This paper explores “hegemonic national integration” and “Francophonecentric national governance” in The Cameroons (TC) poetic scape. The former refers to La République du Cameroun (LRC)-British Southern Cameroons (BSC) or Southern Cameroons (SC) interconnectedness dominated by Francophones. The latter is governance that promotes a Francophone cultural superiority that refuses to see the Cameroonian world through Southern Cameroonians’ eyes. Cameroonians live in a time of enormous fragmenting “Francophonizing” and “Anglophonizing” processes. To flesh this argument out, this paper borrows critical perspectives from Benhabib’s “democratic iterations” and “deliberative democracy” and Rosenau’s “six-governance typology’ as requisites for good governance. It contends that “hegemonic national integration” and “Francophonecentric national governance” are pervasive features of Bill Ndi’s poetry. Indeed, SC literature of the anti-Francophoncentrism kind such as Nkengasong’s Across the Mongolo, Besong’s Disgrace, Nyamnjoh’s Souls Forgotten, etc., has not been recognized. For demonstrative purposes, focus will be on Ndi’s Worth their Weight in Thorns, a glaring example of such works. TC in which the poems are set is ruled by a power-drunk elite and characterized by socioeconomic and politico-cultural marginalization which is symptomatic of “hegemonic national (dis)integration” and “Francophonecentric national governance”. In TC, national integration and governance have become a kind of postcolonial re-racialization because the disparities between the wealthy/powerful Francophones and the poor/powerless Southern Cameroonians possess something akin to the racial character being witnessed in the USA. Consequently, reading Ndi’s collection from this perspective reveals the ongoing rivalry between the dominant LRC and the dominated SC as a stellar representation of a master-servant relationship.
Mbiydzenyuy Yosimbom, Hassan.
"Poetic Explorations in Bill F. Ndi’s Worth Their Weight in Thorns: (De)Constructing Hegemonic National Integration and Debating Francophonecentric National Governance.."
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