Basile Ndjio

Dr. Basile Ndjio teaches Social and Political Anthropology at the University of Douala in Cameroon, and has been a Visiting Lecturer or a Research Fellow in several universities in Europe and the US. He has studied at the University of Yaounde (Cameroon), and then at the University of Amsterdam (the Netherlands) where he obtained his PhD in Social and Cultural Anthropology with distinction. Dr. Ndjio has written on topics as varied as popular culture, democratisation process in Africa, civil society and the state in Cameroon, autochthony and the politics of belonging, expectations of modernity among Cameroonian youths, African urban landscape, and new forms of wealth and power in Cameroon. His most recent works include: 'Intimate Strangers: Neighbourhood, Autochthony and the Politics of Belonging,' 'Douala: Inventing Life in an African Necropolis,' 'Millennial Democracy and Spectral Reality in Postcolonial Africa,' 'Feymen and Evolués: New and Old Figures of Modernity in Cameroon', 'Migration, Architecture and the Transformation of the Landscape in the Bamileke Grassfields of West Cameroon', and 'Shanghai beauties and African desires: Migration, Trade and Chinese prostitution in Cameroon' (forthcoming).
During his fellowship at the ASC, he will be working on a research titled: 'Cameroonian feymen and Nigerian '419' email scammers: Two examples of Africa's 'reinvention' of the global capitalism'. The main objective of this work is to show through the example of Nigerian '419' email scammers and Cameroonian transnational swindlers how since the mid 1990s, some young marginalized Africans have been endeavouring to make the most of accumulative opportunities provided by the present global capitalism. They have also strived to remodel this new mode of capitalization of riches; that is, to corrupt its conventional norms and systems of values. The study will show for example that one of the schemes developed by these young African 'criminal' entrepreneurs consists in converting the global capitalism into a global economy of crime, swindle and fraud. Another manoeuvre involves the denaturalization or perversion of the global capitalist system into 'occult economies'. These occult economies account for the effort to create wealth, by appeal to techniques that transgress conventional, rational and moral principles.

Fellowship year: 
Dr. B. (Basile) Ndjio
Former visiting fellow