Filmmaker: Rachidatou Ibrahim

Year of production: 2014
Location: Cameroon
Duration: 33 min.
Sound: mono
Language: Fulfulde
English Subtitles

Until recently Fulani girls living in northern Cameroon had less formal education than boys. Today Fulani girls are being sent to school. However, it seems that boys and girls don’t have the same opportunities. In some rural areas, Fulani girls are facing many challenges; there is inequality between girls and boys. From a certain age, a girl has to be initiated to some cultural practices and housework called “kilanta”. Without that knowledge a Fulani woman will not receive respect from others.

By following a Fulani family, the film shows how household tasks and activities are divided in an extended family. We see how children are taught important cultural values.

This film is a portrait of two girls, Zeinabu and Sumaiya; and two boys, Aliu and Habubakar, living in Mbang-Fulbe, a rural village situated in northern Cameroun.

Copyright: 2014  Visual Cultural Studies, University of Tromsø

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ABSTRACT This thesis focuses on housework, formal and domestic education in a Fulani community living in a small village located 37 km from Ngaoundere city, North part of Cameroon. By following a family of seven people, the study looks into the historical developmental of Fulani girls linked to the power relation and explains how power is changing in that area. To describe how social fields are connected in the global scale and the consequence of the meeting between these fields, I focused on some key elements. On one side the relevance of kilanta, a cultural value which gives power and dignity to the Fulani woman when she is inside the house. The other side, skills acquired from formal school as one of the elements which contributed to the liberalization of the Fulani girl in Northern Cameroon. It is imperative to stress that what gives power and respect to Fulani girl or woman inside is not the same outside. An ethnographic approach is used to understand what is going on regarding the combination of kilanta as a cultural knowledge and the new identity or status gained from schooling. However, transformations into this new form of identity come with certain positions and status creating a special career and challenge. Nowadays, Fulani girls are involved in a complex dynamic to negotiate their social identity and belonging.

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