By Gloria Dulan-Wilson
By Gloria Dulan-Wilson
My sister/friend P. Sylvie Yonke sent me this information, and I am sharing it with you, because we African Americans need to be just as aware of what's happening on the Continent (a/k/a Mother Africa) as we are here.
On Saturday, July 23, there will be an opportunity to meet Jean-Jacques Ekindi, presidential candidate to Cameroun, who from what I can see is a very dynamic, stalwart and might I add, brave brother. He has run for president of his country on several occasions. These attempts are by no means to be construed as failed attempts, but more a study in perseverance, determination, and commitment. The Center for African Education (CAE) will be hosting the event, which takes place at Dodge Hall, from 5PM to 10PM in Room 179, 525 W. 120th St, between Amsterdam and Broadway.
Ekindi, who is known affectionately as “The Lion Hunter” is running for President in the upcoming election, but is taking the opportunity to interface with Camerounian students here in the US who have ties, interest and influence in the upcoming election. He will also be autographing his book entitled: Politiques du Cameroun et 'Afriqu La Defis
According to the CAE, “Cameroon and the Presidential candidates rely on the Diaspora to engage in the process of participatory democracy, and use their power to bring about progress and development at home. Don't miss this important event! “
What was compelling for me, however, was the bio Sylvie sent me in reference to this dynamic man. With just the little bit I’ve already read, I could see it making one heck of a movie - it’s got conspiracy, intrigue, pathos, success, failure, murder, betrayal, and resurrection, as our hero comes back from the depths of despair and try again at his goal to become the leader of his country.
Growing up in the US, we’ve seen movies set in Africa where the youth has to go out and kill a lion in order to prove his manhood - it’s a rite of passage we’ve all become familiar with (whether that actually ever happened, or still happens, I don’t know - but it’s part of our romance about African men). And those are the images we tend to conjure up when we hear the nickname “The Lion Hunter.”
According to his biographers, he received that nickname because he is smart and patient, bides his time, and never stops looking at his prey! He is a politician in a noble sense of the word!”
Ekindi evolved from vice president of the National Union of Kamerunian Students (UNEK); became information officer and Chief Editor of The Student of Kamerun Magazine, trhough which he expressed his opinions. He was and is an activist, starting in 1968, and continuing to the present date.
Like many African American brothers and sisters who have been incarcerated indefinitely because of their opinions, influence, and potential for leadership, Ekindi was arrested and “detained” indefinitely for a political speech made at the session of the National Commission for Scholarships in Younde` in 1970, for alleged “subversion and endangering the security of the state.”
Like the South Africans, and some US municipalities, the French regime sent him to jail without trial, using an arrest warrant to throw him into prison for an indeterminate time (sound familiar?).
Over the past 40 years, Ekindi has been involved in the political landscape of the Cameroun in one way or another. I could give you the whole story, but I think you’d get more mileage from attending the reception and reading his book.
Let’s just say that these last few elections have been full of trial and tribulations - from his being silenced by the prevailing government to his business wrecked, tottering on bankruptcy; from his wife, body guard, driver all dying mysteriously (??); to his having to leave the country more than one time in exile; to his being betrayed by those who pretended to be his allies. And he has still not let up! That's determination!!
The most recent 2009 election has turned out to be most propitious indeed, and he currently holds dual positions as Municipal Counselor, Representative, and Secretary of the Inter-parliamentary Finance Committee. Since 2009, he is the founder and organizer, with the support from the government, of the Douala International Fair for Development.
Poised to run for President, I am sure you are going to want to meet, greet and support this dynamic man, Jean-Jacques Ekindi, and applaud him for his intrepid spirit.
CAE's mission is to promote research and teaching about education, broadly defined, in Africa and the African Diaspora. Its central aim is to create a community of students, faculty, staff, and New York residents with common interests and commitments to the fields of Education and African Studies. www.tc.columbia.edu/centers/cae/ 212-678-8139 - Please call the above captioned number for additional information and directions. Free admission, but contributions and donations aare accepted.
Stay Blessed &