I am 18 years old.
I come from Bengwi.
In Bamenda, things are bad. I lost my father, he died. There are six of us in my family. My mother is alone in the village and we are all struggling to get by. My sisters and the two youngest are with other relatives who have adopted them. Although things are difficult, we did our best.
Where we lived, the rain fell on our beds to the extent that we couldn't sleep because we had to put buckets on the beds to prevent the rain from wetting the mattress.
Since our father died, my mother was left alone with us. We used to eat food without meat or fish because we could not support ourselves until I reached the age where I could work and help support the household. This gave my mother courage to work hard and send us to school.
For the current crisis in the North West region, it was really difficult because of the war between the military and the "Amba boys". You couldn't be at peace at home. When you were sleeping, they (the 'amba boys') would come knocking on your door and ask you to come out because the military would soon attack. We would run away and take refuge in the bush to sleep. That's how things became more and more difficult. Even when I am here in Yaoundé, things are difficult, but we manage. The difficulties, I put up with because now I can go to school. It is now that we can say that we are getting better.
I like to pray. The demons attack me at night because I pray. My sisters don't have this problem because they don't pray. If I wake up, say at 2am, the wind blows into my room and I start hearing little voices laughing in the distance and I can't sleep well. So I wake up my mother and tell her that I can't sleep because I'm disturbed.
We have been suffering for a long time. My uncle, after my father died, came with his whole family and sold my father's land. I have been thinking about how I can take over the land when I grow up. I will be a BIR (Cameroonian Army Elite Corps) to go back and take my father's land. I don't want to take revenge or hurt anyone but I just want to go in peace and take back what belongs to us. Often my mother fights with my uncle because we are neighbours. My mother only had 1000 CFA francs (< 2€) when my father died.
I prayed for this crisis to end so that things would return to normal. When you go with someone else, you are obliged to do whatever they want because you can't go home. Even if they torment you, you can't react.
I went to my village recently for a holiday and things are slowly getting better. In our village, we live with the 'Amba boys' on a daily basis just as we live with you here in Yaoundé. They sit and talk with guns on their backs and at any moment they can hurt you. They don't joke with anyone and they can kill at any time without any regret.
I want to have a level of education that will allow me to pass an official competition in order to find a job. I want to have a good future and help those who need it. I suffer, but I do not want others to feel sorry for me. I believe in God. I tell people who are in the same situation as me not to cry but to look at their future. The present is the only important thing.
Let God show you the way.