News / Latest / Ernest Kanjo / Thursday, 12 February 2015 18:27

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George Breezy’s Je Suis Kolofata, directed by Romeo Olah is in itself a brilliantly woven weapon that easily dismantles the current insurgency that is clipping Cameroon’s wings from the Northern belt of the country. If it tells the entire Boko Haram tale in one fine piece, Je Suis Kolofata provides more sense on the role of the authors’ country in checking the former’s gruesome excesses, which role has been generally placed on a high score, as opposed to that of the principal concerned – Nigeria.

y word and image in the 4.57-minute-long video, which is undoubtedly social media’s most growing sensation now, symbolically represents a carefully designed message which the artists are professionally, yet socially and patriotically tasked to ferry across.

Je Suis Kolofata opens with images of wild flames with a terrifying sound of gunshots which is an indication that story the video is about to tell is clearly not a pleasant one. Rather, expect some hard facts! Then, as the blood-stained foot of an innocent child, lying down lifeless introduces CRTV FM 94’s Alain Dexter, it is evident that the BH story, at this point, can’t leave anyone indifferent, even famous media personalities. However, when Dexter begins his thesis with a rigid denial to succumb to his enemies, it prepares the listener for a track that is aimed at instilling courage in BH opponents, which is no longer the assignment of just the soldiers at the warfront, but that of every single Cameroonian citizen.

Then, when the succeeding rapper picks up his lines in which he recalls the Paris terrorist attacks that provoked global sympathy under the banner of the “Je Suis Charlie” campaign, he is no doubt pricking on the conscience of the world for strangely staying mute on a similar situation that had taken place much earlier and was still en vogue. Even if he had gone without saying it aloud, observers would still have imagined that the rapper was not Charlie, a position critics of the French anti-terrorism campaign had taken when they felt ignored and cheated. But, how can the world tilt to one direction and turn its back to the same danger it is facing? Kolofata, to the rapper, is therefore a major concern and should be considered as such. Well, Kolofata deserved his support and would always have it.

That notwithstanding, the next soldier rapper would go for the crooks of the matter – children affected by the unruly BH phenomenon. The image of a stopping soldier who comes to rescue with a consoling hand on the child’s shoulder is a symbol of courage the artists are presenting. Yes, her parents, brothers, sisters might have been slained, rivers of tears might have flown, but this is not the time to chicken.

 In a truly Indomitable Lions (Cameroon’s legendary national football team), spirit the soldier rappers would patriotically defend the Green, Red, Yellow colours of their country, even when they think each outing might be the last. Becoming martyrs is however an honorary option, if they should fall on the front anyway. But, with every bit of determination, ‘je vais rester debout!’(literally meaning I will stay afloat in French). While the use of the wounded lion out of its den symbolizes strength and victory which had at one time became the hallmark of the national football team, that of the flag and martyrdom indicates that BH is a national concern and the entire country must rise to quell it.

And if such courage could be mustered which would be translated into their soldiers felling BH, then they have not missed the point by repeatedly declaring “Je Suis Kolofata” in the choruses.

If the videographers used black T-shirts with “Je Suis Kolofata” inscriptions as a mourning symbol for fellow compatriots consumed by the BH saga, sad and weariness on the faces of the featuring sub characters play the effect even better. The images of captivity, hand-curves, scores of lifeless bodies, frightening wounds, etc, simply indicates that the BH phenomenon is too serious to be taken with a pinch of salt. That explains why our fallen soldiers must be tributed, hence the image of the rose flower being laid on the floor. Neither was it by chance that the makers of Je Suis Kolofata introduced images of the Saharan-like vegetation which does not only represent the geographical nature of the northern region of Cameroon where Kolofata is found, but the lack of greenery symbolizing starvation of all forms – peace, filial love, food, etc, caused by the insurgency.

Perhaps, the sequence with the marching civilian rappers, dressed in the Je Suis Kolofata-inscribed T-shirts and face caps has told the whole story – the bigger world needs to give Cameroon her own fair share of love and concern vis-à-vis the anti-terrorism debacle – the people losing their lives in Kolofata are not less humans than their counterparts in Paris.

On the other hand, Je Suis Kolofata authors and producers slipped slightly, yet conspicuously in two professional aspects. Artistically, likening the soldiers to the Indomitable Lion out of its den, in the lyrics, is wrong timing. Coming at a time the Cameroonian national football team is wallowing in doldrums of unpopularity due to consistent poor performance, is misrepresentative of the soldiers who have been hailed as heroes for their great showdown this far. Technically, the absence of images of BH put viewers in a fixed, trying to understand how serious the story could be when they cannot visualize. Perhaps, the gruesomeness of such images would have made them think otherwise – that too is understandable – but, snappy and less gruesome ones, just for purposes of illustration could have told the story better.

However, Je Suis Kolofata is an artistically success story whose growing popularity is a deserving respond to the K-Mer United song project. The track is just a couple of days old and comes at a time there is great concern about ruthless killings caused by the Boko Haram terrorist group in the Northern region of Cameroon and Nigeria. There has been a strong reaction with the assistance of the Chadian army within the past couple of weeks. Je Suis Kolofata is as captivating as the BH issue is topical! Watch it!

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Last Updated on Thursday, 12 February 2015 18:49


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