University of Buea, Cameroon
Flexing Muscles on the Chariot of the gods: Running the Mount Cameroon Race, 1973-2003
This paper examines the socio-political dynamics of an unexplored type of sports in Africa taking Cameroon as a case study. It interrogates the mount Cameroon race which is ran every year since 1973 in Buea-a semi-urban settlement at the foot of the mountain. Mount Cameroon is approximately 13,435 ft and the highest in Central and West Africa. It extends about 23 kilometers from the Gulf of Guinea. This peak has played host to a sporting jamboree since 1973, as it draws competitors from all over the continent of Africa and beyond. Despite this interesting sporting event, scant or no serious attention has been to it in Cameroon historical narratives by either indigenous or foreign scholars. This paper uses archival sources, newspapers, interviews and personal observations to raise numerous questions and suggests potential answers: what has been the fluctuating challenges posed by the race on the city of Buea? How has the event over the years influences the emergen!
ce of \'temporal communities\'.How, why and at what time in history has the government of Cameroon influenced that sporting event? In what ways does that event gives competing meanings of community? Finally, what has been the ramifications of the race on the common man in Buea and beyond?