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Women Challenged To Define Themselves 

By Walter Wilson Nana

Cameroonian women have been tasked to define themselves in the changing world and evolving cultural trends. This was the focus of a discussion centred on a new book titled; ‘Entrapped In My Own Shell – Memoire Of A Cameroonian Woman’, published by Cameroonian US-based author, teacher and philanthropist, Yvonne Marie Tiandem-Adamou.

At the discussion that took place at the Amphi 150 C of the University of Buea, UB, recently, Gender Scholar and Director of Academic Affairs, UB, Prof. Joyce Bayande Endeley, said the Cameroonian and African women have been defined by a stagnant culture despite the ongoing changes in the world. According to Endeley, it is time for the culture to be redefined. The varsity don said a woman should be made to feel free and be open to an enabling environment and be accepted. 

"We are getting to a changing environment whereby acceptance should not only come from the society alone. A woman should assert herself and that’s what it should be. We all want a united family, a peaceful environment but these should happen with people accepted to express themselves, exhibit their character, contribute to the building of the society and be recognised and valued for what they are," she added.

Dr. Nalova Lyonga, Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Teaching, UB said in Entrapped In My Own Shell – Memoire Of A Cameroonian Woman, the main character, who doubles as the author, suffered from the painful experience of deceit, which is embedded in the Cameroonian society.

To her, it is not a weakness from the part of Yvonne Marie, but the man who kept deceiving her and will not make concrete statements. "She thought that she had gotten a model of a husband, that she had got it all, her dream man as she described. She will only realise after two children that the man wanted her to be in between.

He did not intend her to be a wife, but he wanted to hold her to be where he wanted her to be. He was defining her position but she thought that she has a man to marry. It hurts and you could see how emotional the author was during the discussions," Nalova said.
The UB DVC told women to change their culture positively and they should not be an impediment to other women.

However traumatising her story may be, Tiandem-Adamou said she is letting her backyard to the rest of the world as a message of hope to all Cameroonian and African women as seen in her book. "A woman should dream her dreams and go through them and not to be any other person. Let the woman be herself and be what God wants her to be," she advised.

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