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Mathew Takwi Fetes Silver With Breaking The Barracks 

By Walter Wilson Nana — Mathew Takwi, playwright and poet, has been writing for 25 years. He recently celebrated the silver jubilee of his writing career with the release of a collection of 52 poems in a book titled: Breaking The Barracks.


A dual ceremony to launch the book and fete the silver jubilee of the author took place recently at the Pensioners’ Hall of the National Social Insurance in Buea. Takwi told The Post the 52 poems cut across many themes and aim to re-orientate mankind from the life of vices. “I’m asking humanity to dissociate itself from the physical and psychological walls or barracks that have been created,” he said.

“I am inviting humanity to take a stance for God. Negative things are happening in society because mankind has suddenly turned away from God. Let’s go back to the Almighty,” he urged. According to Takwi, Breaking The Barracks is a call for all to rethink their actions, redirect their steps and refashion their lifestyles.

While reviewing the book, Prof. Samson Negbo Abangma, Registrar, University of Buea, said Takwi is worried about corruption in the society. According to Abangma, the poet gets into a deep reflection, highlights his religious background and is sometimes lighted-hearted, as well as questions some of the ills plaguing the society.

“The theme of breaking barriers that create all forms of discrimination, isolation and injustice among individuals, communities, nations and states is the main preoccupation of the poet in this collection,” he added. Abangma found in Breaking The Barracks the author’s determination to take a prominent and rightful place among rising English-speaking Cameroonian writers in general and poets in particular.

“The book is written in a style which eludes simplistic categorisation such as simple, difficult, plain and sublime. Takwi’s style is a mixture of all these,” the reviewer noted. In his foreword to Breaking The Barracks, the Bishop of Buea Diocese, Mgr. Immanuel Bushu writes; “Mathew Takwi bursts with enthusiasm in this collection of poems because of the irreparable loss of culture and the traditions of the land.

He expresses his experience of culture shock, which bashes down values in society, leaving it truncated in its wake.” The Prelate went further; “The core culture is struck, the foundations are falling. Takwi has criticised society. To build a better society, we must cultivate what he criticises society for, because that is what society is. Takwi stirs; he pokes the conscience of society in distress. He does that very ably in his poems.”

The chair of the launch, James Enongene of the Southwest Regional Delegation of Secondary Education, urged all to stand by Mathew Takwi and other Cameroonian writers. He saw in the book the celebration of the victory of Barrack Obama as an example that anybody can break a myth and the cocoons we all find ourselves in.

Born in Nkwen, Bamenda, where he attended primary and secondary school, Mathew Takwi earned a Degree in English and a Diploma in French from the University of Yaoundé in 1990. Takwi subsequently joint the Cameroon GCE Board in July 1995, where he has been working in the Research and Publications Service.

Takwi is a distinguished member of the International Society of Poets and the Secretary General of Anglophone Cameroon Writers’ Association, ACWA. Besides Breaking the Barracks, Takwi has also published People Be Not Fooled, On Their Knees, Fire On The Mountain, and a play, Gaining The Game.

First published in The Post print edition no 01386

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