REPUBLIC OF CAMEROON
République du Cameroun
- Location: Central and Western Africa
- Capital: Yaoundé
- Language: French, English
- Population: 19,105,242
- Total Area: 475,442 sq km
- Currency: CFA Franc
- Curious Alcohol Fact: Apart from being consumed widely, palm wine is also used in many traditional rites and shrines for religious worship.
- Annual Average Liquor Consumption Per Capita: 7.57 liters
- Most Popular Drink: Palm wine and millet beer
Shaped like a triangle, the Republic of Cameroon is located at the intersection of the Central and Western parts of the region. The name ‘Cameroon’ is said to have originated from the Portuguese word ‘camaroes’ which means shrimp and this reflected the abundance of prawns in one of the country’s rivers. Over time, this nation was ruled by the Germans, French and England but the nation was later assigned to France and it became independent in 1960. In terms of geography, the nation is quite diverse as there are mountains, deserts, lakes, grasslands and other physical features.
Cameroon is home to more than 200 different ethnic groups. Some of these are the Bantus (Doualas, Ndjem and Maka), Beti and the Pangwe peoples. Other tribes include the Fulanis who live around the Adamawa Highlands close to the border with Nigeria, Kanuri, Bamileke and the Babinga (Pygmies). The Pygmies have an outstanding knowledge of the herbs and roots of the nation’s equatorial forests and are some of the oldest inhabitants in the region. Almost half of the country’s population follow the Christian faith while others are Muslims (especially in the northern parts) and animists. One feature that can be universally attributed to the Cameroonians is that irrespective of their ethnic or linguistic group, you are always welcome as a visitor or tourist. At one of the Bamileke villages, the fon (village chief)ordered a grand celebration in my honor. You will surely be flattered with such fantastic reception.
Just as the tribes are diverse, the meals of Cameroon come in various shapes, colors and texture but the taste is always heavenly. At many of the regions, there is a delicacy called
feuille and is prepared from cassava. With it, you can enjoy a bowl of peanut soup. In one riverine hamlet, I was treated to a dish of simmering soup full of prawns and fresh fish. This I took with crispy, fried potatoes. Yummy, isn’t it? That is just one of the attractions in the beautiful nation. Tropical fruits like mangoes, oranges and pineapples are very common.
More than any other drink, palm wine is the real deal in many Cameroonian settlements. The nice thing about palm wine in this country is that you always get it fresh. If you happen to visit a village during a festival or celebration, you can be sure of feasting on a bowl of roasted goat and a jug of palm wine. Surely, Cameroonians know how to enjoy the good life.
Like the neighboring Nigeria, the most popular sport in Cameroon is soccer, and Cameroon is one of the most successful African nations as far as this game is concerned. Cameroon is always ranked high on the continent by FIFA and its national team, The Indomitable Lions is dreaded all over the continent and beyond. Some of the most cherished Cameroonian players are Samuel Eto’o Fils and Rigobert Song.
Story By World By Shotglass
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Special thanks to our contributors:
Adebayo Ahmed Adebola (Ilorin, Nigeria)
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