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Indigenous Women Use Sport Walk To Kick-start 10th Anniversary Celebrations

Indigenous women grouped under the Forum des Femmes Autouchtone du Cameroon, FFAC have used a sport walk to create awareness on their 10 anniversary celebrations.

FFAC launched the activities of their 10th anniversary celebration on June 11 during a sport walk under the theme” Sport for Mental Health”.

The walk brought together some 100 participants who listened to educative talks on the importance of sports for women and girls’ mental health and benefits of regular practice.

FFAC is celebration 10 years of dedication in empowering indigenous woman and girls. 

On the sidelines, the Director of Economic Promotion of Women at the Ministry of Women Empowerment and the Family received FFAC in line the reinforcement of their partnership.

Discussions focused on taking into consideration the specific needs of Indigenous women and girls when designing programs, projects and policies.

FFAC also expressed the need for collaboration to elaborate a National Plan of Action to implement the African Union campaign to end Child Marriage in Africa.

Lamine Mana

Guinness Super League: Awa FF Continues To Dictate Pace

Awa FF continues to top the league table unperturbed after day five matches played across the country.

Lamine Mana scoring a hat trick helped the club to trash Authentic FF of Douala 5-0 to maintain the top position with 15 points and 19 goals scored.

Awa FF
Awa FF

Lamine during the encounter opened scores barely seven minutes then increased tally within a three minutes interval.

The second goal, a free kick which she lifted directly into the net before increasing tally at the 38th minute. Farida Machia scored before break while Owona Mballa sealed Authentic’s faith in the second half.

Authentic FF Douala

Awa FF is joined on top of the league table by Amazone FAP who were slowed by Éclair FF to share the spoils.

Amazone are second on the league table with 11 points and only 4 goals scored. Newly promoted Lekie FF are in the third position with ten points and two goals scored.

Amazone FAP

It should be noted that Louves Minproff are progressing despite a poor start with the second highest goals scored, 12.

At the bottom of the league table are Vision Sport FC who have lost all their games, have conceded 15 goals while Renaissance of Figuil is the last on the table having conceded 21 goals.

Two clubs, Awa FF and Louves Minproff have the best strikers, while Vision Sports FC and Renaissance are distributors of goals, with poor defense and attack.

Standings
Amazone FAP vs Eclair

Éclair FF Holds Amazone FAP To 1-1 Tie

Visitors Eclair FF have held Amazone FAP to a 1-1 tie. The encounter at the Olembe Annex Stadium saw FAP open scores through Gaylaine Tchadeu but their joy of picking three points was short-lived when Priso Ndong Pauline sent a beautiful short over Ngo Ndom’s head directly into the net behind.

Amazone FAP

Eclair held on till the end of the encounter to slow FAP’s progressing at the top of the table. Having lost two of their games, Eclair are looking good to return to winning ways.

Eclair FF lost their first game against Awa FF and since then the team has been on a downward trend till they secured a draw against FAP.

Eclair FF

Priso Ndong Pauline Eclair FF who equalized for her side emerged as the woman of the match -Woman of Guinnessico and bagged home FCFA 50,000.

Priso Ndong Pauline -Woman of Guinnessico

Meanwhile, Louves Minproff picked three points beating Canon FF 2-0 in their Day 5 game to move up the league table with seven points. Though not among the top five on the league table, Louves Minproff can take pride for scoring 12 goals in a single game, and hosting the top scorer with ten goals to her boots, Flora Kameni.

But, Coach Anong Bernadette is not yet satisfied with the team’s performance and is working hard to turn the tides.

Presently, Awa FC continues to top the league table with 12 points, a clean slate and looking good with Lamine Mana who scored a haul-trick ( 6 goals) against Vision Sports FC of Bamenda.

Awa FF

At the bottom of the league table are Vision Sports FC and Renaissance who are yet to win a single game.

AGYM 2

Adolescent Girls, Young Women Sue To Tell Own Stories, Claim Spaces

Adolescent girls and young women face a lot of challenges growing up such as rape, limited information on reproductive and sexual health, unwanted pregnancies and more.

AGYM COMAGEND

It is against this backdrop that they have expressed the desire to sit with decision makers on the table to tell their own stories for, nobody can tell their stories better.

The Adolescent Girls and Young Women, AGYW, of Common Action for Gender Development COMAGEND, (a rights-based organization guided by feminist principles) sent this message to decision makers during an event organized at the Bamenda Cultural Centre.

Achem Evi Claire COMAGEND Programme Coordinator supervised and coordinated the event which was an avenue to discuss peace and security, sexual and reproductive health, and body rights.

AGYW COMAGEND used Forum Theatre as an advocacy tool for the inclusion of adolescent girls and young women in peace and security, sexual reproductive health rights and body autonomy.

 

The spoken word and Forum Theatre on the occasion amplified the issues of adolescent girls and young women and the need to be included in peace building process. Also, the spoken word highlighted the plight of adolescent girls especially in conflicts situations like in the Northwest and Southwest regions, the guns and the trauma of losing parents.

The peace ambassador reiterated the need actively taking part in the decision-making process and not used as Guinea Pigs for research.

“We want a quota system that shares power equally between the old and the young. Do not say women, I am a young girl in my twenties and I want my contributions to be separate from others”, said Sirri Sharon Ngwegu stated on behalf of her peers.

Government and other stakeholders should foster a political environment void of discrimination and violence but one which ensures gender representation in decision making, she added.

The adolescent girls and young women urged health authorities to “Strengthen monitoring and accountability systems of the behaviour of reproductive health staff, service providers who treat adolescent girls and young women shabbily. They should promote better reception and assist rather than ask young persons what they know about and want with a condom.”

They urged health authorities to create a friendly and welcoming environment for them to freely express themselves”.

“We want to learn about comprehensive sexuality education, body rights from teachers and not from a partner and peers. We need youth friendly social spaces in districts and rural areas, where we can talk about comprehensive sexuality education”, they stressed.  

 “You need to be intentional about the change you want, about the problems you want to solve, step up and claim the spaces”, Ngwegu chided her peers.

Statistics show that there are 54 million adolescent girls and young women in sub-Saharan Africa. Against this backdrop, Liz Lum stressed that this is evident of the power, the experience and problems this group of people still face.

Ndumu Anna First Deputy Mayor of Bamenda 1 appreciative AGYW COMAGEND stating that young men should have been invited to watch the performance as they are perpetrators of certain acts like rape, the reception of health workers reserve for AGYW. She urged AYGW COMAGEND to explore other avenues of sharing the lessons from Forum Theatre with decision makers and other young persons.

Sally Mboumien, Coordination of COMAGEND, hailed the organizers of the sensitization event which to her portrays that she has invested in the future. “If I die today, you have taken the responsibility and the initiative no longer depends on me but to the community to push forward the agenda”, she concluded.

 

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“Becoming First Woman Sweet Potato Bread Baker Changed My Life”-Odette Fin

A safe haven for women to bond, look out for each other and become financially independent in the crisis ridden Northwest village-Fungom Farms

Odette Fin, 32 years, mother of four, is proud to have been trained to be the first woman sweet potato bread baker in Menchum Division, Northwest Cameroon.

Like most women in the area, Fin made a living from farming but now she sees her life differently.

Her story to becoming the first woman sweet potato baker stated in 2019 when the Fungom Farms set its base in her village.

First, with other women, she farmed potatoes, harvested, cleaned and transformed to flour, stocked it in bags.

Then, an opportunity came knocking to train in baking.  Fin and two other women enrolled but they preferred farming, so she was the only person completed the training.

Fungom Farms, a family business that owns the IR company- a sustainable development cooperative, working together to ensure food security in the village, brought in a baker who trained Fin.

Today she is the pride of the community as the first female sweet potato baker.

“I learnt baking for three months and now I am happy with my new life”, Fin said.

“My day starts with preparing my kids for school. When they are gone, i also head to the bakery.  I sweep and keep the environment clean, clean the baking kit, measure and weigh the quantity of sweet potato flour that I mix with wheat flour”, she recounts.

On a typical business day, Fin can bake about 10,000 loaves ranging from FCFA 100, 250, and 500.

“The population are marveled because they did not know bread could be made from sweet potatoes.  They love the bread”, she said.

As a baker, Fin says her life has changed, that she is living a good life compared to when she was farming.

“I pay school fees and buy books for my kids, I am grateful to Fungom Farms for investing in me, giving the new skill.

If there are any women interested, I advise them to learn baking.

The company which started in 2019, baking normal bread turned to sweet potato bread thanks to the research carried out by the manager.

Besides sweet potato bread, Cameroonian bakers are trying their skills in baking bread from cassava, cocoyam, plantain and yam to seduce customers.

In a way, they transform farm produce, for the population to eat organic food and reduce post-harvest losses.

The Fungom Farms , produce about 25 tons of potatoes every year and buy more from the villagers, one of the farm hands, Tchinda stated.

Fungom Farms based in Mekaf village, covering 25 villages does not only farm potatoes, but also vegetables, maize, groundnuts, soya bean, palms, cassava.

The farm sustains 370 families, 80 contributors, supplies five villages, and many customers.

With the ongoing crisis in the Northwest and Southwest regions, the idea of a cooperative has been a survival strategy as people could not go to their farms individually.

“Working as a group, a cooperative has built a bond among the members”, the Manager, Henry Bung stated.

Though women work as a cooperative where they are paid, they also own individual sweet potato farms, Bung added.    

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See Why The Projector Is On Bernard Wirsiy Bongkisheri

A Young Cameroonian Theatre Director is making waves at the international scene – A cross border theatre project during the covid-19 pandemic

Bernard Wirsiy Bongkisheri has gradually and steadily become a household name in Cameroon and the International community when it comes to Theatre and Film production. He has a background in Theatre and Film from the University of Yaounde1 and from the University of Wits in Johannesburg, South Africa. One hardly can decipher from his looks the potentials he possesses but his artistic prowess stands as tall as the tower of Babylon. Uncle B, as he is known in the arts world, is founder and Coordinator of the Rainbow Interactive Association, a prolific arts production house based in Yaoundé. He is a mentor and coach to a great number of youths who are passionate for film and theatre, reason why he is Managing Director and Producer of Gold Arts.

The Hektomeron Project 2021 did not miss out on this talent.  Uncle B was selected among the 100 Theatre Directors worldwide for the production of 100 theatre performances. The play Drowned by the Noise of Others was scripted and rehearsed for 8 days through the zoom platform and was performed in Romania on the 29th of January 2021. Cameroon Factfinder caught up with him his experience.

Cameroon Factfinder Mr. Wirsiy Bernard, thank you for talking to Cameroon Factfinder, We are aware of your participation in the Hektomeron Project. Can you tell us how you became a part of this prestigious Romanian project knowing fully well that you are so young and that there are great names in Cameroon theatre?

Wirsiy Bernard: It gladdens my heart to hear that you are aware of this humble stride I made this 2021. To be very candid with you, age and name are not what it takes to be creative or get recognition. Although a young theatre director, I have been prolific in producing performances of high repute. I am a writer, actor and director with a good training background and having gained a lot of experiences from my participation in national and international performances. It is said that the Goldfish has no hiding place. This is how those in charge of the Hektomeron project fished me out from a multitude of names and I gave them one of the best performances in the Hektomeron Project

How comfortable were you in scripting and directing a play through the Zoom platform?

The challenge was enormous. I had to develop a script within two days, run the rehearsals for 6 days with a crew that spoke only Romania and more importantly communicating with my cast and crew through Zoom. Other challenges came from the power outages and the unstable internet connection and more over, my actor, Stefan Cepoi, wasn’t versed with performing a solo piece. I had to conceive a lot of tactics to get him into the game. I believed in my ability to handle all these and the organizers of the Hektomeron project knew and believed I was up to the task.   

What prospects do you have for the Cameroonian Theatre?

As a matter of fact, Cameroonian theatre is now living on its past glories. No theatre halls, no production equipment and worse of all, not even a professional theatre troupe. The National theatre troupe that existed in the yesteryears died a natural death and its resurrection seems unattainable. You talked about big names existing in Cameroon theatre, those are the people who enjoyed this noble art long ago and are exercising the last kicks of a dying horse. The youths of nowadays do not see any gain in practicing this art that has been neglected and almost dead.

How beneficial is Theatre art to the society?

I would like to remind us that theatre is beneficial not only to those who create performances but also to those who experience those theatre creations. Great works of art inspire, and the process of art making can do the same. Theatre is therefore a means by which people reflect on their current situation, define and re-invent themselves and their social world. The few of us who still believe and practice the art are always ready to pick up any contract from NGOs, government ministries, etc to sensitize, educate or create awareness on any subject that can bring about development in our dear fatherland.

How can an enabling environment be creating to bring back the theatre art in Cameroon?

I believe if we have an enabling environment as well as better equip theatre spaces like in other countries, the culture of theatre would have been resurrected and the youths would find it lucrative and self-satisfying taking the relay batten from the aging theatre practitioners. I believe the government is better placed through the ministry of Arts and Culture to salvage this situation.

Interviewed by Etienne Mainimo Mengnjo