In 1943, Mbida graduated from the seminary. He chose a secular job as Head Teacher of a school in Balessing.
While working as a teacher, Mbida continued his studies. In 1945, he became a lawyer. He was briefly hired to work in the treasury in Yaounde.
Later in 1945, he worked for the private sector, as a business representative, alternating between Yaounde and Ebolowa. He would hold this position for the next nine years.
In 1950, he began working with the ‘French Socialist Party’ (SFIO). Although it was based in France, the political party SFIO was active in Cameroon, then under French administration.
In 1952, he ran for office and was successfully elected to the Territorial Assembly.
On October 10, 1953, he was appointed as an official adviser to the French Union.
Mbida resigned from the party, in 1954. He then co-founded ‘COCOCAM’, the ‘Coordinating Committee of Cameroon’.
In 1955, an armed uprising against colonial occupation was brutally repressed. Although Andre did not participate, he led a campaign to free people imprisoned for their role in the uprising.
On January 2, 1956, the ambitious young man ran for election to the French Parliament. He won a narrow victory to become the first native Cameroonian elected to the French Parliament.
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On January 31, 1956, Mbida was appointed to two key parliamentary committees. He used his membership to work towards the independence of his homeland.
On April 16, 1957, Cameroon became an autonomous state, a quasi-sovereign entity.
On May 12, 1957, he was elected by the Council of Ministers to become their President. This effectively made him the head of the autonomous state.
In September 1957, the nationalist leader traveled to the United Nations to give an important speech. He stated that Cameroon was a "pilot" state.
On October 24, 1957, he introduced a bill to design the national emblem and national anthem of Cameroon.
On January 12, 1958, he formed the ‘Cameroonian Party of Democrats’. Their motto was "the watchful and brave cock".
On May 5, 1958, he resigned from his position in the government after a contentious disagreement with the ‘French High Commissioner for Cameroon’.
In 1960, Cameroon became a fully independent country.
On June 23, 1962, a coalition of Cameroonian politicians, including Mbida, signed a manifesto protesting a single-party state. They were all imprisoned. The politician soon became quite ill and mostly blind.
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In 1965, he was released from prison.
Mbida was given permission to travel to France for medical treatment, in 1966.
On August 3, 1968, Mbida returned to Cameroon. He was immediately placed on house arrest.
On May 30, 1972, the political leader was freed from arrest.
Personal Life & Legacy
On August 14, 1946 Andre-Marie Mbida married Marguerite Embolo, the daughter of a powerful tribal chief. Mbida and his wife had six children together.
One of his sons, Louis Tobie Mbida, is currently the head of the Cameroonian Party of Democrats. Another son, Simon Pierre Omgba Mbida, is a Cameroonian diplomat.
In 1980, the political leader became grievously ill. He traveled to France for treatment and died in a hospital on May 2.