Cameroon: Sarah Anyang Agbor
Sarah describes prejudice experienced by anglophone Cameroonians in I too sing Cameroon.
WARNING: THIS POEM CONTAINS LANGUAGE THAT MAY OFFEND.
This poem is inspired by the poem I too sing America, by Harlem Renaissance poet Langston Hughes, in which he expresses the feelings of Afro-Americans experiencing prejudice and discrimination.
I too sing Cameroon.
I am the ninth and tenth and eleventh provinces, or is it regions?
I just want to be human, not superhuman, Accepted as a person.
I know how you perceive me:
"Traitor", "Opposition", BamiAnglo..."
A figment of your own imagination.
Why do you see an Anglophone and you hear-
"Gunshots!? Crisis!? Protests!? Grumblings!?
You got criminals! We've got criminals!"
I too can feel; I too can dream, I too can lead.
But you look down on me, and call me "Anglofou."
Now I am the country nigger “Anglofou”,
Now I am the house nigger.
You say you are the top dog, And I the underdog.
Tomorrow; when the stakes are down:
Will it be my turn to look down at you?
Will I call you "Franco Fool?"
Or I will call you brother?
That tomorrow will surely come
Nobody will dare say to me:
"Anglofou"; "Parlez Anglais", "Les Anglo la" then.
Besides, I have walked up the ladder with the virus of bilingualism
And I will sit at the table
And you will see the good in me.
I too, sing Cameroon!