Rapper Valsero talks about his stay in prison, his involvement in politics and his projects.

How is Valsero, two months after his release from the Kondengui maximum prison in Yaoundé where he spent nine months?I’m doing pretty well today.

I admit that I was traumatized by this difficult experience, I still have nightmares. I thought of seeing a specialist at one point, but my family’s love is helping me manage the post-traumatic syndrome.

We haven’t seen you much since your release. Is it a deliberate choice?
Yes. I needed to find my family and the few friends who stayed with me. To make sure I was in good health and above all to rest. These nine months of illegal detention took a lot of energy.

Some people thought that you had taken a step back from the commitment that you had taken …
My commitment is my reason for existing, my way of life. Taking a step back would mean committing suicide and I don’t mean to. The results obtained in terms of politicizing the society are very encouraging, the Cameroonian political landscape is more and more dynamic. I have no reason to back down, on the contrary, the idea is to continue the mobilization and awareness of Cameroonians on the need for their commitment, because the change is us. We have to change paradigms if we want to change our society.

The legislative and municipal elections are announced for February 9. What is your position on this?
I think it would be awkward to organize elections in the current context, even if it means repeating what many political actors have said before me, in the absence of a new consensual electoral code, without having restored calm, serenity to populations in the North West and South West. It would not be good for Cameroon to hold elections. We as a population and politicians have the opportunity, either to show our solidarity with our brothers and sisters or to accept the secession and the partition of the country

On the eve of the presidential election in October 2018, you concluded an alliance with Maurice Kamto. How is it doing today?
I would speak more of a fixed-term contract which counted mainly for the presidential election and according to our agreement, our contract ended on October 7, 2018. But now, the post-electoral situation, our illegal arrest and nine months of incarceration in a joint unit have set up the foundations of a new alliance, the terms of which have not yet been defined.

What is Valsero doing right now?
In priority, I take care of my family. An album called INTENSITY is in preparation for February 2020, a book for February as well. With my association Our destiny we are preparing the first edition of the festival of democracy and the Triple-A project (artist-alert-afrik) which I cannot yet talk about. Meanwhile, we are trying to rebuild the studio of masters of the game, our label which was completely destroyed during our detention. I think of my colleague and engineer of his Amental Falcon, who also spent nine months in prison for bringing my national identity card to the police station.

What are your immediate plans, both culturally and politically?
Politically I will continue to mobilize the Cameroonian people to get involved and to invest in politics, I will continue to encourage them to stand up and fight for a fairer and more democratic society. In short, we will intensify the struggle for change in Cameroon, in peace and through the ballot box.

By Subiru Madina