Majunga Tok: Poems in Pidgin English
Pidgin English is the chief medium of communication for the great majority of Cameroonians. It sustains a world view, culture and way of life. Pidgin embodies concepts that would at best be partially expressed in formal English. A critical understanding of Pidgin English requires not only a thorough grasp of the socio-cultural matrix from which the words and expressions originate but also an immersion in an Afro-centric worldview. Majunga Tok: Poems in Pidgin English is the poet's attempt at capturing these speech patterns of ordinary Cameroonians in written form. Pidgin English, also called broken English, is a lingua franca spoken not only in Cameroon but also in many West African countries, including Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone and Liberia amonst others. This poetry anthology is inspired by the poet's desire to salvage a language that has been subjected to multiple forms of denigration because it is oral. In Cameroon, for instance, Pidgin English has been the target of myriad attacks from self-styled linguistic purists who claim that Pidgin is a bastardized variant of Standard English and, therefore, should not be allowed to thrive. The controversy and denigration directed at Amos Tutuola and his Pidgin English creative genius are vivid examples. This condescending attitude of speakers of Standard English stems from the fact that Pidgin is often associated with illiteracy.
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Akwara America Wanda anyday Anyman Ashawo barlok Bend skin Bertoua broda bury grong call’am say Cameroon chakara chop Chop-broke-pot commot daso de mimba Diarrhoea do’am Duala fight sote yi fit buy fit sleep Forseka say yi get’am go daso go tok hose juju kalaba kain kill'am knack kanda kontry Kontry tok Kunya laugh lookot Mami wata Man-Mountain Matango mean say Mek wuna sabi Melecin mimba say Mimbo Eye Moni no fit Mukala na daso Nassara Ngola njangi Nkongsamba Ntarikon Nwing nyango Pidgin English pipo dem hand pipo wey Politik pipo sango say Mek Shweet sick soso sote yi mouf Taim wey ting wey Ting wey yi tok say tok-tok turu upside waka Waka-waka wey dem Wheda wheti woman pikin Woman wey yi wuna sabi say wusai yi back yi dei yi go yi head yi mami wit yi no fit Yi tif Yi want youa