Brother Blaise was a zealous choir member in my church. I still say till date that his days in the choir were my best days in the choir. He had the most mellifluous manly voice. He taught us great songs and I remember a particular medley we did together on a Sunday morning. So soulful, harmonious and it made a music lover like me happy.
Some days ago I yelled at my computer when I saw a picture of brother Blaise on Facebook with comments beneath saying "Rest in Peace". What? When? How did this happen?
Reading further, I discovered that he died the same way a lot of people in Cameroon die these days. Through gun shots. These days, gunshots are the primary way most people die in Cameroon.
So there goes Brother Blaise, leaving behind family, friends, students (as he was a secondary school teacher) and former church members to mourn him.
Days ago, the same calamity beheld my aunt's husband. Paw! Paw! Gunshots and he is gone. The sounds of gunshots have become way too familiar these days for those who live in the English speaking parts in Cameroon.
2 years ago. That's when the trouble started in Cameroon with lawyers and teachers in English-speaking Cameroon demanding fairness from the government in the way they practice their profession.
It is a long story that won't be told in this blog post but the situation metamorphosed into a time of unease, refugees fleeing from Cameroon into neighboring Nigeria, and just a whole lot of unrest.
Things are not the same again.
Before, when I thought of Cameroon, I thought of good food, a slower way of life and lots of quality time with family and friends. But today, when I think of Cameroon, I think of gunshots, dead bodies lying on streets and tons of people stuck in neighboring Nigeria because home is no longer homely.
This is not exactly how I want to think of the place I am from. But right now I choose to remain hopeful. Hopeful that one day my country's story will be different. Hopeful that people who have been displaced because of the crisis will be reunited with their families. Hopeful that peace, real peace shall reign