There seems to be a problem with Journalistic practices in Cameroon. Journalists from the Cameroons have derived a new but old term known as Gumbo-This term has seemingly come to be a daily affair within the cycles of journalistic practices. Ministers and government officials have pocketed some journalist with Gumbo, these journalists turned to writing beautiful articles about them, once Gumbo stopped, blackmail takes the order of the day. Some journalists have developed the tactics of creating award-these awards are fast track for gumbo. Some even go to the extent of trying to blackmail officials who might not tally with their objectives of providing awards. What might be causing these problems? Is it the low pay check of journalists?
Photo of Tim Finnian: Life Time Newspaper Editor.
Reading through an article posted on ” Come and see Journalism in Cameroon” on Facebook, one could not laugh, but noticed a quack headline , with undertones of an unsuccessful gumbo attempt. Some of the headlines read “….How Achidi Achu and some of the NW Fons sponsors Boko Haram”. In trying to investigate this newspaper (Life Time), one took notice of a seemingly frustrated editor trying to settle scores by tarnishing the image of a ‘father’ after futile attempts to extort money from his son. It is reported that a certain Tim Finnian of Life Time newspaper telephoned the paymaster of Ngaoundere, a certain Donatus Achu to inform him that he had been awarded a prize- the condition in which to obtain was a series of bank notes. My sources reveal that, the paymaster suspicious of a scam, politely thanked Finnian but turned down the award and everything it entails. Reports suggest refusing to take “No” for an answer the Gumbo related editor proceeded to make tens of phone calls to an uninterested paymaster. Finnian sent a series of text messages begging Mr Achu to take the award and provide him with some money . Reading through the screenshots of the messages, some of them read:
” IS IT THAT THE AWARD IS OF NO VALUE TO U OR WHAT? I CANT REALLY UNDERSTAND WHY U DROP MY CALLS WHEN U DISCOVER THAT I’M THE ONE OR DOES NOT EVEN PICK MY CALLS. REALLY IT IS PAINFUL. ITS GOOD TO BE CLEAR SO THAT I STOP DISTURBING U.THANKS”//…
“THANKS BUT, I AM REALLY IN FINANCIAL CONSTRAINTS FOLLOWING THE SERIES OF DEATHS WC I HAD WITHIN A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME.THANKS// …
“BRO GD MORNING,WE ARRIVED THIS MORNING WITH THE CORPSE OF THAT MY LATE BROTHER FROM KUMBA WC I TOLD U ABOUT.PRESENTLY WE ARE IN BAMENDA AT THE MORTUARY TO FUTHER TO NJINIKOM TOMORROW FOR BURIAL AND I AM REALLY STRANED.IF I CAN HAVE YOUR OWN SUPPORT FOR THE AWARD,THEN I BE VERY GRATEFUL.LOVE FROM TIM FINNIAN NJUA IN BAMENDA.THANKS// “…
It is really painful to see how some journalist will go to the extend forcing personalities to give them money for award to the extent of lying that they are bereaved. Owners and journalists of newspapers are using their business for gumbo related news articles. However, realizing that the paymaster has decided not to yield to his claims, Finnian decided to get even and as such Finnian is using the edition of his newspaper called Life Time to attack the victim’s uncle. Cameroon is better than that.
I have decided to publish this article after doing my own personal findings so that the bad seed within the profession are uprooted. Some of us love this profession and we take it as a passion. Let the professional journalists don’t spoil for those of us who are not professionals bust using it as a passion.
God is still saying something.