The Old Man and the Medal Author:Ferdinand Oyono The news has spread and old Meka is an instant celebrity. After years of devoted adherence to the white colonial government and its authorized religion, he is about to receive a medal from its Most Distinguished Official, in a ceremony that promises to be the biggest social event of the season. — The village is bursting with excitement. At last, ... more »the great day is here! But as he proudly waits in line for his medal, a lifetime of sacrifice passes before his eyes -- the loss of his lands, his sons and ... his heritage. For what? For whom? For this beefy red-faced bureaucrat who is about to pin a tin badge on Meka's second-class chest?
What happens to Meka and his medal after the ceremony is an appallingly funny look at the subtleties of polite society and its initiation rites: not only do all blacks look alike to colonial eyes, but, with or without medals, some look even more alike than others. Ferdinand Oyono's brilliant satire is first-class entertainment.
Ferdinand Oyono was born in the Cameroons and educated in France. An actor, diplomat and writer, he is the author of "Boy!" also published by Collier Books.« less