CCTV Africa’s Maria Galang is just back from filming in Cameroon
“Cameroon, known as ‘Little Africa’ because of its diverse landscape, was good to us. A country full of warm hearted people, and a beautiful culture.”
Hot and Humid
The climate in Cameroon in November was hot and humid, with rainfall at least once a day for around one hour. The team filmed in hospitals both in Yaounde the Capital and Guider City far in the north of the country.
Guider City in the North
Maria tells us about Guider City were they headed on the second half of their trip
“Guider city has a population of 65,000 people, mainly Muslim, and very friendly. If you don’t have a car here, not many people do, the only mode of transport are the okadas! In Nairobi we call them bodabodas (motorcycle taxis).”
The Menace of Malaria
The team were shooting in Guider Hospital, known there as the ‘Chinese Hospital’.
They were shocked to learn that over 600 people died in and around Guider in October alone, due to the rainy season. 95% of the children are admitted with malaria
One three year old boy was brought in as an emergency case in the middle of the night with cerebral malaria. He was in and out of a coma, vomiting, not eating. Dr. Liu rushed to the hospital and administered anti-cerebral malaria medication. By the time they arrived at the hospital to start shooting, he was already showing signs of recovery.
Later, they interviewed Dr. Wang, the team leader, and also the interpreter, driver and administration officer for the team. He first visited Guider in 1992, this is his second visit, 20 years later, and he is thrilled to be back.
Cameroonian Culture at its best
The team were lucky enough to catch not one but two musical performances from West African musicians. Maria explains why it was so special
The drum beats and music of Petit Kandia, a Guinean musician who had a showcase at the first and then Stypack Samo and Marie Ngo Lissom were their particular favourites.
Finally the team couldn’t resist filming a story on Yaounde’s infamous taxis.
We were curious about the thousands of yellow and black taxis in Yaounde. The concept of sharing a taxi with others is unheard of in Nairobi, so we thought a feature on the ‘taxi-bus’ system would be quite interesting. For majority of Yaounde’s 1.8 million people, this is the only way to get around.
Motorcycle taxis or Okadas were banned in the city center by the government, and there is no bus system. You hail for the taxi-bus to stop, shout your price and destination and if the taxi-bus is headed that way and your price is acceptable, they beep twice for you to get in. Along the way, up to 6 people squeeze into the taxi, saying “Bonjour” as they enter to the other passengers. Its all quite confusing but charming!