I will not wear Women’s Day Cloth tomorrow because my sisters in the North West and South West are correct. This is no time for celebration.
Children of Cameroon have been killed, leaders of Cameroon have been arrested, children of Cameroon are out of school, the economy of Cameroon is in distress and the rights of Cameroonians to communicate have been violated. This is no time for celebration.
It is a time for us to call on our mothers and our sisters who have gone before. It is time for us to call upon the strength of the women of Anlu and the courage of the women traders of Douala. Both of whom fought the colonizers in the 1940s and 50s. It is time for us to call upon the warrior spirit of Marie Djat and the gentle determination of Marthe Moumie. Women who fought for Cameroon throughout the 1950s and 60s.
It is time to for us as women to unleash our power and display our full audacity. It is time for us as women to speak for the nation, stand for the nation, fight for the nation and win the nation. It is time.
No, we cannot wear kabbas, sing songs and shout gleefully. The state of the nation does not allow it. The state of our children does not allow it. The state of our very lives does not allow it.
This 8th of March we stand in reflection, we stand in prayer and meditation, we stand in strategy and in action.
We stand for an end to the violence in all forms and from every direction, we stand for the release of those who’ve been arrested and the respect of the law. We stand for human rights and human dignity to return to Cameroon and be, once and for all, the bedrock of who we are.
We stand for dialogue that is open, honest, profound. Dialogue that will enable us to preserve what we need from our history and anchor our people in shared principles and values. We stand for dialogue that will define solutions to the many complex problems that living together as a people poses for us. We stand for dialogue that will birth a new nation: diverse, strong, just, equitable and prosperous for all its citizens. A nation that finds solutions that are equitable, sustainable, credible and fair for all its citizens.
I will not wear Women’s Day Cloth this year, because we the women must signify that this state of affairs is not normal. Business cannot go on as usual. This is no time for celebration.
We as women stand today in reflection, resolution and action. We stand as part of the solution. It is time.