A young woman. One of many young women in the West African country Cameroon. A young woman torn between her background, her tradition, the authority of her father and her own wishes.
When Mireille is 20 years young she finds out that she is pregnant. She is a good student at school at Douala and she a good relationship with her friend Joseph, who supports her very well. He does not run away from his responsibilities as the future father. When the parents of Mireille find out about her pregnancy they get angry. They do not agree with a marriage betweejn Mireille and Joseph, eventhough the mother of Joseph sides with Mireille and her son. When daughter Mirabelle is born the parents still refuse a marriage to Joseph.
A friend to Mireille, Evelyne, asks Mireille to join her at her sowing workshop, where she enjoys a good time and show to be very able in her job. One day she meets her former teacher of fine arts, mrs. Tano. She has a brother who wants to marry Mireille. He is about twice the age of Mireille. In the end, due to pressure at home, she accepts the offer of Michel to marry her. When she leaves her parental home, she has to leave her daughter Mirabelle behind with her mother.
The remaining part of the book tells the hardship of Mireille as the wife of Michel, who turns around very quickly in the way he deals with his young wife. But all the time it is the wish, the command of her father to stay with her husband. It is remarkable that she gets support from the people around her in the village where she lives. She is not left on her own. In the end her father changes his mind when he realizes that her daughter is having a bad deal.
I do not know who Mireille Makampé is. Maybe it is not even her own name but a writer’s name. I do not knwo what the connection is with the German-speaking world (Germany was a former colonial power in Cameroon), for the book has originally been published in German. There is no picture of her on the cover or the sleeve of the book. She does not want to be recognized. Her story is her face.
Mireille Makampé – Der Wille meines Vaters geschehe – Hoffmann und Campe Verlag 2001