Mind Searching
231 Pages
Gain access to the library to view online
Learn more

Mind Searching


Gain access to the library to view online
Learn more
231 Pages


In Mind Searching Nyamnjoh has attempted to do something rather clever - to expose, through the attitudes, feelings and thoughts of one man and a very simple story, the hypocrisy and corruption of Cameroon society and humanity in general, often using understatement and irony in good effect. The commentary is unremittingly cynical and returns again and again to corruption, callous squandering, exploitation, prostitution, and other fairly worn butts. The book depicts a society where basic freedoms are shackled, and thinking aloud treasonable. Hence the mental ramblings of the narrator and central character Judascious Fanda Yanda, in the form of an extended monologue full of observations, anecdotes and asides written from the point of view of an apparently insouciant naive. The basic method is to foreground the opinions and conversational elegance of the narrator, while having events going on as a background to his thoughts. We trace the narrator's progress from a disenchanted 'Damn? de la Terre' to a comfortably well off Private Secretary to a Vice Minister over a number of years. It is a clear illustration of how the system perpetuates its mediocrity and buys off any spark of initiative. Nyamnjoh has a good command of ironic tone and sound control over form and structure. He employs a very fluent style, and often has very urbane and neat turns of phrase. He captures the bored, superior, cynical and ultimately predatory tone of voice of his narrator extremely well.



Published by
Published 15 October 2007
Reads 2
EAN13 9789956716241
Language English
Document size 6 MB

Legal information: rental price per page 0.0048€. This information is given for information only in accordance with current legislation.


Francis B. Nyamnjoh
Mind Searching
Francis B. Nyamnjoh
Publisher: LangaaResearchandPublishing CommonInitiativeGroup P.O. Box 902 Mankon Bamenda North West Province Cameroon Contact Address: Langaagrp@gmail.com Langaa_grp@yahoo.com
ISBN: 9956558044
nd © Francis B. Nyamnjoh 2007, 2 Edition First Published 1991 by Kucena Damian Nigeria Limited
Francis B. Nyamnjoh is Head of Publications and Dissemination with the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA). He has taught sociology, anthropology and communication studies at universities in Cameroon, Botswana and South Africa, and has researched and written extensively on Cameroon and Botswana, where he was awarded the “Senior Arts Researcher of the Year” prize for 2003. His most recent books includeNegotiating an Anglophone Identity(Brill, 2003),Rights and the Politics of Recognition in Africa (Zed Books, 2004),Africa’s Media, Democracy and the Politics of Belonging(Zed Books, 2005),Insiders and Outsiders: Citizenship and Xenophobia in Contemporary Southern Africa(CODESRIA/ZED Books, 2006). Dr Nyamnjoh has published widely on globalisation, citizenship, media and the politics of identity in Africa. His other works of fiction includeThe Disillusioned African,A Nose for Money,Stories from Abakwa, andThe Convert.
Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five
oday, I find myself, strangely, going to T the church again. What a long period of absence it’s been! What are the more regular church-goers going to think of me? A stranger in paradise for sure. A confirmed henchman of the devil. Satan incarnate! What a world we live in; what manner of judgment! They wouldn’t even try to investigate. It is not in their nature. Their ability to seek the truth has been crippled and overshadowed by prejudice and conceit. Who would believe it anyway, who would believe my story? How can anyone believe me when they have all along been taught to expect Truth only from the palaces of the very great, and never to look down to the slums whence nothing but Falsehood emanates? They would all say I’m kidding, that I’m crazy if I tell them. “How can that be true! How can he blaspheme our Lord in this manner! Could God have done it to a sinner like him? Could the Almighty have chosen such a commoner for so noble a cause? Impossible! If Dr T, Mrs S, Prof. N, or the Honourable Vice Minister tells us of any such vision, we would believe them for their spiritual uprightness, their fathomless faith. We know that they attend the First Mass every Sunday despite their onerous duties; they contribute heavily and donate
generously; and they are open handed with friend and foe. But not a Chameleon like Judascious Fanda Yanda to whom the church is what the streets are to beggars. Surely not a nonentity like him! Never!” Yes, that is how I would be denounced if I dared to tell them of my meeting with God. They wouldn’t believe that God, ‘their God’, is proposing using me to save the people from total frustration. I doubt whether they would even admit they are frustrated. They don’t see themselves as belittled and manipulated by anyone, not even by Dr T, Mrs S, Prof. N, or the Honourable Vice Minister. What a pity! They have been trained to lie to themselves and to the world around them. They have learnt to wear masks for convenience, but whose convenience? So I decide to say nothing to anyone, but simply await the time when the Almighty will finally entrust his divine mission into my hands. Only then will I blaze with zeal and vigour like an oil-tanker in the Gulf, devastating falsehood and unmasking the world. The peremptory words might clatter from the skies when I least expect them; when I’m least ready to act upon them. But I will do my utmost to remain firmly at God’s disposal. And I plan to set out without any prior preparations. It would suffice to hear a command like this: “Judascious Fanda Yanda,
I the Lord thy God, beseech thee to come forth and serve my cause. Get thee into the world and destroy all those disciples of the devil who pretend to speak in my name. Also destroy the massive exploitation of mankind and deplore indiscriminate self-aggrandizement. Do this in the name of the Holy Trinity.” Yes, I shall take a preliminary sword of words and disappear into the whole wide world, searching everywhere, until all the enemies of good are traced and eliminated. Every society and every generation has its Pharoahs and its Moseses. I’m glad to be called upon to serve my society and generation; and like Moses I would free the wretched of the earth from the whims and caprices of modern Pharoahs. May the Lord be praised. Once inside the church, I will choose a seat at the very back. I hate to have all those judging eyes piercing my back. I know them well, all those people who attend the services every Sunday. I hate to call them zealots, but that is exactly what they are. “My goodness, even if it were true, what right have they to say that some men come to church not to worship, but to honour their appointments with young women?” I recalled saying this to myself, when last I was here. A daring group of elderly women had gone up to the altar after mass and denounced waywardness
amongst the males of the church. Of course, they said there were some exceptions, and even though they failed to call names, everyone knew who their saints were, even easier to guess as Mrs S was one of the women who complained. By the way, who was God to deny those Peter had elected here on Earth? The women had chosen to exonerate Dr T, Prof. N and the Honourable Vice Minister from their list of supposed lechers, and God should see it as such. The congregation of this church is very susceptible. Its members are easily disturbed and distracted; most allergic to secular noise. The faintest sound by the shoes of a latecomer is enough to attract all eyes upon the latter. A coughing grandmother, a snoring parishioner making up for a sleepless night, or a crying child are centres of attraction. Many were the times when our former Priest Le Père Jean Mouton was irritated by what he termed “the perpetual sheepishness of my congregation”. I remember one vivid incident a couple of years ago. That was barely a month after Le Père Jean Mouton had bought himself a new car, with money pooled by his parishioners. I have never forgiven myself ever since for not having been rich enough to contribute even a widow’s mite, and above all for failing to show penitence. But if God really cares for rich and poor as the Bible