Rebuilding the Puzzle:  Cameroonian Cultural Construction from 1968 to the Present

Today Cameroon is facing the great issues of its double colonial legacy: French and British. After its independence in 1960, Ahmadou Ahidjo, the first president of Cameroon, took actions to consolidate his power. In 1968, two major strategies were used: magnifying the reunited Cameroonian culture and defining politically the Cameroonian nationality through the Cameroonian code of nationality. Through a social and historical approach, this paper aims to analyze the anglophone movements in Cameroon as a legacy of an old quest of people’s freedom and rights from 1968. The first part will address the political institutionalization of culture in the construction of nationalism in post-independence period. The coexistence of two educative institutionalized cultures will be the second part. The third part will focus on the construction of the Cameroonian political identity as a staging of the political unity of Cameroon. It will end with a social and historical examination that can help understand contemporary issues regarding this country generally called “Africa in miniature.”


Estelle Kouokam Magne holds a PhD in social anthropology from University of Aix-Marseille I, France, and is a lecturer at the Catholic University of Central Africa. She is currently coordinating the “Gender and Military” National Working Group  funded by the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa. Her research interests are gender, politics, health, nutrition, and religion.