One of The most likely things said about Africans was that they don’t have a reading culture. A wise man once said if you want to hide some huge treasure from Africans, put it in books. This however turned out to be true. Magazines, newspaper and book readership was very low, less than 7% of the population actually took time to study or update themselves even at leisure time. Those who were even bold enough to pick up write-ups only glanced at the headlines and read the fist 5 lines to get a glimpse then throw it away like bone from a master’s table.
In Cameroon this was so typical till Writers in respond to the lazy reading culture decided to curb down the length of words per book or article as the case may be. The 2% readership value recorded needed to increase and journalist took the initiative of writing in the “inverted pyramid” form, a style that allows the most important material to be put in the first sentences of the article. Any other information was to be substantial or adding flesh to the already existing facts above
However, since the beginning of the anglophone struggle in Cameroon ,many argue that the readership level has increased especially on social media like whatsap and facebook. With the signing of numerous communiqués and notices daily, no one wants to scroll and pass anymore. It is now general and habitual for many to read articles and posts of over 500 words and above just to get updates on the struggle. In a keen observation, I realized that words like “consortium,Warning,Breaking news,forwarded as received, copied, from an insider, beware,dialogue,rally,happening now,traitor, tell others etc have become so common during this period and many pay attention to such notices. I have watched youths severally read elaborately on other struggles or related information to the issue. Not just that, some articles posted at times have a historical link and some dig as far as the 1960s during the period of our forefathers, colonial rule and early independence stages.
Prominent names like Tassang,Wirba,Atanga,Okalia,Agbor Balla,Bobga,Tapang,Yang and Paul have been commonly used. These are those actively involved in the strike in one way or the other, though on different camps as the case may be. Sole stand with the Anglophones and the other camp comprises of the Government the Anglophone Cameroonians seem to be fighting. Scrolling through the phone, one would rarely bypass any notice signed by any of these people.Their roles are very evident and they have become openion leaders at different stages of the struggle.
Even slogans like “we are winning, don’t give up,forward to our leaders,aluta continua” are now common and many have unconsciously related it to the Anglophone struggle.
All these have become common and brought a symbol of onesss to the Anglophone Cameroonians who say they are marginalised.
Sadly, social media has almost invaded the prestigious positions of journalists as it is the fastest means of propaganda. Many have been misled by fake and unverified news as well as rumour that has hampered the dissemination of information. No one knows which post to trust and which not to trust .The vice has alarmed and the media community is fighting tooth and nail to curb down.
All these have gone a long way to show the role played by the social media in the Anglophone struggle in Cameroon.
However,the striking citizens say the struggle continues till the governing body decides to put better cards to the table. Several meetings held and a struggle to arrive at a consensus have proved futile.