True Trust for Fatherland!

Many a time, we get caught up in celebrations and neglect the true meanings of national ideas. Significant concepts have the tendency to be reduced to political rhetoric. Regrettably, the word “patriot” is among these great ideas whose meaning has been obscured and stripped of its nationalistic distinction. In its intrinsic sense, the term “patriot” would signify individuals or group of persons having an unalloyed attachment to their country, based on a feeling, sentiment, or passion toward national loyalty. That is why the classic writer Ambrose Bierce thinks “patriotism” ought to be “as fierce as a fever, pitiless as the grave, blind as a stone, and irrational as a headless hen”.

The importance of this concept must therefore go far beyond TV Talk Shows, political drumbeating and placard flaunting propagated by some greedy politicians. It must go far beyond monolithic praise singing, hypocritical name calling, hollow oratory and charlatan references and quotations memorized and recited for food. A true patriot is not one who shoots fireworks on May 20th, clad in the national flag or wears a lapel pin. A true patriotic nurses and propagates freedom and nationhood with stainless love and passion.

Tribute to the inhabitants of Vélé, one of those Cameroonian communities seriously threatened by the terrorist Boko Haram insurgence in the Far North regions. The signs of this upsurge are engraved in Vélé. In the domains of education, agriculture, health and family life! But grass-roots response has been phenomenal; a display of bottom-up public patriotism, slicing across class, age, gender and culture. Despite the roars of horror that that crawls unnoticed from every corner, the national flag keeps flying from the antennas of battered motorbikes to the roof of quarter heads and the national anthem is still song from the heart, even at birthday ceremonies. True trust for Fatherland!

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