From the album “1958”
1955. People all over Africa are rising up and proclaiming freedom. When a new independence movement blossoms in Cameroon, the reaction of the French colonial administration is swift and brutal. France’s main adversary is a man called Ruben Um Nyobè, a trade union leader, orator, humanist and visionary. A man of his aura, intelligence and courage seems destined to join Nelson Mandela in the hall of African heroes. Instead, he’s hunted down by the colonial army and butchered in 1958, his body buried in concrete to better erase his memory. For years, the horror of this ‘hidden war’ and the fate of its heroic leader are smothered under a pall of enforced amnesia.
Blick Bassy has dedicated his latest album, ‘1958’, to Ruben Um Nyobè and the heroes of the Cameroonian Independence, in the hope of breaking that silence forever and reconnecting the people with their true history.