Yaounde, Cameroon Africa. December 2010. (Cameroon News) – Cameroonians seem to be pretty slow is waking up from their slumber after Christmas.
Operations and routine activities seemed to be relatively slow in the various offices and business centres in Yaounde yesterday and people just seem to be slowly getting into their roles after the celebrations to mark the occasion of Christmas the previous weekend.
Though the festival has come and gone the busy schedule and the frenzy that marked the preparations for the grand extravaganza and the celebrations over the weekend seems to have taken its toll on Cameroonians as the mood seems to have shifted from one of frenzy to that of relaxation once the festival is done and over with.
The traffic jams that were a usual sight during the course3 of Christmas preparations in every street of the city and its business center seems to have miraculously disappeared and most of the government departments have a lot of vacant seats which are still awaiting their owners who are yet to come in after the festival celebrations at their respective homes.
The shopping district which comprises of the markets and supermarkets which were over filled with goodies of all kinds for Christmas and in festive colors also seems to be slow with business slowly starting to pick up but still quite slow in most of the shops.
Driving seemed to be dream from Mfoundi to the Mokolo markets , compared to how it was to traverse the busy and people infested streets just before and on Christmas when business was at its best with a huge throng of buyers eager to take the best bargain from its sellers.
But quite unlike the past few weeks only a couple of chicken vendors could be found at the Mfoundi Market while at the Mokolo Market vendors were just seem to be dawdling around their wares trying to lure customers to buy at least something from what they had to offer.
However the areas near the other side of the market, seemed busier with customers in worn out clothes getting ready fro their routine shopping and traffic though not very busy seemed to get back into the normal rate.
The hectic days and busy schedules of Christmas days have moved on to give way to a much slower and complacent shopping atmosphere where shopkeepers are on a long wait for the very few buyers who dotted the markets.
Mireille Kamchop, doing business in the Mokolo market has been opening her shop much later than how she used to during the previous weeks.
And in spite of that she has not been able to sell off even a single piece even though the time was close to mid day.
Even the supermarkets seemed deserted and devoid of any activity and the long queues have been replaced by desperate shop owners waiting for customers to buy something.
The buzz of activity in every single shop, supermarket and market stands now have given way to quietness and boredom. Toy sellers were still around waiting and hoping in anticipation that people would come in but to no avail.
Christmas trees that decorated every single corner had disappeared completely and were nowhere in the picture. There were some smart buyers who thought that they could make use of the slump in prices post the festival times but business was still very lean in most business centers.
The picture was no different in both government and private offices. C. Biloa, secretary in one of the ministries, states that she had already marked her attendance at the work register at the usual time around 8.30 am in the morning.
When it was close to 10 am people started coming in and it was only close to 11 am that the office got filled up. But work was still slower what with people taking a lot of time to break out from the lack of sleep and fatigue that marks the end of most festivals.
However Biloa seemed to be filled with energy expertly interacting with people, browsing through innumerable files and attending and placing numerous calls that are just a matter of routine for the staff of any minister.
There were still a lot of vacant seats to be seen around mid-day and Biloa was doubtful as to how many more people would occupy the vacant chairs suspecting that most of them were still very much in their holiday mood.
The corridors were still buzzing with the usual levels of activity but you could see many doors locked with so sign of activity indicating that a lot of staff in most ministries was still to commence work.
Though there were many vacant chairs where the staff of the various ministries were supposed to sit the corridors were filled with people carrying petitions, complaints and files that were pending for approval and they were the only ones who did not want to lose even a single day in order to do the necessary follow up on their files.