How to ensure a better transmission of cultural values to our children – A 3-steps approach for Cameroonian families in Germany


Here is a fact: Unlike families living on the African continent, it is more difficult for African families living abroad to ensure an effective transmission of cultural values to their children. For Cameroonian families living in Germany, the situation is no different. Thankfully for us Cameroonians from the west region and particularly from the Menoua division, we have Menoua Community in Germany e.V. (MCG e.V.) as an entry point for addressing this important challenge.

The aim of this article is therefore to build on this and provide a pragmatic approach to ensure that our children born here in Germany know their culture, celebrate it and by doing so, have an undisputed knowledge about who they (really) are. Beside an active participation to the activities of the MCG e.V., the approach also includes a reduction of the European influence on our kids and – if possible – a travel to Cameroon at least every two years to strengthen the connection with our homeland and our culture.


Why are we struggling in the first place?

To solve a problem, you must understand how it occurred to increase the chances of a long-lasting solution. Surprisingly, the elements used in the 3-steps approach proposed in this article can also be viewed as the origin of the issue. Presented as a problem, here is the question that inevitably arises: What are the factors that could compromise the transmission of cultural values and knowledge for Cameroonian families living in Germany? It is fair to say that the answer to this question might include the following:

  • The absence of cultural activities or organizations to promote our culture in Germany
  • Allowing a too big influence of the European/German culture on our children, favorizing a loss of our own cultural identity
  • A disconnection from Cameroon realities and cultural values due to a too long absence out of our home country

Undoubtedly, the list is not exhaustive. However, we must recognize that the themes listed above should be addressed for a sustainable solution. In line with this objective, the 3-steps approach proposed and highlighted in the introduction of this article will now be extensively assessed.


The 3-steps approach

  1. 1.       Active participation to the activities of the MCG e.V.

Fortunately for us, the presence of the MCG e.V.  here in Germany is a reality. It now comes down to the members to fully take advantage of it not just by attending the meetings but also by being actively involved in its activities. The pandemic (Corona virus) currently threatening the world has been a handicap in taking full advantage of this opportunity in 2020, however it should be every member’s commitment to intensify his or her involvement as soon as activities and meetings resume.

  1. 2.      A reduction of the influence of European/German culture on our children

Even though it must be recognized that the implementation of this step could be difficult, I strongly believe it is feasible. As examples, parents could establish a clear rule of speaking frequently Yemba with the children at home; From an educational standpoint, the European mentality would end at the front door, just before getting into the house; The same could be applied with other values such as solidarity in the family or the respect that must be shown to elders, all of which are sometimes not very well displayed in the European society.

It should be clear that it is not about being against European values but rather be for Cameroonian and especially Menoua values!


  1. 3.      If possible – travel to Cameroon at least every two years

This initiative is arguably not an easy one as it largely depends on financial resources. But it is also one that, if not conducted, will increase the lack of knowledge our children have about our culture. From my experience, its implementation is a matter of setting priorities. Visiting Cameroon including our wonderful west region on a regular basis will ensure that our kids get to concretely put into practice all the input we teach them in theory about our culture. Activities must therefore include visiting villages, traditional palaces and interacting closely with grandparents who are best positioned to teach us the history of our ancestors.



Is something missing?

In this article, a 3-steps approach has been highlighted for Cameroonian families living in Germany on how to ensure a best-in-class transmission of cultural values and knowledge to our children. From the 3 measures proposed, we as natives of the west region (Menoua) of Cameroon can be proud to have already established the first one, the MCG e.V., which is good news!

There is, however, still a lot to be done and we should be even more committed than before for one thing is clear: Only if our children have a strong mindset and knowledge about our traditions, can they be able to proudly (re)affirm their identity in the world and so ease our job as parents for we will then be assured that they will never be lost culturally.

As pragmatic as the solutions submitted in this article might be, they cannot be viewed as exhaustive, which brings me to my final question: What would you add?


© 2021 Vatis Tsague. All rights reserved.