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« Bolloré in Cameroon: Another fox in charge of the hen-house? | Main


George Esunge Fominyen

I hope you develop these feelings and thoughts into a beautiful and thought-provoking novel.



There’s nothing for us here that really matters apart from work and money, I think.

I beg to differ strongly. There is good healthcare, law that respects our rights, good roads, good schools, electricty that is constant, water that runs, ability to buy the good things of life. there are great opportunities to progress at work if one is hard working and MANY more.
'This is what I tell my relatives and friends back home: don’t come here if you can help it.'
We should have shown them the example by staying back in Cameroon. Why are we out here and asks them to stay back! If I had my way, I would take all my relatives to come live in England! This place has afforded me opportunities that Cameroon never did.
'My thoughts turn to food. I am sick and tired of the rice-based Cambodian fare, but what I pine for is not European food. What I want is fufu and eru and "sleeping" (overnight) mbanga soup with macabo. I want ekwang and pepper soup okra with liver.'
There are numerous shops that sell African foods all over England. Last week, I bought Ghanaian made Mbanga soup from Tesco. water fufu, eru, Bitter leaf, njangsa etc etc are available easily.
'I am afraid because I feel I have to be careful when entering a shop carrying merchandise bought in another location that might be available in the shop. So I practice self-censorship (a couple of days ago, I elected to stay out in the cold and wait for my companion rather than enter a shop with my previously purchased merchandise – I was worried they might think I had stolen the newspaper I carried under my arm).'
In my many years in this country, this is the first time I am hearing this. The issue of consumer rights is paramount. You have the right to shop where ever and also the right to go where ever with it. Anyone attempting to breach that rigght puts himself at risk of being punished. certainly, no sane shop owner or employee would want to do that? Also, most shops have automatic scanners at the doors that will identify merchandise not paid for; they certainly wouldn't bother about the newspaper under your armpit because if it is theirs, their scanners will pick it up!
You certainly give a wrong impression about England. Do not forget that its system is largely socialist, so will worry if too many people are making demands on its social systems without contributing!
'There is some love and unqualified acceptance, but there is a lot of pity, indifference, contempt and sometimes even hatred. Better stay at home and be hated by the ones who know you.'
Ironically, the biggest hatred I have experienced towards me has been in Cameroon from cameroonians. The biggest attempts at oppression has been from Cameroonians in Cameroon. The most shabby treatment at any airport has been at the Douala airport by Cameroon's custom officials though I carried nothing to declare. The English tend not to blutter the first thought that comes to their mind, and also make an attempt not to offend. back home, people tend not to even hide their comtempt. As soon as you enter someone, people who don't like you (jelousy? envy?) just say it out and aloud. And people certainly do take this to a far extent. It's no secret that poisoning is rife in our societies; people know that they can get away with it, the reason why they do it. Many would agree that they tend not to drink with a cup when out of their houses for fear of potential poisoning. They will never leave their drinks unattended and go to the loo. Just visit any pub in England and make a comparism.
Cameroon is our little paradise damaged by ourselves and before anyone accuses me of running away, I am beginning to accept that those who are damaging it are stronger than those trying to fix it. Evil is winning in Cameroon!

Ma Mary

Wow, Val. Quite the rejoinder. You just took my pink shades away.

You should be blogging too.


You put my experiences of the last few months into words-just wanted to say thankyou and that love your insightful commentary. I'm struggling as an immigrant in the Uk but feel bouyed when I read stories like this. Makes me more determined than ever to blog about living in Europe as a black woman.
U take care

Isaac Gobina

Nice analysis there about living in Europe but Iya don't forget that millions of Africans feel even more unwanted (indirectly or directly) in their own countries, due to tribalism,nepotism and even xenophobia than you might feel in Europe. Europe has accepted millions of immigrants in the past 50 years from all over the world and the implementation of stricter controls in recent years is just logical, I think.
Oma nanu !

Amusa B Ntatin

Hey Rosemary,
I stumbled unto ur blog by mistake. I have to admit that your writing is great with an exquisite sense of pulling the reader right into ur mind, so that the see what you are seeing and understand what you are thinking. Please NEVER stop writing. And I expect a great book to be published soon by you. I will certainly buy many copies! Keep it up.

Eric Ngoh

Hi sister and thumbs up for your various contributions no matter the distance.
Eric Ngoh,MD,Morocco.

Elive Wonja

Beautiful piece of writing. A vivid presentation of life in the Old Continent.

theresa abdul

Keep on writing.Respects

Walter Aprile

As an inhabitant (and citizen) of the Old Continent, I can tell you that I have been treated like shit at borders all over the world, particularly at the USA border, and that I have been made to feel not particularly welcome even in happy Mexico (when renewing a worker visa).
Nastiest consulate/embassy ever? Sri Lankan embassy in Paris.
Regarding the "subtle and not-so-subtle humiliations", I guess they come with the territory whenever you look different. When I was travelling in Asia or in Africa, I tried to ignore it. Is it nice to be followed by a crowd of children that shout "toubab, toubab" (in Senegal)? At least in the Netherlands you wouldn't be followed by a crowd of children shouting "black lady, black lady".

I am not sure that "you are not wanted". It is more that Europe is massively indifferent to you, and you compare it with your own (loving) country. It is tough, but I think that there is a difference between indifferent and hostile - I don't mind indifferent or "cool", so I live in the Netherlands although I am not from here either.

Just scattered thoughts, in reaction to your well-written post.

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