Samuel Eto’o ended his career as one of the greatest African footballers of all time but it was in the city of Douala in Cameroon that he first made his name and when he left for Europe, residents continued to idolise the former Barcelona superstar. Cameroon’s economic capital is a loud and chaotic port city, hot and humid.
It is here that the country’s Indomitable Lions faced The Gambia in the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) quarter-finals as Cameroon came to Douala for the first time in the tournament, having played their previous matches in Yaoundé.
Eto’o, who also starred for Inter Milan and wore the number nine for his country, moved to Douala with his family from the capital as a young boy.
He was raised in an unremarkable house on a dusty street in New Bell, an impoverished district where the locals are only too happy to talk about the man who put their neighbourhood on the map.
“He grew up here but he was blessed by God,” said Valentine, a 49-year-old caterer sheltering from the scorching mid-afternoon sun just across the street from the Eto’o family house.
“Eto’o has helped a lot of people in this neighbourhood. Recently he came back here and laid on food for everyone in New Bell.”
Just along the street is a bar where the exterior walls are decorated with pictures of the four-time African Footballer of the Year. Nearby, the motorcycle taxis that can make navigating the streets a hazardous task, pass in front of a statue of Eto’o in the green, yellow and red of Cameroon, with whom he won the AFCON in 2000 and 2002.
Eto’o was just 20 when he led the Indomitable Lions to that second continental title and it would be another two years before he signed up for Barcelona and teamed up with players including Ronaldinho and a very young Lionel Messi.
In Douala it was clear Eto’o was a special talent from a very young age.
“He was little, lively and loved football,” recalled Jean Rene Noubissi, who took Eto’o under his wing as he was starting out at local side UCB.
“He calls me his first president. I helped oversee his development. When he played for UCB, he scored goals in every game and I would give him a little bonus as a reward.
“Even then you could see the discipline he had. He believed in his potential and knew where he wanted to go.”
The walls of Noubissi’s cramped office in the Akwa business district are covered in pictures of him with Eto’o, including one with Barcelona president Joan Laporta.
Eto’o played for Real Madrid and starred for Mallorca before joining Barcelona.
But before all of that, he went to France to try his luck only to return home with his tail between his legs.
“When he came back, he had no club but he was still very famous, everybody knew about him in Douala. When he was just 14, he was the one feeding the whole family,” said Hiondi Nkam, author of a new book about Eto’o called “Les Anges et Les Demons” (Angels and Demons).
He was not yet 16 when he made his international debut and barely 17 when he went to the 1998 World Cup after newly appointed coach Claude Le Roy decided he could not ignore such a precocious talent.
“I wanted to give a chance to all the locally based players to see if there were any gems among them and I saw this young player who seemed so comfortable tactically and so intelligent,” Le Roy said.
“He was just a kid but he wasn’t afraid of all the big names in the team.”
Having retired from playing in 2019 aged 38, Eto’o has quickly transitioned into a leadership role off the field and in December, he was elected president of Cameroon’s Football Federation.
“People believe that he is not there for money or fame, but he is there to help,” said Nkam, who sums up what Eto’o means to New Bell. He is a role model. He was selfish on the field of play but very, very human off it. Some people would say that after God comes Samuel Eto’o.”
A fresh start for Cameroon
The campaign Eto’o ran was focused on promoting women’s football and eliminating corruption in the Cameroonian game. Beyond the highly-visible Africa Cup of Nations – BBC and Sky in England announced a broadcast deal that covered all 52 matches; corruption allegations have been a dominant issue within the Cameroon football federation.
« During the campaign…Eto’o said the days when players paid to play on the national team, ‘those days are over,' » reports DW Yaoundé correspondent Moki Edwin Kindzeka. « Those who merit playing on the national team will be called up to play. »
Eto’o filed his candidacy just weeks before the 2021 vote, saying « I will be the next president of the federation despite all the cheating. » In Eto’o’s eyes, his predecessor Njoya, whose election was annulled by the International Court of Arbitration for Sport in 2018, had « failed miserably » as president.
The 40-year-old received endorsements from other presidential candidates, who withdrew their own bids, as well as global stars such as former Barcelona teammate Lionel Messi and Cameroon international Roger Milla.
The four-time African Footballer of the Year was voted in for a four-year term in December 2021, defeating interim president Seidou Mbombo Njoya by 43 votes to 31 in the federation’s general assembly.
A two-time AFCON and three-time Champions League winner with 118 appearances and 56 goals for Cameroon, Eto’o called his election « one of the proudest moments » of his life.
Eto’o was conferred the honour of peace maker after he was dressed in a traditional attire by the South West Paramount Chiefs led by HRM Chief Robert Esuka Endeley of Buea. Eto’o was honoured as a result of his success, personality and discipline.
“This is very significant for us, because 70% of Cameroonians are made up of youthful people and Eto’o Fills is a symbol of success in the country; he stands as a role model to our youths and lots of people in this country and we as traditional rulers, decided to crown him to the honour of peacemaker. No matter where you come from, our unity is very much paramount to the success of the nation and we believe he is going to take our sport to another level.”
Nigerian Community praises Consul General Clark-Omeru over resolving Resident Permit issues in Cameroon
Consul General Clark-Omeru hosts Nigeria Community
…urges them to be law abiding citizens in host country
The Consul-General of Nigeria to Douala, the Republic of Cameroon, Ambassador (HRM) Queen Efe A. Clark-Omeru has hosted the Nigerian community in the Littoral Region for the second time to show appreciation for relentless services rendering to Nigeria nationals residing in the region of the host country.
It could be recalled that the executive of the Nigerian community paid courtesy visit to the Consulate General in May 2022 to express their maximum appreciation to the Mission who has been helpful in resolving pressing issues with the host country.
According to her speech, the CG welcomed the Nigerian Community executives led by the President, Honourable B.I.C Okwujiaku and provided details of the Consulate progress with the host country over pending issues concerning Nigerian residents in the region.
« It is my pleasure to welcome you to this event of New Year visit/wishes to me and the Consulate, » the statement reads.
« Since my arrival in June 2021, and with the presentation of my Exequatur which I assured you that the Consulate would not rest its oars by ensuring that the issue of molestation will be a thing of past in the history country. The Consulate has met several times with the officials of the immigration of the host country with particular reference to resident permit, exit Visa and the matter was resolved amicably as the immigration rights accorded to members of Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC)
region is also accorded to Nigeria due to the already subsisting bilateral relations between the two brotherly countries. »
The Nigeria CG also highlighted the issues of non-issuance of Resident permits which is a great challenge to Nigerian residents in the Littoral region as it is contrary to it immigration law.
« The issue of non-issuance of Resident Permit has attracted my attention, on that basis, I directed my officers on 10th February 2023, accompanied by the president and some executive members of the Nigerian community to meet with new Commissioner EMI-immigration Madame Gertrude Bikok and the matter was also resolved due to the subsisting bilateral relations between the two countries.
The Consul General was excited to proudly commend the Nigeria community over their successful business activities which were satisfied by the host authorities. But urges her compatriots to be more tolerance of each other and remain law abiding to the host country.
In responding to the CG’s speech, the President of the Nigeria Community, Honourable B.I.C Okwujiaku heaps praise on the first female Consul General in Douala for her breath of peace among Nigerians in the region.
« Last year, we came to say thank you for the ones you have done. We have come again to further demonstrate our joy for your constant support, caring and motherly advise and solidarity to us as your fellow compatriots in Cameroon, » he said.
« History will record it that as the first female Consul General in Douala. Nigerians have benefited from your good leadership and skills of work, » he added.
Also appreciating the CG is Eminent philanthropist, HRH Eze Thomas .J. Onyengubo, Eze Gburugburu 1 of Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo in Cameroon, who also urged the Nigerian community members to remain united and be law abiding to the host country.
10TH ANIVERSARY OF THE CAMEROON LEADERSHIP ACADEMY – FINAL THOUGHTS
From the 18th to the 21st August 2022, the Pastoral Centre St Joseph of Kribi (Cameroon) hosted the 10th edition of what has become an annual ‘rendez-vous’ of capacity building of young Cameroonian Leaders and Entrepreneurs selected on the basis of their civic engagement, professional achievement and patriotic spirit.
Through this Academy, the Pan African Leadership and Entrepreneurship Foundation (PLF) by Go Ahead Africa Ltd has been contributing to the empowerment of hundreds of young people in the fields of Leadership, Entrepreneurship and Management.
Held in partnership with some of the most influential stakeholders in the Cameroonian economic ecosystem (Go Ahead Africa Ltd, Groupe SABC, the Port Authority of Kribi (PAK), BGFIBank Cameroon, Balafon Media and Vox Africa); and despite unforeseen circumstances, this 10th edition succeeded to gather forty-six participants (23 boys and 23 girls) aged between 18 and 35 years old under the theme « Challenges and opportunities of youth in a VUCA environment (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous) ».
For the Founder of the PLF, Roland KWEMAIN, these young Leaders are true ambassadors of the emergence and prosperity of Cameroon. « Our goal is to train a world class of Young Cameroonian Leaders/Entrepreneurs who are masters of their destiny and resolutely at the service of the emergence of our country and even of our continent, Africa » he said.
During four (4) intense days under the expert guidance of Leadership Coach/Trainer
Emile SINGEH and Assistant Coach Perrin KWENKEU, the 2022 batch developed through a tailor-made program:
· Leadership and Management Skills
· Entrepreneurial spirit
· Spirit of Individual Social Responsibility and Active Citizenship
· Knowledge and Valorisation of the Great Historical Figures of Cameroon
· Appropriation of the Vision of a prosperous Cameroon
During this unique and extraordinary life experience punctuated by short nights (4 hours/day) and intense days of emotions, knowledge acquisition and teambuilding, the participants had the opportunity to meet and learn from their 2 Patrons:
· Mr Patrice MELOM (GM PAK)
· Mr Cyrille BOJIKO (Founder and CEO Balafon Media Group)
They also had the great opportunity to interact with some of the Leaders and Managers who drive the economic scene.
Among them we can name Mr Abakal MAHAMAT (General Manager, BGFIBank Cameroon), Dr Elizabeth FON (General Manager, TESHO), Mrs Arielle WAFFO (General Manager, DKT Cameroon), Mr Dagobert TAHA (Design Thinking Expert), Mrs Pulton ARUNA (Consultant, Corporate Trainer in Management Skills, Customer Care, Food Safety, Quality Management, Training Techniques).
As key part of the program, the participants worked on reinventing the CLA model during the traditional ‘24 heures Chrono’ where they spend 24 hours in a row without sleeping in a journey to better understand (themselves) and learn how to surpass their self-expectations.
As the Cameroon Leadership Academy heads to new starts for its 10 years’ Convention on December, 10th taking with it an annual event that brought together hundreds of young Leaders and Entrepreneurs; it’s worth reflecting on its legacy and on the impact it made during the past ten (10) years that the event grew to empower 850 youth with the mission of training better Leaders in order to build better communities.
Emile Désiré SINGEH
Du 18 au 21 août 2022, le Centre Pastoral St Joseph de Kribi (Cameroun) a accueilli la 10ème édition de ce qui est devenu un rendez-vous annuel de renforcement des capacités des jeunes leaders et entrepreneurs camerounais sélectionnés sur la base de leur engagement civique, de leur réussite professionnelle et de leur esprit patriotique.
Grâce à cette académie, la Pan African Leadership and Entrepreneurship Foundation (PLF), une initiative du cabinet Go Ahead Africa Ltd a contribué à l’autonomisation de centaines de jeunes dans les domaines du Leadership, Entreprenariat et du Management.
Organisée en partenariat avec certains des acteurs les plus influents de l’écosystème économique camerounais (Go Ahead Africa Ltd, Groupe SABC, le Port Autonome de Kribi (PAK), BGFIBank Cameroon, Balafon Media et Vox Africa) ; et malgré des cas de force majeure cette 10ème édition a réussi à rassembler quarante-six participants (23 garçons et 23 filles) âgés de 18 à 35 ans sous le thème « Défis et opportunités de la jeunesse dans un environnement VUCA (Volatile, Incertain, Complexe et Ambigu) ».
Pour le Fondateur de la PLF, Roland KWEMAIN, ces jeunes Leaders sont de véritables ambassadeurs de l’émergence et de la prospérité du Cameroun. » Notre objectif est de former une classe mondiale de Jeunes Leaders/Entrepreneurs camerounais maîtres de leur destin et résolument au service de l’émergence de notre pays et même de notre continent, l’Afrique » a-t-il déclaré.
Pendant quatre (4) jours intenses sous la direction experte du Coach/Formateur en Leadership Emile SINGEH et de l’Assistant-Coach Perrin KWENKEU, la promotion 2022 a développé grâce à un programme taillé sur mesure :
-Des Compétences en leadership et Management
-La Responsabilité sociale individuelle et de citoyenneté active
-La Connaissance et valorisation des grandes figures historiques du Cameroun
-L’Appropriation de la Vision d’un Cameroun prospère
Au cours de cette expérience de vie unique et extraordinaire ponctuée de courtes nuits (4 heures/jour) et de journées intenses en émotions, en acquisition de connaissances et en Teambuilding, les participants ont eu l’occasion de rencontrer et d’apprendre de leurs 2 Parrains :
· Mr Patrice MELOM (DG PAK)
· Mr Cyrille BOJIKO (Promoteur et PDG du Groupe Balafon Media)
Ils ont également eu l’occasion d’interagir avec certains des leaders et des managers qui animent la scène économique.
Parmi lesquels, nous pouvons citer M. Abakal MAHAMAT (Directeur Général, BGFIBank Cameroun), Dr Elizabeth FON (Directeur Général, TESHO), Mme Arielle WAFFO (Directeur Général, DKT Cameroun), M. Dagobert TAHA (Expert en Design Thinking), Mme Pulton ARUNA (Consultante, formatrice en management, service client, sécurité alimentaire, gestion de la qualité, techniques de formation).
Durant le traditionnel « 24 heures Chrono » qui est en réalité l’élément clé du programme, les participants ont passé 24 heures d’affilée sans dormir afin de mieux se connaître et apprendre ainsi à dépasser leurs propres attentes. Pour cette édition, le « 24 heures Chrono » était dédié à réinventer le modèle économique de la CLA.
Alors que l’Académie Camerounaise de Leadership s’apprête à prendre un nouveau départ avec la Convention de ses 10 ans le 10 décembre 2022, emportant avec elle un événement annuel qui a rassemblé des centaines de jeunes leaders et entrepreneurs, il convient donc de réfléchir sur son héritage et à l’impact qu’ elle a eu au cours des dix (10) dernières années durant lesquelles l’événement s’est développé et a autonomisé 850 jeunes avec pour principale mission de former de meilleurs leaders afin de construire de meilleures communautés.
Emile Désiré SINGEH
Pour plus d’informations sur la Fondation et ses activités, contactez :
Etienne Martial MVONDO
Directeur Exécutif, PLF
+237 6 96 79 99 60 / 6 51 51 40 59
Emile Désiré SINGEH
+237 6 77 82 36 12
THE LAW SOCIETY with ELOCHUKWU JOY as president
The law society, is the student association of the department of English law of the University of Buea, Cameroon. It encompasses all duly registered students of this department. It has been existing since the creation of the university in 1993, and stands out as the largest departmental student association, with about three thousand (3000) students at both the undergraduate and postgraduate level. With the motto| “integritas veritas justicia” meaning integrity, truth and justice, the main objective of the student association is to maintain a link between the students and the administration. The association is made up of fourteen (14) executives elected through universal suffrage, representing the various levels. The association is headed by the president who together with his/her executive are elected for an unrenewable duration of one (1) academic year. During the course of the year, the association is charged with organizing activities such as moot courts, symposiums, debates, academic interactions etc.
As a student enrolled into the department of English law during the academic year 2019-2020 and consequently became a Bonafide member of the student association. I was then, immediately elected to serve as the class delegate of my class. As the class delegate, I was the representative of the over 700 students admitted as freshmen during that academic year. Due to my diligent service as class delegate, I got elected as vice president of the law society for the academic year 2020-2021. With my experience as class delegate and then vice president, I postulated for the post of president of the law society and eventually won the election in a historic election that saw the law society produce the first female president in its over 23years of existence.
During my tenure of office as president of the Law society, my executives and I, organized a series of activities to the benefit of the students. To promote harmony and enhance a sense of belonging amongst the students, we launched the T-shirt for the department of English law. To be worn by all the students in the department on Wednesdays. Also, to create awareness on sexual harassment which is a common phenomenon in the academic milieu, we organized a symposium that was well attended by officials in the university as well as the various heads of the judiciary in the south west region. To educate the students on how to avoid, overcame and tackle issues related to sexual harassment. We also continued the customary annual activities of the law society such as moot court, academic interactions and the Law society Gala. however, amongst the many activities and events we recorded, was the launching of the gigantic project to construct a Law society coffee stand. This project is aimed at building a spot that will enable law students of the university commune together out of the usual formal environment of the classroom. We equally championed advocacy campaigns at the level of the rectorate and the Nigerian consulate in Cameroon to inquire why Cameroonian students were not being admitted in the Nigerian Law school.
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