Meet the Cameroonian Afropeans and their Disappearing Acts at London 2012

8 Aug

NWANATIFU is a social critic and researcher on African politics and migration.

My national pride has been mortally hurt!

The false promise of Europe as an El-dorado mentally enslaves Africans and perpetuates the desire to migrate. Intensifying migrant control sends out the message that there is something there that is worth keeping out others. After centuries of exploiting Human and natural resources without making the lives of the exploited better, Europe now sees these abandoned Africans as threats to its economic survival and the cultural values of Europe. Africa is rising but are Africans rising along with it?
Until Europe as the core begins to allow its African periphery to determine the political and economic destiny of their human and economic resources, the talk of reducing migration into the EU fortress is an excellent fable!! Watching the London 2012 Olympic Games one notices that there are many more African diaspora athletes defending foreign colours than homeland athletes.  almost negligible investment on sports infrastructure, pre and post event training personnel or facility for athletes, absconding becomes an easy way out for those who succeed to breach national frontiers.
The French sports ministry like an industry is draining Africa of sports people, or how does one explain how a two-time Olympic long jump gold medalist from Cameroon suddenly became a French citizen on the eve of the games? How can one explain the issue of seeing Cameroonians run the track and play handball in French colours? Multiculturalism only applies to the few Africans who make up more than half of the French national football team while thousands of regular day Africans languish and survive on the edges and margins of Euro society, caught between legalization and integration speed-breaks to their potentials and abilities, bleeding for what others are begged to have.
If those seven athletes wearing the national colors and representing the Cameroon nation can create a media buzz of ‘disappearing’ in London during the 2012 Olympic games, despite their modest pay package according to Cameroon ‘standards’, what do we expect their fellow, repressed and deprived citizens do then? Despite the humiliation brought about by these disappearing acts, national sympathy from citizens at home and abroad is in favour of the vanished athletes. Sooner or later they will turn up in foreign colours or become  protected persons for committing this “treason” (valid grounds to seek asylum, based on the premise that they could be persecuted if   arrested and deported back to Cameroon after over-staying their visas beyond March to November 2012).

The faltering regime currently holding sway over the country has exalted peace over economics as a campaign slogan; peace in Cameroonian terms is the absence of gun shots regardless of  the chronic social injustice, widespread poverty and mass unemployment. Even the process by which these athletes were selected to represent their country is plagued with clientelism and patronage; it would not be surprising to hear that they are relatives of officials at the sports ministry or may have paid sums of money to be selected and  ‘trafficked’ via this event. Now they are being depicted in the media as ‘potential economic migrants or asylum seekers’, which just goes along to feed the stereotypical “Help Save Africa” campaign and appetite for labeling and tagging Africa as a continent of misery and risk projections.

Random picture on Facebook pages. Unidentified source.


Dear EU, before you absorb and quickly drain to waste these runaway talents, ask yourself why they ran away in the first place. Cease from enticing and deluding our nation builders to defect, for it is illogical and double standards when you have a tough anti-immigration stance, yet you shop for the best of talents and brains of the poor and at the same time expect their states and the masses to  be self reliant. You have thrust upon us and continue to legitimize those whom we now refer to as merely secretaries of your foreign ministries serving abroad in the persons of gerontocratic presidents’ for-life at the helm of our artificial states. These ‘leaders’ in effect are accomplices to the full measure of deprivation visited on their citizens and to the ravishing of their economies. This just goes to say the state of Cameroon is economically and politically very sick! Sports as with other employment is highly politicized, service is rendered to Cameroonians not as a right or duty, but rather as a reward to a ‘connected’ and sycophantic few. They like you and I dear reader, are victims of a global system of exploitation and deprivation, which alters national affections.
While FrontEX is busy shielding the heartland from invasions of the peripheral scum, let us reflect on the fate of these seven (number could rise) Cameroonian athletes just as other Africans before and after them, who have thrown away their careers in favour of washing plates and doing many other things that they and their hosts would not otherwise do.


Related News: 
London Olympics: Cameroon athletes ‘abscond’
Cameroon boxers ‘were threatened’ at Olympic Games by state authorities.
Four Congolese Olympians have gone missing in London 
** “Afropeans” are Africans who are assimilated, integrated and culturally obsessed about Europe wherever they may be.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own, representing just a fraction of the many perspectives to this topic.

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