By Maxcel Fokwen
The routine activity of effecting controls on major roads across Cameroon, particularly in the Southwest Region, now looks more appealing due to the availability of plums. Forces of law and order now feast on plums and a loaf of ‘Kumba bread’ to sustain their discussions.
Driving into Kumba, passing through check points at Ediki, Mabonji or heading towards Ndian Division or Mbonge Subdivision, set a little of your attention on the police and gendarme check points around Kake, Kwaka Bakundu, Ekondo Titi moving towards Mundemba, and you will know it is plum season.
If your destination is towards Konye, then start checking the enjoyment of the security officers from the check point at Ikiliwindi onwards. For those of us heading towards Tombel, get focused on the check point at Mambanda, Ntam and any other you meet ahead; the story is the same.
The combination of plum and bread is what keeps the officers duty-happy in this rainy season. Their make-shift check points hardly go without the traditional fireplaces. But where there are not, then, know, for sure, that, the rapport between the officers and those who live next to the check point is smooth.
These neighbours sometimes help the officers on duty steam the plums for consumption. Getting a loaf of bread to eat with the plum now depends on how smart a driver can make out the need for a loaf of ‘Kumba bread’ at police check points, given the availability of plum. Drivers who prove stingy may receive the message directly from the officers to get those on duty ‘Kumba bread’ or any other baked food that suits consumption alongside plums.
No matter how often the consumption seems, on other occasions, the bread and plum is packaged and later consumed at home for those officers who have the patience. For some, it is living life like any other citizen who can eat whatever he or she desires, especially seasonal fruits like mangoes, oranges and plums or cereals like maize. Yet, some people see something extraordinary about the interest security officers at check points nowadays have in bread and plum.
To drivers, seasonal fruits make their relationship with the officers checking vehicle documents at defined points on the road cordial, given that it makes some officers happier and more approachable. Besides, the drivers say since the officers are humans, they too get hungry like any other person, but when it's the season of particular fruits, most elements of law and order are less likely to get angry.
Whatever the situation, the plum season is here and the forces of law and order at major check points are savouring the fruit while on duty. On the other hand, drivers too benefit through improved human relations, given that officers hardly get hungry on duty now. A loaf of ‘Kumba bread’ accompanied by plums of high quality will give a police, gendarme and any other citizen an enjoyable moment and the checks are less rigorous.
After all, a common saying goes that when one’s brother is atop a plum tree, the one is most likely to eat the blackest fruit. The police at check points love it, when the drivers they control stay on top of these trees during this peak season.