We were here too !
262 Pages
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We were here too !


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262 Pages


This book is an endeavour that situates the Yamba' of Cameroon in that general chronicle of the African colonial experience.

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Published 01 December 2013
Reads 8
EAN13 9782336331690
Language English
Document size 3 MB

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28 ISBN : 978-2-343-01575-0
Mark BolakFunteh
Preface of Verkijika G. Fanso
We were here too!
Mark Bolak Funteh WE WERE HERE TOO!
Preface of Verkijika G. Fanso
The publication of this book is financed by the Higher Teachers’ Training College of the University of Maroua, Cameroon. © L’Harmattan, 2013 5-7, rue de l’Ecole-Polytechnique, 75005 Paris http://www.harmattan.fr diffusion.harmattan@wanadoo.fr harmattan1@wanadoo.fr ISBN : 978-2-343-01575-0 EAN : 9782343015750
To Faith, Nwisheveh and Vehkwasinwi
In its goal of bringing to readers a faithful report of the story of Yamba colonial experience in Cameroon, the book has profited from the insight of many individuals and of course institutions. If writing this book has taught me anything, it has brought home how much scholarship is a community affair. I gratefully acknowledge a debt that, by its very nature, can be neither repaid nor measured. It is the intellectual and moral debts I owe to Prof. Saibou Issa for his ceaseless efforts, among others, in helping me to realise this book. To Professors V.G. Fanso, D. Abwa, and V. J. Ngoh, and H. Rudin whose profound and generally leading research efforts long introduced me to and sustained my interest in the colonial accounts in Cameroon, and on which some portions of this book rest, I say thank you. I am grateful to Professors P. Heinamman and C. Miles who influenced me with their own wide interest in questions of colonial purpose and influence in Africa, and who gave me the opportunity to consult documents and to retake pictures of great importance to the text at the Berlin War Except Museum Archives. I thank Prof. S. Y. Jikong and Dr. Stephen E. D. Fomin, knowledgeable in specific traditions, for reading and criticising with painstaking care, the first draft of some sections of the text. For his advice and encouragement, and for wielding a keen and skilful editorial scalpel and shepherding the manuscript as it evolved, I thank Prof. V.G. Fanso. I also appreciate Dr. J. Oduche for the valuable data he sent to me from the Nigerian National Archives of Kaduna. All of these people have enlightened and assisted me in many ways, but I hasten to add that I alone am responsible for any remaining errors and omissions. I am also responsible for the interpretive stance the text reflects.
Special thanks also go to the workers of the Cameroon Baptist Theological Seminary Library who made it possible for me to use books and other relevant materials in their institutions. My immense appreciation also goes to the workers of the National Archives in Buea, Mbem Baptist Health Centre Archives and Nwa District and Administrative Archives who were very kind in satisfying my request for documents. Colleagues at the Department of History, Higher TeachersTraining College of the University of Maroua, were tremendously supportive, allowing me to rearrange and lighten my teaching schedule in order to have ample time for research and writing. To the school, for extending research grants to me to aid both in manuscript preparation and publication, I express my deep gratitude. To Faith Monyuy Funteh, my wife, for her immeasurable-contributive understanding and support to my research and teaching career, I am forever grateful.
In defending his Ph.D thesis in 2009, Mark Bolak Funteh demonstrated an in-depth knowledge of sources and questions emanating from Africa and Cameroon Historiographies as a whole. Debates and scholarship discourse on or, around colonial and missionary encounter have taken a central stage in African History and Historiography. African scholars with decolonized mind-sets, using appropriate methodologies, have established a plethora of findings which have opened crucial and exacting frontiers of knowledge about the African past. Mute facts buried beneath the African soils, polished stones, pebbles, debris salient messages inscribed on stones and walls as well as archival missionary and colonial archives, have been exploited to document various themes, institutions and concepts about the African continent. All these have been staged in Cameroon History and Historiography. This situation gains interesting heights when current concepts, theories or paradigms that were bottled and sealed off as being too cosmetic for African scholarship, are wittily used to investigate the colonial encounter inan incised part of the Cameroon Grassfields like the Yamba’. As an assortment of nature’s prodigality, the Yamba land seen from any angle of investigation holds a repository of historical concerns desperately begging for urgent and prismatic insights thereby, requiring the skills of an able hand to stand the taste. Mark Bolak Funteh’sWe were Here Too! The Chronicles of Yamba Colonial Experience,1884-1961,stands squarely in this threshold. With its refreshing insights, it feels this gapwith a pomp of scholarship beyond ordinary compare. It is to say the least, major departure or divorce from skewed history and the rungs of stereotypes to the lane of professional magnanimity. This piece is therefore a deliberate professional snapshot of the Yamba people’s encounter with the tentacles of colonization, which placed a high premium on exploitation grossly mistaken by amateur scholars for civilization. It is a venture that has removed the Yamba’ from their encased confinement of historical backyard and morass of docility to anchor an avalanche of issues hitherto, hardly envisaged within the historical guild, mostly confined within the jurisdiction of overworked actions of colonialism in societies like Bakweri, Douala, Ewondo, Nso, Kom, Bafut, Bali and the Bamileke groups.
Carefully pieced together in six chapters, this book exhumes mute facts, from a range of mainly primary sources to assess the changing patterns of the intercourse between colonial discourse and indigenous response. The tone and diction of this piece has a serous dearth of verbiage and obfuscation making it intricately chained up to narratives of a de-constructivist genre worthy of reverence in the new historicity paradigm. The author’s preamble,