By Njodzeka Danhatu
Growing up in Takov, a village Nkum Subdivision, Bui Division, Northwest Cameroon, I was told that if I had sex at a really young age, my mind was never going to be stable. Unlike in cities where parents would have lessons with their children about sex education, it was taboo in my Muslim-dominated Takov to say something about sex and sexuality. I am Dan. I grew up to the age of 17 without hugging a girl; talk less of kissing or having sex. Dating among children in my community was forbidden, though there was no written constitution. I understood religion was the bedrock of that.
When I was in Form Four, I had my first love. Right now, I can’t explain whether it was lust or true love that came to me naturally.
My mum had sent me to go fetch water. This was at night. That was when I met Riat. While at the tap, enjoying the beautiful moonlight, a figure approached my direction to fetch water as well. I just greeted, hi, and she responded same. The tap was running slowly, so we had to wait for quite a considerable length of time. It was a big challenge to woo a lady in my Lamnso dialect, but I tried anyway, since English was boring for us. In my community, if you spoke English then, people would regard as making “show show.” To avoid this intimidation, we would rather stick to the language we understood best – Lamnso.
Riat and I were a little far apart from each other. To breach this distance, we decided to lean on both ends of the tap while facing each other. That moment was the highest temptation of my life. She wore a tight-fitting grown that revealed her breasts quite conspicuously. I was lost in confusion when we were talking because, while my ears were listening to every word she uttered, my eyes were in their own corner, viewing her shiny boobs. I’m not going to lie, I loved the view. Her eyes; her lips; her boobs; everything was awesome! The biggest challenge was how I was going to start a conversation that could make her understand I liked her. If drinking alcohol in my village was allowed, I would have bought and drunk some “Fighter” or “Lion d’Or,” and even “Eagle” (armored car) so that I could have the courage to tell her what was going through my mind.
She spoke softly, and her lips were gentle and charming. These amiable qualities turned me to a police van. To tell her that her lips were awesome, I saw myself blowing a siren.
“Your lips are wow, wow, wow,” I said, in an unconfident manner.
“You´re funny,” Riat replied shyly, and I freaked out.
After mustering some courage, the joker words came out like lava erupting from Mount Cameroon, the highest mountain in West Africa.
“Riat,” I called out while my heart was making boom boom boom like a woofer.
“I think I like you!”
“Okay,” she responded, but that got me even more confused.
“What do you mean?” I probed.
At that moment, I was shivering and even trembling. Even a kid could win me in a fight at that time.
My fear was because of what happened to one of my friends. My friend in the village once told a girl how he loved her, and the next thing that followed was a heavy slap which sounded like an American airstrike in a rebel camp in Syria. That is how our girls rejected people. Till now, I can’t understand that kind of barbarism.
Riat did not do that to me, neither did she tell me she had a boyfriend like what I am experiencing in Buea, where even a baby might tell you she has a boyfriend because you are financially unstable (broke).
I asked Riat again; “does it mean we are boyfriend and girlfriend?”
she told me she was going to think about it.
“Hope your reply will not be negative?”
“Yes,” she answered.
Nowadays, it’s common to see that some girls who don´t know you, wouldn´t turn you down immediately you approach them. They will rather take their time to scrutinize you to know if you are good at anything, or if you are intelligent, so you can always help them with class assignments. If you are good looking with “swag” and can give them much money, that´s a plus for you. If you don’t possess any of these qualities, forget, love is not for you. True love died a long time ago. Love is no longer blind as was the case before.
While still at the tap, Riat and I had forgotten that we came to fetch water. Our containers were filled already but we remained there staring at each other as our emotions were getting us carried away.
I don’t know why time is always running fast when I want to convince a girl to have an affair with me. At 10pm, I was still at the tap admiring a girl’s boobs. Suddenly, her mum came searching for her. I also went home feeling satisfied that for the first time, I had a girl in my life.
The following day, we met again but she said nothing regarding my request to date her. However, we started acting like lovers. We decided to create a meeting spot. Every night, we would meet and just hug and feel each other. It was always exciting being around her, touching her boobs, to the extent that my third leg would erect for Cameroon’s National Anthem. We dated for a year before I could kiss her.
Nowadays, kissing a girl is the simplest thing. Kissing is something different in the relationship. If you don’t love a girl, don’t kiss her. You can do any other thing with her – don’t ask me “what thing.”
Our relationship continued until hard times came. That was when I saw myself as a coward.
The council of elders had sat and abolished dating among students and young people in the community. The laws were fresh, so some people were respecting them, except some of us. I had met with Riat again at our normal meeting point. While enjoying our natural God-given bodies, her warm breasts and you name the rest, an elderly woman came towards our direction since our meeting point was near the road. The woman was just passing but saw us and diverted her mission, immediately, she became a law enforcement officer.
“The village has banned courtship. What’re you doing?” she questioned, but we did not answer.
She started chasing us that night. She recognized Riat who was dragging her feet behind, reluctant to run. The woman rough-handled her beautiful “bakala” hairstyle threatening to go tell Riat’s Mother. The aged woman did not identify me because I ran and abandoned Riat behind. That was very shameful of me. I can’t make the same mistake with my new girlfriend now. Please, don’t question me whether I can die for love, because I will not answer.
When the woman had gone, I came back to Riat and surprisingly, she was not mad at me. If it was this rubbish I am experiencing Buea, the relationship would have ended at that moment. Riat, I am sorry.
It took me more than a year to ask Riat for sex. How it happened, is a subject for another day.
Village love was really complicated. I remember how I almost dropped out of school because my primary school teacher had me sit me in between two girls. He wanted socialization among us. I protested and cried the whole day because, where I came from, boys did not mingle with girls anyhow. I don’t know the situation now. Nowadays, out of the several friends I have, ladies constitute 85 percent.
When my relationship with Riat was facing difficulties which would eventually lead to our break up, I met another adoring girl, this time a Christian from a neighbouring village. Lyndale was very charismatic and stunning. She loved unconditionally. Circumstances leading to how we grew in love and later broke up are still a story for another day.
Coming to Buea after my love trials at Government Bilingual High School, GBHS Kumbo, and Yaounde One University, Ngoakele, was to have a different mindset and study journalism.
Buea, the “City of Excellence” is very dynamic and welcoming.
But one thing here is clear; “the fear of Buea girls, Molyko girls, in particular, is the beginning of wisdom.”
I can’t tell whether the attitude among some of the so-called slay queens is due to hardship owing to the Anglophone crisis. Or, what could be the reason? Just approach a girl in Buea, you will hear stories.
“My gas is finished, my house rent has expired, I want to eat shawarma, momo me, I need transport to go see my sick parent.” That’s all some girls in Buea know.
It is like they have listed their problems, and are just waiting to hand them to any man who wants to date them.
In a few cases, some girls, especially those from the University of Buea, do demand for such to scare away some unscrupulous guys from disturbing their education.
I schooled in UB for three years without a girlfriend, you can imagine. I was always searching, but almost 90 percent of the girls I approached had boyfriends or turned me down without any explanation. Could it be that I did not apply the right strategies? Take them to Las Vegas, party every weekend, take them to 48 spices and buy them school hand-outs?
You could still do these, but if you can’t properly play bed soccer for 90 minutes and score goals like a Champions League player, some girls would still dump you. Thank God I know myself.
Well, it could be that after my first love experience, some 9 years ago, I still don’t know how to court a girl. Maybe God is grooming me for a holy assignment and knows that women will distract me. Who knows?