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This Is Cameroon In 2035 

By Azore Opio

CameroonPostline.com — All eyes are on the year 2035. Then, Cameroon will be good enough to eat. Imagine the vast opulence that will ornament Cameroon’s landscape; grand hotels with tables laid with geometric precision waited at by fleets of kow-towing servants; boutique shops, restaurants offering succulent beef stews and fiery pepper soups, pavement bars and clubs, supermarkets with escalators, hybrid cars gliding on super highways, bullet trains and underground trains, trams and supersonic air travel, luxury buses, cruise ships, and ultramodern airports and motor parks; brightly lit streets lined with garbage cans, free-flowing potable water. And uninterruptable power supply. Yes, UPS. A Cameroon where sparkling talents will be recognised and tapped.

Yes, in 2035, the country called Cameroon will be a grand nation with surprising parallels with today’s London, Chicago, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Sydney, Tokyo, Basel, and even rivalling Paris! Or Barcelona and Rio de Janerio? As we refocus your favourite Spyglass, we can’t avoid taking stock of the preparedness to enter into 2035. The love for Cameroon grows ever stronger. The compassion of the authorities to see Cameroon emerge in 2035 from her doldrums is palpable.

Cameroon causes anyone to question the wisdom of God. Because if he were all-knowing, Cameroon would not be a skeleton of its former self; the glamorous days passed away and the new days have been raw, hard and uncertain. Who could have imagined that Cameroon is just an approximation of the glorious days of high salaries, prompt retirement benefits, high-performing schools, reliable health systems, good roads and so on and so forth?

To re-write Cameroon’s glory that has been written out of history, a roar in the wilderness released mouldy skeletons from the cupboards. The skeletons that devastated and haunted Cameroon’s economy for decades began to tumble one after the other and were packed off to the criminal warehouses of Kondengui and New Bell.

Experts at procrastination, who argue that procrastination with its close cousin boredom leads to day-dreaming, hugely productive in the end, subsequently leading to creativity and flashes of inspiration with sometimes practical results, would vindicate Cameroon’s efforts to emerge in 2035. The time government spent to procrastinate which delayed Cameroon from reaching its potential in 30 years could then be said to be her panacea if we go by Piers Steel, procrastinating psychologist at the University of Calgary.

Steel says procrastination requires a certain amount of self-deception; playing off projects against one another; keeping a “busy face” or a convincing appearance to be working on the pitch when you are actually shopping for underwear or party dresses. He adds that inside every procrastinator is the fear of being discovered day-dreaming! And so it came to pass that there was a flash of inspiration that ignited the mother of all grand chantiers and major accomplishments in Cameroon, which disabused the old line that the time procrastinators spend is dead time.

To tune up the apparatus of the 2035 vessel, the Douala Airport underwent some plastic surgery – it was partitioned with ply wood and its lone escalator which went caput received a metal coffin to cover its carcass. Then new kids were brought on the legislating block, some of whom were so old they looked like they needed doctors. And the life of Parliament was extended until it almost ran out of breath.

As Cameroon braces for 2035, we can’t avoid, once more, to take stock of the hostility demonstrated against a certain party and its followers by another party which now wields great power; this, in itself, it is believed, will propel Cameroon to the futuristic 2035. We are bound to take cognizance of a situation where the party, on account of its superior skill in fraud and influence, can usurp power and proceed to bully the other party to the point of seeking to subdue it by sheer brute legal force and refined shamelessness.

Why in the world should an opposition party mayor not welcome the head of state of a one and indivisible nation to the grand celebration of reunification? Could it be that talks of rule of law and respect of human rights and dignity are peripheral to real-politiks? Or could it be that such people merely claim to be protagonists of democracy but do not believe in that ideology as a practicable way of life?

Reunification is another ticket for the 2035 flight. Until lately, the prospect of partaking in the Reunification celebrations had been in the minds of everyone, educated or not. It had enchanted every man, literate or illiterate, and everyone who heard about it was filled with affection as could not have ever been imagined. Now it is beginning to look like a saga without a human face. The modification of the Buea main street is laudable – it is a short-cut to ending one’s miseries. All in all, the Reunification projects, most of which have been hastily executed, would surely take Cameroon to 2035.

Emerging in 2035 would unarguably require that information is managed without fear or favour. Today’s National Communication Council (NCC) is not the previous toothless lion with much roar and no bite – today the dentures of the NCC have been sharpened. The lion has been fitted with a set of brand new claws and it is now not only gnashing at media houses, but it is gutting out, moreover with surgical precision, rotten cancerous organs whose owners are more or less weird carpenters whose job is to pick on persons and cut and nail them on the pages of their newspapers or screens of TVs, for a fee.

It is yet another election time and politicians are talking barrels of nonsense; unemployment and crime are abundant, primary education is not yet free, healthcare is a far cry from reality, corruption and wastage are still the order of the day… Water and electricity are still in short supply against cut-throat bills. Who is playing catch-up with the world – Cameroon or 2035?

First published in The Post print edition no 01466