Preface to The Sinking Ship: A Critical Analysis of Multiculturalism in Postcolonial Cameroon


[The] book stems from a number of essays I wrote while taking courses as a Ph.D. student at the University of Buea, Cameroon in 2016. My Professors always told me that the best thing an intellectual can give to his or her community is a legacy that speaks to and of them. I decided to compile some of the essays I wrote under the title you are reading because they speak of an issue of common concern to all Cameroonians.

The chapters incidentally coincide with a number of eventful developments in Cameroon today which have gained both national and international repute of a kind. The realities that Cameroon’s multicultural society have presented its citizens since 1961 are such that cannot be bypassed by the country’s burgeoning academia. It has become a duty for that country’s citizens to define their existence in a polity that has constantly defined them from an angle of estrangement and uncertainty. It has become even more a burden for those who hold a certain portion of the country’s history in their various banks of knowledge to redeem it from a perilous future as the stakes of nationalism, identity and self-assertion are beginning to flame above the country’s national mainstay.

Our rhetoric of peace, nationhood and cultural diversity is putting to question the truth of our unity. We are being immersed in an ocean of uncertainty as the very foundations of our fatherland are being shaken by an awareness of difference, born by nothing more than our own incessant belief in a colonial past. The ongoing civil upheaval that has challenged the truth of our cultural unity since November 2016 is proof that the pillars that should hold our country in place can no longer stand the infestations of our colonial heritage.

This attempt comes to bring us closer to the reason of our perceived difference and to the truth of our innate unity. It calls for a shedding of our erstwhile cocoons as colonial victims, whose chief victimisation has been the superimposed notion of difference, dominance of one and the subordination of the other. It calls for a reorientation of our national culture, a redefinition of who we are and should be and a reformation of the pillars that should hold the foundation of our new reality; one that does not sink in the postcolony but rises above the troubled seas of neo-colonialism to triumph over difference, hate and horizontal colonialism.

Blessed E. Ngoe
Las Cruces, NM, USA (March 3, 2017)

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