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History > African History > Central Africa
An essay on the Kom experience
This book critically discusses missionary Christianity and colonization in Africa as twin enterprises with a common ambition. While the colonialist set out to invest capital and reap profit, the missionary desire was to tend and turn African souls from damnation. It was this desire that drove the missionaries into the interior, propelled by the belief that no land was too remote to escape their attention and vigilance. It equally kept missionary zeal buoyant. The clarification of the concept of salvation within the Roman Catholic Church during the Vatican II Council set in motion the current lethargy that has in some places crippled the mission itself. In retrospect, one can begin to wonder why Africans became Christians. What reasons motivated the early adherents to cling to this foreign religion? Were there some internal deficiencies in African traditional religions, which the Africans hoped to remedy by joining the new religion? Or was it just part of the wholesale flirting with whatever was foreign and perceived to be modern? What baits were used by the missionaries to entice Africans? Christianity posed a danger to many of the time-honoured answers to African problems. These were the ìvaluesî Africans converting to Christianity were expected to abandon. Why have Christians continually returned to their abandoned roots in time of crisis? This moving, well argued, richly documented and empirically substantiated study concludes by cautioning against the stubborn drive at radical conversion to Christianity with scant regard to the imperatives of enculturation.
Economic Development and Historical Perspective: 1885-1922 An Assessment Report of J.
The Mbos are a large ethnic group in present day Cameroon and an important and powerful group until the Anglo-French partition. Following the defeat of the colonial power, Germany, in the First World War (WWI), the League of Nations in a March 1916 Mandate, partitioned the territory into two unequal halves among the victorious imperial powers of England and France, to be governed in trust as from 1922. As a result of the partition, the Mbos, who happened to find themselves right along the lines of division, were thrust under French and English administration, respectively. Roughly two thirds of the Mbos found themselves in what had then become French (East) Cameroon, while the remaining one third was thrust under British (West) Cameroon rule. Today the Mbos, as a whole, occupy parts of the Littoral and Western (Francophone) and Southwest (Anglophone) regions of Cameroon. While the Francophone Mbos have, over the decades, benefited from all aspects of economic, social, political, and agricultural development, the Anglophone Mbos have been isolated and deprived of all the outward and physical (tangible) aspects of socio-economic and political progress. The persistence of such colonial divisions makes for inequality among the Mbos, despite their common ancestry, ethnicity and cultural heritage. This book seeks to update on diverse aspects of the study conducted on the British Mbos by J.W.C. Rutherfoord and others as a first step toward a comprehensive publication on the Anglophone Mbos.
Land Tenure and the Legal Imagination
In Farmers and the State in Colonial Kano, Steven Pierce examines issues surrounding the colonial state and the distribution of state power in northern Nigeria. Here, Pierce deconstructs the colonial state and offers a unique reading of land tenure that challenges earlier views of the role of indirect rule. According to Pierce, land tenure was the means the colonial government used to rule the local population and extract taxes from them, but it was also a political logic with a fundamental flaw and a Western bias. In Pierce's view, colonial representations of land tenure claimed to reflect precolonial systems of rule, but instead, fundamentally misrepresented farmers' experience. He maintains that this misrepresentation created a paradox at the core of the colonial state which persists into the present and helps to explain contemporary problems in African states. In this sweeping and eloquent account of African history, readers will find an extended genealogy of land law and taxation as well as rich material on the power of indigenous knowledge and the persistence of colonial systems of rule.
God the Politician is a compelling analytical, critical, informed and largely eyewitness account of the major events that have taken place in Cameroon since the return of multiparty politics in the 1990s. The accession of Paul Biya to power under the one-party regime in 1982 and the attempt to overthrow him in a coup d'?tat in 1984 are told in flashback, so are the excesses of power without responsibility that have come to be associated with over 25 years of Biya as President. Most of the story is centred on the struggle by the opposition, led by the Social Democratic Front (SDF), to overthrow the incumbent. In his determination to crush opposition, President Biya and his collaborators have sometimes used intrigue, but mostly force and callous indifference to basic human rights and to democracy. Bloodshed has often been the result of the regime's titanic struggles against freedoms. President Paul Biya is not in a hurry to go and so instead of democratizing Cameroon, he has chosen to Cameroonize democracy, turning electoral fraud into an art. Because of massive fraud during elections and the inability of the opposition to unite, political party leaders have decided to join him who they cannot beat. The book is an x-ray of a regime and the Frankenstein monsters it has created and sustained to thwart democracy. It exposes the corruption, electoral fraud, human rights abuse and cynicism that make politicians believe they can play God in the lives of Cameroonians.
Testimony Relevant to the Democratization Struggle in Cameroon
The essays collected in this volume are, by the depth of their analysis and the breath of their vision, indeed ëNo Trifling Matterí. They are a chronicle of the events in contemporary Cameroonian society, especially as concerns the conduct of public affairs therein. Over and above its relevance for our own time, this chronicle will, in the decades that lie ahead, serve as a rich source of information, opinion and comment which future generations, anxious to understand the making of an era whose impact, positive or negative, is destined to survive long after the longest-living of its principal actors and actresses shall have disappeared from the face of the Earth, will find a great benefit. Rotcod Gobata has, through these essays, lit and placed on a pedestal, a candle whose flame shall never die and whose glow shall serve as a beacon to guide and to inspire generations yet unborn.
Imperialistic Politics in Cameroun: Resistance and the Inception of the Restoration of the Statehood of Southern Cameroons
Resistance and the Inception of the Restoration of the Statehood of Southern Cameroons
Cameroun Republic, a former French-administered UN Trust Territory granted independence on 1 January 1960. This book focuses on the unresolved Southern Cameroons colonial predicament, giving insightful accounts of how Cameroun Republic hijacked the Southe
Crusading for the British Southern Cameroons
In Chains for My Country is an account of the struggle of the Southern Cameroons National Council (SCNC), a nonviolent liberation movement, to wrestle British Southern Cameroons from the colonial claws of la RÈpublique du Cameroun. It is an epic and thrilling account of the life of British Southern Cameroons, which passed from colonial rule to foreign domination through annexation and attempted assimilation into neighbouring la RÈpublique du Cameroun. Under British trusteeship, British Southern Cameroons graduated to self-government in 1954 with all hopes of independence. Instead, the Trust Territory was doomed to subservience in a contested union with la RÈpublique du Cameroun. Failure to implement United Nations Resolution 1608 of April 1961 to establish the envisioned federation of two states equal in status facilitated la RÈpublique du Camerounís annexation and colonial occupation of a defenseless United Nations Trust as Britain withdrew all its personnel and forces. The territory has been reduced to two provinces of la RÈpublique du Cameroun under the rule of proconsuls backed by an imperial occupation force with an agenda of nipping in the bud any resistance.
Spirits in a Central African History
The book combines theoretical insights with attention to local detail and remarkable historical sweep, from oral narratives communicated across slave-trading routes during the nineteenth century, through the violent conflicts inspired by Christian and nationalist prophets during colonial times, and ending with the spirits of Pentecostal rebirth during the neoliberal order of the late twentieth century. To gain access to the details of historical change and personal spiritual beliefs across this long historical period, Gordon employs all the tools of the African historian. His own interviews and extensive fieldwork experience in Zambia provide texture and understanding to the narrative. He also critically interprets a diverse range of other sources, including oral traditions, fieldnotes of anthropologists, missionary writings and correspondence, unpublished state records, vernacular publications, and Zambian newspapers.
Invisible Agents will challenge scholars and students alike to think in new ways about the political imagination and the invisible sources of human action and historical change.
Public Life and Morality in Cameroon
During the long dry season, Tupuri men and women in northern Cameroon gather in gurna camps outside their villages to learn the songs that will be performed at widely attended celebrations to honor the year's dead. The gurna provides a space for them to join together in solidarity to care for their cattle, fatten their bodies, and share local stories. But why does the gurna remain meaningful in the modern nation-state of Cameroon? In Journey of Song, Clare A. Ignatowski explores the vitality of gurna ritual in the context of village life and urban neighborhoods. She shows how Tupuri songs borrow from political discourse on democracy in Cameroon and make light of human foibles, publicize scandals, promote the prestige of dancers, and provide an arena for powerful social commentary on the challenges of modern life. In the context of broad social change in Africa, Ignatowski explores the creative and communal process by which local livelihoods and identities are validated in dance and song.
Fighting Their Way Home
Erik Kennes and Miles Larmer provide a history of the Katangese gendarmes and their largely undocumented role in many of the most important political and military conflicts in Central Africa. Katanga, located in today's Democratic Republic of Congo, seceded in 1960 as Congo achieved independence and the gendarmes fought as the unrecognized state's army during the Congo crisis. Kennes and Larmer explain how the ex-gendarmes, then exiled in Angola, struggled to maintain their national identity and return "home." They take readers through the complex history of the Katangese and their engagement in regional conflicts and Africa's Cold War. Kennes and Larmer show how the paths not taken at Africa's independence persist in contemporary political and military movements and bring new understandings to the challenges that personal and collective identities pose to the relationship between African nation-states and their citizens and subjects.