Cameroon: Diary of a SPORTS MAD NATION

Cameroonians take great pride in victories at international competitions, making sport a fundamental source of national unity.  This is an assertion which cannot be undermined in relation to our longstanding peaceful coexistence as a nation.

 

Football

Cameroon is best known for its exploits within the football world mainly to our performance at the FIFA World Cup 1990 in Italy.  Who can ever forget the dribbling skills of Roger Milla and his corner flag waist swivelling goal celebrations?  Whenever I recall these moments a shiver goes down my spine; today we grace our new star Samuel Eto’o Fils of Barcelona. 

 

Cameroon’s achievement in football is impressive: a World Cup Quarter Final - 1st for an African country, an Olympic Football Trophy Sydney 2000, Finalists at the 2003 FIFA Confederation Cup, 4 Times African Nations Cup Champions and much more.  As a football nation our next ultimate challenge would be to lift the World Cup…let’s hope we have a good omen for South African 2010, on African soil for the very first time… Bravo Les Lions, nous sommes avec vous!  

 

A sad note in our sporting history was the death in 2003 of Marc-Vivien Foé during the semi-finals of the FIFA Confederation Cup in France. Foe was an icon and role model in Cameroon football. The sad memories and tears of this event still disturb me to this day. May his Soul Rest in Peace! 

 

Athletics

You might think football is the only sport which draws a lot of passion and an audience in Cameroon.  There are Cameroonians who also have a specific love affair with athletics of all types.  

 

I have to make a special reference to a unique lady: Francoise Mbango Etone. 

 

She is a world class athlete who made her Olympic debut at the age of 24 in the Sydney Games, won a gold medal four years later despite training without a coach, dropped out of international competition for nearly three years to have a baby and go to college, and then made history during the Beijing Olympics as she became the first ever repeat champion in her event (women's triple jump), only six months after her return to the sport. Her story is very unique; if Hollywood was in Cameroon I am sure there would be a movie about her.  

 

Cameroon almost lost its champion before the Athens Games. A lack of training facilities and coaches took Etone to Paris in 2000. In France, she resisted pressure to change her nationality and compete for her host country: A true test of patriotism indeed faced with her challenges.

In her own words: “Sometimes, as an African, one needs more discipline”.
"Perhaps people consider us less (marketable) than Europeans”.

Weightlifting

Cameroon has been competing at a few weightlifting events and have a string of medals to show for it.  During the Commonwealth games in Manchester 2002; Cameroon's Madeleine Yamechi took all three Gold medals in the 69kg competition. We won 2 medals during the Commonwealth Youth Championship, Pune 2008.

 

Basketball

This is a sport which is well-loved at Secondary school and University levels in Cameroon.  At the national level the Cameroon national basketball team has not been quite as successful; with only a silver medal at the FIBA (The International Basketball Federation) Championship in 2007. 

 

However, with players like Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (Milwaukee Bucks - NBA), Franck Ndongo (Virginia Commonwealth University,USA), Gaston Essengue (Turkish Basketball League.), Joachim Ekanga-Ehawa (ÉS Chalon-sur-Saône of France's Ligue Nationale de Basketball) and more; we can see the future is bright for our National Basketball team.

 

 Cameroon is one of the few tropical countries to have competed in the Winter Olympics; However I am not yet sure what discipline that was for.

 

The history of Cameroon sports also spans several other disciplines and individuals who cannot be ignored; we can recall the likes of Yannick Noah (Tennis), Issa Hamza (World Welter Weight Boxing Champion),  Victorine Agum Fomum (First Cameroonian Table Tennis Player in the history of the Olympics),  Joseph Batangdon (200 metres sprinter, won Gold at the African Championships 2004), Franck Martial Ewane Moussima (Gold medalist at All-Africa Games in Judoka half heavyweight,100kg), Paul Etia Ndoumbe (represented Cameroon in Rowing at the Beijing Olympics 2008) and many more.  

 

Cameroon, our nation is endowed with talent beyond measure; our hope and expectation of its future successes should even be BIGGER!

 

Cameroon’s achievement in the arena of sports is very impressive indeed; especially vis-à-vis other nations with a similar cultural mix, size and population.  To me and hopefully a lot of like-minded Cameroonians this is a great testimony of Cameroon’s sense of National Unity to date.

 

A major part of the celebration of our National Day [May 20th] should be a celebration of our nation’s endurance and perseverance from the trials and tribulations of it’s difficult past to the successes in sports of its current and future generation. 

 

An article by Terence Ndikum, Birmingham UK

 


Terence Ndikum is the co-founder of Happysend.com: which is the #1 eCommerce service to help Cameroonians in the Diaspora buy mobile airtime credits, gifts and a variety of products for their family and friends back home. 
Click here to visit: http://www.happysend.com



He is also a founding member of the renowned Holy Moses FC; a Birmingham-based Football Club setup over 10 years ago to serve Cameroonians and friends in the West Midlands area of the UK.


SIMPLES:

” Why SHIP 2 Cameroon? When you can BUY ONLINE and they PICKUP in Cameroon

 

 

Published Monday, 18 May. 2009. 00:05

COMMENTS

 
Mon, 29 Jun. 2009. 00:06 by Ngwijong Ivoline

Waoooo!!! Just the way i think about the Almithy Cameroon. A blessed country with a little of everything and lots of varieties of african dishes.
A country can be large, great, rich in many different resources like their neigbor Nigeria, but Cameroon beats many African countries with the little of all that they have. I had wished to be a Cameroonian even befor i was created, thought of behaving like a Cameroonian even befor i started thinking of coming into this world, dreamed of Cameroon even befor i started sleeping in mum's wum, seeing myself as a cameroonian even befor i closed my eyes and finaly i saw myself a Cameroonian just when i opened my eyes to see the mum who gave birth to me. Go Cameroon.
We must get there as long as am here.

Fri, 21 May. 2010. 12:05 by Che Robert

Your blog is great!
Any more posts from you?

Wed, 29 Jun. 2011. 17:06 by EMF

Hola Mr T, actually i have been reading this blog for close to two years, hopping to get more information to no avail.
So i plead, Mr T can u pls keep us updated? Por favor. LOL! i think its brilliant and will love to read about the latest happenings in the sport domain. Necesitamos mas informacion Vale???????????
Un bon Travail!!!!!!!!!!!

 

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