Michelle Ndoki is the first National Vice-President of Women of the Cameroon Renaissance Movement.
She questions why we don't get upset when crazy things happen to us.
This is an open forum.
Michelle Ndoki: Why don't we hear our cry?
Do you sometimes wonder what some words mean that you know perfectly, that you have used all your life, but that you have never thought to define? It happens to me, and there, I wanted to look for the meaning of the word "scream". On the website of the National Center for Textual and Lexical Resources, the CRI is defined as follows: Sound(s) generally brief and high(s), emitted instinctively by the vocal cords under the effect of certain emotions. Or: Brief words spoken in full voice to warn someone, to express something, and in this sense, a call or a warning, in case of danger or to encourage struggle. The cry, the text continues, is a powerful inner voice, spontaneously translating a sincere opinion, an impulse of the soul.
Why don't we hear our cry? I asked myself this question again, reading the news that follows one another: A Ekondo Titi, Emmanuel Orume, 12 years old, Emmanuel Kum, 17 years old, Joyceline Iken, 16 years old were killed in the attack on a school, as well as Mrs. Song Celestina Fien, French teacher.
In Bamenda, Brandy Tataw, 7, was leaving school when a "warning shot" intended for a vehicle that refused to comply with a traffic stop hit her in the street. She died instantly, like Carolouise, 6 years old, 29 days before her, in Buea. Like so many others, who die every day, every day that God makes, somewhere on our Earth, the Cradle of our ancestors, whose names no one knows, because it is hard to say, but they were adults, so it is "less serious".
In Buea, on November 12, 2021, an explosion injured several people at the University of Buea. The explosive device was reportedly thrown at the roof of an amphitheatre.
And then the daily Le Jour announced that "The lawyers of the separatist detainees put down the dresses". The lawyers of the detainees following the announcement of a new wave of protest by the President and the spokesman of the CRM had also announced on September 14 that they were giving up defending their clients, and the clients to defend themselves.
Why don't we hear our cry? Who is suffocating it, us? The cry is not a maneuver, not something that requires reflection, preparation, organization. It is an ELAN OF AME. It's instinctive, primary, it says we're here, we're ALIVE, and we want to stay that way. This is what happened in Buea on 14 October, in Bamenda on 12 November. People, especially women, were screaming. They didn't say a political demand, they didn't carry the flag of a country, they didn't carry a sign with a message, they just shouted.
And that was enough, we all understood what they were expressing, everything there is to say about what is happening to us. Not only to Carolouise or Brandy, or to their parents, to those they loved, not just Achille Rodrigue, or to his mother, his sister(s) and brothers, to all those who knew him, loved him and cried. To all of us. On October 14, 2021 in Buea, as on October 24, 2020 in Kumba, on February 14, 2020 in Ngarbuh, there were screams. And then they fell silent. Why did they fall silent, why does the call, the warning, this powerful inner voice, go out so quickly, hear so little?
What do we need to understand? It's not bad enough, it's not horrible enough, isn't it happening to us? But then who is IT, US? The family in the strict sense, the family in the broad sense, the clan, the village, the neighborhood, the city? The country? What does the country mean? The murdered journalists, the villages erased from the map, the lawyers being shot at in the courtroom, the collapsing judicial system, the people arrested in a totally random way in a street in their neighborhood, sometimes even at home, deported hundreds of kilometers away, incarcerated for years, only to learn that they will no longer have a lawyer, so that there will be no/no more trials?
When one day, by chance, armed men tear you from your life, others throw you into an overcrowded, dirty, foul-smelling place, whose walls ooze with violence, fear and despair, and no one knows when you will go out, it happens to whom? The "secessionists", the "Anglophones", the "Boko Haram", the "MRCists", they, us, WHO? We see, we hear, we KNOW. The cries of distress of the victims of state oppression and repression have reached us, so we KNOW.
But then, but finally WHY DON'T WE HEAR OUR CRY? What does our silence say about who we are, Children of my Earth, today?