Musih Tedji Xavière’s Fabiola as a Bildungsroman in Progress: A Review By Eric Ngea Ntam (PhD)

Book title: Fabiola

Author: Musih Tedji Xaviere

Publisher: Maryland Printers, Bamenda

Year published: 2017

Number of pages: 221

Where I got it: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B073WY8XCH

             https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/xaviere

Why I read it: I was intrigued by the idea of reading an African YA novel

When I read it: 2017

Review written by:  Eric Ngea Ntam (PhD)

 

The first few lines of Musih Tedji Xavière’s Fabiola immediately draws a reader’s attention towards the pattern of child development at school. The novel can be aptly described as a bildungsroman in progress because it presents the nine-month development of Fabiola, the protagonist. Xavière’s setting, characterisation, themes, style and point of view come along with the physical and psychological growth of Fabiola, all of which culminate in a verisimilitude of the lived circumstances that those familiar with boarding life would fit their own experiences into.

The term bildungsroman (coined in 1819 by German philologist, Karl Morgenstern and later legitimated by Wihelm Dilthey in 1870 and made popular in 1905) is a German word succinctly defined as a “novel of formation” or described as “the coming-of-age novel”. A bildungsroman generally revolves around a sensitive protagonist poised for the achievement of a goal. Its plot is thus tailored to depict the hurdles, the aide and the near or complete achievement of the hero or heroine. The less than twelve years old Fabiola goes through this trajectory for an academic year and emerges a largely reformed [my emphasis], at least at her age, bildungsroman protagonist.

A careful reading of Xavière’s Fabiola reveals a plot knitted to portray the psychological and moral growth of Fabiola from child to youth or semi adult. This is evident in the setting or choice of the school, St Francis Girls’ Vocational High School (GVHS) Bafut. As an all-girl institution, Fabiola has to intermingle with her kind for a psychosocial awareness of both her sex and gender. The young Fabiola is modestly accompanied to school by her mother and are both given a hand by the taxi driver to offload her belongings (Ch. One, p. 2).

The ancient appearance of the campus is proof of its having churned out a myriad of the great ladies of all walks of life in the society. The senior who is on hand to check and usher Fabiola to the St Clare dormitory, as her counterparts do to the other foxes, is just one of the budding ladies GVHS is preparing for the global society. Fabiola is immediately put in a psychological battle the moment she sees a difference between the seniors and the foxes. The seniors’ appearance does not in any way correspond to the dictates of the school prospectus. In fact: “What fascinated Fabiola most about these girls was the grace with which they carried themselves. She envied them, their refinement, and somewhere in the back of her mind she wanted to be just as beautiful and just as curvy one day” (Ch. One, p. 3). In this yearning lies the trigger that sets our protagonist in motion.

The protagonist grows from child to semi-adult

The protagonist in a bildungsroman is often a sensitive person who is looking for answers and experience. Fabiola’s quest to understand her environment is facilitated by her meeting Yvonne, a onetime primary school mate: “What were the chances that she would end up in a place like this, thousands of miles away from home with someone she had spent almost every day of her childhood with? Though Yvonne’s company, just like Helen’s to Jane Eyre at the Lowood School in Charlottë Brontë’s Jane Eyre, lightens the burden of loneliness, it nevertheless stops the introspective Fabiola to watch with stifled emotion the departure of her mother through the oxblood coated bars of the school after having promised to come and see her again on Visiting Day.

Henceforth Fabiola is supposed to be strong in order to gradually achieve her youthfulness or near adulthood. Her entire first term is full of intimidating, if not shocking, surprises. This begins on day one of her arrival at GVHS. and include the chaos perpetrated by the foxes in the St Clare dormitory, the abrupt and harsh instructions and nightmarish tails from Ngala Geraldine (Dorm-cap), harassment from Atabong Atem and crew, Senior Nahbila Laura’s compelling lessons on using cutlery adequately in the manner of established women or ladies, insults (Grandmami-face) from three unknown girls, among others lead to the conclusion: “… boarding school was a direct contrast to the reverend sisters’ campaign promises at her old school” (Ch. Five, p. 26).

The struggle, which continues with routine activities such as getting up at 5am and bathing under strict supervision with cold water in order to get ready for morning mass, tidying up individual bunks and spaces, sweating, stumbling and falling on the hill leading to church, adhering to Senior Limnyuy and Bessem’s assigned portions for regular maintenance, learning new vocabulary such as ‘clad’ and ‘mop’, holding one’s own cup, tea spoon and cutlery when going to the refectory, eating stale bread, unpleasant combination of cooked garri and okro soup, weevil infested corn-chaff and beans, and compulsory siesta all combine to form part of the heavy cross Fabiola must shoulder on her way to experience.

Fabiola observes that some students have complementary snacks (chocolate, tins of sardine, Ovaltine), which they either supplement with or take as alternative for what the ‘refecto’ provides.  She further learns that GVHS is a religiously inclined school because it engages in the endless battle between God and the devil, consequently the girls are urged to inculcate constant prayer as a modus vivendi. It amazes Fabiola that most tribes are stigmatised for either their abnormal behaviour or phonological renditions. She finds it absurd and a taboo when girls like Agatha talk back to the captain.

A tip of the iceberg of what awaits her in the months ahead comes when the foxes are made to pay a visit to the Up-campus. Fabiola comes to understand that GVHS has two campuses and that there are many students and levels in the school than she earlier thought. The St Francis Children and Adult Home (SAFRACAH) Street unravels another hidden connection between school and the outer world. Her keen observation makes her figure out that she could easily fight starvation by sneaking out early enough to buy accra and other snacks.

The arrival of the rest of the school on 9 September begins the real ordeal and set the pace for the rising action of the novel. All the ten dormitories are inhabited and typical boarding experiences become manifest. For example, Fabiola records that there is a desperate search for ‘Smalls’ by the supposed ‘Bigs’, there is outright confrontation that almost result in flexing of muscles between Yvonne and Atem, but for her timely intervention which is followed by a ‘Mami cry-cry’ insult at her from the dreaded Atem. Fabiola’s courageous interference which evokes “I cannot believe this” from Atem portrays the survival of the fittest attribute Fabiola has quickly imbibed as the way out. She even goes further to warn Atem: “We are not afraid of you. Touch any of us and we will report you.” This offensive temperament not only brings out the hidden rebel in Fabiola, but also speaks of the courage and mature personality that is already being built in the hither to docile girl. As a matter of fact, the scary Atem is left with no option than to shake her head and turn away.

Stresses of self-identity continue to develop. Unlike other girls who are being cajoled and won over by Bigs, Fabiola waits until when she desires one. Though Joan, her acquired Big, is recommended to her by Yvonne, this is only after Fabiola’s wish to have one. She timidly but courageously moves up to Joan and requests her to be her Big – a demand Joan willingly grants.

The ritual of cutting of the foxes’ tails ushers Fabiola into the stark reality of the intimidation junior students must endure in the hands of seniors. The foxes are slapped and obliged to dance without music, as real foxes do. Coming on the hills of the cutting of foxes’ tails is the introduction night. This event gives Fabiola and her mates the opportunity to discover the extracurricular potentials of their school in domains such as choir, drama and dance. The courageous and imaginative skills of Hiris, a fox, who sings a sarcastic song to ridicule the senior students astonish everyone and provokes Sister Jude to laugh out her lungs, to the amazement and delight of Fabiola and the other foxes. This night draws the curtains on the empirical learning for a week and sets the green light for real academic business in GVHS:

“When she was certain that Fabiola was ready to go, she gave her a pat on the back, wished her good luck, and left” (Ch. Sixteen, p. 92) – these are the narrator’s description of the setting the ball to roll in Fabiola’s academic life by Joan, her Big. Ngam Fabiola from now on is left alone to climb the academic ladder. With Joan’s pat on her back, Fabiola hurries to be first Up-campus and scrambles for a well located seat in their classroom. Once safely seated the fight between the tallest girl in their class and a smaller girl animates Fabiola and her mate until Senior Laura’s timely arrival. The rush to be first Up-campus and the racing for seats in the classroom consciously or unconsciously drives home the fact that the attainment of education is also another battle that must be fought with all energy. In this battle, the inexperienced, like Fabiola, soil themselves and tend to wonder how the old-students maintain their immaculate look.

The typical first day experience of learning in a secondary school thrills Fabiola. The entrance of Mr Mokum Clement, the mathematics teacher, the confusion of which book to get out when instructed to take out mathematics books, the biting morning hunger that the baskets of bread presented for breakfast are unable to assuage, the mocking laughter of the foxes’ overflowing pleated black skirts and oversized pullovers that barely fit, the repeated introduction of each other as teacher after teacher enters the class with punctuated thirty minutes pauses, mark Fabiola. Nevertheless, Fabiola’s overall impression of being over-taught and the grip of hunger draw the difference between her former school and the secondary. This is the route to transformation. The routine of waking at 5.30am, taking a bath, going for morning mass, climbing the to the Up-campus, learning Mathematics, breakfast, more classes, trekking back Down-campus, lunch, siesta, another bath, evening prayer, night preparations (prep), and back to bed, characterize Fabiola’s stay in GVHS for the next two months, with expectations of seeing mama again on Visiting Day.

With classes now in full gear, Fabiola is obliged to come to terms with other activities and behaviours during and after school as well as on weekends. Tiredness and drowsiness during morning masses and night preps, the lurking of Mr Cane (the discipline master) around, ready to lash defaulters, cold nights, especially in the refectory, regrets of not having brought other items not mentioned in the school prospectus, coercing from Antoinette (Yvonne’s Big) to move her snacks to her trunk, little enmities between space-mates and bunkmates (ndang’a and mbong’o), indiscriminate punishment in order to fish out a culprit who commits an indecent act such as defecating in another girl’s bathing buckets (Hiris as a victim) (Ch. Seventeen, pp. 99-104), involvement in one activity after another on Saturdays, receiving special help and favours from a responsible Big such as Joan gives Fabiola, classroom mockery, nicknaming and stigmatisation of tribes, among many others are routine experiences and occurrences in GVHS.

The Fabiola becomes disillusioned (disappointed) as the new world does not match her shining hopes and dreams, but finally accepts, after painful soul-searching, the sort of world she lives in

The climax of the novel begins with the ‘warmsun’ or the period of extreme hunger in boarding schools. At this moment Fabiola realises that no girl, including herself, rejects or brags about not eating certain school meals such as cooked garri or crank-crank, meals they rejected when pockets were still full and supplementary snacks aplenty. Some of the foxes exchange toiletries such as toothpastes for bread, others begin to produce candy out of melted sugar by means of their spoons and candle light, Fabiola and Yvonne even go as far as deceiving Bapete, who brags of her riches because the prime minister is her uncle, and eat up her cookies in return for friendship that they later fail to give. Fabiola learns a lot about lies telling in the dormitory when Fusi, whom they constantly mock for wetting the bed, lies in their favour though truly she is aware that they duped Bapete: “‘Thank you,’ Fabiola said to Fusi once they were out of earshot, too relieved to ask why Fusi lied for them. Fusi acknowledges Fabiola’s gratitude with a nod and walked away.” (Ch. Nineteen, pp. 114-18).

Fabiola also observes that stealing is a common practice in their school. Personal belongings such as socks, pullovers, headscarves, white gowns, Bibles and hymnals, sandals, cutlery and even underwear are pilfered. Many cases of theft are reported to the dorm-cap who only threatens in vain. The effect of snatching away the pullovers is rampant influenza and related diseases, which Fabiola also has to cope with. Some of the robbers are caught and dismissed while others are never identified.

Warmsun also leads to the breakup of cordial relationship between Fabiola and Yvonne. Yvonne is no longer ready to share her trunk with Fabiola because their snacks have been completely done away with. Yvonne’s decision is taken by Fabiola with equanimity.

Despite Senior Laura’s reprimand and punishment of Asongwe Camela, Mbaku Veronica, Atabong Atem, Vegah Madeleine, Suh Antonia, Wiysahnyuy Hilda, Achu Tina and five others for visiting shops and secretly buying items from vendors at SAFRACAH Street, Fabiola still indulges in the same illicit dealing. She seems to have accepted that it is a context where survival depends on one’s smartness and not on the strict obedience of rules and regulations.

Fabiola resolves to use up the 2000 CFA franc note her mother gave her on the day they arrived GVHS. She leaves the dormitory alone early Tuesday morning and buys balls of accra for herself. This becomes an obsession until her money is completely used up (see a vivid description of her manoeuvre: Ch. Twenty-One, pp. 126 -7). It is interesting to note that her skilfulness in sneaking and buying whatever she wanted along the SAFRACAH Street is monitored and admired by Fusi, who opts to bring her own money so that they can be partners in crime.

Preparations to welcome parents on Visiting Day intensify. The generosity of the girls know no bounds a few days to Visiting Day. Those who still have some reserves empty their trunks in preparation for the new and fresh snacks their parents, especially mothers, would bring. Fabiola spends all she had jealously hoarded in the hope that her mother would replenish her purse and trunk upon her arrival.

It is Visiting Day. This marks the climax of Fabiola’s disillusionment and at the same the acceptance of her circumstance and the world secondary school introduces her to. The school mobilises in every aspect as the parents are awaited. Everywhere is kept clean and the students too look clean. Those who had scored good marks in the tests look forward to sharing the news with their parents. Parents come with goodies, sit with their daughters in small groups chattering and showing love and concern.  Fabiola is highly disappointed when at 5.30pm every parent who came visiting has left and the road ahead stares at her. Fabiola’s hysteria is only calmed by Sister Jude, who takes her to the office and a plastic bag containing a medium sized baked cake with frosting and a bag of candy – these become the girl’s own Visiting Day package (See Ch. Twenty-two, pp. 132-7). Mama’s failure to pay Fabiola a visit on a day when all other children enjoy the warmth of their mothers kills the child in her. The child is mother of the woman is a suitable responsibility she assumes. Though Fabiola overcomes this disheartening circumstance, resilience teaching her the trick, and returns to school even more determined to compete with Tang Asahmbom for the first position in class, she however “… she retreated into herself … and no amount of coaxing got her out of her shell.” (Ch. Twenty-three, p.138).

The rest of the term becomes child’s play. The young heroine ignores Ngum’s complaint that her own mother did not also come, she shows pride towards Dorm-cap’s plea that those whose parents came should donate food to the needy, she stands tall to see that she is not in the group of those who mess up the latrines because of overfeeding from their visitors, she continues to go to the refectory without any complex, the trekking for miles in search of water at Nkiwah stream owing to adverse drought does not bother her, with Ngum’s help she treats herself to a handful of palm kernels from a nearby bush, she even questions why an Anglophone Cameroonian as herself should study French, and above all she now boldly accompanies Ngum to sneak out of the way to school to get whatever they desired. With these resilient and questioning spirit, Fabiola writes her second and third tests and is ready to go home for the Christmas break.

The starvation that sets in before Rascal week is trifle to Fabiola. All she is interested in is to experience the unruly atmosphere that now characterises GVHS. During this week the girls get involved either in plotting, fighting, gossiping, quarrelling or loitering the school campus, looking for possibilities of getting palm nuts, avocado, guavas from nearby bushes in Bafut and even mocking at the gateman who dare to consider himself part of the staff of the school by constantly using the expression “We the staff.” Fabiola also observes that the threat of withholding one’s report card deterred many of the girls from certain exaggerated acts. Fabiola becomes involved in the activities marking preparations for Christmas, which entail drama, carol, reconciliation and general socials. She wonders if the reconciliations are actually genuine for, it seems to mean little to Atabong Atem.

The sledge harmer of dismissal, a dreaded punishment, befalls those who resort to excesses during the rascal week. For instance the exorcism manifested by Jesus-freak or Chukwunenye Nnednma earns her outright dismissal from Sister Jude. Khaki-night or the night of result declaration marks the end of Fabiola’s first three months in the secondary school. The entire school assembles in the refectory and results are read out. The last three and first three in each class come up to the stage for everyone to see them. Sihngum Monica 16/20, Ngam Fabiola 17.4/20 and Tang Ansahmbom 18.2/20 are the first three in ascending order in her class. The Bigs, whose Smalls make it in flying colours, are proud and shout out to let everyone identify them with their brilliant Small. Fabiola receives congratulations from Joan. It is with these results that Fabiola goes to bed ready to collect her report card the next day and depart for the village.

Closing day breaks with all students ready to depart from campus to various destinations. Fabiola receives her report card and as a big girl, whom she has become, does not bother about her mother’s coming to pick her up. With the help of Ngum, she boards a taxi to her uncle’s house at Foncha Street where she passes the night and leaves for Njinikom the next day to meet her parents.

Fabiola returns to school for the second term on January 4 a completely courageous heroine. She is indifferent happenings around her and only excited to begin classes. Total metamorphosis has had an effect on her:

It took a lot of self-loathing to admit it, but home wasn’t home anymore now that she knew she had somewhere else to be. The disconnection with her childhood friends had only grown, inasmuch as she tried reconnecting with her former self. Her friends did not understand why she felt the need to constantly conduct herself like a lady. They saw her conduct as pride, and frankly, she did not care that much about their opinion of her. (Ch. Twenty-seven, p.165)

Since ‘education’ is always crucial to the protagonist of a bildungsroman, in that it is part of the child’s maturation and preparation for impending adulthood, or in other words considering that the inner development and maturity of the protagonist takes place after his/her “education” in the new place, it is this newfound self-knowledge that signals the ultimate maturity of Fabiola. Fabiola’s drastic transformation has everything to do with both education and suffering. Her ability to withstand traumatic experiences catapults her into a class and psyche of her own. Little wonder therefore that the noise she hears on the reopening day of the second term means nothing to her, she simply waves “her way expertly through the horde”; her determination to uphold her parents’ pride suppressing any weak thought of escaping back home and the firm resolve to topple Ansah, urging her forward. Fabiola is no longer little Fa.

Major heroine feats displayed by the heroine include her journey all the way from Njinikom to GVHS Bafut unaccompanied, her not minding the extra work they carry out in preparation for Youth Day and school feasts, the ignoring of Yvonne’s fuss about her friendship with Ngum Winfrey, her courageous accompanying of Winfrey to frighten old-students chattering beside a fire behind the dormitory in the night and later reprimand of Winfrey for causing her to inflict pain on the students, her fierce refusal of Winfrey’s proposal that they should go into a video club on Youth Day, her not bothering much about her mother’s absence at the PTA meeting, her polite decline to leave her money with the school bursar, her ability to understand most terms like ‘curtsy’, changes brought in by the newly elected prefects do not affect her in any way, her contemplation on Women’s Day and what possibly happens on Men’s Day, her confiding in Yvonne that she has contracted sugar-sugar and being taught how to ‘pee like a boy’ by Yvonne and Winfrey, her interest in Sister Carine’s teachings about the ‘Self-esteem concept’, her unregretful spitting in Dorm-cap’s drinking water for calling her ‘red-face’, her being chased by a man with a gun when she accompanies Winfrey and other girls into a dark wild bush, her and Hannah’s peeping at “Mr Moses (the French teacher) and his—and Senior Jennifer, the labour prefect” and being warned by the teacher never to mention it anywhere, peeing in Antoinette’s buckets to punish her for highhandedness and insulting habit, and trying to mislead Ansahmbom on purpose in order to take the first position in class.

From this avalanche of courageous acts, it becomes clear that for only nine months, Fabiola experiences the good, the bad and the ugly. Not only is she aware of sneaking habits of young girls, she comes to understand the reasons why a woman must stand up for her rights, experiences the commonest female infection, observes a man caressing a young girl, devises strategies to revenge/avenge wrong deeds to her and struggles to manipulate her classmate in order to take the first position in class.

Separation from family and Home (usually from a small, provincial place, venturing into a much more complex place) because of desire to gain Self-identity

Fabiola can be said to have made a name for herself by the time we sing the Cameroon National Anthem on page 226 of this novel. She attains this partly because she courageously severs from her parents in search of education and also partly because she becomes engrossed within a complex setting. Though GVHS is a confined environment, it is however much more sophisticated than her primary school and quarter in Njinikom. This is so because it is a forum for budding intellectuals and the occupants come from different homes with varied childhood experiences. Fabiola needs just this kind of context in order to experience a dramatic transformation.

The protagonist returns home, reaches out and helps others after having achieved maturity

Armed with moral, academic and social experiences from GVHS, Fabiola arrives home again, but this time a transformed girl. Not only is she bold enough to ask her mother why she failed her on Visiting Day, she now helps the mother at home as well. Her anger against her mother is abated by the simple reason that she understands her mother had gone back to school. In fact Fabiola is now conscious of the demands of school. 6am the next morning meets Fabiola assisting her mother to bathe her siblings, assigning her siblings to different portions to clean and taking part in the tidying up of the house, ensuring table mannered eating and then imposing a compulsory forty-minute siesta for all. How quick the heroine puts theory into practice. Fabiola’s mother’s satisfaction is revealed in the pride with which she introduces her secondary school child to her colleagues. The rest of the holiday follows this routine and Christmas celebration is void of any exaggeration. But for the unfounded fear that nobody was to see New Year’s Day 2000, Fabiola shows no anxiety and so does the New Year’s Day pass and Christmas break comes to an end.

Fabiola’s reaching out and helping others is seen in her subsequent relationship with Winfrey. When Antoinette hurts Winfrey by spreading false rumour about her being dirty, her being infected with ‘cam-no-go’ and mumps, Fabiola gets very disturbed to see her friend in misery:

The last of Fabiola’s reserve crumbled when she saw Winfrey crying behind the classroom one afternoon. “Why are you crying?” Fabiola asked sitting beside Winfrey on the grass. Winfrey’s bravery was something Fabiola had come to rely on and seeing her reduced to tears by cruelty angered Fabiola.…

Fabiola chuckled. “Shut up! You don’t have mumps or cam-no-go” …

Winfrey regarded Fabiola carefully before abandoning the scepticism. She wiped at the remainder of the tears in her eyes and turned to gaze into space. (Ch. Thirty-four, p. 217).

As a true bildungsroman heroine, Fabiola must necessary reach out to help Ngum Winfrey to be or remain strong.

Is Fabiola an autobiography?

As to whether this novel is an autobiography, the answer is negative. An autobiography is the life story/history of an individual told by him/herself. Even if aspects of Xavière’s own life are embedded in the story, this comes indirectly. That Xavière adopts the third person omniscient point of view distances her novel from being autobiographical. The author’s preference is “an all-knowing narrator who is able not only to recount the action thoroughly and reliably but also to enter the mind of any character at any time in order to reveal [and even conceal too] his or her thoughts, feeling, and beliefs directly to the reader” (Murfin and Ray, 2003). The choice of this vantage point is also convincing because Xavière’s protagonist, fresh from a primary school in Njinikom might have only spoken Kom but would not have rendered the Banso accent, pronounce words in Bafut or relate the dormitory jargon and clichés adequately.

Xavière’s style is simple but very erudite. Instances of suspense, allusion, vivid description, flashbacks, irony, contrast, humour, to cite these, are numerous in the novel. Her delving into boarding school lifestyle and mannerisms helps the reader better understand the psyche of ex-boarders, especially the female sex within the global society.

Conclusion

The choice of the title of this review: “Bildungsroman in Progress” is justifiable. A bildungsroman ends with the hero attaining maturity by accomplishing what he or she set out to acquire – thus coming full circle. However, despite the fact that he/she has come full circle, the memories of the boy/girl that was at the beginning are perfectly suited to emphasize the man or woman that he/she has become. There is no doubt that Fabiola has changed drastically from the little girl who was led into the gates of GVHS by her mother to an independent traveller and introspective girl. For a period of just nine months remarkable transformation is noticeable as earlier indicate. However, that Fabiola is yet to rich full maturity by becoming one of the seniors or prefect in GVHS, perhaps also actually get involved in some of the other deeds she only hears or observes, and also the fact she is yet to return home as a full blown woman to bring total dynamism in her family in particular and Njinikom at large, qualifies the novel as an advancing bildungsroman. Xavière is therefore challenged to come up with a sequel to Fabiola in order to portray a full circle transformed Fabiola.

References

Abrams, M. H. and Geoffrey Galt Harpham, eds., A Glossary of Literary Terms, Ninth Edition, Boston, Wardsworth Cengage Learning, 2009.

Cuddon, J. A., The Penguin Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory, London, Penguin Group, 1998.

Murfin, Ross and Supryia M. Ray, The Bedford Glossary of Critical and Literary Terms, 2nd ed., Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2003.

Xaviere, Musih Tedji Fabiola. Maryland Printers: Bamenda, 2017.

 

About the Author

Eric Ngea Ntam holds a PhD in British Literature from the University of Yaoundé I. He undertook training as a secondary and high School teacher in the then Higher Teacher Training College (ENS) Annex Bambili (1998-2001) and the Higher Teacher Training College (ENS) Yaoundé (2007-2009) from where he obtained the Secondary and High School Teacher Diploma Grade I and Grade II, respectively. He is thus a teacher of English Language and Literature in English for sixteen years now. Eric Ngea Ntam is a former German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) Scholarship holder. He is also the co-author of two books:  Learn English: Understand Climate Change and Majors in English. Dr Ngea Ntam is currently the Head of Service of Relations with the Business World at The University of Bamenda, where he also lectures literature in English as part time lecturer.

 

 

Ernest Ogunyemi

Ernest O. Ogunyemi enjoys playing with words to express what he feels within, or wants to feel. His stories have appeared in magazines and blogs such as Tuck Magazine, Naija Stories, Poetry Soup and his poetry is forthcoming in Acumen91 (out in May) and African Writing. Currently, he is working on a short story collection: Weaving Fine Rhythms from Broken Tunes.

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