The Pied Piper of Exotic Southern Cameroons upon Ambas. Translation by Ntemfac Ofege

Southern Cameroons upon Ambas,
Below the soaring Fako Mountain;
The Atlantic Ocean, deep and wide,
Washes its wall on the southern side;
A pleasanter spot you never spied;
But, when begins my ditty,
Forty years and nine  this day,
To see the people suffer so
From vermin, was a pity.

Frogs!

They swarmed the land by daylight,

And sneaked in by moonlight,

Conned Old Man Foncha with sweet talks of unification,

And took over the government,

And spread their nature of infamy, fraud and corruption,

Split up the land into provinces, divisions and districts,

And became the occupier,

Named vile tyrants or pro-consults in charge.

Brought in gendarmes by the truckloads,

To spread terror and mayhem,

Murdered the trusting citizens at Santa and Ebubu,

Slaughtered the country’s strong democratic culture and institutions,

Fired Augustine Ngom Jua who protested,

And named two-face Solomon Tandeng Muna in his stead

Corrupted the entire civil service with paper money,

And savaged the territory’s once buoyant economy,

They took over CDC and killed POWERCAM.

Buried the thriving Victoria Seaport underwater,

And tossed the Tiko Wharf into the Muck,

Erased the Bali, Tiko, Besonabang airports.

And turned our towns into ghost towns, when not war zones,

They stole the oil by the tanker-loads,

And lapped up minerals from the mines at lowly Bafaka,

And ate of the proceeds until they dripped with fats,

They placed a bomb within agreeable Lake Nyos

Causing horrendous deaths in the thousands.
Wasted a nation’s education organization,

And roared in mirth as the children to foreign lands escaped.

Gave the themselves choice spots in the administration,

Turned the good natives into beggars,

And called then fools or enemies in the fold when they protested,

And even spoiled the people’s open chats,
By drowning their speaking
With Merde! and croaking
In fifty different sharps and flats.

At last the people in a body
To the Mount Mary Maternity came flocking:

Led thereto by Munzu, Elad and Anyangwe,
“‘Tis clear,” cried they, “our leaders are noddies;

Yawning when not snoring!
And as for the stooge of a Prime Minister —shocking
To think we make regular complaints,
To dolts that can’t or won’t determine
What’s best to rid us of frogs!
You hope, because you’re old and rheumatic,
To find in your cricket coats ease?
Rouse up, Sirs! Give your brains a racking
To find the remedy we’re lacking,
Or, sure as fate, we’ll send you packing!”
At this the leaders of the people,

Pa Foncha and Solomon Tandeng Muna twain,
Quaked with a mighty consternation.

At having been found out.

Three days they sat in council,
At length, Pa Foncha broke silence:
“For the old British Southern Cameroons crown I’d my robe of office sell;

Grand Chancellor availeth me naught.

These people do have short memories,

They forget so soon,

That I was from my lofty positions as Vice President dumped,

Er yes, and as perpetual Vice Chairman of the Party too,

These people are like elephants,

They do not see my mighty efforts.
I wish I were a mile hence!
It’s easy to bid one rack one’s brain— 
I’m sure my poor old head aches again
I’ve scratched it so, and all in vain.
Oh for some guns, some guns, some guns!”
Just as he said this, what should hap
At the chamber door but a gentle tap?
“Bless us,” cried Pa Foncha and Muna in unism, “what’s that?”
(With the Council as he sat,
Looking old and as skinny as a lath;
Nor brighter was his eye, nor moister
Than a too-long-opened oyster,
Save when at noon his appetite grew mutinous
For a plate of achu and goat-meat)
“Only a scraping of shoes on the mat?
Anything like the sound of a frog gendarme
Makes my heart go pit-a-pat!”

“Come in!”—Old Foncha cried, looking bigger:

Ay yes, and taller too!
And in did come the strangest figure!
His queer long coat from heel to head
Was half of Human and half of Peoples Rights;
And he himself was tall and thin,
With sharp blue eyes, each like a pin,
And light loose hair, yet swarthy skin,
No tuft on cheek nor beard on chin,
But lips where smiles went out and in— 
There was no guessing his kith and kin!

But like a dispenser of justice he looked!
And nobody could enough admire
The tall man and his quaint attire:
Quoth one: “It’s as Old Abendong!
Starting up at the Ntamulung grave
Had walked this way from his painted tombstone!”

To wreak justice upon they that murdered him.

 

To be Continued…

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