‘cannibalism’ is Googled around ONE million times per month globally. WHY?!? May I ask.
Classmates at the academy were at times equally friend and foe. Most everyone took interest in the fact that I was African. Some cadets were genuinely interested in learning all they could about a culture so different than their own. And then there were other cadets who treated me like I was on a game show to answer all kinds of bizarre trivia, with the idea that Africa was a continent about which I should have memorized every detail, considering the fact that I was from Cameroon—a small country in western Africa, situated close to the better known country, Nigeria. Sometimes I felt embarrassed that I knew so little about my own country in terms of the social studies type questions that are more or less common knowledge among America’s youth about their own country. Yet other times, I realized that I actually knew more American trivia than was typical of my Academy peers, just because America had been central in my studies while in Cameroon. Cameroonian patriotism did not encompass memorizing the gory details of our country’s past. It was more patriotic to positively chat about who held the presidency, not scrutinize the details of how and why he came into power. Having a voice in Cameroon, meant repeating what had already been said. Mainstream was the only stream, else at the expense of drowning.
Sometimes, under pressure to impress my Academy classmates with the excitement of life outside of civilization, it became almost impossible to satisfy their curiosity with the absolute truth. There was one particular cadet who would not leave the subject of cannibalism alone. He must have seen one of those smoky movie scenes where body parts were being roasted by ravenous villagers. He couldn’t shake it from his mind’s eye view and it was his constant goal to get more details as to the anthropologic reasons behind such savage behavior. I was just a Cameroonian, from a semi-modern village, and the most I’d done by way of strange eating habits was to ingest a couple of grasshoppers here and there or a handful of dirt as part of a ritualistic benediction. And there was nothing in our DNA that made us crave insects or rodents. Our hunger controlled our appetite. The hungrier someone is, the less discriminate they will be when making their menu.
- A Day in the Life of Boarding Cadet at Army Navy Military Academy (armyandnavyacademy.org)
- Reid on a Case of Cannibalism (lsolum.typepad.com)
- Tears From the Race of Hope! (maxfokwen.wordpress.com)