I’m hard hit!!!
When Anglophone journalism is mentioned, my memory is first jogged on two household names, Wache Francis and Charly Ndi Chia.
In the Cameroonian media landscape, the duo has built a legacy of telling things the way they are and calling things by their names, while they cloned to champion the endeavours at the unshakable The Post Newspaper and even when they parted ways.
Having severally had the usual electrifying moments with a life-filled Wache a couple of weeks ago where as the routine was I savoured the finess with which he articulated the Queen’s language and the dexterous narratives he occasioned to me on national events giving a hoot to whose ox he gored, I am utterly shocked and dumbfounded to learn of his transition!!!
He was the Publisher cum Executive Editor of the coveted English Language bi-weekly, The Post Newspaper, cum Mayor of Nkor Municipal Council cum tutor at the Local Government Training Centre CEFAM.
Wache is on record as having never let his political affiliation meddle in the editorial policy of The Post, an aspect which has been the Achille’s heel of many a publisher in Anglophone Cameroon.
His ardent quest for the paper to be continuously perceived as the leading English Language publication nonetheless did not drag him into the mess of curving in for filthy-lucre which is now readily available at various quarters for sardinards, even when the devote staff of The Post had to toil and moil with barely a take-home.
For some of us who are now known as rough diamonds in the media, Wache occasionally put us through the “rough schools” firstly by the observable hidden curriculum he exuded at the bi-weekly and next, by his endeavour to occasionally bring in the American Embassy to train young untamed reporters like me, while he reputably sojourned as National President of the Cameroon Association of English Speaking Journalists, CAMASEJ.
Let it be known that it is some of these unceremonious lessons we took seriously and assimilated, not that kind of assimilation, that gave some of us the leeway to function in an acceptable manner in the media landscape.
In those early days, one could recite 5 decades of the Rosary just not to get unlucky to meet Wache Francis and venerated Bate Besong, the Obasinjong Warrior, in one of the beer parlours beside PCC Molyko or around the GCE Board Junction where they would incessantly unleash arsenals of vocab such as to create a Parkinson’s condition in one.
Wache’s legacy can certainly not be scribbled in a day or weeks or months but his name in contemporary age is Anglophone Journalism.
I do mourn you impeccable pressman; I really mourn the one who wielded a bleeding pen that would “handcuff” his readers unto his incisive scripts until they have rounded off at the terminal dot.
May the angels receive your soul and present you to God the Most High.
Mua Paul Kum