“Si ton père est alcoolique et bois de la bière pendant que vos voisins gèrent vos finances, il boira du Hennessy dès qu’ils lui laisseront le contrôle : l’impact sur la ration journalière sera nul.”
He was screaming at my bent head, louder and louder,
And I tried to hide my face from his words: “Make no excuses!”
I hadn’t realized my explanation of why I’d chosen Bowser
Over doing the dishes would get such a lame label. “Excuse you!”
I thought to myself, as he poured words out to change
My mind, but it had wandered off…
I remembered when the excuse for the pain that paved every street of my city was that the colonial masters wished it so. I remembered the same streets turned red so that this pilfering could end, that we could decide by ourselves. I remembered independence.
I remembered when the excuse for the pain that paved every street of my country was that the white man had taken our brothers away in slavery. Poor William Ellison, the prejudice done to him by the white man must be the reason why APGAR scores are lower around me than they are in his state. I remembered abolishment…
Only for the slavery to the white man’s land, for we kept up the lucrative business of selling our kind to the Arab market, where no abolishment was in sight. Yes, I remember partial abolishment.
I remembered colonial currencies. This must have been the cause of the AFCON competition being withdrawn from Cameroon, or the civil unrest in Sudan, and Algeria, Cameroon. This must be why medical doctors get jobs in non-existent hospitals, or schools look different on paper than in reality (especially when buildings don’t exist). This must be the reason for social decay, the bane of investors, the pervasiveness of corruption and officials stea…mean embezzling. I remembered the CFA.
That evil currency which prevents roads from being built, prevents hospitals from being built, and extorts pregnant mothers waiting to deliver in urgency. It’s the CFA that destroyed the educational fabric, let problems fester into mini-wars, killed all moral and ethics in business, and stabbed the future à-la Julius Caesar.
Now he was screaming even louder and louder
But I just stood there, head bent, seeming to hear it all,
But my thoughts meandered off further and further,
Remembering it all, then dreading our persistent fall.