On the 8th and 9th of April,2022 members of the Association of Broadcasters in Pidgin English, a widely spoken local language in Cameroon, translated the #defyhatenow short guide (A1 Poster & Game) and A2 discussion posters.
The #defyhatenow Field Guide, Cameroon finds a home in a new language. To reach a wider audience, parts of Version 2.0 of the Social Media Hate Speech Mitigation Field Guide will be produced in Pidgin English, a widely spoken local language in Cameroon. The #defyhatenow short guide (A1 Poster & Game) and A2 discussion posters with key messages for educative sessions, will serve as working resources for broadcasters during radio programs and magazines in Pidgin English and local dialects where applicable.
A team of seventeen members led by Kolle George, under the Association of Broadcasters in Pidgin English met in Douala for a working session on April 8th & 9th, 2022. The objective was the translation of parts of the Field Guide, to make the resource package accessible to a wider audience. As community media professionals, the participants came from radio and television stations from the South West, North West and Littoral Regions. The use of Pidgin English in newsrooms in Cameroon bridges the communication gap for audiences that do not understand English and French. These community radios are located in remote areas where mainstream media has limited or no coverage, as such, these radios are the “hope” of the communities, as far as accessing quality information is concerned.
The outbreak of an armed separatist conflict in the two English-speaking Regions of Cameroon since 2016 has heightened the spread of hate speech, violent verbal confrontations in public discourse both online and offline. Political events especially following the twin 2018 Presidential and Legislative Elections have fuelled tensions with tribal undertones in the public place. Caught in a critical situation, that of reporting events as they unfold, the media is usually accused of fanning the flames of divide, taking sides with the different parties, and propagating such vices by allowing their platforms open for propaganda. It is in light of the above that #defyhatenow developed a resource package to support the efforts of different stakeholders involved in peace processes, to contribute in peacebuilding through their work.
After a maiden edition was produced in 2018 for South Sudan in the English Language, Field Guide Cameroon was produced in 2019-2020 in English and French languages. Later in 2020, the Amharic and English version for Ethiopia was produced making the resource package available in three languages. A major step in 2022 is the introduction of the Pidgin English defyhatenow short guide (A1 Poster & Game) and A2 discussion posters of version 2.0 for Cameroon.
A link to the complete Field Guide Resource kit will be shared for you to download as soon as we are done.
“We learn every day, I have learnt new words”
“This session is important because it has helped us learn ways to improve our work. We learn every day. Personally, I have learned new words from the lead trainer, Mr Kolle that made me correct the way I used to write in Pidgin. I also shared my professional experience and I believe other participants equally learned from me. #defyhatenow is doing a good and important work for us.” – Smart Njikang Gabriel, Equinoxe Television Douala
“Let’s use Cameroonian pidgin to sell our culture to the world”
“Pidgin is important and I would love for Cameroonian Pidgin English to be sold to the world both in writing and speaking. I enjoyed listening to George Kolle and Smart Njikang before joining this line of work. I was particularly inspired by the Pidgin they speak, pure Cameroonian pidgin. Most presenters speak either Nigerian Pidgin or Ghanaian Pidgin, though reporting in Cameroon. I wish to see more people speaking our Cameroonian pidgin and sell our culture to the world.” – Keyna Metuge, Blossom Television Kumba
“We are better skilled to promote peace and responsible journalism”
“The Association of Broadcasters in Pidgin English aims at making our members become professionals in their work. We play an indispensable role in bridging the communication gap by reaching communities in remote areas. These people count on us and we have a duty not to fail them. We are glad for the opportunity #defyhatenow gave us the opportunity to add our voice in combating hate speech, violence and disinformation in our communities. By gaining knowledge on how to tackle these ills, we are better skilled to promote peace and responsible journalism through our respective media organs”. – Kolle George, Lead Facilitator, CRTV Buea.