My name is N. Danhatu, I grew up in a dominant Muslim community called Takov in Nkum Subdivision Northwest Region of Cameroon. I started my class one at Islamic Primary School, IPS Takov.
Living in Takov, we couldn’t mingled with our friends from the opposite sex. What I mean is been too closed to each others. Even when playing, we played separately.
When I was in class four, about 9 years old, my parent transferred me to a government primary school GS Kuvlu.
Kuvlu is a composition of villages starting from Semdzen, Takov, kah, Mission, Wai, Nturbarnyam and Beshi.
GS Kuvlu is located in Mission, about six miles away from Takov-Kuvlu. At GS Kuvlu, pupils came from different villages, made up of Christians and Muslims but mostly Christians since Mission was a Christian dominant community.
Fees at GS Kuvlu was FCFA 1500. Just imagine. When I started there, I made friends from other villages mostly Christian but the aspect of social interaction was still a problem.
We trekked everyday from Monday to Friday to school. One day we discovered a shortcut that could always lead us to Takov from school without going through the major dusty road.
This time, my friends and I utilized the shortcut that is from Rowliv, through mbohliv (a village in Nseh Clan) to Takov. Rowliv was a farming land. At Rowliv, I was taught by my friend Wan-khan (monkey’s child) how to jump over 10 ridges at once, a distance of 11 mitres. This was mostly when farmers were chasing us for stealing their farm products. Wan-khan used to climb a tree without using his hands. He had the ability to steal as he would walk on branches of oranges, guava and pear trees only with his legs. I also became an expert in all of that. But now I can’t do it.
while in school, stealing during break was like normal. Since I was new at GS Kuvlu, I took my container of corn and beans to school and it was stolen within hours till date, I have never seen it.
One day that my friend was trying to steal food from a girl but he was caught. Only the beating and the way he cried, till today I am still wondering whether he will ever forget.
When I was in class five, my teacher decided to share us in benches. That is one boy sitting in between two girls. I protested the idea because I couldn’t imagine myself mingling with girls I did not know.
I called them strangers girls because we had never met and secondly we were not exposed to such kind of life.
The teacher threatened to drive me out if I did not succumb. He assigned two girls to me but I refused sitting on the bench. That did not end there, I cried and disturbed almost the entire school because I did not want to sit with girls. Without leaving the class, I sat on the cement floor for three days but teacher hoo, as we called him never changed his mind.
On the fourth day I accepted the teacher’s offer. The two girls till today still call me ‘cry cry baby’. These girls are grown-ups now and I am admiring them meanwhile I had tarnished my reputation ever since class Five.
Now, I am the one chasing girls and the the reverse is true.