Cameroon independence

Junior (College 3rd year) ・Art ・Harvard ・2 Sources

Only thirty years have passed since Cameroon's freedom wave in the 1990s. A significant political transition is taking place worldwide as a result of the recent conclusion to the cold war. A new breed of Cameroonian role models is protesting in the streets against their nation's rampant nepotism, one-party government, and corruption. The film opens with a poem that describes a despicable Cameroonian town where residents' rights are restricted, with the residents screaming for their freedom amid animosity and gunshots. ""Afrique, je te plumerai (Africa, I Will Fleece You)"" by Jean-Marie Téno combines the present and past in the most daring freestyle framework. creating the connection between the recent Cameroon economic failure, corruption and violence with the previous colonial experience. Different from the majority of previous movies, this work aims to highlight how the film traverses from the current to history, shedding several layers of local cultural disregard in Cameroon.

Primary message and purpose of the film

Teno makes it clear that he wanted to outline effect and cause between the unbearable current and yesterday's colonial hostility. Teno, 92 also says that he also wanted to comprehend how a continent comprised of coherent conventional civilization could not succeed in general.

Cultural genocide in Cameroon

Apparently depicted as the personal, thoughtful essay and consciousness stream of the filmmaker's beloved Cameroon Yaoundé homeland, the movie develops into broader cultural and political commentary on the ill perpetuated post-colonial Cameroon. The first Cameroon leaders became French allies the ‘self-anointed ‘African Fathers.' Later on after the departure of the French, German and French colonizers Cameroon leaders consolidated single-party rule political powers that are certainly the tyrannical and strict agenda for the wide-scale political suppression and corruption. The film director goes ahead to reflect upon a Chinese proverb, suggesting that the modern Cameroon culture can look upon the past events that to improve the ills of the current times.

The French Alouette and Its Relationship to the Movie

As a teenager growing in Cameroon, Jean-Marie Téno heard a lot of tales that fueled his creative imagination. One of the stories he had heard was a children's play song by Marie Claire. This song is about a land, occupied by larks that came to realize their area's abundance after stumbling upon a group of hunters (Kabemba 79). Recognizing the area's wealth, the visitors chose to stay, enchaining the natives for personal gains and then implementing authority after they had gone. However, after the departure of the hunters, the remaining power turns out crueler than the hunters themselves.

With fear for their existence, the authorities fall into a new breed of larks with no respect for human life. It is this general metaphor of corrupted and exploited ""false"" natives within the ancestral, native land that Téno alludes to the “Afrique, je te plumerai (Africa, I Will Fleece You)”, the title of the movie and a children's play song lark (Alouette).

The role and obstacles to the modern Cameroon Media

The role of the current media is to inform Cameroon values and educational needs. But in an incisive illustration of the systematic cultural genocide, Téno highlights major Cameroon libraries: the French-bibliothèque press that concentrates only Western-authored publications, but only gives a few written Cameroon books talking about cultural marginalization or continental history. To a big surprise, while head librarians should be of indigenous Cameroon origin, instead, they are typical French curator situation. Another one is the British-Cameroon consulate library where similar native books are disproportioned. Besides, the Goethe Institute of Cameroon only endorses German study languages instead of the native Cameroon languages. A tour to the CLE, global repository presents the most comprehensive cultural representation of modern African literature.

The CLE was developed by Western missionaries to encourage Christian ideals and history. Just like the past, the current Cameroon government has treated the media and journalists with great scorn. Even the Cameroonians themselves are high imps who prefer international television and programs over the local Cameroon programs. This is a major constraint that is causing great drawbacks in the growth of Cameroon's media and the general economy.

European Missionary Work and Cameroon’s Identities

In Teno's film, there are past 1930 newsreels that reveal how missionary work turned used to cement Western culture (colonialism) and wipe away local identity or religious alteration. During colonization, the European powers initially thought they were perusing civilization operations, but instead, they destroyed the common Cameroon's societal frameworks and transforming to imposing administrations. Through missionary work, Europeans had abolished influential Cameroon pro-autonomy leaders and established bureaucratic and corrupt regimes that have persisted into post-colonial Cameroon.

Post Colonialism in Cameroon

Describing his childhood memories, Teno remembers being told to study and be just like the whites. Téno observes this ethnically fixed attitude as the cause of Cameroon misery and the inability of Cameroon to move away from the past European colonialism. Dependency on the European powers keeps the nation disenfranchised and impoverished, resulting to Cameroon-Western dependency inextricable cycles. Jean-Marie Teno has a clear researched basis case that he tries to reveal the prolonged harm done to traditional societies in Africa by the foreign colonial influence. The movie starts by examining the current torrent flow of European books and media, press control and state-controlled print. This movie makes the viewer propose that the primary colonization victory as the real perpetual cultural genocide. Téno's video also goes ahead to investigate further the colonial misunderstanding. Giving the logical progression that can only be brought back through self-empowerment, mutual respect, and cultural awareness.

The movie starts with a poem describing Cameroon where the rights of its citizens are violated, leaving the citizens in freedom cries, hatred, and gunfire. The film goes on to display the newly attained independence after many decades of colonialism and slavery. The first Cameroon presidents proclaim single party systems and gift themselves with ultimate authority. But this is nothing compared to the subsequent Cameroon leaders who even take over authority with the most suppressing power as compared to their predecessors. While producing the movie, Teno decided to pay critical attention to Cameroon's cultural genocide caused by both Cameroonian resistance and collaboration with the Europeans.


The movie display factors and contrasts both the post-independence and colonial periods. Citizens, the media, and journalists in Cameroon, are treated with great scorn. Foreign television and programs are allowed preference over the local Cameroon programs. Even in the modern libraries the colonialism legacy still lingers on with the scarcity of Cameroon identities and a plenty of European books. Despite the presence of prolific local talent of artists and writers, Cameroon still heavily depends on European films and publications. Using the French Lark story, Teno explicitly reveals the sad story where colonial masters exploited the African natives through lack of total respect. The Cameroon authority that replaced the European masters is no better. By utilizing much classical language, interviews and footage with apparent hope and despair atmosphere, the director of the movie offer lots of information that accompanies the primary focus of the film. The movie is certainly a good investment for all audiences as it applies to all Cameroon societies.

Works cited

Kabemba, Claude Kambuya. Democratisation and the political economy of a dysfunctional state: The case of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Diss. 2011.

Téno, Jean-Marie. ""Afrique je te plumerai/Africa, I Will Fleece You."" Les Films du Raphia| ZDF (1993). Retrieved from:

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