Above is a brief message I was moved to make a few days back. It’s rough, but it captures the feeling I had that morning. The awe at how we- several young Cameroonian women I know and myself included- are literally living the Cameroonian dream.
This is not a boast. It is definitely not about bragging about myself or any of my friends as I do appreciate the reality on the ground. We are a fortunate bunch to have the intellectual faculties, talents and sheer will to live to be able to seek out the opportunities we have been able to secure. Nevertheless, we also reflect a good number of the Cameroonian female population.
Let me tell you about the women in my circle:
One was born into a Muslim family in a rural town in the Northwest region, was the first to receive complete secondary education in her family, gave her life to Christ out of her own will, charted her own course, determined her own principles, sought her own role models and is now an internationally accredited public health researcher.
Yet another was raised by her mother and aunts upon the death of her father who was a truck driver. She helped her mother who has done petty trading for most of her life, to put herself through school. Upon graduation, she did some petty trading herself before landing a job where she uses her gift of gab to tell stories of people with health conditions in rural, marginalized areas. This friend has single-handedly managed her finances enough to buy a plot of land and build her own house. She’s only 31.
I have four other friends, a tad more fortunate for being born into middle-class families. Yet each has had to overcome either mental, physical, emotional and or sexual abuse from close relatives. Still, they have carved their own way and contribute actively to the development or Cameroon or Cameroonians irrespective of where they are now.
Yet another young woman I know has literally gone from attempting to take her own life to making it her mission to help others find the purpose she lacked at the time that she wanted to lose hers.
All this to say we are #PressingforProgress and there is hope. Even when our government seems to be playing musical chairs with the retirees who care little for our growth. In the words of Maya Angelou: still, we rise!
So if you are a young girl out there, or if you know one. Please, dream with the audacity of a CPDM chairperson. Dream with the conviction of Biya prior to the release of election results.
DREAM BIG!!! HUGE! It’s possible. You really truly can.
It will definitely NOT be easy, but never doubt the possibility. I have the proof. I AM the proof.
This is us, and we are many, daring to live our dreams.