One of Cameroon’s biggest marvels, is its rich cultural diversity and the mysteries that surround cultural norms.
In the Central African Nation that boasts of hundreds of villages, cultural norms and beliefs are the quintessence of the people and defines them.
People in the country therefore, uphold their customs and tradition jealously — with some perceiving any attempt to desecrate these values as “a personal attack.”
Tzy Panchak, one of Cameroon’s finest pop stars and singers recently came under scrutiny after a lady was seen kissing a masquerade, otherwise known as ‘juju’ in his latest hit song.
The music titled ‘Self Made‘ (Dans Le Bruit) features J Kree, Cleo Grae, Vivid, Phido, and Vancy.
Many have taken to his social media platforms where the video was shared, responding angrily against what they described as “outright disrespect for tradition.”
Kunta Mindset for instance reacted saying: “JuJu has always been… respected in the grass field tradition. You can include Juju to spice up your music, but give the image some respect.”
She went on to add that: “Don’t disrespect it by beating or making it dance with half-naked women. We all should protect our culture.”
Another social media user says there could be long-term repercussions.
“The effect may not be immediate but it’s definitely going to be. He who understands culture won’t do this,” they warned.
Marcelo however, disagrees. He thinks that there is nothing “bad about it because Juju is meant for entertainment. Masquerades normally talk, dance with women and children,” he concluded.
To know why using a masquerade in modern music has become a bone of contention, we asked a 70-year-old resident in Buea, South West Region, who revealed that: ” Tradition remains tradition. It shouldn’t be dirtied or downgraded because of entertainment or whatsoever.”
In most Cameroonian cultures, the masquerade is considered to be a spirit which only communicates with the initiated . Women, uninitiated men and children are expected to run and hide from masquerades. This musical video therefore, demystifies these long held beliefs.
By Amina Hilda