Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Anglophone Cameroonians Call for More Pidgin English Programs Ahead of World Radio Day

In English-speaking Cameroon, many consider pidgin English to be their first language. But the national radio station broadcasts less than 4 percent of programs in pidgin English. Ahead of World Radio Day tomorrow, Cameroonians debate whether broadcasting in pidgin English makes information more accessible to the general public and preserves the culture or erodes the population’s English skills.

BUEA, CAMEROON – Joana Lum, 47, sells vegetables at the main market in Buea, the capital of Cameroon’s Southwest region. She says she never fails to listen to Global Voices, the lone Pidgin English program broadcast on Cameroon Radio Television Buea, every Tuesday.

“Whenever I pack my vegetables to take to the market every Tuesday mornings, I don’t forget to pack my two-battery radio,” she says, pointing to her radio perched by her display of vegetables.

Lum says she is not a fervent radio listener, but there are two programs that are dear to her heart in the Southwest, one of the two English-speaking regions in Cameroon.

“I don’t know much about programs on radio, but at least I know about Pidgin News over Mount Cameroon FM and Global Voices over CRTV Buea,” she says, smiling. “If I fail to listen to these programs, I feel like I have skipped a day’s meal.”

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