I have climbed your mountains,
I have sucked the sweetness of your sugarcane,
Chewed your organic maize and
Slid on your soaked and muddy trails.
Brown earth, green grass
Clear white and blue plastered clouds
Descend over formations that make us one.
Your young ones scream ambition,
Old folk are industrious,
Farmers from sunrise,
Groundnut sellers at midday,
Mothers and dotting wives in the evenings.
On those nights when the men go a-drinking.
Your palm trees rival your mountains in height,
Freshly tapped palm wine deliberately left to sour for the night,
Washes away the danger and fright that visit with climbing.
Country talk, die-house,
A-shia, how for skin?
These words will never leave me,
For they are the glue that cemented our worlds together.
Oh! And how can I forget the excitement from Market Day,
Blaring music from mounted speakers,
P Square’s “Nobody Ugly” setting the mood as we sway,
Away from the Mimbo,
Towards the scents from chop houses.
Motorbikes swarming like an army of ants
Equipped to carry people to:
Teze, Eti, Mbampe, or Widikum,
All of them a 10 minutes to 3 hours ride,
Depending on who you ask.
So, the next time someone mentions Andek, Cameroon to you,
And you have questions about what, who, and where this is.
For, I was once there.