separate units that each control it’s within. This will stop the public works ministry from building roads in particular regions and abandoning others to their fate.'
19 year old Form Five student from SOH-NGWO-NJIKWA, Momo Division, North West Region, who has been a drop out for years due to lack of means to fund her education, and only started school this academic year in Buea, Michelle KIM tells us how frustrating this is for her.
'Things haven’t changed much. I am not happy because I am supposed to be a G.C.E Ordinary Level candidate this year and my dreams have been shattered with this fight. I am feeling bored at home and I am missing my friends in school. One year will pass us by and we will mark time on the spot watching others excel. Nothing is going on here in Buea bet for the Fact that places are cold. With these recent developments, I think we should separate from French Cameroon and give ourselves a chance.'
40 Year old Ginia KUM who is a writer, counsellor and parent in Bamenda regrets the fact that her son won’t go to school like other students in the eight French speaking regions of Cameroon.
'The ghost town has stopped. But the teachers and lawyers strike continues. The detainees have been released but some parents have not found their children among. As for school re-opening it is not going to happen anytime soon. And this affects me as a parent because children should be going to school.'
45 Year old Roland KWEMAIN, Founding President of the Cameroon Leadership Academy, 2010 World JCI President and CEO of Go Ahead Africa, who is also a parent shares the frustration his son endured missing school on January 9, 2017.
'Then this morning our first Son knew that it was practically impossible for him to go back to school despite all the goodwill of his parents he was so sad and really frustrated. We began a long conversation of questions and answers session on what was really the matter? “Why is it that all these people are radicals and rebels? Why police all over the streets?” He asked.It has been one of the most challenging situation as a parent to see our children staying home for almost 2 months as a result of the strike of the “Anglophone” Teachers. It was not easy to explain to this 13 years old boy the difference between Radicals and Rebels.
Radicals, if their cause is fair and just, change positively and peacefully the society. Ghandi, Martin Luther King Jr, Mandela, Rosa Park, Patrice Lumumba, Kwame Khrumah, Douala Manga Bell, Um Nyobe, Thomas Sankara… These are individuals who were also put on court-martial or sentenced to death because their radical thoughts and philosophy were ahead of their time.
Where would the world be today if these so called “radicals “had not displayed the audacity to express the truth? Am very convinced that the world would have been far better if more individuals had the courage to advance a radical, yet true, cause. Most often the route to sustainable achievement is a drastic attitude to a rotting problem. Our greatest challenge, if we are labeled a radical, is to stay true to our truth.
As we start this week, let us bear in mind that Rebels promote insurrection meanwhile Radicals renovate. Radicals want to improve the current structure. Rebels want a detached identity.
In my humble opinion, Radicals are not Rebels but Inspiring Leaders!'
Is the Anglophone struggle rebelious or radical? This is a billion CFA question every national from these opposition strongholds will have to ponder on before further engagement. For it is a good thing to fight and it is even better to fight wisely for a just course. “The man who passes the sentence should swing the sword. If you would take a man's life, you owe it to him to look into his eyes and hear his final words. And if you cannot bear to do that, then perhaps the man does not deserve to die.”