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Greener from a Distance

Charles Nfon

Publication Year: 2013

Albertís life dream is to immigrate to the USA, to seek greener pastures. After several failed attempts, he finally gets a visa. Then he arrives the USA hoping for a bright and easy future. Before long he hears stories of desperation, struggles and a few successes. Desperation is portrayed by Mola aka Mboma who adopts a dead manís identity in order to stay in the USA and by Bruno who marries a US-born woman as his ticket to the USA, knowing fully well that she was leading a double life. Struggles are seen in Paul and Matt who have to work more than two times harder to barely survive in the USA. However, Samson, the surgeon is an example of a success story. Albert has to decide whether to stay in the USA, concoct a story for asylum and chase the dream that has proven elusive for many, or go back to his reality in Cameroon. Though the pasture may actually be greener on the other side for some, it takes a tremendous amount of work and dedication to keep it that way. Realising that the life in the Diaspora is not a bed of roses as portrayed by some Cameroonians, he decides to return to his modest job in Cameroon. Although this book could be considered a cautionary tale about immigration, it is also about the corruption that has overtaken Cameroon and its people.

Published by: African Books Collective


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p. 1-1

Title page

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p. 2-2

Copyright page

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p. 3-3


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pp. iii-5

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pp. v-7

In transhumance, man and livestock move from the dry pasture in the mountains to the greener grass in the valleys. The reward, the green patches of grass along the banks of rivers and lakes, can often be seen from a distance. So man and animals ...

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1. American visa

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pp. 1-5

Albert Ndifon had always wanted to immigrate to the USA but was repeatedly refused a visa. After University, he got a high school teaching job but kept looking for an opportunity to move to the USA. Then he got invited to attend a short course on the role of ...

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2. America here I come

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pp. 7-13

Albert chose to depart from Douala airport. Though his flight was late Tuesday night, he chose to leave Yaounde for Douala a day earlier. It turned out to be a wise decision because the head of state, aka Lionman, was visiting Douala on Tuesday. The main roads in Yaounde were ...

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3. At the airport

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pp. 15-20

Albert flew into the Hartford International Airport. Fatigued from the flight, he wanted to get to his friend’s house as soon as possible. However, immigration and customs agents awaited. ...

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4. Identity Relay

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pp. 21-64

On the weekend, Albert and Samson attended a birthday party for a five year old kid. It was hard to tell the age of the kid from the amount of planning and the guest list. There were more adults than kids; and the kids were relegated to the background when the party started. ...

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5. Marriages of Convenience

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pp. 65-80

Albert’s friends, most of whom he had not seen for a long time, either came to visit him or invited him to their homes. This was a common trend for new immigrants; the first couple of weeks after arrival, friends and ...

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6. Paul, the Powerful

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pp. 81-92

Paul was next to visit Albert. He was happy to see Albert and especially pleased that Albert had finally made it to America. He claimed America was the place to be, but immediately contradicted himself with what he said next. ...

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7. Matt the cheat

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pp. 93-99

... Matt was a business man in Cameroon before leaving for the USA. He supplied building material for construction projects in villages and small towns. His clients were government and private contractors. He usually received 50% advance pay and the rest when he supplied the products. ...

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8. What about a success story?

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pp. 101-107

"Life seems hard for most of our friends here in the USA. What is going on? Is it that hard to live here?” Albert asked Samson. “Yes, it is tough for most people. In this country, the average person is one pay cheque away from homelessness. ...

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9. To stay or not to stay

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pp. 109-115

Albert had a decision to make, stay in America and build a case for asylum or return to Cameroon. Because he had left Cameroon during the long school vacation, he was not missing any work. He had also come a month ahead of his course and still had time to attend it. ...

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Note to the reader

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pp. 117-118

I hope you enjoyed reading this book. My editor raised a few concerns after reading this book and I am guessing that many readers might have the same questions. Consequently I have preemptively addressed some of those questions. ...

Back cover

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p. 128-128

E-ISBN-13: 9789956790180
Print-ISBN-13: 9789956790654

Page Count: 126
Publication Year: 2013