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December 16, 2009


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Dante Besong

Amazing work. I just enjoy the nostalgic temperament this work highlights. It's sad what mediocre governance could do. Once more, lovely piece.


Beautiful piece; I read with such imagination from the beginning to the end. I was able to connect the poetic dots though in the mind of a scientist. The author was in his own way able to let me into that world of imagination with such power only second to abstract projection.You did in a way only you could do best. I converted your words into video in my mind as I read. I must say it sounded so real filled with facts and near facts. Again this was a good piece!!

Sir, Tiko is hot but not dripping hot; I completely disagree with you. The geography of Tiko gives her the natural [but not dripping] hot climate which is not all year round. To this effect, the inhabitants must fully comply with the desired dressing code. Come to think of it; you were a Sheriff Bailiff and what that means was, you appeared professionally during must of your working and even non-working hours! What do you think? When you dress as thus you guys, expect Tiko to be dripping hot just within your bodily territory.

Putrid smell? from rubber sap? the aforementioned sounded to me derogatory! The putrid smell you so decribed in your text is not in line with the type of smell you must have experienced in Tiko. A smell that is putrid will result from microbial degradation in a process known as putrefaction. However, the processing of the rubber sap does not entail any of such process and as such describing the resultant smell [from vulcanization of rubber] as putrid is to me a misnomer. This smell is not a characteristic of Tiko as you so intend to describe. It stays (half life) in the air an average of 20-30 minutes and thanks to the ever breezy nearby creek, there is always that quick natural air purification. This is common with must cities with industries around! This explains why there has been no scientific proof of the smell being a health hazard to the denizens in and around Tiko.

In as much as this stands a carefully crafted piece, it also stands to hit hard on the nature or the outlook of a town that is now rapidly growing in all aspects to regain its rightful place in the country. You should come back and contribute to that city building project(s)

You must have said some truth but not all the truth; this is what I called the danger of a single story!


Mr. ETS, this is not a scientific paper but a creative work with the author free to use creative license to convey his message. And yes, the smell in Tiko is putrid (nothing pleasant about it) and the weather, dripping hot.

Account Deleted

Emma Nde,

Welcome to the club. I saw this piece when it was a young child and I am happy to see how it has grown.

Mr EST, Chimamanda Adichie used the phrase 'the danger of a single story' and I suspect you are not using it appropriately just now. Nde is entitled to poetic licence in depicting the setting of his story. If that is how the protagonist experiences your city, you have to deal with it. In any event, I am not entirely certain that this depiction is in any way faulty. Rubber smells bad, period.

Philip Achu-Fombe Snr.

Shandie Shing !!!!!!

Emma you will never cease to amaze me. Good narration..so real.could not take my eyes off it..unfortunately it was only the "avant gout".Can't wait to get the "resistance".

Keep it up !


Tiko indeed stinks, and microbial putrefaction comes to mind, although if you have lived there long enough, you realize that there are different sub aromatic notes to the pungency depending on the stage of processing. Processing rubber involves the use of toxic chemicals at some stages, so it was not a totally benign process. That toxic brew made it down to the creeks, and who knows what it has been doing to the local ecology over the last century. Who knows what it did to the inhabitants of Tiko and the CDC workers.

The town has also deteriorated since the days of the colonialists, who ploughed much of the profits into worker well being in the shape of CDC schools, shops that sold to workers at near cost, unions that actually struggled for the fair wage and went on strike if there were none, workers social clubs and subsidized sports and social events, CDC schools, a provident fund ie a pension plan that invested in world capital markets. Cameroon government and some greedy individuals diverted most profits into their pockets since the 1970s and the workers quality of life plummeted. The British colonialists were definitely better for the common man I am sorry to say. That is what is missing in this story and it must be told.

Leila Ndze

Great piece Emma.

So when are we going to be served the full plate. Can't wait to savour...

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