Television following in Cameroon has grown over the years as the number of local channels increases and paid cable TV connection made more accessible to low income earners. Today, soap operas retain the attention of many Cameroonian women, with both local and foreign channels literally competing for attention with the number and quality of such films they offer. As a result, many women have literally become addicted to watching soaps.
According to Florence Bilaga, a Yaounde-based journalist, soaps are preferred by women because they deal with common gossip subjects such as love, family rivalries and stories of beautiful poor girls who become great because of who they marry. The films also handle the plight of children who are abandoned by one of their parents only for them to become prominent in life. Such a situation often obliges the negligent parent to return, asking for forgiveness on their knees.
“These stories enable women to keep their conversations alive as they try to predict what will happen next,” explained Bilaga. “Time for popular TV soaps in many Cameroonian homes these days is time of concentration. Even little children who were crying before tend to pay attention,” she added. Nyimekong Adeline, a cleaner with a Yaounde-based media company, attributes the popularity of soaps to their ability to handle daily societal concerns. “They teach lessons that enable people to live in harmony with their families and communities, while also offering tips on the things and type of company to avoid,” Nyimekong noted.
Among the several television soap operas currently running in Cameroonian homes are “Rumble” on Cameroon Radio Television, CRTV from 9 pm, “Bad Angel” from 7 pm and “La fille de ma mere,” from 8 pm – all from Mondays to Fridays. Others are “La reine blanche” on Canal 2 International on Saturdays at 7.30 pm, “La belle mère” on A+ during week days from 9 am to 10 am, and “Femmes autoritaires” on the same channel from Mondays to Fridays, beginning at 10.30 am. There is also “Anna Julia” on Nina TV from Mondays to Fridays as from 8.30 pm.