Cameroon has been hit by the Anglophone crisis since 2016. As a result of this, some Cameroonians have turned into Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), including a brilliant young mind, Awa Bless Chi. This creative boy hails from pinying village, Santa sub-division of the South West region of Cameroon. He fled the English-speaking area of Cameroon that had been invaded by the fights. He moved to the Douala region to pursue his ambitions of making bulldozers, automobiles, caterpillars, and toys. His creativity came from sheer curiosity. It’s sad how these fights have seen 600,000 students out of school.
Awa Bless Chi designs these machines from recycled materials such as plywood pieces, cardboard remains, cartons, bamboo pieces, and a little scrap metal. After gathering the spare parts he assembles them into the exceptional gadgets. He then sets them into motion by connecting electric cables to batteries. Awa Bless Chi urges his fellow students who remained in the English-speaking area to move so that they can easily pursue their dreams in spite of the fights.
This creative boy then displays his works to the public where the passers-by are amazed, moving some to even donating some money for his good work. The place he has chosen for this is Nkoulouloun, a very strategic working-class district of the Douala region. In fact, some can’t help but admire the intelligent boy whose creative mind is the reason behind toy automobiles and bulldozers.
Even though Awa Bless Chi’s education was cut short by the Anglophone crisis, he looks forward to completing high school and advance his career at the university level. He is in form 3 at Nancho Comprehensive Technical High School Bamenda. He says, “I couldn’t go to school anymore because of the crisis. To do some useful things I made things. In Bamenda, there were no activities because of the dead cities. So I decided to move to Douala which is more secure.” The miniature bulldozers, caterpillars, and toys he makes are branded “Chi Style”.
Awa Derrick his elder brother narrates how the boy started to create things at an early age, he says, “It all started as a mere curiosity of a child in the village. He started when he was in class three producing things like cars with the use of papers and taking them to school as his own manual labor. He persisted by producing sophisticated and moveable things. We decided to encourage him.”
The brain behind the miniature things says that he has created a keyboard that he uses to manipulate the things to move because they are too small for someone to be inside driving them. What he does is connect cables of the things to the keyboard so that he can easily control them. ”I use an external control keyboard to move the machines. This is because the automobiles I produce are small in sizes. This means that a human being cannot really enter there to drive. This is the reason why driving and other manipulation are made from outside.”
The fact that this intelligent young boy has not attained any professional training is what amazes many. Therefore, with just a little fine tuning, he will be a master of his own art.