THE CAMEROON NATIONAL ANTHEM -A CALL FOR PATRIOTISM; AN INTEGRITY AGAINST DISLOYALTY AND CORRUPTION
THE CAMEROON NATIONAL ANTHEM -A CALL FOR PATRIOTISIM; AN INTEGRITY AGAINST DISLOYALTY AND CORRUPTION
O Cameroon, Thou Cradle of our Fathers,
Holy Shrine where in our midst they now repose,
Their tears and blood and sweat thy soil did water,
On thy hills and valleys once their tillage rose.
Dear Fatherland, thy worth no tongue can tell!
How can we ever pay thy due?
Thy welfare we will win in toil and love and peace,
Will be to thy name ever true!
Land of Promise, land of Glory!
Thou, of life and joy, our only store!
Thine be honour, thine devotion,
And deep endearment, for evermore.
From Shari, from where the Mungo meanders
From along the banks of lowly Boumba Stream,
Muster thy sons in union close around thee,
Mighty as the Buea Mountain be their team;
Instil in them the love of gentle ways,
Regret for errors of the past;
Foster, for Mother Africa, a loyalty
That true shall remain to the last.
Ô Cameroun berceau de nos ancêtres,
Va debout et jaloux de ta liberté,
Comme un soleil ton drapeau fier doit être,
Un symbole ardent de foi et d'unité.
Que tous tes enfants du Nord au Sud,
De l'Est à l'Ouest soient tout amour,
Te servir que ce soit le seul but,
Pour remplir leur devoir toujours.
Chère Patrie, Terre chérie,
Tu es notre seul et vrai bonheur,
Notre joie, notre vie,
En toi l'amour et le grand honneur.
VERSE 2 :
Tu es la tombe où dorment nos pères,
Le jardin que nos aïeux ont cultivé.
Nous travaillons pour te rendre prospère,
Un beau jour enfin nous serons arrivés.
De l'Afrique sois fidèle enfant
Et progresse toujours en paix,
Espérant que tes jeunes enfants
T'aimeront sans bornes à jamais.
ENGLISH LYRICS TRANSLATED FROM FRENCH
O Cameroon cradle of our ancestors,
Go, upright and jealous of your freedom.
As the sun, let your flag be proud,
A symbol of ardent faith and unity,
May all your children,from North to South
From East to West, live in love!
May serving you be their sole purpose
To fulfill their duty forever.
Dear Fatherland, dear land,
You are our only true happiness.
Our joy, our life
To you, love and the greatest honor.
Thou art the grave where our fathers sleep,
The garden that our ancestors have cultivated.
We work to make you prosperous
One good day we will finally get there.
Be Africa's faithfull child
And always advance peace
Hoping that your children
Love you without limit forever.
EXPLANATION OF THE NATIONAL ANTHEM
A reflection on the wordings of the Cameroon national anthem portrays it as a creed teeming with profound patriotic messages. It is a guide to proper civic behavior.
The first verse, O CAMEROON, THOU CRADLE OF OUR FATHERS, affirms a Cameroonians national identity by bringing out the umbilical link that each one has with the nation.
The brain drain experienced in the country and even some perilous exiles abroad by young people would be something of the past if all Cameroonians understand that they are forever bound to the CRADLE of their fathers whose WORTH NO TONGUE CAN TELL. By this, they are obliged to work for the development of their dear fatherland which they remain indebted to. Else, the anthem questions, HOW CAN THEY EVER PAY THEIR DUE?
BUT, the destructive altitude of some egoistic individuals who, instead of working for the development of the country, engage in self aggrandizement through corruption makes one to wonder if
at all they understand the first verse of the last stanza of the national anthem: THY WELFARE WE WILL WIN IN TOIL AND LOVE AND PEACE, WILL BE TO THY NAME EVER TRUE.
How can Cameroonians fulfill this national pack imposed on them by this rallying hymn when they indulge in dishonest practices? Are they working for the country when they decide to encourage mediocrity rather than hard work or swindle what belongs to all Cameroonians into their private bank accounts abroad?
Dishonest practices are disgraceful because personal interests are placed before the common good of all Cameroonians. Also, the embezzlement of state funds is a crime according to the Cameroon constitution. I trying to amass wealth, the corrupt generate poverty as they deprive other Cameroonians of what rightly belongs to them and also hinder the sustainable development of the nation. The fund is that all who embezzle are aware of this and therefore are guilty before all Cameroonians for denying them what rightly belongs to them.
If truly Cameroon is a LAND OF PROMISE, LAND OF GLORY, and THOU, OF LIFE AND JOY, THEIR ONLY STORE, then all Cameroonians ought to work for its progress and desist from all acts that dishonor the country. The civic obligation to which all Cameroonians are collectively invited is also a source of rights. Without accomplishing their duties well and without demonstrating love for their fatherland, Cameroonians cannot pretend to have any legitimate right.
The national anthem also urges Cameroonians to copy the example of their forefathers who toiled to lay a solid foundation for the nation. THEIR TEARS AND BLOOD AND SWEAT THEIR SOIL DID WATER, they were told. Many Cameroonians today no longer cherish hard work. They seek short cuts to make their dreams come true.
This decay is brought about by the quest for easy life that inexorably all forms of corruption.
Most civil servants put in the barest minimum time at work. The youths prefer to leave farms in their villages to seek for greener pastures on the streets of big towns.
Students practice all sorts of cheating methods in order to pass their exams. Business men/women inflate bills to have more profit while others, through a network of corrupt Cameroonians get paid for no work done.
How can a Country be built with all these attitudes. It is very important that all Cameroonians change because their forefathers are watching them, for as the second line of the anthem states, they REPOSE in our midst.
Cameroonians therefore must continue the good work that their ancestors started, that of making the country a peace heaven, an island of prosperity and progress.
In the second stanza, that is not well known to/by many Cameroonians, it makes Cameroonians to realize how exceptional their country is, as it takes their memories to some of those images unique to Cameroon: River Shari, Mungo, Boumba and the Buea mountain. Thus, Cameroon is a special nation with a lot to show to the world.
Cameroonians should be proud and work hard for the prosperity of their blessed country. It is equally important that Cameroonians stand up as one man and say no to all dishonest practices.
No, to the quest for easy life. No, to cheating. No, to embezzlement. No, to all acts that make the country heavily indebted and very corrupt. If Cameroonians should therefore adopt a new attitude by abandoning shortcuts and working hard in all that they do, there will be no doubt that they will make it and their country will once again become strong and prosperous.
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