When I was in school I heard Bernard Fonlon was a genuine intellectual, a moral colossus, an epitome of down-to-earthedness and a proud-gallant son of Nso. I had quite an impression about him. And when I got a chance to know him better I was astonished by his understanding of national unity and national integration. I belief he understood it better than most political slogan drumbeaters of his time and today.
The more I knew about him the more I wonder. He was first and foremost a Nso-man before being a Cameroonian. His seminal article got my attention fully. It was entitled Res Una Republica meant There is Two in One. In it he mentioned I am a Cameroonian because I am a true son of Nso. I exhibit my Nso-ness by espousing the culture and tradition of the Nso and by championing the socio-economic development of Nso-land through the Kumbo Water Project.
When I went deep in it I found ‘I am a bona fide Cameroonian because I am first of all a dyed-in-the-wool Anglophone. I display my Anglophone-ness by promoting the values and culture of the Anglophone and by upholding the socio-politico-economic development of Anglophones through the creation of the GCE Board’.
He also mentioned ‘now that I am consciously aware of my Nso-ness and my Anglophone-ness, I can think and live Cameroonian through The Case for Early Bilingualism’. From a point of view it can mean he was a proud man but don’t get wrong by the literal appear of the words. When I finally understood his conscious self awareness I simply bowed my head to this great person.
It’s his personality, self awareness, ways of thinking and well understanding of politics that makes him my idol. Undoubtedly he was one of the great intellects of his time.