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Grass to Grace Germ ( Pa Yong Francis) 

By Mathew Takwi

In the dawning years of the seventies
Teething staggering steps taken
Conviction seeded seed of education:
Progressive Institute of Stenography emerged
Before me, a cooked-groundnuts selling toddler,
Often halted at doorsteps with tray on my head
As if called by one to purchase few grains
Just gazing in amazement at the tactac… tactactac … tune
Dripping from typewriter after typewriter;
Metallic broom-like fingers in bits coordinated
Leapt one by one, slapping ribbons that stained papers;
Gently spinning out printed piece in response,
An Empire was just born, an odyssey was just begun

Grappling egg that later hatched chicks:
Progressive Comprehensive High School Bamenda
Kom Comprehensive High School Anyajua
Comprehensive High School Bambui
National Polytechnique Bambui;
Dotty conception magnified in faith, courage and daring
Bobe Yong refused to be young in ideas and ventures
Red Cross movement his delicate caress felt
Umpiring football at Third, Second and First Divisions
Policing the police as Match Commissioner he checked,
Provincial Federation Chair his butts kissed
Love and desire insatiable, Yong Sports Academy germinated,
National Polytechnique Bambui sprouted

But, Pa Yong’s young yearning evergreen gray matter,
Ceaselessly navigated and zoomed tight and focused,
Hopped onto communication for him to be louder
Though soft-spoken in nature but action parked
His visible and invisible twin parrots stepped out:
Abakwa FM Radio and Cameroon National Television
Heightening his pitch and tabling the unemployed supper
Making his mark in quiet noise, exiting in rowdy silence;
And when I shall go, shall I go and go, or be gone yet on?
Bobe Yong is young, the Empire is formed;
The Emperor though gone, the Empire breathes on;
The Emperor reigns on, long live the Emperor

*Poet Laureate & Playwright
Secretary General,
Anglophone Cameroon Writers’ Association

First published in The Post print edition no 01497

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