LOST IN A RUBBER PLANTATION
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A well known expression in the Baforchu language states that the stream branched off because it “walked” alone. Although there is wisdom in the locution, it can however be misleading in the sense that it presupposes that once one has company when walking, then one can’t go wrong.
But then, experience has shown otherwise because a team of us technicians and reporters who once took off from the CRTV Headquarters in Yaoundé for the headquarters of the Rubber Corporation, HEVECAM, located in the South Region, lost our way in transit despite traveling in a group.
We were Franklin Lemana Tina (French Language colleague), Takoudoum (Cameraman) and the driver whom I cannot remember. We had an exhilarating trip and once we branched off into the HEVECAM plantation, little did we know we were getting into the entangled web of a veritable labyrinth. Each turn we took led us into yet more and more tentacles of the maze. We tried to figure out as much as we could where we were supposed to be going but failed.
The roads or perhaps alleyways looked so identical! There were no sign postings to orientate us and there were no human beings in sight. It got dark while we were still searching for our exit and we began to fear for our safety. Then we broke into a generalized quarrel as each of us blamed the other for the mishap. At one point Takoudoum said he knew the answer and after we listened to him direct us, we realized that we were simply going round in circles. The whole thing now became a personal problem between him and Lemana. Although some of us prayed, the miracle still did not happen.
At one point, the driver swung the vehicle round and ignoring all our pleas and calls and objections, he drove on, using his own road map. After about an hour we came to the exit point of the plantation. By the time we got to Niete, headquarters of Hevecam, we were all exhausted!
The vastness and complexity of the plantation is understandable because Hevecam is after all the next big employer in Cameroon, after the State of Cameroon and the CDC.
Although we enjoyed the event we had gone there to cover, the unfortunate wanderings in the jungle still left a sour taste in our markets.