“Do you still drum ” ?

I grew up between the hills and valleys of Lebialem. I had the opportunity to experience lots of what rural life could offer. When I was 13 years old, and a form two student in the secondary school, I belonged to the Sunday school group in Church, and later grew into the Young Presbyterian (YP) group all in the Presbyterian church of Lebialem. It was always amazing how i had fun in all group activities. One of these activities that I remember vividly, is my drumming experience in choral music and traditional dances. Of course, socialization patterns had spelt out clear gender roles. This alone made me seem odd in the domain. Drumming was however seen as a thing for the boys. But how I got here was based on competence.

“You’re good at it. All these boys are bullocks ” Said my songs teacher- Mr Kan Vincent. He was that strict man even adults feared. Yes he was that strict. I was happy I could stand out.
I played the role of the “drummer girl” during our rehearsals till the rally day arrived. I played the drum during the choir and the traditional dances.

It all happened on a Sunday. Our rallies were usually big events that pulled Christians from different parts of the Sub-Division. Amongst the visitors was my ICT teacher Mr Emmanuel . We called him – Homer

The looks on the faces of onlookers could only define how shoked they were. But the excitement painted on their faces got me blindfolded. I couldn’t dictate what could be written on their minds. The fingers pointed at me from multiple directions in all my innocence meant quite nothing to me then. I was the lone drummer girl among the few drummer boys.

It was on the following Monday morning when my ICT teacher arrived in class and with no delay, he could spot me in a class of over 60 students. In total amazement, he explained to the entire class how shoked he was to find a girl that drums. My classmates couldn’t wait to process it but burst into laughter. I stood with my face facing the ground. I felt humiliated. I felt shy. I felt embarrassed. I could conclude i did the wrong thing. It didn’t end there. Each time he saw me, while smiling, he would ask me “do you still still drum “? This however didn’t sound to me like he meant any thing close to good. Often, it sounded just as saying “do you still steal ” ? This went on for a couple of months.

Well, this drew my attention to the famous Igbo-Nigerian movies, Western movies and musics which portrayed men as those playing the musical instruments and above all the drums, while all the ladies did the singing and dancing. In my brain, I could quickly scan through posters and flyers,text books and story books where only male images described a drummer. Hence you could only have a drummer boy not a drummer girl. And that was my conclusion since I had no role model. I never for any reason could drum again. My desire had all been watered down.

However, the nice thing is,the narrative is fast changing and seats are being switched. My thinking was shaped by society and exposure. There’s no such thing as only boys can do this or that. If your passion should drive you towards a certain path, walk the path till you arrive.

You see, my case was just drumming in the field of music. Stereotypes like this have killed the innate potentials in many women and girls, killing their ability to discover the best version of their selves. cutting accross the world of arts through the sciences women and girls face similar challenges. Above all odds, let competence speak, and not assumptions or stereotypes.

How ever, I plan on engaging in my music lessons again. I never take it for a defeat, I take it for a lesson.

#EncourageAGirlChild
#EmpowerTheGirlChild

The Education of children and and parenting.

The need for education in both the rural and urban areas is a burning desire for all parents and most young persons.
In as much as some parents have found it necessary to create enabling environments for the education of their kids, some parents have made education an unattainable dream.
Some constraints some of these kids encounter include huge work loads which makes children absent from school,end up on the streets, get to school very late and exhausted in a manner that makes studies difficult. These children do not just suffer from the huge work loads, but punishments from discipline authorities who never have the patience to understand why certain children often make it late to school. In addition, these children get to fail at the end of the term or accademic year. But still those who care about the “why” are few with more persons refering to them as “dull this or that”.

The worst case senario as seen on the picture above are kids who are sent to sell commodities before going to school. All these affects the child psychologically as they see their friends going to school while they can’t make it at the same time as their mates.

My observation has it that a few parents may find themselves violating the human rights of children in this manner but the proportion of extended relations who do this are numerous.

Parents (aunties, step mothers, and in-laws etc) have put a lot of children through hard times as regards education. Some have gone to rural areas to get children from poor parents promising to get them through education. While others keep to this promise,most do not. These children (especially females) end up in their homes as prostitutes, servants and constantly undergo a lot of torture in all dimentions.

I just can’t count the number of children i have met selling things like snails, puff rolls etc while thier friends are in school. When you ask them why they are not in school, some will say my step mother sent me to go and sell. Some say i will go tomorrow. Some say i don’t go to school. Some while heads down will just say nothing. I have met others crying on the streets begging for a hundred francs they misplaced while selling if not their aunts or ward (step mothers) will kill them.

In reality, we need to fight against child labor, promote the education of children, so as to guarantee a better future for younger persons for it is their human right . It doesn’t matter whose child it is but treat her/him the way you will either want to be treated, or want your own child to be treated.

CREATING SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITY SOLUTIONS

In every community, there is that problems, or those problems which we find very inappropriate, and as such, may want to work towards addressing it/them. But the situation here is, you cannot solve a problem without knowing what actually that problem is. Hence, to identify a problem, you need to investigate why that problem keeps existing. Without this, you will never be able to get a solution, or a sustainable solution. With that done, design possible solutions, and a plan of implementation. The criteria you ought to use in deriving a sustainable solution involves, interrogating the frequency of the problem, the duration of the problem, the number of people affected by this problem, and if the problem affects either a few persons, or an entire community (severity). You will also have to inquire if the problem deprives people of their legal and moral rights. Above all, you will have to find out if inhabitants of that community find your worry as a problem and need an urgent solution. To derive a solution therefore, you will have to empathize, define, ideate, prototype, test, and then replicate if it works well. Remember that everything you get involved in must be well documented.
Very often, we have these big dreams to change the world, we have great ideas, but making it work is the uphill task. You ought to build a network of partners. The advantage of this is that, where ever you find yourself lacking any resource be it material or immaterial, financial or human, the next partner could always fit in. working as a team gives you the impetus, the moral booster, recognition, clarity, guidance, and support. Despite how rosy team work may be, it has its very own odd such as team players getting pessimistic, untrue to the course, absenteeism, failure to meet up with deadlines, failure to follow instructions, and the list is long. Although we may encounter these odds, there is need to brave the challenges and get going. For “change is what we want”. As a change maker, you have to lead, be discipline, work extra hard, so as to make it work.
Getting a sustainable plan, you need to clarify your mission, define what you want to sustain, build a good collaboration with partners, choose a sustainability strategy, and make sure you communicate your successes to team mates. Remember that the major reason for which we plan, is because resources are limited. As such funding becomes a greater determinant for the implementation of our designed projects. We could therefore fund raise through institutional fundraising, public fundraising, crowdfunding, and grants. But watch out for the policies, areas of priority, procedures and psychology of funders.
Be real, be true and factual. It is not all about you, but the team. With a team, your outcomes, surely will amount
to something great.

creating sustainable community solutions
group picture

mentors
during the event
during the event
at he event

#YALI LEARNS BUEA, 2013
#UNIVERSITY OF BUEA
02/06/18

YOUTHS AND CONTRACEPTIVES

The number of teenage pregnancies, unwanted pregnancies, and the spread of STDs, is on a steady increase. However, the repercussions are often more visible on girls in terms of early pregnancies, school dropout, and other health risks. It is in this light that the Integrated Health Organization (IHO) seeks to “inspire better health”, through which it helps inspire hope and well being of individuals. Contraceptives are used in preventing unplanned pregnancies, STDs and for family planning. This can be done with the use of drugs (pills), sterilization of male and females reproductive organs, or barrier methods. All those at the reproductive age, males and females are capable of using contraceptives. Methods of contraception include natural methods, artificial methods, cervical methods and the calendar methods. Unfortunately, the decision either to or not to use contraceptives is mostly influenced by men even though the non-use of contraceptives affects more women than men. When contraceptives are used, birth can be planned and the rate of STDs reduced. above all, there will be a significant drop in the number of teen-mothers.

at the conference hall of the American Corner in the University of Buea.

participants after the workshop.

WORLD AIDS DAY 2017. THEME: ” increasing Impact through transparency, accountability and through partnerships”

# World AIDS Day

The AIDS disease is all around the world though the percentage varies across geographical areas. However, it comes about as a result of a maturity in the HIV virus in the human system. At this stage it can’t be treated but getting diagnosed enables you know your status and as such, if HIV/AIDS positive, you could start up with treatment. HIV/AIDS is no longer a myth. since one of it’s dominant way of transmition is through sexual intercourse, my advice in that we use preventive measures such as the use of condoms during sexual intercourse.
#GET TASTED AND KNOW YOUR STATUS
#PREVENT HIV/AIDS
#TOGETHER LET’S BID FAREWELL TO THIS DREADFUL DISEASE

19th November: World Toilet Day. Theme: Wastewater

There are a whole lot of people around the world who do not own or have access to good toilets.Because urinating and defecating remains a natural phenomenon, people are often found disposing this waste any where. However, this waste remains so dangerous to human health. According to the UN, Poor sanitation is the number one cause of world leading diseases especially for humans and most especially women and children. Women stand the chance of picking up Syphilis and gonorrhea from contaminated toilet systems. it is to this that the UN general assembly in 2013 declared 19th of November as World Toilet Day. Thanks to CHAMEG Cameroon and NGO where i volunteer, I was able to organize a clean up Campaign on the eve, and celebrated this day with Parent’s Mountain School Buea (PMS)

SANITATION
urinary

TEENAGE PREGNANCY IN CAMEROON

Langham,2015 defines teenage pregnancy as an unintended pregnancy during adolescence. Each year, in the Cameroonian context, thousands of teenagers (15-19 years) get pregnant. what i don’t know is if they knew they will get pregnant before daring into the act of sex. Reasons accountable for teenage pregnancy go beyond poverty. there also exist factors like:
* Peer pressure: often, teens are influenced by their friends to have unprotected sex as an option, though they some time take this option for fear of rejection within the peer

*Poor parental attention: sex education is a far fetched idea within Cameroonian families. As a result, children are left at the mercy of friends who claim to know it all. The lack of parental guidance and support has influenced the the constant increase of teenage mothers.

*Cultural and societal influences: Since Cameroonians glorify motherhood, in some communities, getting pregnant at a certain age speaks good about the lady. for example in the Muslim societies of Northern Cameroon, it is rare to find a lady who is unmarried and is above 18 years. As such, others grow up to copy the pattern and the cycle continues.

*Youthful naivety: some times, teens do not carefully understand the dynamics that exist as relates biological and emotional aspects attached to sex. Teens have wrong teachings from friends and peers, watch videos and read books which convey wrong information about managing the unsafe days. Lack of knowledge, influences these teens to result in wrong and irresponsible decisions. “Knowledge id Power”

*Rape: This refers to sex without arriving at a consensus between both partners, and is a strong factor accountable for teenage pregnancy.