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Life and Times of a Cameroonian Icon: Tribute to Lapiro De Mbanga Ngata Man, The

Peter Wuteh Vakunta

Publication Year: 2014

This book is the celebration of one man's vendetta against a cancerous regime that thrives on the rape of democracy and human rights abuses. Lapiro de Mbanga, born Lambo Sandjo Pierre Roger on April 7, 1957 was a conduit for social change. He fought for change in his homeland and died fighting for change in Cameroon. Lapiro believed in the innate goodness of man but also had the conviction that absolute power corrupts absolutely. He was noted for contending that "power creates monsters." His entire musical career was devoted to fighting the cause of the downtrodden in Cameroon. He composed satirical songs on the socio-economic dysphonia in his beleaguered country. In his songs, he articulated the daily travails of the man in the street and the government-orchestrated injustices he witnessed. As a songwriter, Lapiro de Mbanga distinguished himself from his peers through bravado, valiance and the courage to say overtly what many a Cameroonian musician would only mumble in the privacy of their homes. Lapiro's anti-establishment music led to his arrest and imprisonment in September 2009 for three years. Released from prison on April 8, 2011 he was later given political asylum by the USA. On September 2, 2012 Lapiro relocated with some members of his family to Buffalo in New York where he died on March 16, 2014 after an illness. His revolutionary music and fighting spirit live on.

Published by: African Books Collective

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. i-iv


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pp. v-vi

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pp. vii-viii

...No intellectual endeavor is free of humps, obstacles and barriers to be scaled. One can never get into the correct track on one’s own initiative alone. In June 2012, I made a fortuitous trip to Cameroon...

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pp. ix-xiv

...Revolutionary ideas tend to outlive their originators. It takes a selfless hero to change a society. Lapiro de Mbanga, born Lambo Sandjo Pierre Roger on April 7, 1957 was a conduit for social change. He fought for change...

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Chapter 1 - Theorizing Orality and Human Rights in Cameroon and Africa

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pp. 1-6

...of the narrator. Groomed to not only entertain live audiences but also to shine the light on individual and collective foibles, oral performers command unquestionable respect in Cameroon and Africa at large where...

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Chapter 2 - Lapiro parle: Entretien avec le Professeur Vakunta

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pp. 7-40

...subitement je me trouve en train de faire de la musique. Il y a un orchestre qui est venu à Mbanga pour jouer; il n’y avait pas de batteur et du coup je me suis vu dans l’obligation comme ça d’être leur batteur. Et pourtant,...

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Chapter 3 - Entertaining Political Dissent in Cameroon

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pp. 41-60

...township griots who double as entertainers and freedom fighters. Orality is the tool they wield skilfully in an unrelenting war against governmental dysfunction, human rights violations, endemic corruption,...

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Chapter 4 - Lapiroisms: Language of Resistance in Cameroonian Music

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pp. 61-68

...He notes that the Wobblies wrote and performed songs as instruments of mobilization in the early twentieth century. Music and the American civil rights movements of the sixties became almost synonymous...

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Chapter 5 - Anti-establishment Lyrics of Lapiro, Valsero, and Elwood

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pp. 69-86

...Donny Elwood deplores two cankers that have rendered the government of Cameroon dysfunctional, namely influence peddling and corruption. Listen to...

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Chapter 6 - Fictionalizing the Rebel Art of Lapiro de Mbanga

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pp. 87-106

...The passing of Lapiro de Mbanga has triggered a volley of praises and eulogies from friends at home and in the diaspora. The following chapter is a compendium...

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Chapter 7 - Eulogies and Obituaries for the fallen Hero

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pp. 107-152

...days every week for six months when Cameroon pretended to be a normal country. Citizens did brisk business on Saturday and Sunday. Monday through Friday, Cameroon sank into the civil disobedience campaign...

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Chapter 8 - Epilogue: Carton rouge de Lapiro à Paul Biya

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pp. 153-170

...analysis indicates, he resorts to music not only as a medium for expressing his political militancy but also as a tool of resistance. He has been branded Cameroon’s version of Fela Anikulapo by friends and foes alike for his...

Works cited

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pp. 171-182


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pp. 183-190

Back cover

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E-ISBN-13: 9789956791354
Print-ISBN-13: 9789956791941

Page Count: 204
Publication Year: 2014