of the words and phrases, leading to new words and phrases that formed the basis of pidgin English locally.
There is no data on the number of listeners of the pidgin English broadcasts under Cameroon Radio Television Buea, says Henry Mekole, chief of service for the station’s programs. But he says that pidgin English programs draw a wider listenership than those in English or French.
There are community radio stations outside Buea that broadcast in pidgin English. But pidgin English broadcasts make up less than 4 percent of programs on state radio.
Vida Mosina, 21, a student in the English department of the University of Buea, says she tunes into Pidgin News at 4 p.m. every weekday.
“I can’t afford to miss Pidgin News over Mount Cameroon FM,” she says. “I am addicted to Pidgin News.”
Because it is one of the only programs broadcasted in Pidgin English, she listens to it even if she is in class.
“I even listen to Pidgin News during lecture time,” she says. “If I am in a lecture at 4 p.m., I make sure I connect to Mount Cameroon FM, using my earpiece and my phone hidden under my long hair. Just getting the headlines and traditional wise words in pidgin English makes my day.”
Mosina says Pidgin News is more than just news.
“Pidgin News carries with it sound humor and comedic undertone,” she says. “Most often, I am interested in the humor and comedy it presents, thereby making the news to stick in my memory. It is a kind of news that makes my day after a busy day at school. It actually heals me of exhaustion.”
Mosina says she identifies more with pidgin English programs because they remind her of her roots.
“I grew up in a plantation where pidgin English was the dominant language of communication amongst peers and family members,” she says, touching her heart. “It is for this reason that pidgin English is my first love.”
But she says that some people don’t believe that an English language major like her would fall in love with a pidgin English program.
Thaddeus Muffi, a parent, says that radio stations should scrap pidgin English programs.
“I hate pidgin English programs over radio,” he says.
He says he doesn’t allow his children to tune into these programs.
“Pidgin English programs are taboo programs in my house for my children,” he says. “I want my children to be good English speakers. I don’t want the little that they know to be infiltrated by pidgin English.”
Muffi says he still suffers the effects of growing up speaking pidgin English, as traces of pidgin English continue to sneak into his English. He wants his children to speak better English than he can.
“Children are good imitators,” he says, “quick to learn by observing and imitating. They will quickly copy what they hear. I don’t want them to copy wrong words and usage of English. They must be good