Wednesday, December 21, 2016

An Interesting and Insightful Journey full of Hope

The first time I anchorred the News on LTM, I learnt how to add value to my TV personality, adlib, connect with my audience via my charisma and my presence. To some it was like saying A, B C or 1, 2, 3 and to others, It was the beginning of an insightful, moving, sensitive and patient TV revolution.
To me, every detail mattered from the headlines, to the vocal display of facts, the charismatic gesticulations, the way I dress, to the way I voice out signals via the eye contact.

Creating meaningful impact on the  viewers (who made me their TV queen in no distant time) and inspiring young girls with the way I did my presentations, became breakfast, lunch and supper for me. 
Then, came the creation and writing process. I had to learn how to write blueprint copies of every initiative that vibrated energy and meaning to my brain. It wasn't an easy task for me to start up an English program since the Anglophone problem was rife on the media landscape (out of the existing media outlets, not even 1 could boast of having the broadcast of at least 3 English programs per day), so I started doing bilingual shows. See an excerpt of 'Samedi Soir' with Prince Ndedi Eyango

Then taking a look at the impact this had on the English audience, I devised new strategies with the creation and hosting of flagship programs like:
 'Voice of the Voiceless'
'Views, Voices and Visions'
'Good Morning Cameroon'
'Cameroon's Crow' to name these.

The Anglophones developed interest in my talk shows which did not only inform, inspire and empower the viewers, but as well educated a cross section of people on ethics. The story of the audacious, daring and ground breaking anchor took another dimension and arrows came from diverse horizons to hit me. I am a gifted TV asset many said, but this shining light attributed to my personality, attracted some jealousy, envy and wickedness from colleagues. I experienced the good, the bad and the ugly which pushed me to extremes and before I knew it, I fell into a depression. I didn't understand why thorns decorated my seats, path and every move I made to make things right. The most annoying aspect was these arrows came from those I helped, uplifted and confided in, most of the times. I lost total confidence in me, doubted every move I made, hated the new version of me who trusted no one and made fear a best friend. That notwithstanding, I knew this fire in me could not be extinguished by jealousy of a few, so I pushed on.
At home, My darling husband supported me at his best, and understood when I dropped a resignation letter to give myself a break and enable my colleagues who were insecure to gain the grounds my presence was preventing them from having. 
Then.....  Starting all over was primordial for me and I was made to believe I had a personality and an attitude problem. This made me take a distance from many whom I feared had a negative influence on my becomming better. Its a difficult but necessary step to make in the redefining process of a human being, especially when arrows have hit you badly, you don't believe in ideas, everyone else sees as brilliant.
Doing my job and keeping my passion alive became a renewed and refreshed focal point, but since I didn't take counselling out of the depression I had, I faced the same circumstances which made me quit again. Dream Killers and Vision Thieves willing to replace me cooked up all sorts of stories of me being chased away, with an intention to ridicule me.
Then I said to myself, enough is enough and in an attempt to bow out of the scene, I received a life turn around mail from Olivia MUKAM informing me to pick up my visa for the Embassy of the US in Yaounde. This good news blew some fresh breeze to my body, mind and soul as I was told, I am Cameroon's nominee for the 2016 Edward Murrow IVLP funded by the U.S Department of State.

My story of Independence, Integrity and Impact took turns with my flight to the United States of America where I dined and wined the best breed of Journalism icons. Upon my arrival at the Washington DC, I met a guide whose hospitality is still to be qualified by a word from the dictionary. Frank picked me and other members of my group for the Washington Hilton where we spent days before embarking for the Election Night trip to Minneapolis. At the Washington DC, a visit to the White House, US Congress, the Vietnam War Survivors, Abraham Lincoln's and Martin Luther King Jr's monuments brought me close to America's history and cultural heritage. Talking with Federalism expert on American politics ahead of election night, having an intellectual exchange with Secretary Kerry, sharing experiences with Journalism moguls like Dr. Shaka Ssali of the VOA, Paul FARHI of the Washington Post, Margaret Sullivan of the WP, Bob Woodward of the Washington Post to name these,  taught me to love what I do more irrespective of circumstances, render only accurate, credible and truthful facts in a balanced story for information, trust the power of my ideas,  leave the past where it belongs, pick out what's better of it  and move on with the present.

My knowledge of America's foreign policy broadened and experts shared interesting details with the murrow fellows on efforts made by the world's leading power to secure peace, ensure leaders are democratically elected to power, educate,connect and empower visionary leaders willing to impact their communities with the difference in their services.

Moving on, Minneapolis' weather, warm welcome and waterfalls (Minihaha) did not only make me breathe an air of being in a wonderland, but also celebrated me and nurtured in me the ability to thrive in a fast changing World. The meeting with the magnificient staff of the University of Minnesota enlightened in me the need to stay humble. I may go right or wrong anyway but I must not forget to maintain the passionate flame and energy in solidarity and humility.

Feeling at home, I met my sister Judith SHU (whom I had not seen for more than a decade) and family who served me a sumptuous meal 'Achu and Yellow soup' commonly called one finger around the world at the forest lakes. Enjoying quality family moments with her intelligent kids who are so confident and intelligent, I lost touch of time and forgot I had an appointment with an incredibly caring couple willing to know more about my Country. Better late than never, I had to make haste and catch up with the home hospitality activity that hooked me up to a wonderful family, whose understanding and hospitality crown Minneapolis America's Tourism Destination. The twin cities resemble Heaven in the world, because you can find everything like beautiful places, beaches, delicious foods, friendly and creative people who make your short stay worthwhile and unforgettable.
Then another inspiring, unique, passionate and motivating experience at the Poynter in Tampa-Florida connected me to great journalists like Dan Rather, Dion LIM to name but these, whose generosity, knowledge, leadership skills, solidarity and humility in constructive conversations did not only model the best of me, but they were flexible enough to open my mind to new learning styles.

Facing the challenges with greater risks and more undefined rewards, soaring highs and abysmal lows, having dialogue upon dialogue on the emotional highs in the US following the election of the republican candidate as the 45th president of the globe's leading power, finding solutions to problems in reporting to inplant seeds of hope and possibilities, New York's sessions presented endeavors serving as outstanding outlets for my creativity, a means of helping the mass and a seemingly never ending series of issue attempting chances from which to grow personally.

I hope to share these insights with you on a regular basis to help you find out what makes you tick, your personal hang-ups, so you can work on the choices you make, your relationships with other business settings and learn more about yourself along the way to make every journey of yours interesting.

To the U.S Department of State, Embassy of the United States in Yaounde, Meridian International, Sponsors and partners of the 2016 Edward Murrow Program, I am thankful you hooked me on an entrepreneurial high. This reward and the satisfaction of feeling as though I helped my community has given me all the confidence I needed to work my way down the street. I didn't realize it at the time, but I was beginning to learn three of the most important lessons - selling myself, building relationships and not allowing rejections to get the better of my drive to move forward.
I am so grateful you valued and improved my status that I celebrate you today and pray the roadmap for next year's murrow's agenda be as electrifying, educative, efficient, empowering and exciting as this year's.  May the Murrow Fellows leave motivated,supported and well resourced, to continue the potent and challenging journey of moulding patriotic citizens, building corrupt free nations and democratically elected governed systems with accurate and credible reporting.

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