Bate Besong: Harbinger of Anglophone Identity

By Kesah Princely & Agborndip Priscilia

In Buea

Late renowned Cameroonian Writer and critical thinker, Dr Bate Besong has increasingly been described as a forerunner to an independent nation for Anglophones. Some   Cameroonians have pointed out that despite  his death 9 years before the Anglophone crisis in 2016, Bate Besong remains a pillar to the current imbroglio.

In one of his most controversial literary pieces, “Beast of No Nation,”  the former lecturer in the University of Buea described the country’s leaders as “insatiable locusts devouring tones of green, yet producing nothing but buckets of shit.” Fondly known as BB, the prolific and daring critic unequivocally castigated the regime of President Paul Biya for what he called ill treatment of the Anglophone minority. To him, English speaking Cameroonians have been subjected to all forms of marginalisation, as they are overtly treated as “Second Class Citizens.”

Late Bate Bisong, Dr of literature

“BB was a crusader whose passion for an Anglophone identity knew no bounds,” says Mr Akah Valentine, a critical thinker and High School  Literature in English teacher at Government Bilingual High School Bamenda. To Mr. Akah, the extraordinary whistle blower and dramatist had a soft spot for the Anglophone course which he had seemingly forseen while alive, even before the outbreak of the Anglophone crisis in 2016, 9 years after his demise. “He was a visionary whose alluring literary pieces live on many years after his death” he intimated.
Another literary mind who considers the late Bate Besong as an architect  of the  Anglophone identity is Dr. Amadou Danlami,  a teacher at Government Bilingual High School Baleveng. “He wrote compelling literature which lampoons the marginalisation of Anglophones.” The scholar considers the outspoken BB as a man who used his pen not only to castigate authorities but pressed for a better future for his Anglophone folk.

“I consider him a hero and a vocal writer whose paper presentations at international conferences articulated the plight of the Anglophones.”
Weeks before his death on March 8 2007, “the Obasinjom warrior” stated during one of his last TV appearances that his literature is one of hope for the future and that he was neither aggressive nor rebellious, but captured the consciences of the majority (the lay man) in his artillery. As if he knew about his death, BB declared  in that interview, “each day I leave my house, I know I could lose my freedom. Each book or poem I write, I know it could be the end or the very last.”
After launching his last piece in the University of Buea where he said it was a book about “Bate  Besong by Bate Besong,” the 52 year old died in a car crash on his way to obtain a visa at the American Embassy in Yaounde on March 8 2007. Bate Besong wrote on a wide variety of themes including autocracy, corruption, murder and marginalisation. Some of his popular publications are *_Disgrace_* and *_Beast of No Nation._*

Published by TWIF NEWS

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