Women and Plantations in West Cameroon since 1900

  • Richard Goodridge


In February 1993 the following extract appeared in a widely circulated news magazine on western Africa:

Even with a press card it is not easy getting to Mr. Fru Ndi’s residence. Security check points are many and the security officers legion. A touch of your pocket, a curious cursory look into your bag … but you are nowhere near the palace [sic] itself There is another check point ahead, this time manned by zealous elderly women of about 50 years or more. They are strict but they are only compassionate mothers who want to be sure that nothing fatal happens to their dear son, John [Fru Ndi].

A few metres ahead, you see a large battalion of particularly old women huddled together like sacks of corn; they are stretched all over the area leading to the main gate. Some are warming themselves up with firewood fires, others are just dozing off, grey heads swing from left to right. These are the famous Takembeng Women who have vowed that anyone who wants to take Fru Ndi prisoner will have to do that over their dead bodies. They are about 70 years old. As you greet them, they all respond in unison. Their trembling voices give them up. They are tired and old; the spirit is willing but the body is weak.1


Labour Migration National Archive Traditional Sector Caribbean Woman British Mandate 


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Copyright information

© Department of History, U.W.I., Mona, Jamaica 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard Goodridge

There are no affiliations available

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