There are numerous testimonies of left-handed people being ill-treated in their childhood. For instance, they are reminded that their left-hand will be tied with centipedes or that they will be beaten if they use that “cursed hand”, etc. No matter the ethnic group in Cameroon, left-hand is ill-perceived and for some parents, it is a sacrilege to use it.
“First, parents have to understand how a child’s brain works. The brain consists of two hemispheres: the left and the right. The left hemisphere deals with the right part of the body and vice-versa. With left-handed children, the right hemisphere –which deals with the left part of the body- is dominant. It is the hemisphere which deals with the most structured functions like writing, or speech. Parents must, therefore, understand that being left-handed or right-handed is determined by genetics”, Dr. Georges Mboe, a psychologist, explained.
However, due to the lack of awareness, some superstitions such as the one which asks not to eat, greet, or give money with the left-hand still persist. That said, left-hand users represent 10% of the world population while 73% use the right-hand. Ambidextrous (those who use both hands) represent 8% of the world population. Let’s note that men tend to use the left-hand the most and the left-handed international day is celebrated every August 13.
Monique Ngo Mayag