There is a long standing joke that about Cameroonians who leave the country dusting literally dusting their hands off it and till when they die, and of course as per demands they all want their corpses brought “home”. And the punch line of course goes: Is Cameroon a cemetery? This joke holds some truth, most Cameroonians ignore investing back home or give up too easily when they try and face obstacles and most of us are very willing to forget all about “home” till we die.
But then there’s December... December is this jokes fallacy. Every time this year our bushfallers migrate like seasonal birds back home away from the cold winters of the west or where ever else that is included in the term Bush. The early birds have already come and by the 25th wherever you go you will hear the American accents formerly confined to your cable on tv.
A lot can be and has been said on the periodic in coming of bushfallers; how they act, treat the people they left back in pays like they are somehow less-than, and of course how the men come in have flings and make promises they never intend to keep etc. Yet little mention is given to the way those in the country react to them.
So here it is: I don’t think the bushfallers are the problem but rather the people who they return home to; people who treat them with more respect, accord them more favors and expect more from them just because they have crossed the borders. What does it say of ourselves, that the things we would never accept from our own like curse words in speech, the demands for meals “just so”, the abnormally late nights, the inconveniences on our schedule are suddenly “cool” and okay for the two to three weeks when they are done by bushfallers? Then there are the young women who give their all in hope that they way win a bushfallers heart and of course his foreign citizenship…
Because of their foreign accents I’ve seen children get away with being rude, abusive and watched the “children of home” who would wake up at 5 am everyday be discriminated upon eating in the kitchen while the bushfallers sat at the dining table. Some would argue that these bushfallers sustain most back at home with the monthly cash sent through money transfer agencies, yet where does the gratitude end and the brown-nosing begin?