The Weeping Triangle
244 Pages
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The Weeping Triangle


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244 Pages


The Weeping Triangle portrays a country that has been overtaken by corruption. This country had been awarded the most corrupt country in the world two times in a row and a third time is increasingly likely. In a world where money talks and violence is a way of life, most people succumb to the way things are lest they become victims of the system. Smith, however, is one of a kind. As a teacher entrusted with the lives of his students, Smith sees the need to curb the current direction of his country. Frustrated with the way things are, curious as to how things got so bad and motivated to make a change for the better, he stands out among the rest determined to make a difference no matter how small. Branded a fool for his bravery and incessant inquisitiveness, Smith stands up to those in authority; most of whom are bound by corruption. He refuses to partake in this illegal way of life. Encouraging his friends and anyone else to do the same proves difficult but does not deter his intentions. What hope does one have in a country full of lies, secrets, deceptions and bribery? The Weeping Triangle takes you through the journey of Smith and his friends making the most of what little hope there is.



Published by
Published 09 November 2011
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EAN13 9789956726578
Language English
Document size 2 MB

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Taniform Martin Wanki
THE WEEPING TRIANGLE Taniform Martin Wanki
The Weeping Triangle
Taniform Martin Wanki
Langaa Research & Publishing CIG Mankon, Bamenda
Publisher: LangaaRPCIG Langaa Research & Publishing Common Initiative Group P.O. Box 902 Mankon Bamenda North West Region Cameroon Distributed in and outside N. America by African Books Collective
ISBN: 9956-726-06-0 ©Taniform Martin Wanki 2011
DISCLAIMER All views expressed in this publication are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Langaa RPCIG.
he second time brandished as the world’s most thoughTts kept tormenting me as I sat in that taxi heading to corrupt country in a row and almost on its way to becoming first again for the third time.’ Those the ministry of education that Tuesday morning of Febuary th 25 . I remembered my numerous friends around the world and what they could have been thinking of me and my country with its newly acquired status. Then the words of Simon Woods, a British friend who lived in London, re-echoed in my mind. “It seems corruption is what people of your country know best. I think it could be a good commodity to export to other countries. Please tell your government that if they are interested in selling it to the outside world, I could help to advertise it, perhaps on the London Stock Exchange,” he told me in a phone conversation I had with him two days earlier. Though he was just trying to crack a joke as usual, my pride was hurt and I was ashamed of what was happening to my country. “This is what happens when someone stays in power too long. New ideas seem to elude them and they still feel they are indispensable in the life of the nation,” I said unconsciously to the hearing of the driver. “Son, I do understand fully well what you are talking about,” he said to me though I was not really talking to him. “That is why things are better in countries where there are changes at the helm every four or five years than those where constitutions are there to serve only the interest of those in
power. I have never understood why an individual would imagine that he is the only one endowed with the wisdom and experience to govern. Does thinking like that mean that he is going to remain there forever? Of course not… when his time is up, he is going to go and should not think that the country would cease to exist after him. Corruption is the product of a failed system resulting from bad governance. You can talk to the authorities who would admit that corruption is a problem but they would be quick to defend themselves by saying that corruption is a worldwide phenomenon as if being a worldwide phenomenon should make it legitimate. Anyway, we are already old and cannot do anything about this present situation but are counting on young people like you to turn things around for our children.” There was a lot of emotion in his voice as he spoke. I did not need the services of an expert to tell me that Harley Simon, the driver, as I could read on his identification taxi badge, was equally tired of the situation. He was definitely boiling with anger as were many other people whose hopes of a blissful life faded away with the passing days. He remained pensive, shook his head, sighed several times and then opened his mouth. But no words emerged. I would have engaged him in a discussion which I thought could enable us to pour out our grievances to each other as I sat just next to him. But I didn’t for fear that I might have broken his concentration or even worse, caused him to crash the car. I sat still and silent, thinking of what I might encounter at the ministry. Then after a while some words finally fell from his lips. “Only heaven will judge these people who have decided to enjoy themselves by making life a living hell for us the
common people. They have devised a strategy which seems to be a motto and it is ‘let the underprivileged, poor and unemployed die so that those in power can survive,” he said in desperate resignation. The anguish and anger that had built up for long made him a ticking time-bomb and I did not know which words of hope I could tell him to ease his pain. His sad words and desperation seemed to have chased all ideas from my head leaving it completely empty. Perhaps it was because I could feel his desperation since we all belonged to the common class of strugglers. Out on the street, people were hurrying to their different destinations, some on foot and others on commercial motor-bikes. Young girls of school going age carried trays of fruits on their heads moving around selling. Their male counterparts pushed trucks or wheel-barrows craning their eyes left and right in the hopes of having someone employ them to transport a few items from one place to another in exchange for a few coins. The sun was shining brightly that morning but its rays it seemed could only illuminate the city and pierce hard into people’s flesh but could not dispel the darkness and uncertain future that hung over people’s heads. It was 08:45 and the taxi had just come to a halt. We had arrived at a round-about and were waiting for the traffic light to turn green. A white Toyota Starlet sped past us without stopping with a young boy of about sixteen at the steering wheel. “What could be chasing that young man or what is he running after?” another passenger who sat directly behind me asked. At that moment, it was difficult to tell.
“You are running to your grave,” Simon shouted after him though he was already too far to have heard what he said. Everyone in the taxi sighed. “If you ask that young man for his driving license, he would produce a valid one though the law in this country says youths below eighteen are not allowed to drive,” Simon went on. “Do you know what kills most people in this country? It is not HIV/AIDS, malaria, road accidents or cancer. It is bribery and corruption. With money, one can produce or buy anything in this country.” Everybody sighed again. The light soon turned green and we were on the move again, only this time the only noise was that made by the engine. Some 600 meters from the round-about, we met a crowd of people who surrounded a stationary truck loaded with logs of timber. Under the truck was a white Toyota Starlet or should I say ‘the wreckage of a white Toyota Starlet’. We recognized it as the one that sped past us without stopping at the round-about. Traffic slowed down considerably at that point and we were able to see how the boy was extracted from the Starlet and put into another taxi to be taken to the hospital. Blood was oozing out of his nose and forehead. My blood ran cold as I saw what happened to the young man. “Do you see what I was telling you?” Simon asked. “That is the prize for trading our consciences for money and for breaking rules that we ourselves have laid down. I only hope he survives.” I did not make any comments as I didn’t want to see only bribery and corruption as the probable cause of the accident. What if the parents or guardians or relative of the boy left the car at home and he got it out without their knowledge? Boys
at that age can be very mischievous and adventurous. One could not predict what they could be up to the next minute. It was 09:15 when the taxi stopped in front of the Ministry of Secondary Education and I alighted. It was a gigantic and magnificent eight floor storey building which was built in the form of the letter C. It was fenced all round and there were heavily armed men in uniform guarding the main and other entrances into the building. Only those who worked in the building or anyone dressed in an expensive European three piece suit were allowed in at that time of the day. I just wore a simple T-shirt and a pair of trousers and could not enter. The reason given for not letting people in at that moment was that the minister was still in his office situated on the eighth floor of the building and was to leave at 11:00. It was only after his departure that anybody was allowed to go into the building. That was how things were every working day at the ministry. I therefore had to wait until the minister left at 11:00. For the next one hour forty five minutes that I had to wait, I spent the time observing the people and the activities they carried out around the ministry. A good number of them, especially women, sold cooked food while others and some as young as thirteen sold items ranging from books, newspapers, fruits, right down to kitchen utensils. From time to time, workers from inside the ministry came out to have something to eat. Some of them sat out there for more than an hour conversing with food vendors even long after they had finished eating. I began to ask myself if all that waste of time was because there was no work for them or if there was no one to attend to. It seemed that having one’s name on the state’s payroll was more important than actually working for the state whole heartedly. That kind of behaviour was a clear
indication that someone at the top was not doing his or her job. At exactly 10:50, the main gate into the ministry building was flanged open and a chain of latest four wheel drive Toyota Prados drove out of the ministry premises. It was the minister leaving. As all the vehicles were the same colour, it was difficult to say which one the minister was in. After his departure, everyone could go into the ministry building unrestricted. I got into the building and decided that I would use the lifter to get to the seventh floor where room 404 was situated (located?). It was in that room that all advancement issues were handled. There were three lifters and the last time I got to the ministry anyone could use any of them. But on that day, I saw something different. On the door of the second lifter was a written sign that said ‘For Workers Only’ and the third door said, ‘For the Minister Only’. So, only the first one was meant for the public and from all indications, it was out of use because of some mechanical problems. What really intrigued me was not what was written on the doors of the second and third lifters but it was the presence of some men in uniform well armed around there. Perhaps they were there to make sure no one broke the rules. I read no sense in all of that and definitely was not in the mood to start asking questions which would have only led to quarrels. I settled on the last option which was to take the stairs. The stairs were really crowded as many people used them. It took me ten minutes to get to the seventh floor and I immediately moved into room 404 and shut the door behind me. There was a woman sitting behind a table looking seemingly happy. There were some two other tables to show
that there were three of them working in that office. But, the other two workers were not present while I was there. “Welcome and have a seat. I know those stairs are not easy to climb,” she said smiling. Her smile gave me a sense of confidence and zeal to think that I could talk with her without any fear. “Thank you,” I appreciated. “What can I do for you?” she asked still smiling. “I came all the way from Bamenda town to see if I could hand in documents for my advancement. I just thought that after putting in eight years, I was entitled to it,” I told her. “I think everyone who is hard working should be rewarded accordingly,” she said. “Can I have your documents?” I opened my file and took out my documents which I handed to her. While she was flipping through them I asked her why men in uniform did not need to leave the provinces to bring documents to the capital city for their advancements to be effected as those of us in the teaching core did. “You do not carry guns and so no one is afraid of you,” she told me jokingly. I felt hurt by her comments. I did not know why. I knew the system perfectly well and how it functioned. Perhaps I felt hurt because I did not want anyone reminding me of the dirty system I lived in or maybe it was because teachers and men in uniform were all public sector workers and that disparity was not supposed to exist. But one thing was certain and it was the fact that her comments were open to many interpretations. After thanking her for receiving me so warmly and accepting my documents, I rose to leave but she stopped me. “Why are you just leaving like that?” she asked