Feature, Opinion: Crisis In Cameroon’s North West Region, Catalyst to Indiscriminate Pregnancies and Cohabitation

By Nai Vonna

Shortlisted amongst the many hindrances to a peaceful society in the Northwest region Bamanda, is the concept of indiscriminate pregnancies and the common phenomenon of cohabitation, ‘come we stay’ (CWS), claiming the lives of young girls and women in the region.

Would the society be peaceful with CWS marriages and indiscriminate pregnancies eating up the younger generation?, certainly not. In building a peaceful society in the northwest region, these societal ills should be carefully treated, as victims of these practices are the supposed peace builders in the peace building process.

Indiscriminate pregnancies refers to the uncontrollable occurrence of pregnancies amongst young girls and women. It occures when one just gets pregnant parazarre.

CWS describes a lady packing into a man’s house under the deception that they are couples”. Zita Atanche a councillor and CEO of New Breed Africa Foundation.
In a society where indiscriminate pregnancies and CWS are the order of the day, habouring bastered children are inevitable.

Have you ever imagine how the society will look like with wayward and disrespectful fellows, who are the products of these sociatal ills?. Fighting for it’s extinction is therefore a bold step in building a peaceful society in Bamenda

At a time the region is hit by a second wave of the deathly covid pandemic and an over 4years socio political crisis situation, claiming life’s in the region, these sociatal ills should not be given a loophole to add to the already existing crisis. Rather how to build a peaceful society in the midst of the crisis, should be the main preoccupation of every Bamenda city dweller .

Doing this will entail the eradication of the afo mentioned sociatal ills from Northwest communities.
Indiscriminate pregnancies in Bamenda have provoked and fueled CWS marriages. It therefore stands as it’s causative factor . ‘Come we stay’ on it’s part has groomed products of indiscriminate pregnancies . Both phenomena are therefore too sides of the same coin, with the later preceeding the former.

Pechuqui Laurata is an activist based in Bamenda .she says “with what I have seen in my community, I would say CWS is not a good thing . It should be frowned at and fought against because it doesn’t treats people well. One of it’s causes is indiscriminate pregnancies. In this case the man looses respect for you as a person and treats you like a slave. So CWS is something to fight against because it makes young women loose their self esteem and respect”

In this case how will a peaceful society be attained in Bamenda ?. As the saying goes “the first step in solving a problem is knowing the problem”, what then is the cause of haphazard and random occurrence of pregnancies amongst young woman in Bamenda ,what factors favour came we stay marriages in Bamenda,what are the experiences of victims , how did they sail through, and how can these malice be dealt with?. Producing responses to these questions will help in the realization of a peaceful society in Bamenda.

Factors promoting come we stay in most societies are enomous.”Basically the lack of understanding of who you are is the fontamenta reason . If a young girl or women understands what to do with their lives, they will know what they should and should not do” Zita explaines.

Other factors fueling indiscriminate pregnancies and come we stay in the Northwest region which can not be neglected have over the years been noticed to be peer pressure and influence. As the saying goes “show me your friend and I will tell you who you are”, it is much true and real in Bamenda, as young girls only get influenced by those they interact with on daily basis. These interactions become habits and then characters, some of which if not positive will only but lead to the detriment of victims.

According to Sandrine Kuh a State Registered Nurse ,”indiscriminate pregnancies in Bamenda can also be blamed on age. During the adolescent age in female growth,the endocrine gland secrets hormones that affect their physical appearances , social behaviors and emotional responses. Teenagers then turn to be more attractive to peers than their parents which predisposes some of them to early sexual relations. Some suffer identity confusion which results to low self esteem. Because of this, they find it hard to decide who they are and where they are going to, so they end up being carried away by deceitful men who make them feel some worth. All of these land some into indiscriminate pregnancies.

Lack of means to supply one’s basic necessity has also pushed young woman in to the tighs of men, as a way of raising money to cater for her essentials . Aside being exposed to indiscriminate pregnancies ,they are also volnerable to STI, which is so detrimental to them in the face of crisis in the region. This can only but lead to the detriment of a peaceful society.
Lost and the desire to belong has also provoked young girls into CWS and indiscriminate pregnancies in the town of Bamenda. They often times seem desperate and engage in regratable acts. This reduces their self worth in the society and their chances of becoming models and positive influencezers in communities. This thereby hinders a peaceful society.

Not witstanding, what the Bible makes of both concepts can not be neglected. Rev. Bandong Stephen is church pastor at Victory Baptist Church Bambui. To him, “the Bible doesn’t approve of CWS because in 1 Corinthians , the Bible says that anyone joint to a prostitute is one with her, but that if anyone lacks self control, he should get married. CWS is not marriage. Unplanned pregnancy is not sin in marriage, but for singles or CWS, it’s a way of discipline God gives to those involved in fornication. Keeping the pregnancy is not sin, aborting is sin”.

Truth be told as generally believed, a woman conscious of who she is, what she needs, where, when and how she needs it, will not settle for small marriages and unplanned pregnancies.
However, the experiences of victims of both phenomena are quite pathetic.
“I felt like all hopes were gone, no school for me that year and how will the society and family look at me . The thought of the father asking me to have an abortion killed my spirit. I knew I was about making the worst mistake of my life but thank God I didn’t. I received insults from my friends and most left me. My mum was mad at me and almost sent me parking. Worst still I could bearly eat nor sleep” Mbuh Ethel a victim.
Seisendeh Mavis another victim recount “that moment I felt like the world has come to an end for me. I did not know how to face my family, friends and society. I was really depressed, traumatized and lack appitite during my first week of pregnancy .

Questions of how these young women in Bamenda sailed through these challenging moments are worth stating.

S. Mavis summits that “As time went on ,I made up my mind to be strong. I later decided to make it known to my friends and family. To my greatest suprise, I was accepted and encouraged. This has helped me to stop thinking about my past ordeal.

M. Ethel on her part says ‘I thank God for the Grace and few friends who stood by me, encourage me and supported me in over coming my traumatize state”.
Testimonies about those in CWS marriages have also been brought to the lamplight.

“CWS is not different from a situationship where by you don’t feel secured in you relationship .I no of someone in a situationship who wasn’t secured and the were days she was domestically abused because she had lost her self esteem.she felt CWS is marriage and she should stick to it but even marriages shouldn’t be that way” P. Laurata testifies

Some school of thought believe CWS is an advanced stage of dating which straightens and yields hope to the relationship . could such thought be validated?
Zita T. contradicts, “CWS can not assure your position in a man’s house who hasn’t dowried you. A man who hasn’t taken the due process for marriage believe you me, he takes you as a slave, a beger, desperate for marriage and that is foolishness on your part. When you pack into a man’s house thinking that’s the best way in securing your relationship with him, that’s real foolishness because he will never value you”

These societal vises experienced in the Northwest region is as a result of the anglophone crisis and other causative factors, can be dealt with in other to enable a peaceful society.
In came we stay situations, “the wisdom is search out the right thing and do it.what is the right thing? your only a person’s wife when he dowries you and gets married to you legally. So take the right process and contract your marriage.

It’s not the end of life. Pick up your life again and start afresh . One mistake most single mothers make is denying the man from seeing the child. You have every reason to, but the life of that child is connected to the man. Even if you deny him the opportunity, someday somehow they will meet and you won’t help it. There’s no situation that cannot be solved, so solve it amicably and let the live of the child be the major focus” Zita T. recommends

The negligence of these sociatal ills from the yesteryears by parents and the society have given rise to conflict and distress and rendered many young woman insane, sick and dormant .
Promoting and encouraging the fight against indiscriminate pregnancies and ‘came we stay’ in the town of bamenda, will help fuel the need for gender equality and female emancipation. This will spring forth a peaceful society with respectful , loving ,great and innovative minds , responsible and capable peace builders ,if and only if they almost normalized phenomena of CWS and indiscriminate pregnancies, are completely wiped out in the community.

In a society where young girls and women are skilled on maintaining their dignity and self worth, maturity and descipline will reign amongst fellow citizens of bamenda. In building a peaceful society in the Northwest region, it is the responsibility of the inhabitants of Bamenda with indiscriminate pregnancies and CWS claiming smiles of young women in the region, completely eradicated for the growth and development of a peaceful society in Bamenda.

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