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Grassfields Stories from Cameroon

Peter W. Vakunta

Publication Year: 2008

Grassfields Stories from Cameroon is an anthology of short stories. It comprises animal trickster tales, bird survival tales, and human-interest stories. The compendium is a reflection of the mores, cultures, and value systems of the indigenous peoples of the Northwest Province of Cameroon. It is motivated by the author's keen interest in the preservation of Cameroonian oral traditions in written form. These stories deal with the day-to-day life of the sedentary and the globe-trotter. Each story is sufficient onto itself. The author has intentionally avoided chronology in the order of presentation of the stories. Whether you read the stories in the order in which they are presented or dart about as your fancy dictates, you will feel the abundance of richness and entertainment the book contains. The didactic value of this collection of short stories resides in its suitability to readers of all age groups. The uniqueness of the volume lies in its universal appeal. Peter Wuteh Vakunta was born and raised in the village of Bamunka-Ndop in Cameroon where he worked as senior translator at the Presidency of the Republic before immigrating to America. He is an alumnus of Sacred Heart College-Mankon. Vakunta obtained his Bachelor degrees in Cameroon and Nigeria; MA and MSE degrees in Cameroon and the U.S.A. At present, Vakunta and his family live in Madison, U.S.A. He teaches in the Department of French and Italian at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he is also completing his PhD dissertation titled: Translation in Literature: Indigenization in the Francophone Text. Vakunta is poet, storyteller and essayist. His published works include Better English: Mind Your P's and Q's, Lion Man and Other Stories (short stories), Brainwaves (poems), Pandora's Box (poems). African Time and Pidgin Verses (poems), Square Pegs in Round Holes (essays) and It Takes Guts (essays). Vakunta's literary works have earned him several awards in the U.S.A, U.K and Africa.

Published by: African Books Collective

Title Page

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Copyright Page

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p. v-v

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p. vi-vi

Grassfields Stories from Cameroon is an anthology of short stories culled from the folklore of the grassfields in the Republic of Cameroon. It comprises animal trickster tales, bird survival tales, and human-interest stories. The compendium is a...

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1. Marriage Of Convenience

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pp. 1-13

When Mbionyi received his Baccalaureate degree from the hands of the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Penamboko, he said to himself that those years of hardship were over. Smiling from ear to ear he hugged and shook hands with his relatives...

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2. Libation

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pp. 14-22

Dubeuh woke up feeling badly bruised. The teenager hadn’t slept a wink the whole night. He had battled with her incessantly.
“I won’t let you go! Come along now!” she said, baring her tobacco-stained teeth beneath her thick...

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3. King of the Skies

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pp. 23-27

Nah Mbiah told this story to her four children who sat staring at their mother in the glowing light of the hearth fire. It was pitch dark outside. The dry season wind whistled through the palm trees that towered over the thatched roof...

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4. Charlatan

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pp. 28-33

In the Sparely populated village of Nsei, subsistence farming is the mainstay of the villagers. Maize cultivation takes place twice a year. When the planting season is over, parents usually entrust the care of the farms to their teenage children who look after the crops by weeding invading plants, scaring off grain-eating birds...

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5. The Ordeal

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pp. 34-38

Salamatu yawned and rolled over on her bamboo bed located in the west side of their two-bedroom house. Theirs was a typical home in the village of Sabon Gari stricken with abject poverty: thatch roof, sun-dried bricks, dirt floor, and tiny windows. It was already past...

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6. Banga

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pp. 39-42

"Young men and women are dying like flies in this village. Many have contracted the killer disease, AIDS, as a result of drug addiction. We cannot turn a blind eye to this tragedy. It is not for us to be judgemental; our task is to teach our children...

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7. Bobee-Tree

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pp. 43-45

One afternoon, after having been sent away from school by the principal for unpaid school fees, two teenage girls decided to find a means to make money in order to pay for their schooling. Their parents had recently been killed in an inter-tribal war that...

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8. Lord of the Harem

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pp. 46-55

Hassana hadn’t slept a wink the whole night. The harder she tried to catch sleep, the further it escaped her tearful eyes. How could she sleep when her marriage was at stake? Her husband’s worrisome words kept ringing in her mind...

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9. Afoa-Kom

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pp. 56-70

"Wake up! Bobe wake up!” Nawain Nangeh said, trying to nudge her husband out of a deep slumber.
“What’s the matter? Why are you waking me up at this time of the night, eh?” Shall I ever have a moment of peaceful sleep in this house?” Bobe Nkwain said, robbing his green eyes...

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10. The Green Card

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pp. 71-91

When news broke that Peter Mola and his wife Ely Nyango had won the green card lottery, they became the hottest news items around town. Their names were on every lip in the village of Ndop. Everyone wanted to know what they would be...


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pp. 92-97

Back Cover

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E-ISBN-13: 9789956715077
Print-ISBN-13: 9789956558117

Page Count: 104
Publication Year: 2008