Am I free to speak?


Some of my foreign colleagues tell me the use of security and surveillance in some European Countries limits the space for free press. While reports indicate that Yaqublu was convicted for mass disorder and sentenced to five years in prison in March 2014,  other news sources reveal that reporters are accused for treason and espionage. In Cameroon where I have been practicing for 8 years, Press Freedom seems to be a reality and a myth at the same time. Journalists work under very deplorable conditions that News has become money and many a times, facts are the amount of money paid into the account of the writer. We don’t see a lot of imprisonment or murder of Journalists as much as we do in Syria, Afghanistan and war infested areas, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other threats that undermine a free press in Cameroon. Female Journalists still face sexual attacks from well placed citizens and this leads to home breakages in some cases. The low salary wages, unpaid dues, exploitation of personnel, enslavement of talented breed willing to do all it takes to move the industry forward,  plunge many into some sort of vulnerability. Read on…



31ST MARCH 2012

The reorganization of the Meme chapter of the Cameroon association for English speaking journalists [CAMASEJ] took place on the 30th of March 2012 at the Azi Fiangep hotel Buea road Kumba, under the supervision of the national EXCO represented by the national organizing secretary Mme Olive Ejang Ngoh.During the occasion Mme Ejang called on all Meme chapter members to resurrect from the long slumber and forge ahead so as to become the most vibrant branch of the CAMASEJ; to protect the interest of English speaking Journalist, fight impersonation and charlatanism and most of all meet up with all their financial dues as required by the constitution. She said the election of executive members into the chapter should be a point of caution that things shall not be the same again. Presenting on The legalities and ethics of the Journalism profession the state council for meme who doubles as a patron of the CAMASEJ said Journalists are expected to be the basket from which reliable information are gotten; they can make or mare the public. He called on the Journalists to respect all legal principles in order to be guided by the law.”A Magistrate is not a journalist….” In the election that was under the watchful eyes of patron Tuma Lazarus, senior Journalist Ndengu Francis and supervised by the national organizing secretary, the following turned successful: PRESIDENT LARRY ESONG VICE PRESIDENT SIR NYAMBOT DIVINE SECRETARY GENERAL INNOCENT YUH ASS. SECRETARY EDDY BOKUBA PUBLIC RELATION OFFICER KYNA METUGE NYAKE TREASURER NAH GILIAN TITA FINANCIAL SECRETARY EFUETECHA JUDE DJUIDIDE SOCIAL SECRETARY ROLANTINE NWANJANG ASVISERS 1ST SHENGANG RICHARD 2ND NDENGU FRANCIS 3RD MONI BANJO 4TH OLIVE EJANG The reorganization that took place in absolute serenity with a high turn out rapped off with pump and fanfare. The out going President Mr. Shengang Richard who did not vy congratulated the assembly for the show of concern. He said leadership is not meant for party makers or for adventurers but for those who are ready to sacrifice all in their power. He asked the assembly to make meaningful and open critics to forge ahead. He was designated the first adviser of the meme chapter. On his part the President Larry told the assembly to begin reconciliation as the time for action has come. Among his goals are; Creating a secretariat, designation of CAMASEJ badges, visiting the administration and media houses in Meme. He thanked the National EXCO and promised to meet up with all obligations as we gear up towards the celebration of the World Press Freedom Day on the 3rd of May 2012. The first exco meeting was fixed for Tuesday 3rd April 2012 at the Calvary Good news Radio at 5pm.

SECRETARY GENERAL INNOCENT FOZO’O YUH Cc. -Radio stations meme -News papers -Patrons -National secretariat. -Achieve.

Woman with Longest Dreadlocks: ‘I Would Never Cut My Hair’





Woman with Longest Dreadlocks: ‘I Would Never Cut My Hair’


Asha Mandela (Photo by Jason Braverman/Ladov)What helped 50-year-old Asha Mandela pull through two heart attacks, cancer, and two strokes? Her hair, she believes. “Cutting it would be equivalent to suicide. It would be like being a zombie,” the woman with the world’s longest dreadlocks told the Daily Mail.


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Mandela, who lives with her husband and son in Atlanta, stopped cutting her hair in her 20s. “I started growing my hair 25 years ago, when I started having certain dreams and visions,” she said. Growing dreadlocks was part of a spiritual journey to completely remake her life. Now, Mandela says, she has countless fans who call her a “living legend” and the “ninth wonder of the world.” She has to carry her hair, which weighs in at 39 pounds, in a cloth baby sling when she goes out.


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At first, her family, who originally came from Trinidad, didn’t approve. “My mom told me to remove the mop from my head before I am welcomed in her home again,” she recounted in a 2013 interview. “She said to me, ‘Imagine, I put nice Vaseline and lard in your hair and groom it so nicely … now look what you did to it.'”


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Mandela handles her dreadlocks carefully, washing them once a week and conditioning them with natural oils. After washing, her hair can take a whopping two full days to completely dry.


Though she underwent a bilateral mastectomy followed by chemotherapy in the late 1990s, miraculously, her hair didn’t fall out. According to a 2010 interview, Mandela tied her dreadlocks up into knots in order to preserve them.


In 2009, with the help of a hair-care expert who specialized in dreadlocks, the real-life Rapunzel began to untie her hair. After 12 hours of painstaking work, she discovered it had grown to unbelievable lengths over the years. In 2008, she was the first person to obtain the Guinness World Record for longest dreadlocks, and a year later, she broke her own record with a strand measuring 19 feet, 6 inches. In 2010, Guinness decided to retire the category, since dreadlocks can be lengthened by twisting in extensions, making Mandela the first and only record holder.


But 19-and-a-half feet of hair is nothing. Last week, one of Mandela’s strands was measured at 55 feet, 7 inches — almost three times the length of her official record.


While Mandela refers to her hair as “her baby,” there are physicians who call it a health hazard. “The doctors seem to think I have a curvature of my spine and that it’s the length and the weight of my hair that’s making me curve,” she said. “Some have said my neck has collapsed at the back and that I need to be careful because I could start having spasms in my spine and probably be paralyzed.” But it doesn’t sound as if she is too alarmed by their advice, adding: “My hair has become part of me. It is my life. I will never cut it.”

Professionalizing “Post-Conflict” transitions






We are professionalizing “Post-Conflict” transitions.

Like you, we understand that transitioning a society from conflict to stability is the hardest single task facing our field.  Where others have failed, our graduates will succeed.

Location:  The Hague, The Netherlands
Dates:  July 20 – August 17, 2013

Leiden Logo w background colorOver a four-week period this summer in The Hague, The Netherlands, 60 participants will undergo intensive training from 25 of the field’s premier political leaders, academic experts, practitioners, and advocates in the skills necessary to holistically restructure a post-conflict society, as well as serve justice to those responsible for human rights violations. Participants will gain a broad understanding of concepts, controversies, and institutions in this emerging field, as well as critically examine historical and contemporary justice interventions through direct interactions with the actual decision makers. In light of the “Arab Spring” and the increasing reach of the International Criminal Court, this training could not be more timely or necessary.

For the first time, a select number of participants in 2013 who choose to undertake additional rigorous assignments will have the opportunity to earn a  Post-Graduate Certificate in “Post-Conflict Transitions & International Justice with Distinction.”  All participants will receive a Post-Graduate Certificate in “Post-Conflict Transitions & International Justice” upon completion of the course.  In addition, qualified participants may apply to earn graduate-level LLM course credit from the Grotius Center for International Legal Studies at the University of Leiden, one of the world’s premier graduate schools for international law.

Apps due TODAY!!! Professional skills training in Post-Conflict Transitions & Int’l


Apps due TODAY!!! Professional skills training in Post-Conflict Transitions & Int’l Justice


The world’s most innovative curriculum. 

The Hague Symposium on Post-Conflict Transitions & International Justice; July-August 2013: Through formal lectures, site visits to International Tribunals and Courts, and interactive simulations and workshops, attendees gain the skills necessary to strengthen legitimate institutions and governance to provide security, justice, and development and break cycles of violence; skills that are instrumental in ensuring long-term stability and preventing conflicts from recurring.

IPSI’s methodology stresses hands-on experiential learning where representatives from the first world, the developing world, and conflict and post-conflict countries have the opportunity to actually make the decisions faced by current leaders.  The academics in The Hague will focus both on dilemmas and process, including the following key areas of interest:

In-depth discussions with the decision-makers of and site visits to:

Watch a short video about The Hague Symposium: 


What Our Alumni Say:


President Biya completes Cameroon’s 100-person Senate with the appointment of 30 Senators


May 08, 2013


President Biya Appoints 30 Senators: The Complete List


President Biya today appointed the 30 Senators who will complete Cameroon’s 100-person Senate, 70 of whom were elected by indirect suffrage on April 14, 2013. As a reminder, According to Chapter 1, Section 3 of Law No 2006/005 of 14 July 2006 to lay down conditions governing the election of Senators:

“(1) Each region shall be represented in the Senate by 10 (ten) senators 7 (seven) of whom shall be elected by indirect universal suffrage on a regional basis and 3 (three) appointed by decree of the President of the Republic.”
Cameroon national assembly
Apart from a few exceptions such as Dakolle Daissala, a longtime ally of the President and leader of the MDR party, or Pierre Flambeau Ngayap of the UNDP, which is traditionally part of the “presidential majority,” practically all  the Senators are from the ruling CPDM party.

Many of them have previously held cabinet positions in the Biya regime, for example, Francis Nkwain from the Northwest region, Niat Njifenji from the Western province, Rene Ze Nguele from the East, Etame Massoma from Littoral, and Mafany, Musonge, former Prime Minister, from the Southwest region.

There is also the notable presence of traditional rulers among the appointed Senators, prominent among them, Fon Doh Ganyonga III from the Northwest, Sultan Mbombo Njoya from the Western region, and Nfon Victor Mukete from the Southwest. It is worth noting that exactly 55 years ago in 1958, a young Victor Mukete was a member of the Federal House of Representatives of Nigeria, representing Southern Cameroons – a clear indication, if any was needed, of that the new Senate is a gerontocratic institution.
Victor Mukete 1958
Victor Mukete, young member of the Federal House of Representatives of Nigeria in 1958; pioneer Cameroonian senator in 2013 at age 95…

A notable absence from the Senate (at least to those who made this an issue) is the President’s son, Frank Biya, whom many pundits had predicted would be appointed as Senator for his native South region. Of course, that analysis was based on a very erroneous reading of the Biya regime and its modus operandi. But that is a discussion for another day.

Click here to launch or download full text of decree appointing senators


Update – May 14, 2013


Nfon Victor Mukete Presides 1st session of Cameroon Senate





















May 14, 2013: 95-year old Nfon Mukete presiding over the opening session of the new Senate.