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5 Apr

The government of Cameroun, not my Kamerun, is a pathological liar and fraudster. The tactics used by this tribal cabal and its political mob to resolve the constitutional and republican crisis in Southern Cameroon are akin to techniques used by stone age men and late feudal lords to find solutions to daily issues: brute force and morale blackmail.

To hear that a national ecumenical service has been organised and broadcast on national TV to “thank God” for his health is the most occultic thing that has happened lately. A national prayer has not been organised to pray for peace and change of moral conscience for the country’s leaders and all killed by state sponsored violence or transnational organised criminal groups even. In the mid 1990’s, Rigobert Song was famously welcomed to the North West province in the company of his team mate Geremi Njitap, when they traveled the bumpy-muddy road from Bamenda to Nkambe town to promote a football tournament organised annually by an elite of the locality called George Weya.

Personally, I find it morally appalling for a man of status such as the former captain of the national football team to accept being used by the government as a mascot to foster their bravado and conquistador agenda in West Cameroon. It has been announced that he will be touring the English speaking regions to ”thank them for their prayers for his health” after he was medically evacuated to France on a presidential privilege last year, while many of ordinary Cameroonians like him just had to die of treatable diseases because their lives were not as valuable as his or more realistically due to the absence or dilapidated state of health care facilities and services.

The government seems to want to relocate all public events such as the Fenasco school games in the volatile regions in desperate attempts to cheer the world that it is still exercising legitimate authority over the territory but not the people anyway, but let that farce not deceive you. After failing and persistently shying away to dialogue with English speaking Cameroon leaders, the Yaounde political cabal is using every publicity stunt and coercion to bend the political resolve of the people in these regions. It has even begun to plagiarize the ideas posited by the anglophone leaders it jailed without appropriate reference.

The government cabal is ready to spend millions in a few weeks to organise national tours for the militarized football national team, but is unwilling though able to spend such amounts instead on public health and infrastructure development or even pay hotel bills for its players when they’re playing abroad. The government of Cameroun is a reckless human rights abuser, a nepotist cartel, a regime where political corruption and elite impunity is the moral standard to be upheld by its leadership corps. Only in a dysfunctional and people disoriented government will you find xenophobes fascists still keeping their jobs after ordering the arbitrary arrests, detentions and killing of civilians and failing to resolve a national crisis for many months.

There is a new ”juju” in town: Rigobert Song is the new ‘Nkoh’, the new ‘Mabuu’ that will be thrilling us in the days ahead as we commemorate 78 days today since government violated our rights online and offline by shutting down internet connection and arresting citizens in English speaking regions.


By Nwanatifu Nwaco


STOCKHOLM SYNDROME:The Strange Case of the Silent Majority in Kamerun

19 Mar

STOCKHOLM SYNDROME (or Survival Identification Syndrome): ” The psychological tendency of a hostage to bond with, identify with, or sympathize with his or her captor.”

It is now clear that West Cameroon political elites and perhaps the greater majority of West Cameroonians resident in French Cameroun have the above psychiatric condition. The ignorance and apathy spewed out by this group is not only shocking but is also very alarming. While those in the regions under internet blackout and state of siege:”Internet Refugees” are risking arbitrary arrest and incommunicado detention just get to regions with internet to log on and tell the story of how government is grossly abusing their human rights to the world, our brethren in these privileged regions have surrendered to silence and indifference. Some have even taken to social media to denounce the struggle. It seems as though the far-off diaspora is even more supportive in advocating the cause of the home front than those folks of ours in East Cameroun.
Your silence and indifference is part of the problem! Kill fear, Speak up, post and tweet about it please. In case you lost vision or forgot why we’re in this struggle, In 4 days time, civil society leaders and other victims of mass arrests will be put on trial for treason against the state with looming life imprisonment and death sentences in a highly partial and unfair judiciary system for simply calling for better democratization and fair national representation, stronger rights and civil liberties for our identity as a people. Everybody is a potential victim by nature of being from West Cameroon, so do not feel isolated and insulated hiding in plain sight in East Cameroon.
Speak up!! Unless you have an answer to what makes those in Maroua, Yaounde, Douala or Bafoussam ‘better’ Cameroonians than those in Bamenda, Kumba, Buea or Mamfe??


Now that the SDF and its leadership have chosen to play ‘Pontius Pilate’ and Ostridge heads in the sand in the struggle of West Cameroonians. Given that all new-breed anglophone leaders are either in jail, in exile or co-opted by the regime in government; for my kinsfolk who still believe in ‘One Kamerun’, who are advocating for a return to the federal state system or for the effective implementation of the ‘decentralised unitary state’ system based on regionalism, to the pacifists and less revolutionary activists.

MAURICE KAMTO of the MRC party. This varsity professor needs no introduction. He has dared to stand in defense of the incarcerated leaders and has made several public statements in support of federalism and dialogue as a solution to the Anglophone crisis, he said things that if they were said by a West Cameroonian citizen will lead directly to an arrest and abuse on their body’s integrity. If I am to vote any Camerounian in a spontaneous general election, with the notable exception of Hon.Wirba Joseph and iron lady Kah Walla, no West Cameroonian career politician has stood on firm grounds like Pr. Kamto has done. After reading his open letter to Cameroun people today I will certainly vote for him.
Honourable mentions on my watch list include Penda Ekoka of the presidency in his opinion editorial on resolving the anglophone crisis and the much acclaimed earlier intense editorial on the genealogy of the Anglophone problem by David Abuem Achoyi now appointed to the ambiguous biligualism and multiculturalism commission.

These doors open both ways in compromise and concessions. If you have read Greek myths then you will know what am talking about here: the blind poet Homer and his accounts of the Iliad and the Odyssey, the cunning King Odysseus’ famous stratagem of the Wooden-Trojan Horse.



10 Feb

By Nwanatifu Nwaco

A reign terror and state sanctioned violence has descended upon the population in the English speaking regions of Cameroon. In the face of government intransigence, arrogance, snubbing, a prolonged military repression, the disproportionate use of force and brutality, wanton arrests, extortion, rape, deprivation, economic meltdown, rape, intimidation, human rights abuses and the curtailment of civil liberties and public freedoms, elite collusion and general insincerity from the central government to enact reforms; the people of West Cameroon are getting bolder by the days in articulating and aggregating their interests.

The reports coming from the communities about sporadic acts of arson, sabotage and targeting of perceived oppressors with the intention to cause physical injury is witness to the fact that people’s agitation has reached a tipping point where fear and civil disobedience as a tactic is now is being normalized as a not too-scary-issue anymore if people are pushed further out of the tolerance zones. Cameroons policy on national integration, social cohesion and its overall civil-military relations is being tested in the behavioural laboratory as we read.

The central government really needs to smart up, end its arrogant posturing and initiate meaningful dialogue with the people. It can as well internally democratise itself by auto-enacting reforms based on the list of popular demands called for, if it is too proud to talk with the activists it has branded as extremists and terrorists.We may in all naivety still call this resistance a peaceful revolution but from the way its folding and faulting, it is gradually getting into a rebellion or insurrection if left unchecked by the bravado posturings on both camps.

It is easy and just for government to use military force against out of state invasive militant groups but it is counter productive in the case where it concerns its own citizens and indigenous populations. Using these same tactics is nothing short of a massacre and genocide. Inasmuch as civil society leaders have called on the affected population to show restrain and pursue their cause via non-violent means, it has no enforcement mechanism to deter lone-wolf and sporadic outbursts of force from the weary population.

If these self-defense and vigilante acts replicate itself in multiple communities, I strongly doubt if the government of Cameroon has the human resources to suppress anti government subversive acts in all these communities, given that it is already entrenched in campaigns against the religious fundamentalist group Boko Haram in the North of the country from Nigeria and guerrilla rebels encroaching in the east of the country from the volatile Central African republic. Add to these maritime piracy in the Gulf of Guinea and the needs for everyday public security in every municipality across the country.

Cameroon is among the top five countries in the world according to the World Economic Forum 2017 report with a very diversified and varied linguistic and ethnic cluster, minting a homogeneous nation-state out of this variables given the current world order is not a feat that can be dictated or decreed but must be negotiated in the most elaborate liberal constitutional and republican sought of an à la carte menu. As long as the hegemony of state elites from power wielding clans dominates the discourse, minority questions will remain the Siamese twin of state formation, nationalism, human and resource governance, representation and the political culture of the country.Hence fragilizing the country even more and earning it dismal scores on the failed states index.

The government of Cameroon must understand that it does not have the monopoly over setting the national agenda always but shares and derives it more fundamentally from the people: the true reservoir of sovereignty exercised directly or indirectly. Federalism as a state system is therefore valid and negotiable as requested by the people of Southern Cameroon contrary to government’s one and indivisible centralisation rhetoric. Government must be able to discern what a state system is from what and administrative system is.

In order to avoid an escalation of a full scale rebellion, the government and the leadership of the West/Southern Cameroon cause must make compromise and concessions, call in quasi neutral mediators and arbitrators so as to break their deadlock and chart a road map for a peaceful resolution of the Anglophone problem which is on the highway to becoming Africa’s next breaking news conflict.



7 Feb

By Nwanatifu Nwaco

The government cabal of Cameroun is always quick to say the country is constitutionally one and indivisible but I beg to differ with this assertion! Cameroon for now as has been for the past 56 years, been more appropriately: A ONE AND DIVERSE COUNTRY. A country diverse in its ethnicity, languages, geography, history, political culture, colonial legacy, jurisprudence and even its aspirations for the future. Cameroon is the country where you have a national anthem although with the same melody yet it conveys a different lyrical message when sung in English or French, clearly attests to the fact that there are two entities in one country with unique identities, historical experiences and aspirations for the future. 

The divide isn’t just geographical but has become digital too. Internet connections have been completely shut down in the northwest and southwest regions of Cameroon since January 17, 2017. All government attempts to co-opt the resistance by means of mass arrests, intimidation, xenophobia from local and national elites loyal to the regime, propaganda through the national radio and television broadcaster, bribery of unscrupulous and dubious trade unionists to call of the strikes and “Ghost town” operations devoutly observed by West Cameroonians have been met with further civil disobedience. The government as a matter of fact is now in a conundrum on how to restore social order after its miscalculations and high-handed strategy of arresting anglophone leaders, banning pressure groups and prematurely ending dialogue. Even its attempts at creating new language and culture institutions by decree without consultation with stakeholders or politicizing sports have met with indifference from the masses.
Until a time when the government shall recognize this diversity, only then shall multiculturalism and national integration be attained, unless it recognizes and protects minority rights, only then shall it legitimately pride itself of achieving national unity. Until when the rule of law shall replace the impunity of state elites, only then can it invoke its claim to being a democratic country. Until when social cohesion, inter-communal dialogue and majoritarian solidarity shall become standard norms in nation building, only then shall it pride itself egalitarian and peaceful! Until when it shall guarantee the enjoyment of human rights, civil freedoms and public liberties, only then must it lay claim to the title of being Africa in miniature.


22 Oct

By Nwanatifu Nwaco

In the past 48 hours, Cameroon and Cameroonians experienced and witnessed a series of tragedies of natural and man made causes. A train has derailed, a road connecting the political and economic capitals has been washed by a flash flood, reports of other ghastly road accidents in the country have littered its lack of self-censor social media space with an orgy festival of graphic images and videos of chopped, decapitated and crushed human bodies!

With that said, the biggest lessons Cameroonians need to learn from this include:
-Priority sectors and sustainable development projects.
-Maintenance or replacement of completed/dilapidated public infrastructure must be done at regular intervals. Why must we wait for trains to derail and landslides to wash off outdated transport infrastructure before we realize that its time to innovate and renovate. We need double lane motor-ways as well as two track/parallel rail lines.
-Civics, First aid and emergency/crisis response services must be taught to every citizen in schools and councils. Cameroon lacks a clear cut natural/disaster evacuation plan. Many people die in the increasing floods and frequent transport accidents because of ignorance on life saving knowledge and techniques. Most people die of their injuries because they were pulled out of wreckage by inexperienced first respondents, rushed to distant hospitals in bush taxis over terrible or had to wait till their death for ambulance and rescue services.
-Motions of support actually promote mediocrity because it deceives people to believe that political anus licking is what must be done before they can get anything from central government elites. What is supposed to be a right is now being traded as a favour! Motions of support could be sent AFTER well done jobs rather, as a form of motivation to sustain good governance initiatives.


Prayer is what we have been doing for decades but prayer without action is out-rightly vain!

“…Now I know that action reduces the lion of terror to an ant of equanimity…” – Og Mandino

May the souls of the dead find in death the joys that this life deprived them. And to all those public contractors who execute below approved standard public work projects and government kleptocrats who embezzle public funds intended for national development plans and validate poorly done work, may you die horribly in an accident with a thousand cuts on your pathetic body!


10 Apr

By Nwanatifu Nwaco

To Christians, it’s a time to celebrate the new covenant of salvation between God and the sinful human through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

To those in Western Christendom, it’s a time to celebrate fertility and new life as the barrenness of the winter gives way to plants and animal rejuvenation in the spring. The symbols used are an Egg and a Bunny. The egg keeps within its shell new life while the bunny or rabbit is known to be very fertile.

To make Christianity appealing to the early converts in Europe, Christian feasts were usually made to coincide with pagan feasts with similar theme. Hence the Feast of the New Covenant became known as Easter. As with Christmas, Easter has been commercialised too, so Christian brethren need to be on spiritual alert not to fall for the materialism.

Dear reader, May the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus cause you to repentance and be a source of blessing, forgiveness and foundation for eternal life to you.

Cultural Paranoia: The Machete

4 Feb

Though a pure breed and raised African, When you’ve lived in the west for a longtime, regardless of the endless civil liberties and freedoms one enjoys that are in abuse in ones homeland, for the reigning confessional reasons for international insecurity and belonging to a minority group not well integrated in security and integration dialogue, one becomes security over sensitive when strangers approach you and worse case if they carry an object of ordinary use like an ax, sledge hammer or knife. This is because some psychos have used these in gruesome public murders and the fact that most movies have villains using daily utensils as weapons against civilians, makes the carrying of objects that could be put to a third use a rare sight and regulated.
The Machete or cutlass is one of the most indispensable utensils to a Cameroonian home and farmer. It is used for a variety of tasks; clearing bushes around the home, cutting down trees, bananas, opening up foot tracks in thick forests, meat butchering at abattoirs and for personal security against home intrusions and burglars. However, this multipurpose instrument was the instrument of choice in the Rwandan genocide of 1994. Rebels used it in the Congo, Liberia and Sierra Leone civil wars to maim and kill people. It is celebrated on the flag of Angola along with an AK-47. In Cameroon and Nigeria, vigilante groups cherish it. 
It’s the dry season here in west Cameroon. At this period farmers usually clear the bushes and thickets on their farmland with machetes to prepare for the next cultivation. This morning on a desolate earth road, I got very frightened when I met a group of about seven young men all bearing machetes. Scenes from the movie Hotel Rwanda filled my irritated and very imaginative mind. As they approached I recognized one of them and as it is customary in my area to always greet people we know or don’t know when we meet on public ground, I waived a hand greeting at this gang of cutlass wielding and singing brood, and said good morning. The guy I recognized stopped aside for a catch up chat with me. They were a social group hired or invited by a farmer to go clear his farmland. As motivation the farmer was to bring water, food and drinks to them while they worked.
As the guy hurried to catch up with his advancing mates, I began to reflect on how my perception of arms possession and security had been altered by my long sojourn in Europe. My narrative is drawn from cultural judgments of these two societies. A scene like the one above if in Europe would have got people in panic, with the police and rescue services rushing to contain this “gang”. 
People are good despite the presence of a dark force in them.

Musings of a Broken Heart

23 Sep

By Nwanatifu Nwaco

A relationship in which the partners have a 100% match is bound to become routine and dull due to the lack of things they want to build on together. It is the differences between people that enable them relate to each other and keep the flames in their hearts burning to always strive to please the other. There’s more to a relationship than just love. It’s not all about being compatible in their likes and dislikes. People have been in love and still separated because they fail to discuss about what they disagree to agree about regarding  the goals, aspirations and expectations of what their relationship is all about and where it’s getting to. Every long lasting relationship has elements of mutual sacrifices individually arrived at by both partners.

 Too often we’re unwilling to give the other the chance to be who they truly are. All we need to do is accept the reality that the other is different and work on how we can live happily with them without leading them into self-denial. One should be able to give up certain characteristics if they keep coming in the way of how they relate with the other.  It’s not a crime to once in a while indulge in the boring, silly and amusing passions of each other, like cooking together or watching a game or TV series together. If you spend more time noticing the flaws in the character of your partner, than you do over the beautiful things that make them the amazing and all exceptional person they are or can be, then you will always downgrade them as underachieving, no matter how hard they invest effort and patience to live up to you.

We often are so engulfed in a cloak of pride and self righteousness that we hurt our partner sometimes involuntary without stopping to think if we could handle the same weight of hurt being directed at them with the same vigor we serve it. Do we accept reproach for our errors? Do we criticize others the same way we will tolerate them criticize us? How often do we apologize for the pain we cause to others or that which they suffer on our behalf? It’s unhealthy for the growth of your relationship if you are always the victim and the guilty party making an apology or being apologized to. You have to give what you want to receive, that includes care, love and respect.

Emotional and material security is what gives future to a relationship, if your partner knows they can rely and confide in you when they’re going through a difficult phase that feeling will be reciprocated. It is a source of encouragement to keep going, knowing that it’s the two of you against the world, even when both of you are wrong and the whole world is right, you’ll find delight standing up for yourselves-that’s why young lovers often elope when their relationship is being disapproved. 

Even before marriage is ever proposed, it’s already occurred in the heart and the rest is but a mere social formality. With the exception of nuptial anniversaries, special confessions like that hardly come twice from the same person to the other person when turned down initially. Hence, all couples need to take time off their work and worldly pursuits to cuddle and rejoice in the intimacy of each other. Withholding or denying the urge to bond with your partner is a seed for infidelity or bad romance that turns both of you off into strange-bed fellows. Love making must not be explicitly used as a bargaining weapon to force compliance. If you know kissing the forehead of your partner makes them calm, reach out for it before and after a dispute and why not even mid-way in a heated debate!! The key to an open, sincere and forward moving relationship is communication and trust. Never forget to remind or tell your partner that you love them or you miss them.

My Pan-African Odyssey

5 May


After passing through stringent security scrutiny with the migration officials at Arlanda Airport, Stockholm-Sweden, who could not understand why I had elected to cancel my residence permit application for Sweden. I finally went airborne with the memories of the time and beloved friends I had made and was now leaving behind in Sweden, probably to see them no more or whenever opportunity and destiny crisscrossed our paths again. The first rays of light glittered upon a gallant landscape of the Abyssinian highlands, as we dropped in altitude the first human infrastructure stretched before my eager eyes was the runway of Bole International Airport, Addis Ababa-Ethiopia, the de facto capital of Africa, the birthplace and seat of the African Union. The richness of its history breathed into me a sense of hope and a charismatic feeling of hope, far from the uneasy anxiety that hung over me throughout the second quarter of my sojourn in the Nordic lands. I had finally touched down on African soil and it did not matter if it was on my home soil of Cameroon or not.

Five hours of transit time left me awed with the splendour of the Ethiopian capital. Next airport of call was Aeroporto di Malabo. My flight to Malabo carried with it evidence of a new marriage to which Africa was wedded. There were many more Chinese nationals on the plane than there were Africans. As we flew over the Sudans, Central Africa republic, the northern tip of D.R Congo into Cameroonian airspace, the news flashes of the conflicts in these countries whizzed through my mind like a flash mob. Even at an altitude of 55,000 metres above Cameroon soil, I was gripped with a terrible homesickness which needed a parachute, as we flew pass the visible coasts of Douala, Tiko, Limbe and the super imposing massiveness of Mount Fako stretching into the ocean.

Out of the horizon far into the Atlantic popped out the antique island of Fernando Po, Malabo the capital of Equatorial Guinea. It radiated with the splendour of petroleum money, visible with the newly built porch neighborhoods in red roofs, streets lined up with royal palms and well lit streets. This Spanish speaking country of less than one million people was under intensive infrastructure development and investments. At touch down, I was welcome to the sight of Chinese construction workers doing some work on the airport tarmac. It is here that our Chinese ”development partners” disembarked while others embarked for transit through Cameroon to wherever it is they were heading to next. After two hours of wait in Malabo the next hub of the Ethiopian carrier was announced – Douala! Cheerfulness filled my tired body.

As we took to the air once more, I bid farewell to my CEMAC sister country turning my focus totally towards the thrills awaiting me once I reached the land of my birth. Flying at low altitude, the littoral of Cameroon gave me flash backs of my secondary school geography lessons with swampy mangroves, creeks, deltas and estuaries. It was nearing dusk by now as the last rays of the sun kissed the earth good bye for the morrow, their recession made the city of Douala blink with lights on the ground like stars did in the sky above the plane. At this point I pulled out my headsets and listened to Elvis Kemayo’s patriotic song “O’ Cameroun berceau de mon enfance…” As the air-bird hissed to a halt, the hostess announced that we had reached our destination. I sighed with relief, I was home at last.

Before I left the aircraft, I felt like I was going to kneel and kiss the ground once I set foot on it as the Vatican pontiff did whenever he visited Cameroon, but as I emerged from the plane I was blasted with an atmospheric heat of 35 degrees Celsius, I irritated and sweated instantly. I had already adapted to the cold temperate climate of the Scandinavia so the tropical climate demanded that I re-adapt to the equator, I totally forgot about my kiss the ground fantasy as I scotched in the heat and saw the ground littered with moss, I was not a head of state and could not expect that the ground be swept sparkling clean for my bowed knees and kiss. The first thing I observed was that Douala International Airport was undergoing some refurbishment, the lighting was poor as we walked towards a staircase to enter the security check hall via the back of the airport not through the tube terminal. My first contact with Cameroonians was with a mixture of police officers and customs officers who motioned me wordless towards the staircase from whence I came into a hall way that led into dark hall with long queues of passengers waiting to be cleared for entry.

After I had my passport stamped and personal data logged in, I proceeded towards baggage claim and it was here I felt and knew I was truly in Cameroon. Greeted by the rush and chants of porters and police officers alike. Everybody wanted to grab my bag under the excuse of helping me out for a small. I yelled back at them that I was no diplomat and could take care of myself just fine, this did not dissuade them, as they hanged on to my luggage as I proceeded towards customs checkpoint, unlike in other airports where baggage was scanned without being opened and hand searched, Cameroon customs ransacked my hard to pack bags before passing them through scanners. One handling officer even asked me to present the stump of the name tags on my bags, something that was clearly visible on my air ticket, but he insisted and threatened to impound my cargo, at this point he said I had to pay a fine (bribe) and I was quick to yell him down with defiance as I pushed my bags through towards the exit.

At the exit, I was almost rundown by vagrants who loitered there looking for an opportunity to snatch and runaway with some effects or out rightly begged for dollars and euros. Out of this chaos emerged my patiently waiting elder sister, niece and in-law, who helped me to their waiting car. Welcome Home! They exclaimed! To which I responded with a sense of total confusion. As we drove away from the airport through the chaotic and reckless traffic of Douala, I was gripped with the fear of an imminent accident. I had forgotten this aspect of Cameroon whereby everyone including here bikers, cyclists, drivers and pedestrians had total disregard for all traffic rules and highway regulations.

Gently I began to absorb the sight of Cameroonians going about their daily activities, life seemed faster and busier albeit disorderly here than it was in Europe, this was Cameroon in reality.Le Cameroun C’est le Cameroun! As we drove towards the coastal town of Limbe, palms, rubber and banana plantations rose and felle over the landscape like see waves, bringing with them all my past memories of the towns along the way. The first thing I ate was “Suya”, a locally made barbecue. Once we reached Limbe which is also my town of birth, I was greeted with the shouts and welcome of my three darling nieces and junior sister. Dinner that evening was my favourite traditional meal called Achu with lots of meat and garden-eggs. I slept in the guest room under a mosquito net.

The next day happened to be Labour Day and my junior brother arrived Limbe from the capital Yaoundé for their company match-pass. He had clearly outgrown me into a very muscular and tall young man with a very deep voice. He had also grown a beard and looked like a younger version of me facially. He had also become an accomplished driver too. We went out to party that night and it was just so amazing to witness nightlife-a-la- Camerounais(e) again. We departed a day after for Yaounde the capital where an odyssey of love awaited.

Love and Immigration Hardly Mix Well

13 Apr

Love and immigration most often are hard to mix like water and oil! Many people who wonder in search of greener pastures often leaving a loved one behind seldom come back to them if the motivations and promises of their journey aren’t achieved in the time and manner in which they had foreseen. The obligations of integrating in new society often lead many into vow breaking and revision of personal virtues and ethics of conduct as a means towards the end of goal achievement. Let us chew these experiences and thoughts with the illustrations below.

 With odds of reality staked against her favour along with a gang of vile suitors wooing her, for 20 years did the very loyal Queen Penelope faithfully and anxiously, with unusual confidence await the return of King Odysseus of Ithaca from the Trojan War. What did he do all through this time? He went about willingly and unwillingly crawling in and out of the thighs of goddesses and nymphs! Overcome by the very strong feelings of love he still had for his waiting queen, he turned down offers of immortality from these deities and sailed home where she accepted him without nagging. What is intriguing is that if these infidelities were done by a woman in our context, she would never be accepted yet no one dares question the ethics of Odysseus’ acts.

Society then and now tends to normalizes male philandering while sanctioning strict rules of chaste and modesty upon women. In a relationship, does separation in time and distance excuse infidelity and absolves a cheat from scorn? Is it enough to love to be able to distinguish between casual and passionate sex?

What one retains from the Iliad and the Odyssey is that King Odysseus as a man is faithful and in love with his wife, it is the quest to enforce a sexist tradition to restore Helen of Troy into a betrothal that took him away from his beloved Penelope. His wanderings in melancholy over the years were the ultimate price he had to pay for his cunning and arrogance towards the authorities of his world. Same as with Odysseus, many men and women today a trapped in wanderings partly or totally brought upon them as a consequence of the decisions they make as individuals, often forgetting that they as individuals belong to society as its members.

One who decides to leave his family, love and homeland for a foreign makes a decision which though individual creates ripples that follow them into and from the land of their destination. The latter has many realities of compliance reserved for the former to which they must comply and assume consequence thereof end up in limbo. Such are the many marriages of convenience entered into by immigrants, at the end the goal of migrating is achieved in the destination but the purpose of migrating is lost, which is the love for whom the immigrant left to make a better fortune for both towards a future reunion.

Each of us today is on an Odysseys from which we might not wait for the return or return to a loved one. Does acceptance mean forgiveness then? Whether yes or no, such stupidity of the heart, emotional patience, unconditional love, understanding without inquiry and trust is non-existent or super rare among couples today. The default rule today is to “Move On”.