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The Triumph Of Deviant Behaviour In Melen 

 The inhabitants of Melen, a neighbourhood in the Yaounde VI District, seem to have signed a covenant not to do 

 
anything right. 
Uncouth behaviour is the norm here. It is more like the inhabitants of the neighbourhood savour doing the wrong 
 
things at the wrong time and in the wrong places. For instance, at lunch time, still within working hours, workers 
 
are seen drinking beer. Most of them return to their offices drunk and they sleep and snore leaving people who 
 
come for their services unattended to. 
Maryline Bih, a marketer, told The Post that it is very normal to wait for an hour before someone attends to you. 
“Some even behave so clumsily that one begins to wonder if they actually are alright. Some leave work 
 
unattended to. They prefer to go on chit-chatting with colleagues”, she said, adding that workers who are not 
 
duty-conscious actually forget to notice the number of wrong things done in one day. 
Mathias Ngam, a government worker in Yaounde said he has worked hard to be where he is and could do with a 
 
bit of enjoyment. 
“We also take beer to boost us up when we are working,” he added.
However, not only workers have this drinking habit. Students, who are supposed to be seen along the streets 
 
only before and after school hours can be seen walking lazily on the streets or involved in gambling, during 
 
school hours. 
Pelagius Atangana, a student in Lycee de Ngoa Ekele, said he leaves class before time because his teacher’s 
 
lessons are boring. 
“Instead of wasting time in a boring class, I prefer to go and play football staking games which can generate 
 
some cash for me”, he said.
On the other hand, roadside vendors add to the chaos that obtains in Melen. Pavements meant for pedestrians are 
 
occupied by these vendors who display their items on them. The chaos compels people, pedestrians to squeeze 
 
themselves uncomfortably between moving vehicles and items displayed for sale. According to a passer-by; “We 
 
sometimes step on items, annoying the owners”. 
A trader in Marché Melen, Edwin Messame told The Post: “We have no choice but to sell around here since we 
 
don’t have sheds inside the market” 
Despite all this, people who want to buy items see nothing wrong with this setting. 
Juliette Temo said, “I only come here to buy. I have nothing to do with the way the place is congested. Maybe the 
 
Council should try and remedy the situation,” Temo said. 
Motorbike riders render the situation worse. They defy all the rules and violate the traffic code more often with 
 
impunity. They seem to be ignorant of the anarchy they are causing. They only realise themselves after they get 
 
involved in a ghastly accidents which are a daily occurrence in the neighbourhood.
 According to one of the workers at Total Melen, a day doesn’t go by without bike riders having skirmishes. 
“They insult and fight each other just because one of them couldn’t have their way,” he said. Even taxi drivers go 
 
through the same ordeal. They either quarrel with bike riders, passengers, or passers-by.
The disorder in Melen is just a reflection of what is happening in other neighbourhoods in the nation’s capital. 
 
Authorities of the Yaounde City Council seem to be overwhelmed by the disorder.
By Edwana Ndong Itunghi

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