I woke up with a heavy heart for the anglophone youth of Cameroon. I was a first-year student at the University of Buea during one of the first strikes in 2004; you bet I was confused. I’d never been one to fight, so I left town in a taxi to Douala, determined to find another alternative to my first dream of being a doctor because that was not going to work for me. On a day like today when the Cameroonian youth is celebrated, I feel the need to encourage someone whose life or future is threatened by the political gestures that continue to keep them out of school. Here is an open letter to all those affected by the current condition in our beloved country.
Dear Young People,
Education is important and in an attempt to demonstrate peacefully, the “wiser ones” among us have decided a peaceful strike is a way forward. In this, you may find yourself with nothing to do but first; do not befriend idleness.
To the young men, I pray that you will not be misled or distracted. Drugs & crime can become enticing ways to make a living. Do not fall for the lie, instead harness the strength of your creativity. Great inventions came from men stuck in basements and college dormitories. There are still tons of books off the internet, share and read books that enhance your thought process. Remember that anything that does not align with your original purpose is a distraction. You can teach yourself a new trade or work on a skill or sport. Distractions are meant to deter you from your path. Do not allow your life to go to waste, the noble way to make a living is the one you learned when you were younger – Hard work
To the young women, you did well when you decided you wanted to be an influential and productive member in your society. You chose to take the opportunity to educate yourself which was not always available to your mother or grandmother. The strike can leave you feeling shorthanded but remember your life cannot be wasted without your consent. Continue behind the plow, let your hobbies flourish, get involved with sports too, master those innate gifts and above all continue to educate yourself outside the classroom. Do not allow the richer men to distract you with alternatives to your personal success. Make wise decisions young girl, form relationships with mentors and older women who inspire you. Continue to aspire for your version of greatness and if your first dream dies in this process, dream another dream.
“Youth Day in Cameroon is celebrated annually on February 11. The celebration of the holiday reflects awareness and recognition of youth significance for the country. The first celebration of Youth Day in Cameroon was held in 1962, a year after British Southern Cameroon and French Cameroon unified.” source anyday.com