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The Story of Ambazonia

Ambazonia is also called English-speaking Cameroon.

I’ve added a new page to commemorate my first real trip to Manila. I’ve been to Manila, actually twice before. Living in Taiwna, as an American, we have the legal right to stay in Taiwan for up to 3 months. After that we have to leave but we get to come right back. Some people make visa runs for 20 years.

I got the chance to look around the city and the surrounding areas. I visited Clarke, American Airforce base. It has since been returned to The Philippines. I met some very interesting people while I was there.

Some were foreign expats and veterans of the Philippines life. They has lived in the Philippines for decades and knew the ropes of Philippines life, the same as the locals. Other were newbies who were just getting their feet wet, as far as experiencing life abroad in a foreign country.

Walking around, I had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with some of my fellow travelers. Since the purpose of my traveling was primarily to blog, I needed to conduct at least a couple of interviews. Upon arriving in Manila, I had no clue where to go or how I was going to find people willing to give me a statement for Black Asia Magazine.

At the center of the city, I stumbled into an area called Makati. Part of this section looks like Manhattan. It’s also full of foreign residents. A few clicks down the road, I found a less pretentious area. There were no skyscrapers. I knew I could rest my head and let my guard down for a moment when I found a street with some black people on it.

This street had a couple of bar/restaurants that served African food. I also found a barber shop called Nando’s. In asking around, I learned that the proprietors of these businesses were mostly Cameroonians. I recognized this area as a place where I could get my bearings.

I chose this area to get out my camera and start asking around for someone whom I could possible interview. One man agreed to talk to me about what life is like, being black, there in Manila.

The subject of the above interview is a man who introduced himself only as Johnson. He is from West Africa and he is a part of a situation that is becoming all to common is Asia. These young men live on the fringes of society. Unofficially, he is a refugee. Johnson was born in southern Cameroon in a region where most residents speak English. In his own words, his region should rightly be called Ambazonia and rightly should be politically independent from Cameroon.

He told me how, for the past few decades his region had been seeking independence from Cameroon. They were made a part of Francophone Cameroon by the United Nations, but most residents wanted and still want their own, independent government. At present, there is no country officially called Ambazonia but his region is a part of Cameroon. He advocates independence for his region.

The story he told me was actually quite tragic. There has been quite a lot of blood shed in his region. There will likely be a lot more before this situation is resolved. I met Johnson at the Cameroonian restaurant in Makati. We conducted the interview right there on the spot. He was more than eager to share his story with me. This particular area is shaping up into a center where Cameroonian businesses are thriving. At present, Johnson is waiting for a ticket out of the Philippines.

What do you think?

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