Monthly Archives: October 2015
A newcomer in Cameroon’s emerging Afro-pop music industry, named Azingeh, has added a new twist to the genre by combining contemporary Afro-pop beats with his native traditional tempo to introduce what he describes as “cultural hip hop”.
Azingeh, aged 24, released his debut single “dance any how” in September 2014, and received much acclaim for the piece. “Dance any how” is truly African and a perfect representation of Azingeh’s native Bafut culture, in the North West of Cameroon. In the music, the young artist largely uses his mother tongue, mixed with the queen’s language to share a message of courtship with his fans.
The official video of “dance any how” directed by Dante Fox is filled with the beautiful colours of Cameroon’s North West region. Produced by Hamony records, Azingeh takes exception to the conventional Afro-pop style in Cameroon by introducing beats from the country’s grassfield region.
“Because the music video was so cool and real and with the aid of some promoters, it went as far as being broadcast on Ohio State television USA and some of the biggest TV channels across the country” Azingeh told Cameroonmirror.
Azingeh added that work has advanced for his second single “hip hop from Ngrafy” which he intends to drop soon. This new music is being produced by Soft Touch, a producer with Motherland Empire Records – one of Cameroon’s leading music label.
Born and raised in Bafut, North West of Cameroon, as Amanwi Godric, the young singer chose “Azingeh” as his artistic name when he decided to pursue a career in music.
By Jude Fuhnwi
Cameroon has observed a national day of mourning for 76 of its citizens who died among several hundred Hajj pilgrims in last month’s stampede in the Muslim holy city of Mecca.
The country’s president, Paul Biya called on Cameroonians to observe this Friday, 16 October 2015, as a day of mourning in respect of scores of compatriots who were killed in the September 24, stampede in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
Seventy six Cameroonian pilgrims were confirmed death in last month’s stampede, 15 injured and 28 others are still missing, according to Communication Minister, Issa Tchiroma Bakary.
Mr Bakary told reporters in the capital, Yaounde that 15 of the pilgrims died at the scene of the stampede while 61 bodies were later identified in the hospital.
“The situation called for systematic search of pilgrims who were first considered as missing or unaccounted for following the stampede,” he said.
While presiding over a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, shortly after appointing new ministers, President Biya, requested that the national flag be hoisted at half-mast throughout the national territory this October 16, to pay homage to the fallen pilgrims.
Mr Bakary said the 15 injured Cameroonian pilgrims received adequate medical attention in Saudi Hospitals, adding that the bodies of the deceased pilgrims had already been buried on the spot in Saudi Arabia, according to Muslim tradition.
He said Mr Biya had donated FCFA 70 million ($121,529) for distribution to families of the victims.
This September’s stampede is the deadliest incident to occur during the muslim pilgrimage in 25 years. Saudi authorities have put the total death toll at 717 but foreign media reports and officials say well over 1,000 people died.
By Blaise Whumo
Edited by Jude Fuhnwi
Washington (AFP) – US President Barack Obama will deploy up to 300 military personnel to Cameroon for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations against militant Boko Haram insurgents, he informed Congress on Wednesday.
In a letter released by the White House, Obama said 90 personnel had already been deployed, marking a modest but significant escalation of US involvement in the fight against the Islamic State-allied group.
Washington has largely shied away from engaging its vast military assets to combat Boko Haram, with policymakers wary of fueling militant recruitment or fusing the group’s ties with Middle Eastern Islamists.
In making Wednesday’s announcement, the White House was at pains to stress that personnel would not take part in combat operations and would be armed only for self-defense.
The onus, US officials said, would still be on a regional coalition that has tried to keep a once regional Muslim anti-colonial movement from metastasizing into a regional jihadist threat.
“It will be part of a broader regional effort to stop the spread of Boko Haram and other violent extremist organizations in West Africa,” said White House spokesman Josh Earnest.
The mission will last “until their support is no longer needed,” Obama’s letter said.
The White House decision comes as Boko Haram steadily expands operations beyond its traditional base in northern Nigeria.
An uptick in violence is expected in the coming weeks with the end of the rainy season and amid growing resistance to a nascent multi-national joint task force.
Cameroon has been among those coalition countries hit.
Twin suicide blasts on Sunday killed at least nine people and injured 29 in far northern Cameroon.
Nine people died when one of two suicide bombers detonated a device in a tiny milk and donut restaurant in the village of Kangaleri.
The second suicide bomber killed only herself, a local authority official said.
“Like northern Nigeria, northern Cameroon is predominantly Muslim and it is also a part of the country that has historically been somewhat marginalized,” said John Campbell, a former US ambassador to Nigeria, now with the Council on Foreign Relations.
The dual suicide attack came a day after triple explosions in Chad left 41 dead.
Both countries are part of a regional coalition that has been fighting the militants.
Nonetheless, Campbell described the White House decision as “surprising.”
“We are not talking about a very large force, but I do think that the American appetite for involvement in yet another Muslim civil war in a part of the world that is pretty remote from American concern is surprising.”
It may also come as a surprise in Abuja, where successive Nigerian governments have asked for US assistance in fighting Boko Haram.
Recently elected President Muhammadu Buhari has been feted by the White House, but has not received significant US military support amid concerns about military abuses, including the alleged use of cluster munitions.
The decision suspending the Pan-African television channel, Afrique Media, from broadcasting for a period of one month in Cameroon is still effective, a press release from the country’s media regulator has stated.
In the release, made public on Monday, 12 October 2015, the vice president of the Cameroon National Communication Council (NCC), Peter Essoka refuted widespread information disseminated by local media that the temporary suspension has been uplifted.
According to the statement, Afrique Media has refused to respect decision No. 00015/CNC of 04 June 2015 that called for a suspension of its activities for a period of one month.
The decision not to respect the sanction had caused administrative authorities to seal Afrique Media offices in the nation’s political capital, Yaounde and Douala in August, at the request of the council.
However, the sealing of offices did not stop the Pan-African television from broadcasting, according to the release, hence defying the NCC’s decision which required it to effectively halt broadcasting for one month.
Afrique Media have acknowledged through a facebook post that the station had “not even for a second ceased broadcasting” in Cameroon.
Local media reports that Mr Essoka’s statement has come only a few days after Communication Minister, Issa Tchiroma Bakary asked him to uplift the temporary suspension on the pan African media organ.
By Blaise Whumo
Edited by Jude Fuhnwi
Two separate suicide bomb attacks in Kangaleri, a border locality in the far north region of Cameroon has killed 11 people and injured 29 others, state media has reported.
Both bombings occurred in the early hours of Sunday, October 11, and has been blamed on the Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram, now known as the Islamic State of West Africa.
Eye witness accounts say the bombers were teenage girls who detonated the bombs as soon as they got in contact with a crowd, also killing themselves. State media reports that the bombers were targeting the region’s chieftown, Maroua.
The first explosion left only the bomb carrier dead but with several persons injured while the second bomber let loose her explosive about 40meters away from the scene of the first, few minutes later, killing about nine natives who were having breakfast at a roadside coffee shop.
According to eye witnesses, the bombers spoke in the local Kanuri and Mandara languages as reported by the national broadcaster, CRTV.
Among those injured, are 11 serious cases presently under intensive care at the Maroua general hospital, pending evacuation to the nation’s capital,Yaounde. The other victims were transported to the Mora district hospital where they are being treated.
Far North governor, Mijiyawa Bakari said on state media that all measures have been put in place to give adequate care to the injured persons and encouraged inhabitants of Kangaleri to be calm, assuring them that the situation is under control.
Sunday’s attack brings the number to 11 suicide bomb explosions within the last three months in the Far North Region of Cameroon.
By Blaise Whumo
Edited by Jude Fuhnwi
Stephanie N., who travelled to Kuwait in search of a better livelihood, returned to Cameroon via the Douala International Airport on October 4, 2015 with nothing to show but a wheelchair that speaks all of her misfortune. The 23-year-old served as housemaid to a Kuwaiti family which reportedly maltreated her.
The peak of her physical abuse took place recently when her employer thrashed her and then threw her out of a fourth floor window for burning the dress she was ironing. According to the young girl’s statement to officers of the Special Branch Police Station at the Douala International Airport, she was rushed to hospital after the incident by a Cameroonian.
While in hospital, her doctor offered her a wheelchair since she was partly paralysed. The Good Samaritan also paid her flight back to Cameroon where she has since reunited with her family in the North West Region.
African football leader, Issa Hayatou has been named to take charge of FIFA after former president, Blatter was suspended and “stripped of all duties.”
African football leader Issa Hayatou on Thursday took temporary charge of FIFA after Sepp Blatter was “relieved of his duties” because of his 90-day suspension, the world body said.
Hayatou, 69, is president of the Confederation of African Football, and takes over as senior vice president of FIFA. He has in the past been reprimanded for misconduct by the International Olympic Committee.
“Joseph S. Blatter was relieved of all his duties as FIFA president” after the move by the FIFA ethics committee to suspend him for 90 days because he is under criminal investigation by Swiss prosecutors, FIFA said.
A man was arrested for illegal possession and circulation of chimpanzee and mandrill bones, in Wum, in the Menchum Division of the North West Region. He was arrested during a crackdown operation carried out by the Menchum Divisional Delegation of Forestry and Wildlife working in collaboration with the police and a wildlife law enforcement NGO called LAGA.
The suspect who was arrested red handed, had packaged 8 chimpanzee skulls, 2 mandrill skulls, and several other chimpanzee bones which could not be immediately named inside a shopping bag and arrived the scene of transaction on a motorbike. Investigations had provided valuable information leading to the creation of a team of wildlife officials and police officers from the Wum Police Station and they waited for him to make his move with the products.
He is described as a big time trafficker and had links with another suspect in Bamenda with whom he carried out deals. Sources close to the operation say he also has an international link
After his arrest the Menchum Divisional Delegate of Forestry and Wildlife, Nguekeng Claude declared “according to procedure, we immediately called the state counsel and informed him of the arrest. He is presently detained and awaiting the completion of procedure, he shall be presented to the state counsel”.
The operation is the second within three days in the North West Region coming after the arrest of a man in Kumbo, Bui Division following his attempts at selling a live mona monkey and mandrill skulls. The man who is presently detained in Kumbo, travelled from Ako in the Donga Mantung Divison with the products. The rate of arrests has set alarm bells ringing creating concerns among some North West inhabitants who may just be discovering the rate of wildlife crimes in the region.
A Bamenda-based conservation expert expressed concern over the arrests as chimpanzees are now restricted to some patches of forests in the region that once had a huge population of the Nigeria Cameroon chimpanzee. Many believe the population has dwindled to almost extinction in the area. Osiris Doumbe, a conservation biologist is carrying out a study in the region to determine the population of this chimpanzee and according to the biologist, “This subspecies of chimpanzee is the rarest and the least studied of all four and is only found in the lowland and montane forests of Eastern Nigeria and Western Cameroon”.
This may explain why wildlife officials are stepping up enforcement measures which are aimed at obstructing the killing and commercialization of the Nigeria Cameroon chimpanzee which is just one of the very few totally protected species still found in the region. Ngeukeng Claude is the person charged with the effective application of the wildlife law in the Menchum Division and he declared, “We know that wildlife species are racing towards extinction and this necessitated its protection, that is why the law is being applied”. He seemed to have an extra spring in his step when he led his team his team to the field to hunt down the suspect and many believe this is necessary if we are to save the Nigeria Cameroon chimpanzee in the region.
A brand new video ‘Cheri Coco’ by one of Cameroon’s promising artist, Willy B has begun to attract viewership from all over the world on youtube, shortly after its release on 27 September 2015.
Blown away by his debut single, Afro pop music lovers have been commenting positively on the video of the smash hit song ‘Cheri Coco’ released by the Cameroonian hip hop and Afro pop artist.
“This shows how Cameroon music grows. Nice job to Manjong and Sky-star films” commented a fan.
The song is also receiving tremendous airplay on local media but social media has been vital in making the video popular.The track is a social satire on money minded girls who date boys because of their money or material things, failing to look beyond luxury to have true happiness.
Cherie Coco is a lady who does not love you for who you are but the money you have. She loves luxuries like cars, money… Willy B told Cameroonmirror.
The artist raises the bar in his visuals created to portray and promote his club banging Afro pop single by combining beats of various musical instrumentals with his deep calm and sensational voice to crown ‘Cheri Coco’ what Dewey Davis described as “a set of skipped heartbeat”.
The 26-year-old artist from Bafut, North-West of Cameroon says he has been doing hip hop music since 1999 but did not have the opportunity to be brought to the limelight until 2013 when he was signed by the Manjong Music group label.
Before joining this label, Willy B had worked with one of the country’s leading record label, Motherland Empire co-owned by Cameroon’s international award winning rapper, Stanley Enow. In February 2006, Willy B released his first mix tape “Suffer” which featured T Black and Adah.
The artist says “Cheri Coco” is preceding several songs and albums that he will be working on as he pursues his career in music.
“I have been signed to a label, we have been doing group songs so now is the time to start releasing my own songs” stated Willy B.
By Jude Fuhnwi
Cameroon’s President Paul Biya has appointed new ministers into his government in a decree signed this Friday, 02 October 2015. The appointments end months of speculation by local media about a new government in the country.
Eight new names feature on the list including former governor of the Far North region, Joseph Beti Assomo who was appointed Minister of Defence. He was governor of the Littoral region prior to his appointment on Friday.
Another new name is Mbah Acha Foumunda Rose Ngwari who takes over the Supreme State Audit while former adviser at the presidency, Narcisse Kombi Mouelle takes over the controversial Ministry of Arts and Culture.
CEO of the country’s certified transport company, SOCATUR, Jean Ernest Massena Ngalle Bibehe will from now head the ministry of Secondary Education, while Ernest Ngwaboubou takes over the Ministry of Mines, Industries and Technological Development. Cameroon’s Ambassador to France, Lejeune Mbella Mbella returns home to run External Relations ministry.
Paul Elung Che who has managed the Hydrocarbons Prices Stabilization Fund (CSPH) in the past few years, moves over to the Finance ministry as deputy minister and Pauline Irene Nguene Kendeck replaces Catherine Mbakang Mbock as Social Affairs Minister.
Minette Libom Li Likeng substitutes ousted Pierre Biyiti-Bi Essam as Minister of Posts and Telecommunications after serving for several years as General Manager of Customs. Mounouna Foutsou, former Secretary of State in the Ministry of Secondary Education was promoted to Minister of Youth Affairs and Civic Education.
Some Ministers simply switched ministries. Henri Eyebe Ayisi leaves the Supreme State Audit to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development meanwhile the Secretary General of the Prime Minister’s office, Louis Paul Motaze returns to his former post as Economy Minister.
Former Defence Minister, Edgard Alain Mebe Ngo’o will take over from Robert Nkili as Transport Minister. Emmanuel Nganou Djoumessi of Economy becomes Minister of Public Works while Ismael Pierre Bidoung Kpwatt comes back to head the Ministry of Sports and Physical Education from the Youth and Civic Education Ministry.
Popular names like Amah Tutu Muna, Emmanuel Bonde, Louis Bapes Bapes, Adoum Garoua, Robert Nkilli, and Catherine Bakang Mbock amongst others were floushed out of the new government.
By Blaise Whumo
Edited by Jude Fuhnwi