Douala-based TV host and presenter Darling Lyonga has been criticised on social media after she called Bamenda a village in an exchange with Bamenda-based rapper, Tilla Tafari.
The two personalities had traded insults on social media, during which Lyonga described Tilla as a “failed rapper” who has now retired to her village, Bamenda, presumably because she could not afford to live in Douala, where many Cameroonian musicians are based.
Her use of the word “village” to describe the city of Bamenda offended some bloggers who are from the North West Region.
They have been bashing Lyonga for demeaning their hometown. Many social media users joined these bloggers to accuse the Dash TV presenter of spreading hate against people from Bamenda, with some bloggers championing a campaign for fans to unfollow Darling Lyonga.
Underlying Xenophobic Utterances
Many social media users who have been raining insults on Darling Lyonga attach their emotions to statements the presenter made against people from the North West Region of Cameroon three years ago.
Screenshots of xenophobic comments she made on Facebook in 2020 seem to be crucifying her a second time.
“You are singing be proud of who you are in another man’s land. Oops, I forgot you ain’t got good roads, good drinking water, and worst no connection,” one of Darling Lyonga’s 2020 statements read.
She admitted she made these statements back then and that she “paid dearly” for them.
Many have been calling the presenter out of the Hall of Fame on Dash Media to apologise for spreading hate speech.
Clement Toh, a blogger who has been championing calls for social media users to unfollow Lyonga, said her comment about Bamenda was “rude” and “disrespectful”.
Social talk about xenophobia is not new to inhabitants of the English-speaking Regions of Cameroon. People from the North West Region have often accused those from the South West of spreading hate against them.
Politicians and respectable figures from the South West Region have faced public criticism in the recent past for describing North Westerners living in the South West as “settlers” or “people we don’t like”.
One of the most recent cases is that of
Why The Beef?
Darling Lyonga and rap artist Tilla Tafari began trading insults on Facebook after Tilla reportedly called Lyonga a prostitute.
In reply, Darling Lyonga called Tilla a “failed rapper” who “cannot afford her rent” and has since run away back “to her village” where she is operating a “mama put” (referring to Tilla’s restaurant in Bamenda).
Tilla, on her part, invited Lyonga for a physical fight at Bonaberi, Douala, adding that her “fake life” is not befitting of a media personality.
The beef has been on with some social media platforms calling on social media users to unfollow her page and also stay away from her programme Hall of Fame, on Dash Media.
“I Owe No Apology”
In a live video on Sunday evening, Darling Lyonga denied making any xenophobic comments about Bamenda. She said her previous statements, made in 2020, should not be used against her again since she had already apologised and “paid dearly” for them.
She stood her ground and was not going to apologise, adding that calling Tilla’s Bamenda a village was in no way an attack against those from Bamenda or the North West Region.
I owe nobody an apology. I am not going to apologise for something that happened three years ago, for something that I paid dearly for… Nobody is going to stab me on that spot the second time,” she said in a live video.
Tilla, on the other hand, also came out in a live video in which she lampooned Darling Lyonga for the comment about Bamenda being a village.
The singer, who relocated to Bamenda, where she now operates a restaurant, refuted Lyonga’s claims that she relocated because she could not afford to pay rent in Douala.
“I paid rents. My rents was 90,000; two bedrooms two pallor. You cannot go there. You don’t know what it takes to be a boss,” she said.