Cameroonians in Istanbul – Like in a Jungle!

They work round the clock, each in hisher sphere to make ends meet in the emerging city.

Life, they say, is a struggle and Cameroonians based in Istanbul, like others elsewhere are working tooth and nail bearing this in mind in order to survive in the increasingly competitive society. The geographical location of the city, in-between Europe and Asia, makes it an almost irresistible land for Cameroonians who want to ‘fall bush’ here or transit to other countries.

According to the President of the Association of Cameroonians in Turkey, Didier D. Tchuidja, there are well over 2,000 Cameroonians resident in Turkey from all parts of Cameroon seeking for greener pastures. He noted that they are into education especially in some Turkish higher institutions of learning like the University of Galatasaray which teaches in English and French. Others are into business especially textile and restaurant while a good number are ‘strugglers’ praying for better days to come for their lives to be different from what they were in Cameroon.

Like elsewhere, while those already comfortably settled are celebrating what they term ‘win-win’ bilateral relations existing between Cameroon and Turkey, others who are sweating to survive and probably who are not in all legality are crying foul of white maginalisation. Cameroon Tribune met all the classes of cameroonians in one of their hotspots in Istanbul, a Cameroon Cuisine Restaurant run by Bemba Annette. Here, they either come looking for what they usually eat at home or to meet fellow countrymen to get news from home. This is to feel home thousands of miles away from home.

But there are some who visit such places simply because they have nothing doing. ‘Please don’t film me because my family does not know that am here and I wouldn’t want them to see me on television or see my photo in a newspaper,” one of them angrily halted Cameroonian journalists on a press trip to the city last week and who want to have their pictures.

Another class of Turkey-based Cameroonians we learnt have a special way of life in Turkey are footballers. Either because of time constraints or simply out of sheer neglect, they are said not to show concern for their compatriots. “They know that they don’t need anybody for anything because their clubs take care of them. I have written officially to so many of them and invited them to our meeting or to assist especially when we have serious problems like death, but no reply,” the president of Cameroonians in Turkey, Didier D. Tchuidja, told Cameroon Tribune in Istanbul. However, the association, he noted, works in line with is motto, “Solidarity, Efficiency, Obligation” to be one another’s keeper, guiding those that need guidance and orientating others so that together, they can succeed and contribute to nation-building back home.

Source : Cameroon Tribune

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