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Cameroonian historian, Achille Mbembe's publication regarding the eviction of the population of Dikolo, titled, "A LONG TRADITION OF VANDAL-CHIEFS" has gathered mixed reactions from peoples of every work of life both in Cameroon as well as the diaspora. While a considerable number of people more or less share the standpoint of the renowned historian, the number of voices speaking up against what is termed "an insult" to the memory of the Kings of Duala and the Sawa peoples is growing by the day.

One of such persons who has come up to challenge Mr. Mbembe's reflection is Michel Lobe Ewane, who once worked for Forbs Africa as editor-in-chief.

According to Mr. Michel Loe Ewane, Achille Mbembe's interpretation of history has a western connotation and comforts the narrative of the colonizer.

Here is a translation of Mr. Michel Lobe Ewane's rebuttal

"Because the Sawa are standing up today to say no to the plundering of their land and while they are suffering serious injustices fueled by a swindle orchestrated by crooked officials lurking in the shadows, a text by the historian Achille Mbembe is being exhumed to disqualify and weaken their struggle. And above all, they are trying to sow division and demobilization within the Sawa community.

It is necessary to respond to this transgression of the historical memory of the Sawa people, which is also that of Cameroon. Achille Mbembe's reading of the history of the Sawa is done through the glasses and eyes of Western colonialists, the same ones who falsified our history. It is biased, partisan, and contributes to the distortion of historical reality.

According to Achille Mbembe, the Sawas and the Douala, in particular, are "vandals" and "imbeciles". No community in Cameroon has ever suffered such an insult from a historian, whether African or not.

Mbembe's thesis suggests that Cameroonian nationalism stops at the gates of Sawaland and begins among the Bassa with Um Nyobe. It erases from this nationalism Rudolph Douala Manga Bell, Adolf Ngosso Din, Eyidi Bebey, and all the Sawa who paid with their blood for the defense of the Cameroonian fatherland and nation.

Are we to believe that the historical truth of our country is the one that comes out of the mouths, insults, and invectives of missionaries, explorers, colonialists, and white racists who sought to take control of our land, our wealth, and our country? If African kings, including obviously the Sawa, were caught up in the destructive and corrupting madness of money, some others stood up like Rudolph Douala Manga Bell and their place in history is enough to disqualify the colonialist discourse that Achille Mbembe conveys. Like the voice of his master.

It is an insult to the history of Cameroon to document his argument with insulting remarks of Western colonialists against our people. Mbembe's passion for Um Nyobe leads him to transgress historical reality and distort it by insulting our historical memory. The historian's thesis is that the Sawa chiefs sold Cameroon. If this were true, why were Rudolph Douala Manga Bell, Adolf Ngosso Din, and all the other chiefs who rose against the German settlers hanged?

The historical truth is that Cameroonian nationalism, contrary to what Mbembe thinks, was born with Rudolph Douala Manga Bell, a Sawa chief who was anything but a fool or a vandal. It was at this time, and not with the birth of the UPC, that what is now called Cameroonian nationalism began. And the Ngondo is historically the first anti-colonialist organization in Cameroon."

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