Celebrating Cameroon’s 50th Anniversary of Independence
Being able to experience Cameroon during the celebration of the country’s 50 years of independence and peace was most certainly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. National Day is a day of festivities in light of friends, family, achievement, and enormous blessings the country has received. The day began with a “March Pass”, also known as a parade to us. Cameroonians from all over the Buea Sub-Division came to Buea, the regional capital, to join in celebration and to participate in the march-pass.
For hours we witnessed national pride in Cameroonians of all ages. Military personnel, teachers, school children and teens, and various clubs and groups were represented all bearing the vibrant and majestic green, red and yellow. Many hand-made clothing and dresses were worn, some with National Day fabric and some like our own, were hand crafted for a specific group. Our gorgeous, custom made dresses and shirts were representing the University of Buea in a juicy green fabric complete with a little National flavor as well.
As the participants marched on, I was struck most by the focus of the parade. The march was not just about a land, a country – but the march was about a land of people. People focused solely on other people, friend and neighbor celebrating one another.
After the march-pass, as we headed for the governor’s private reception and Gala later in the evening I reflected upon change. It was Margaret Mead who once said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world … indeed it was the only thing that ever has.” This is exactly what has produced good fruit in Cameroon for the past 50 years and what will continue to do so.
Later in the evening at the Gala, we realized what an honor it was to be personally invited by the governor himself. It was a very fancy occasion. The women were all dolled up in vibrant fabrics and dresses. We also realized how much Cameroonians like celebrating and dancing. At the close of the evening we each personally shook the governor’s hand and the group snapped a photo with him. What an honor indeed! Once in the van, exhaustion swept over my body as I thought of all the beautiful faces I saw throughout the day. Once again the words of Margaret Mead ran through my head.
— Sara Semborski, BU student | Photo gallery