A video showing the bling-bling lifestyle of a senator's son has caused an uproar in Cameroon. The video was posted online on August 7 and shows Hamadjoda Nana, the son of a senator, showing off his glitzy watch, a huge ruby ring and piles of cash. In Cameroon, where a third of the population lives under the poverty line, this kind of boastful display has, unsurprisingly, not been appreciated.
The video was posted on the Facebook accounts of several Cameroonian political activists, where it has racked up over 50,000 views.
Hamadjoda Nana is the son of Baba Hamadou, the former minister of tourism and member of the Cameroon People's Democratic Movement (CPDM), the ruling political party led by President Paul Biya.
This is not the first time that he has boasted about his wealth. On his Facebook account, a photo shows him next to stacks of cash.
According to the people who shared the video online, Nana is still a student, although he's written on his Facebook page that he's the president of the "Nana Poku Group of Companies (NPGC)". However, there's no indication that this company exists online. The people who shared the video also said that it was Nana himself who circulated the video, but he did so amongst a small circle of contacts before it was then leaked on Facebook.
Many Internet users have criticised this grotesque display of wealth as "indecent" when so many Cameroonians live in dire poverty. According to Cameroon's National Institute for Statistics, 37.5 per cent of the population live below the poverty line.
Others simply thought his behaviour was "stupid".
Some people online asked where the large piles of bank notes came from, voicing suspicions of corruption. There is no proof that confirms these suspicions, however, although Cameroon is one of the most corrupt countries in the world (coming 145th out of 176 countries) according to anti-corruption NGO Transparency International.
Other Cameroonians found the incident amusing.
The FRANCE 24 Observers team spoke to Baba Hamadou, Hamadjoda Nana's father, who confirmed that the man in the video was his son and said,
I am very disappointed and very surprised by this video, because this kind of exhibitionism doesn't exist in our culture: A Fulani man is humble and private, even if he is rich. People I know have rung me after seeing this video to tell me how surprised they are and I agree.
I told my son to see what happened with his friends on Facebook. On the Internet, you can swap photos, have fun, but it can then become a story all over the world afterwards: you have to be careful.
He's a student, so I give him money for his studies. I have been a civil servant since 1974, so all of the money I've been able to earn has been as a result of my job. I am honest.
FRANCE 24 also tried to speak to Nana on Facebook and WhatsApp, but he was not willing to respond to questions.
This isn't the first time some rich kids have caused a scandal for flashing their cash. In June this year, the son of dictator José Eduardo Dos Santos in Angola dropped an easy 500,000 euros at an auction, and even Will Smith, as the compère at the event, was surprised.
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