Monday, October 17, 2011

Jephthah: Despised But Not Useless.

"And the elders of Gilead said unto Jephthah, Therefore we turn again to thee now, that thou mayest go with us, and fight against the children of Ammon, and be our head over all the inhabitants of Gilead." Judges 11:8. Do you look at yourself with great talents and skills, yet you are unable to place food on your table? You were due for promotion, but your company bypassed you and compounded your misery with letting you go. You sing like an angel and dance like a cock, but no producer has accepted your works. You write like Shakespeare and John Donne, but publishers reject your works. Many doors keep closing right in front of your nose. 

Before I tell you today’s story, I want to remind you about our contemporaries. After many rejections, in 2007, Lady Gaga was in her “tiny apartment praying God that someone will believe in her,” and Akon finally believed in her when no one would. Today you know who she is. "Clinton Charity Foundation began 10 years ago in 2001 as a one man foundation, but today many follow the dream." In this lesson, you will learn that simply because you are rejected, you are not useless because no mortal can dispossess you of the dream that God has destined for you if you stay steadfast to harness your skills knowing that your hardship was a hibernation period. So, today I will tell you the story of Jephthah: a man who was despised and rejected by the country and family, but he later became the judge (ruler) of the entire Israel.

Jephthah means he opens. Him that God sets free or open to go. He was the son of Gilead and a concubine. He was conceived out of wedlock, but he was a mighty man of valor, a brave soldier. Jephthah was strong physical because faith then was lived physically. His background was already disadvantageous to him, but he made himself strong. Can we call you a mighty person of valor. To be strong spiritually, you must adorn thyself with the weapons of warfare in Eph 6: 10-18. His father Gilead got married and had other children. After Gilead died, Jephthah’s step brothers and sisters decided to thrust him out because his mother was not married to their father when he was conceived.

They were acting according to the guidelines of inheritance that existed in those days. Children out of wedlock did not have birthrights. Rather than stay back and fight, he decided to leave because he knew the laws, people of the land were against him (V.7), and he also trusted God. This passage does not say so, but we know so because the writer to the Hebrews registered him amongst the men of faith (Heb 11:32). After his brethren drove him, he went and joined other worthless men in Tob (a nearby city), and they formed a band where he was the leader. Take note of Matthew 21:42. he did not allow his leadership skills to die. He kept harnessing them.

As time passed, Israel was attacked by Ammon because they accused Israel of seizing their land when she was coming out of Egypt, passing through Arnon, Jabbok, unto Jordan. So the elders (leaders) of Gilead went to look for Jephthah to come and fight for them. Do not think that those who despise you do not know your importance; they are merely jealous and insecure. When they solicited his help to lead them into war to fight the Ammonites, he told them to remember that they had driven him before and now they need his help. Those who hurt you will come to you for help. You will still harbor a little bit of embitterment.

The elders told him that it is true they had hated and driven him, but now they have come back to their senses and they need him. If a people do not want you to lead them, let them be; when the time comes that they need you, they will come for you. Never force yourself on anyone who does not want to deal with you. Jephthah would be made the judge of Gilead and Israel. The elders even made a vow that he would be their leader. God knows how to prepare a table before you in the presence of your enemies, and your cup runs over. However, the realization of this dream does not come without sacrifice.

That is why the Bible says “And Jephthah vowed a vow unto the LORD, and said, If thou shalt without fail deliver the children of Ammon into mine hands, Then it shall be, that whatsoever cometh forth of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the children of Ammon, shall surely be the LORD'S, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering.” Jephthah won his battle as God kept his side of the bargain. It was now time for Jephthah to keep his. He has made a very strange vow to God; that he would sacrifice the first thing that came out of his house. It is a very strange vow that he was making because of the outcome.

At this time, it is always the custom of women to go and receive the warriors with timbrels and dances as they were entering into the city. That is why you will see the women do it to David when he killed Goliath (I sam 18:6).

Yet, it comes as a surprise to Jephthah that the first thing to appear out of his house was not a cattle, it was his only daughter. Just to situate you why he was expecting something else other than his daughter. In those days, people slept in the same house with their cattle. When it was dawn, the rearer opened the door and put out the stronger and older sheep first, so they do not overrun the younger and weaker ones. So Jephthah knew that if anything was to come out of his house, it would be a cattle but even if it was the fattest cattle that came out, he was ready to sacrifice it.

Many people will despise you in times of your failure or weakness, but in your days of greatness and fame, they will want to identify themselves with you. It is failure that is an orphan; success always has relatives and extended relatives. Some people will say I did not know you were going through what you are going now. If I knew, I would have helped you. That is what the Ephraimites were saying; I mean the same people that Jephthah invited them to give him a helping hand, but they ignored him (Judges 12:1-2). He finally judged Israel for six years, he died and was buried in Gilead; the land he was previously driven from.

People have always asked me why God would accept the sacrifice of Jephthah’s daughter. Jephthah had made a non redeemable vow because he had selected the vow of devotement. It means his daughter was to be devoted for the services of God as a temple virgin. It is clear that the sacrifice that Jephthah meant there was not the same as the Baal worshippers did by killing people they offered to Baal.

In Israel, there were two types of vows: redeemable vows and non redeemable vows. To redeem a vow you could not fulfill, you paid money. If you did not have money, you saw the priest to offer yourself. It is not that Jephthah killed his daughter but that he had to give his daughter for the services of God as such, she will never get married. Consequently, Jephthah would not have any other children (Judge 11:), and his lineage will get extinct. She was to remain a temple virgin ().

At first we see that Jephthah’s daughter did not just follow her father, but she also believed and feared God that is why she told him that, “My father, if thou hast opened thy mouth unto the LORD, do to me according to that which hath proceeded out of thy mouth; forasmuch as the LORD hath taken vengeance for thee of thine enemies, even of the children of Ammon.” (Judges 11:36). This was a girl with a living syneidesis and a father with a high synteresis. Verse 37 gives us a clearer picture of the nature of sacrifice he was to sacrifice. If she was to be killed, she would not wail for her virginity.

Because she was going to be a temple virgin, it was her whole life spent in the temple; whereas, she had not enjoyed the reason for which she kept herself a virgin. Verse 39 again even paints the picture pellucidly when it says that her father did with her according as he had vowed and she knew no man. Therefore, her father gave her to the temple as a result the young girls of Israel went to lament with her for 4 years every year.

My friend, let those who think you are a nobody and have no skills keep sleeping on the first bench, but you know what you have. Paul had been rejected though with great skills, but Barnabas believed in him. One day, someone will surely believe in you. You know what you are made of. Nurture and harness your skills, waiting for that golden opportunity. Fight and leave no stone unturned until you find the milieu where you will exercise your great talents. Jesus will fight your secret battles in your great time of need. Would you like for me to ask you if you have ever believed in anyone and given them the opportunity at their time of need?

“Bonyfish beware because the same net that caught the jawless fish, caught the cartilaginous fish” (Hamilton Ayuk). Beware earthly paradise seekers because there is a serpent in every paradise"(Hamilton Ayuk). Idle people write, idler people read, and idlest people read and whine that idle people are taking their time (Hamilton Ayuk).

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Domestic Abuse Knows No Gender.

This video falls short because it portrays only women as victims of domestic violence. Domestic abuse affects both genders. I used to know a man who was always beaten by his fat wife. She will climb on him and beat him as kids go or come from school stood to watch. So who fights for those men?

One Friday in 2000, I told a former colleague to have a good weekend. He told me that he was not sure to have one. He told me that he did not have a place to live as a result, he slept in abandoned houses. That day I told him to follow me, so he can take one of my rooms. One day he told me he was married and that his wife was in the shelter. He pled everyday for me to allow him to bring the wife to live with him. I accepted, we drove and brought the wife.

Immediately she came, she began fighting with him everyday. One day when I came back home, she had a knife on his stomach saying “ say a word again and I put it inside your f..king belly. The man tried to hold her hand, and she said “do not touch me or I call the police to send your f..king ass back to jail. You know that will be your third strike.” She slapped him and blood was coming out of his mouth. I threaten to call the police, and the husband told me to leave it. I had to finally put them out for fear that by the time I come back from work one day, she must have killed him. Months after they left, the FBI came to my house asking for her. I don’t know if she even killed the poor man. So this video to me is a very biased video because it does not show the sort of all victims of domestic abuse.

I knew a Senegalese who was looking for work. He went and found work in a dry cleaning place. The woman asked him what type of work he wanted. He told her that he wanted anything. The woman asked him to start work the next day. He told us, and we were thankful to God for him until I met him one day. I asked him why he was growing paler and paler. He told me that his job was a poisoned chalice. I said what type of work is that that will make you skinny like this like spaghetti. He said it is some badluck he has picked that he calls a job.

His boss was a nymphomania. She had told him that his job was just to have sex with her. Each time she felt bored and there was no customer, she pulled him behind the counter and asked him to clock in his hours. At first he was excited for the job thinking it will just be once or twice a day until he realized that it was going to be like 3 times or more everyday that he came to work.

Since he did not know the American way of using the mouth, she had to give him bonus to use the mouth. Because the position was not comfortable, his neck began hurting in addition to losing weight. I have not seen him again since 2002, and I don’t even know if he survived.

Therefore, I don’t understand people keep portraying only women as victims of domestic abuse . There are many men who are raped daily by women. Some are killed and others are beaten too. Domestic abuse does not know any boundaries with gender. Both men and women abuse their partners. Women in America have been given too much powers with this abuse thing, and they have used it to run away like a sprinter runs a race. It is time for the laws and the society to regard it as a societal problem that affects both genders. If a Battered Husband Club was formed, there will be many men as members. Who batters them then? Why are they not included in videos like this one?

Until then, wear better lenses to see the source of domestic abuse.

Prince & PA Hamilton Ayuk.

“Bonyfish beware because the same net that caught the jawless fish, caught the cartilaginous fish” (Hamilton Ayuk). Beware earthly paradise seekers because there is a serpent in every paradise"(Hamilton Ayuk). Idle people write, idler people read, and idlest people read and whine that idle people are taking their time (Hamilton Ayuk).

Monday, October 10, 2011


This article is a reply to Dr Elonge’s article “CAMEROON AT CROSSROADS: THE VOTE THAT WILL RE-DEFINE HISTORY” posted on Camnet on October 6, 2011. This author will posit that Paul Biya has outlived his usefulness to Cameroonians, so he should not be given another seven year term to waste. Only a python that is tired of living would wander into the marshland where its head is mostly desired, so Cameroonians putting up with Biya is worst than that. One is alarmed and disheartened reading Dr Elonge’s treatise, to see a brilliant professor expend such great resources just to make a plaidoirie for a tyrant. That is the beauty of democracy, and he commits no mae culpa as he is entitled to his opinion. Those who rather than rebut his opinion instead pour invectives to disparage him must acknowledge the times we live in; a time where a kaleidoscope of opinions is the glove all should wear to build a pluralistic and multicultural society. It is only tolerance that can breach the gap between races, colors, tribes, languages, perspectives and cultures. Although to defend Biya’s reign is sickening to the bone and marrow, it is even worst than that to see some try to defend him because it is like being the Devil’s advocate.

Dr Elonge starts by ascertaining the factors contributing to the peace in Cameroon. Perhaps I should add that Cameroon is relatively peaceful because of its linguistic and ethnological complexity. Unlike cases of Rwanda, Congo or Ivory Coast where you can have two major tribes, Cameroon boasts of 286 languages and about 262 ethnic groups. It is difficult to convince three tribes to form a coalition. Even with the linguistic divide between Anglophones and Francophones, it is still very difficult as those terms have been neutralized and made now an open and close terms in that there are people who were born from the Northwest and Southwest who did Francophone education and do not even know how to speak English and same with some people whose parents are Francophones, but they did Anglophones education.

Another reason for the relative stability is the presence of God amongst Cameroonians. Cameroon has found favor before God that he shows his prophets what was going to happened to Cameroon and the people intercede to drive the evil away.

Another reason why there has been peace in Cameroon is because the French and Americans have enabled the tyrant, despot and autocrat of Paul Biya that the opposition has been reduced to waterboys who jubilate if they could share a moment with him as they visit or attempt to visit the president at midnight for the goodies that drip from his corrupt and bloody fountain.

If one has to really cross-examine the definition of the term democracy, it will be difficult to apply it to the system of government in Cameroon. Cameroon has a mixture of democracy and monarchy. It should thus be called demo-monarchy in the sense that the concept of democracy has been demonstrated in Cameroon, but monarchy is what is practiced form the villages to the presidency. The elections are a farce and charade.

In his second phase, the author exposes on the concept of democracy and how it is applied faithfully in Cameroon by Paul Biya. In every democracy, the constitution is the backbone that guarantees law and order to the highest extreme, yet this constitution has been a tool in the hands of president Paul Biya. He has manipulated and bought his way for it to be amended to make him the monarch of Cameroon as he is going to rule the country for 36 years if he completes the next seven years. How on earth would that happened in a genuine democracy? In a pure democracy, the branches of government- judiciary, executive and legislature are independent. Without a doubt, everyone knows that is not the case with Cameroon.

A clear example just happened recently. The government had to disburse money to other opposition leaders to challenge him in the elections. To those like Muna or Ayah he knew a good campaign could torpedo him, he did not give them money. Furthermore, the embassies are directly under the president and support his candidacy rather than serve all Cameroonians. Little kids born in Cameroon know that the courts; from the supreme court judges to the magistrates in the little towns are directly answerable to the president as he can appoint or sack them directly by himself or through his minister of justice who serves as his lapdog. Actually all the ministers act as cheerleaders to the president and the prime minister serves as the captain of the cheerleading squad. Would anyone call that a democracy? From the imprisonment of Lapiro de Mbanga to that of Bibi Ngota (may his soul rest in peace), it is clear that free speech is not guaranteed. In a true democracy, an accused is innocent until proven guilty, yet Bibi Ngota died in jail under the watchful eyes of this president Paul Biya for no crime. He was beaten and his precious life robbed away from his family and friends, and the journalistic world. Isn’t free speech an aspect of a genuine democracy? Can we still say that people can speak their minds in Cameroon?

The writer claims that there is representation. It is a pseudo representation as it is has been shown that the CPDM is the majority and not because it won elections but because it stole the elections and imposed itself as the majority party. A seed does not germinate when it is planted. While we all agree that democracy must evolve to a point of maturity, that of Cameroon after dwarfing itself for 29 years is now shrinking to autocracy and totalitarianism. Cameroon is not different from North Korea with the exception of the facade called elections it organizes periodically. Could what just happened be called elections? The president did not announce the election date until about 2 months ago.Thus having prepared itself behind, it was ready to take her opponents by surprise. Is that still democracy? In a democracy, the law is no respecter of persons. In the Diaspora, the CPDM voted an distributed the votes to other parties to make it look like an election took place. No other party diehard went to that embassy to vote, but votes we cast in their favor. So the CPDM just apportioned the votes by their own imagination.

It is wrong for Elonge to parody Ali Mazrui’s assertion that Africans can establish a self taught democracy. If they have learned other lessons and subjects in school, then they can learn the concept of democracy too well. Furthermore, Ali Mazrui’s declaration has been misrepresented because what he meant was that Africans are able to utilize the democracy applying their local color. In other words; democracy cannot function in Africa if Africans destroy their culture and traditions. If democracy must function, the culture should still be the bedrock on which it sleeps. For example, while Africans may believe in voting for a leader, it will be wrong for them simply because a young man is challenging his father or someone older than him, to call him names. Gerontocracy should be cocktailed with democratic concepts to form the African democracy. Except in dysfunction villages, the villagers knew that once your term to rule came to an end, you left peacefully. That is African culture that should be blended with the concept of democracy. In that sense, Paul Biya should have gone years ago because he has outlived his usefulness to Cameroonians.

Consequently, it is purely praise singing to think that the form of democracy befitting for Africa is the one practiced in Cameroon, Gabon, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Kenya, and other places where one person steals the elections to clutch onto power for more than half a century. Rather, Africans can look at Jerry Rawlins of Ghana, Rupiah Banda of Zambia, Pedro Pires of Cape Verte, and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia as democrats who are establishing true democratic societies that apply the principles and theory of Ali Mazrui.

Since president Paul Biya’s ascension unto that high magistracy, he has not created any employment. Instead, Cameroon lost all the parastatals he met; the private sector was totally depleted and destroyed so much so that the government became like heaven from whence cometh manna. Unfortunately, this manna was scarce and hard to even fall daily.

Subsequently, he promised 25, 000 jobs into the public service before announcing his intention to run, but he did not hire a single person. During the recent elections, he announced he will hire 70, 000 people. How will a man offer you a mansion if he does not even have a hurt to sleep? If a child does not have leg how will he walk our people ask?

When he came in 1982, he had a slogan “Rigor and Moralization.” Unfortunately, Cameroon became twice the most corrupt country in the world within ten years. Corruption germinates and grows in Cameroon like green grass grows on a football field; it is engrained in every fiber and sector of the people like dust is scattered on the Mamfe-Ekok road. To appease investors and lenders, he came up with Operation Sparrow Hawk where he would arrest corrupt officials. Regrettably, he used it to cement his position as an autocrat by arresting his possible challengers with the pretext of corruption.

Would anyone tell me Titus Edzoa is more corrupt than Ephraim Inoni? Would anyone tell me that Atangana Mebara is more corrupt than Jospeh Owona? He used the pretext of Operation Sparrow Hawk to dismantle the inner circle he knew could challenge him. Is that the democracy we are talking about? Is that the New Deal Ideology? This actually is the Old Deal that has bedeviled Africa and Cameroon before he came to power.

Actually, he perfected the Old Deal because in those days, embezzlers and corrupt officials invested in the country making the economy buoyant and robust. Today, the wealth of Cameroon has been siphoned by his wife and their relatives to oversea banks. If that is what the writer calls New Deal Ideology then we can say yes, indeed, Biya has implemented the New Deal Ideology to the fullest! The chameleon is not a good dancer but when it comes to changing colors it has no comparison. Paul Biya is a chameleon!

People say what happened in Maghreb cannot happen south of the Sahara because they are different. But we have never known freedom to have limitations. When democracy and freedom began sounding their trump, Gandhi and his people walked around the Indian Oceans, the people of Alabama heard and followed Martin Luther King Jr, and the hills and valleys of Africa echoed and reechoed as independence became a unison singsong in every household. People of Cameroon, freedom does not know boundaries; it hears ands follows the voices of the oppressed wherever they are.

With the principle of Satyagraha , the people of India made the Salt March telling the British in unequivocal terms that enough with that exploitation and that freedom was better than bondage. Up in the prairies of North America, the colored people screeched to be freed from the manacles of slavery and racism. Years later down the veld of South Africa, the depleted but intrepid voices of freedom through Mandela reechoed those same cries to be free from the shackled of Apartheid.

Even when martyrs die, their blood always cries from the ground to heaven. It is certain you can hear the blood of the young people who died in 1990. What about those who died in 1992? Can anyone imagine what they would have become today? Would they have become doctors, lawyers, teachers, carpenters, football and athletic stars? Would they have truly brought us the New Deal? Everyone remembers those in 2002 whose blood was sprayed in the street by Biya’s repressive machine. They were shot at the back of the head by the Biya regime in Yaoundé I, and those in Buea drowned in their own blood that was later licked by the dogs of the stret. Biya’s tanks and armors vehicles roared on others and what we found were mere shadows pasted on the unpaved roads. A blood spring meandered and dried down the gutters that reminded us of the cost of freedom as mothers cried for their children with no one to comfort them. Because those kids died for freedom, their only redemption will be when freedom is given to their brothers and sisters who are left behind. This is the time to make them proud. Paul Biya should not be left to steal another seven years for the youths of Cameroon. No mås!

Until then, long live the freedom fighters!

Prince & PA Hamilton Ayuk.

“Bonyfish beware because the same net that caught the jawless fish, caught the cartilaginous fish” (Hamilton Ayuk). Beware earthly paradise seekers because there is a serpent in every paradise"(Hamilton Ayuk). Idle people write, idler people read, and idlest people read and whine that idle people are taking their time (Hamilton Ayuk).

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