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The Many Areas Of Anglophone Marginalisation 

By Maxcel Fokwen

Photo used for illustrative purpose

That there exists an Anglophone Problem in Cameroon demands no further explanations, but areas in which this marginalisation is practised abound.

Amid the general condemnation of neglect and maltreatment meted on citizens of Northwest and Southwest extraction through Government circles, The Post, revisits other decades-long aspects of maltreatment that have kept the common Anglophone person in trauma.

Across the Northwest and Southwest, daily proceedings in most establishments for long have taken a French style of operation.

Often times, employees of French extraction respond more to persons who identify with the French language than others who struggle to make their point in English.

Scenarios abound at the level of Commercial Banks, Railway Stations, Bus Stations, brewery companies, National Social Insurance, telecommunication companies, money transfer agencies, hospitals, laundry services, police stations and other areas of daily activities.

It is common knowledge that persons on retirement face a lot of language problems following up documents at the level of insurance companies.

First, a handful of employees are Francophones. This puts an average Anglophone retiree in a disadvantaged position. In an attempt to get clarification on forms and other documents, elderly persons try for long and several times just to make meaning of the French written on the forms.

At times, some of these persons have to spend hours, either waiting for an Anglophone youth or employee who speaks or understands French to bail them out of the trauma.

The story is told of an elderly man who recently exploded in anger after such conduct at the Social Insurance Fund in Mile 17 Buea.

In the domain of rail transport, tickets dished to passengers carry messages completely in French. Sign posts along rail lines are in French on Anglophone soil without any English version.

This is the situation at the Kumba-Banga rail axis. Tickets here are designed uniquely in French but a majority of those who use this axis are English-speaking.

Similar traumatising experiences abound in the road transport sector.

Road signs and other directions are completely in French in villages across most of Anglophone Cameroon where major road works take place.

At the level of commercial banks, the general conduct has been that of favouritism. It is common place for a Francophone employee to attend to a French-speaking customer, even if such a person came after an Anglophone.

In most of these commercial banks, adverts, messages and other announcements are provocatively dished out in French.

Quarrels usually spark over such issues but there is no one they can report to.
Same obtains in money transfer agencies.

Sometimes, when there is congestion, especially in student residential neighbourhoods like Molyko, Francophone employees tend to treat with students who speak French first.

Mobile telephone companies share in the process. Their messages to customers are predominantly in one Language, mostly French.

Brewery companies have their computerised receipts crafted in French only. Yet they apply the same format in English-speaking Cameroon.

The same language marginalisation exists at police stations and laundry houses.

Pius Itoe, a political observer, told The Post that for such aching trends to be reversed, Government must take a firm stance on the neglect of any of the country‘s official languages.

Itoe said investors and other companies must be made to respect policies.

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