I have been hearing a lot about this term on the television especially the French TV broadcasts. They normally call it in French “les nouveau riches”. After hearing about it for some time, I set to find out what all this is all about. Who are the “nouveau riche” in Cameroon? What criteria are used to qualify people into this category against another?

The research led me to start looking for what is used to qualify somebody as newly rich and the history of it all. I was told that before in Cameroon, you had just a handful of rich people with well recognized names. They were very known to everybody and highly respected. However, in the cause of the years a lot of young people have acquired wealth and now the appellation newly rich covers a bigger number of people than before. Not only are people abroad coming in with wealth in the form of remittance and even in Cameroon, a lot of people are moving out of poverty and creating wealth for themselves and their families.

There are external displays that show members of this group like the house they live, the car the drive and the schools in which their children are enrolled. I never noticed it until I heard it been mentioned on French TV. Maybe this appellation was coined because of their external display of wealth and lavish lifestyle. Whatever it consists of, the nouveaux riches are here to stay and as more and more people climb out of the ladder of poverty, and this set of people is likely to increase exponentially.


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