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  • Dibussi Tande

    This weblog is based on DIBUSSI TANDE's personal views on people, places, issues and events in Cameroon, Africa and the world!


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« Joakim Noah: The "African Viking" Wins it for the Gators | Main | Political Pluralism and Authoritarian Continuity: The Contradictions of Democratic Consolidation in Cameroon »

April 06, 2006


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Another superb walk down memory lane! But it left me a little thirsty; how exactly was Yondo and his team going about this party creation thing? Who were the other members of the grou? where and how did they "insult" the Head of State? How were they caught? And where can I get a copy of Mukong's book?
I know this is beginning to sound like "write-on-demand", but it doesn't hurt to try:-)

BTW, when are will your book on Cameroon's political history in the 1990s be available in book stores(I assume one's is in the making...)? Yeah, I am pushing it... just my own way of showing my appreciation for what you're doing.


Yondo Black - the man whom he history left behind.

An intellectual and politician in the mold of Dr. EML Endeley. Like Endeley, he would have loomed large over Cameroon's democratization process and multiparty politics if only he had been less elitist and haughty (but should we have expected differently from a legal luminary?) ... and if he had been fortunate enough to come from the "right" region/ethnic group.

It is not far-fetched to say that Yondo Black was Fru Ndi's Endeley or inversely, that Fru Ndi was Yondo Black's Foncha...

The "simple illiterate" with an uncanny ability to connect with the common man became the hero while the educated visionary and patriot with no real connection to "the people", virtually became an afterthought and even a political pariah...

Who ever said that history did not repeat itself?

In the long run, however, History will give Yondo Mandengue Black the place that he rightly deserves.


Quite educative, incisive and revealing this little piece is. The amazing history of the political landscape of cameroon that lurks in the background will someday surface and make history just like the ancient Kings of Europe are being hailed today. The figment of failure in politics in cameroon is the inability for leaders of minor political groups to form a cohesive unit. Ideas like those of Yondo black coupled to a man of the people as Fru Ndi was way back would have culled in an overwhelming majority of votes.

I keep on asking myself what i will do first if i was handed the command batton to lead the cameroonian people what. Would I go worrying whether Yondo black was Fru Ndi's Endeley or inversely, whether Fru Ndi was Yondo Black's Foncha...

Academics do not necessarily make the best politicians. An insightful individual with the people's interest and vision at heart will always win and live forever in the minds of the common folks that were liberated from bondage. that is where Yondo Black accumulates all the accolades in the likes of Ghandi, Mandela and Pastor Martin Luther King if i dare put him that high up on the laddar!


Your articles are very educative. You come accross like the mytery writer. Can you please have your picture so we can put a face to the writtings. A few of us are not previllaged to know you especially when others talk about your writtings in the early 90's.

Good job sir, you are excellent.


Hey Etale, you claim dibussi is a mystery writer and then refer to him as "Sir"? How did you figure that? For all we know, the writer might be what Americans term an SWF ("Single white female"):-):-)

I think the mystery is good, and makes it and interesting exercise trying to attach a face to these brilliant articles.



I think you shall have more insights on the Yondo Black affair if you talk to someone like the retired custom officer Vincent Feko. Talk to him, find out how and where this idea of a party came about.

I cosult your sight very often.


Justice M. Mbuh

All that is said about Yondo Black being brave is fair and good but that he and his supposed team initiated the formation of opposition political parties in Cameroun is pure lies (kwadi!), nonsense.

People should and must question why Albert Mukong was never arrested and secondly, why upon turning himself in, Albert Mukong was never hailed as the man who actually organized the Douala Meeting to expose to his Francophone counterparts the fact that they had concieved the Social Democratic Front (SDF) Party and it was purely legit to have such an opposition in Cameroun, citing the 1961 Federal Constitution!

The news of the Party (SDF) quickly spread and it was after Mukong turned himself in that he instructed his Son and my late friend Beybey to ask his second wife (Mukong's) to collect the SDF documents from their hiding place and hand them to Ni John Fru Ndi who then shouldered the cross since then. As defense lawyer for the Yondo Black team, it was also then that Ben Muna also came into the picture and eventually joined the ranks of the SDF as Secretary General.

Both Yondo Black and Fru Ndi became popular because they rode on the back of Albert Mukong! If both men were real lions as the article above seem to suggest, the Lion of M'vomeka' (Paul Biya) will still not be in power, would he?

Let history be correct so there should be no doubts as to why some people are not popular. No, history did not leave anyone behind; history will promote our best interest and that of the future generations if it is not distorted!


Hi Justice,

The article and its title clearly state that the "Yondo affair" (i.e., the arrest of the 10 individuals involved in drafting the memorandum, the subsequent the national and international outcry, and the fallout from their trial - the whole package), was the CATALYST for multiparty politics in Cameroon. You might want to read another article on this site titled "Political Pluralism and Authoritarian Continuity: The Contradictions of Democratic Consolidation in Cameroon", which puts all this in context.

Whatever the case, history will record that because the group held its meetings in Yondo black's offices and residence, and that the draft memo which started it all was found in his residence, he became the de facto leader of the group - hence the term "Yondo Black affair".

Nothing you have written above negates this basic fact, neither does the article in question challenge the role of any individual group member in the process leading up to the group's arrest.

Whatever our personal political convictions, let us at least be gallant and humble enough to give the devil its due.

BTW, you are totally off the mark when you say Mukong was never arrested. Mukong was jailed with all the other members of the group in Kondengui up until the trial. He was however set free by the military tribunal, unlike Yondo who received a three-year sentence.

Yes, history should not be distorted and to that end, I will revisit the Yondo Black affair and the birth of the SDF in detail in a future posting.

Mbuli Rene

Kudos to my brother for this interesting journey down memory lain. As an historian , I think Dibussi has helped to refresh our minds on the birth of democracy in Cameroon, a part of history which is often ignored. The strain with which democracy entered Cameroon is reflected in today's electoral pattern.What was decried yesterday in terms of human rights violations is still present in the menus of most Cameroonians today. When the truth is found, the truth must be told.


Divine Gwan

Hey, we rally have come a long way. I remember the days when even caught holding a newspaper like `the cameroon post`tantamounted to crime. I really want to say kudos to the Yondo Blacks Mukongs and the rest for setting that ball rolling and the sacrifices they made. Years back, you really were suppose to hae great balls to stand up against the Biya government.

Justice M. Mbuh (Ph.D)

Hi, Dibusi,
This has been longoverdue. I never intended appearing as attacking your article. Rather, my post was to castigate Yaounde Politics for doctoring history. It would have been a different thing if Mukong was arrested, rather than turning himself in, in insiting that he caled the meeting, eventhough, as you pointed the regime held Yondo Black culprit because he played host.
Mukong has suffered a double neglect both in the creation of SDF and in the Yondo Black Affair, and this is not fair to the political baron.
I still maintain the fact that if Yaounde has not been so bent on doctoring history to protect the stay of the regime in power, smooth transitions would have long taken place, which could have healed wounds inflicted on certain populations, and perhaps save Cameroon from the humilations it currently suffers because historical distortions.


Hi Justice Mbu,

9 years to respond to my comment! This one should make it into the Guinness Book of Records! :-) :-)

On a serious note, thanks for the clarification which I share.

My regards.

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