Cameroon’s rich cultural and historical traditions and heritage
Central Africa is home to the nation of Cameroon, also known formally as the Republic of Cameroon. Cameroon is bounded to the east by the Central African Republic, to the northeast by Chad, to the west and north by Nigeria, and to the south by Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and the Republic of the Congo. The coastline of Cameroon is located on the Bight of Biafra, which is a portion of both the Gulf of Guinea and the Atlantic Ocean. Cameroon is located in West Africa, both physically and historically; the Northwest and Southwest Regions have a past that is heavily influenced by West African culture. Because of its crucial location at the crossroads of West Africa and Central Africa, it is sometimes referred to as West Africa, while other times it is referred to as Central Africa.
Cameroon is home to a diverse range of natural features, including beaches, deserts, mountains, rainforests, and savannas. The country’s official languages are French and English. The highest peak in the country is Mount Cameroon, which is located in the Southwest Region and rises over 4,100 meters above sea level. Douala, located on the Wouri river, Yaoundé, and Garoua are the three cities with the highest populations in Cameroon.
Among the first inhabitants of the nation were the Sao civilization, which was centered around Lake Chad, and the Baka hunter-gatherers, who lived in the southeastern jungle. In the 15th century, Portuguese explorers arrived on the coast of Cameroon and gave the region the name Rio dos Camares, which later evolved into the English word “Cameroon.” In 1884, Cameroon was annexed by Germany and changed its name to Kamerun. Following the conclusion of World War I and in accordance with mandates issued by the League of Nations, the nation was partitioned between France and the United Kingdom. The portion of the nation that was governed by France at the time of its independence, the Republic of Cameroun, was established in 1960. In 1961, this country became the Federal Republic of Cameroon after it combined with the southern portion of the British Cameroons. The name of the nation was changed to the Republic of Cameroon in 1984, after having been known as the United Republic of Cameroon from 1972 until that year.
Cameroon’s Political Culture Can Be Traced Back to the Rue des Artisans.
The President of Cameroon is responsible for a wide range of responsibilities, including the creation of policy, the negotiation and ratification of treaties, the administration of government agencies, and the proclamation of a state of emergency. After being elected, the president is responsible for making appointments to positions in the government at all levels, including the prime minister, province governors, and divisional officers. The winner of the presidency is chosen by public vote once every seven years, and there have been two presidents elected since the country gained its independence.
Legislation in Cameroon is crafted by the country’s National Assembly. The Assembly is comprised of 180 members, each of whom is elected to serve for a term of five years and convenes in session three times per year. The votes of the majority are required to pass laws. It is extremely unusual for the assembly to alter or obstruct legislation that has been submitted by the president.
In accordance with the constitutional amendments of 1996, there is now a second legislative chamber known as the Senate. The Senate was established in April 2013, and it currently has a membership of one hundred members. It is presided over by the “President of the Senate,” who is the constitutional heir apparent to the President. Traditional chiefs, fons, and lamibe are recognized by the government as having the right to rule at the district level and to mediate conflicts so long as their decisions do not run counter to the legal framework of the nation.
The legal system of Cameroon is mostly influenced by French civil law, although it also has certain elements of common law. The Ministry of Justice is in charge of the judiciary, despite the fact that it operates independently from a procedural standpoint. The president is the only person who may nominate judges. Tribunals, the court of appeal, and the supreme court are the components that make up the judicial system. The National Assembly is responsible for electing the nine individuals who will comprise the High Court of Justice. This body is responsible for determining the guilt or innocence of high-ranking officials of the government who are accused of committing high treason or endangering national security.
It is widely believed that Cameroon’s government, at every level, is plagued by widespread corruption. In 1997, Cameroon established anti-corruption bureaus in all 29 of its ministries; however, only one quarter of those units ever became functional. Cameroon was placed at position 144 on the list of 176 nations compiled by Transparency International in 2012, which ranked the countries from least corrupt to most corrupt. Customs, the public health sector, and public procurement are only few of the areas in Cameroon that provide a very high risk of corruption. Nevertheless, corruption has deteriorated despite the existence of anti-corruption offices, and in 2017, Transparency International ranked Cameroon 153 out of 180 nations on their list of countries with the highest perceived levels of corruption. In terms of political rights and civil freedoms, Cameroon is considered to be a “not free” country by Freedom House.
Up until December 1990, the Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement (CPDM), which was led by President Paul Biya, was the only political party that could operate legally. Since then, a great number of regional political groupings have emerged, the most prominent of which being the Social Democratic Front (SDF), which is predominately located in the Anglophone section of the nation.
In the state elections, Bia and his party, the CPDM, were able to maintain their control of both the president and the National Assembly; nevertheless, his opponents allege that the elections were rigged. The government is accused of suppressing the freedoms of opposing groups by putting a halt to protests, disrupting meetings, and arresting leaders as well as journalists, according to human rights organizations. In particular, persons who speak English are subjected to discrimination, and demonstrations frequently escalate into violent and sometimes fatal fights. In 2017, President Biya shut down the Internet in the English-speaking province for 94 days, which had the effect of obstructing the work of five million people, including start-up businesses in Silicon Mountain.
Cameroon’s Human Rights Situation
According to a study by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, government forces in Cameroon are responsible for arson attacks on homes, arbitrary detentions, extrajudicial executions, the disproportionate use of force, and the practice of torture. According to data provided by the United Nations, over 21,000 people have left Cameroon, and another 160,000 have been displaced within the country as a result of the violence. On July 25, 2018, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights voiced serious concern on claims of human rights abuses and breaches in the areas of the English-speaking Northwest and Southwest.
Cameroon’s media landscape
Cameroon’s Au Cabaret Le Philanthrope is renowned as a premier jazz club.
Although there is just one national newspaper in Cameroon, which is owned by the state, independent publications do exist in the country’s media landscape. Cameroon’s media landscape is made up of a public television station and privately owned channels, public radio stations, privately owned radio stations, and international radio stations, privately held print magazines, and the Internet. The Constitution of Cameroon protects the freedom of the press; yet, in practice, the possibility of government censorship prohibits the majority of unfavorable viewpoints from being published, particularly in the press that is owned by the state.
It is not uncommon for journalists to face hostility and restrictions in Cameroon. Recent efforts to restrict users’ ability to use the social media platform Twitter inside the nation have been linked to the government. Reporters Without Borders referred to the episode as an act of arbitrary intimidation when they criticised the arrest of a newspaper editor in 2011. The editor was accused of obtaining classified government information from a former finance minister. Other reporters have also been detained and locked up without being presented with any charges following their detention.What Do You Know About The Philippines?
Cameroon’s musical and dance traditions.
In Cameroonian celebrations, social gatherings, rituals, and even in the recounting of stories, music and dance play an essential role. Traditional dances typically have extensive choreography and different roles for men and women; in certain cases, participation in the dance is even prohibited for one gender entirely. The purpose of dancing can range from expressing religious devotion to being performed only for pleasure, and historically, music was passed down by oral tradition. A group of singers will act as an echo to a soloist in a traditional performance.
Traditional instruments include clappers, flutes, horns, rattles, scrapers, stringed instruments, whistles, drums and talking drums, and xylophones; however, musical accompaniment can be as basic as clapping hands and stomping feet. Traditional instruments include bells worn by dancers. Some singers are able to sing entire songs while being accompanied by nothing more than an instrument similar to a harp.
Popular music genres include ambasse bey from the coast, assiko from the Bassa, mangambeu from the Bangangte, and tsamassi from the Bamileke. Makossa and bikutsi are considered to be the two most popular types of music in the country. Makossa is a kind of music that originated in Douala and incorporates elements of folk music, high-life music, soul music, and Congo music. Performers popularized this style around the globe in the 1970s and 1980s. Bikutsi was initially used as a form of battle music by the Ewondo. Since the 1940s, musicians have worked to develop it into a well-liked kind of dance music, and performers have spread its popularity around the globe.
Cameroon’s indigenous handicrafts and works of art
Traditional arts and crafts are being performed over the entirety of the nation for a variety of purposes, including ornamental, commercial, and religious. Carvings in wood and sculptures are the most typical examples. Pottery and ceramics are two uses that are well-suited to the high-quality clay that may be discovered in the western highlands. Other common types of crafts practiced in Cameroon include working with brass and bronze, carving and painting on calabash, weaving baskets, making beads and baskets, embroidering, and working with leather. Independent cultural groups such as Doual’art and Africréa, as well as artist-run projects such as Art Wash, Atelier Viking, and ArtBakery, are principally responsible for the promotion of contemporary art.
Cameroon’s Film Industry and Literary Scene
Cameroon attained its independence in 1960, and the beginning of the history of Cameroonian film occurred not long after, in 1962. They were the first Cameroonian movie producers and their names were Thérèse Sita Bella and Jean Pierre Dikonguè Pipa. In the 1960s, writers investigated a variety of topics, including post-colonialism, issues with African development, and the revival of African identity. During this same time period, in the middle of the 1970s, filmmakers began to explore the disparities between traditional society and post-colonial society. The following two decades saw an increase in the prevalence of Cameroonian topics in both written works and motion pictures.
Cameroonian literature has explored topics relating to both Europe and Africa throughout its history. Colonial-era writers in Cameroon received their education in European missionary schools. These writers advocated for Cameroon to assimilate into European culture as a means of advancing the country into the modern world. After World War II, authors began to examine and condemn colonialism, while rejecting the concept of integration.