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Cameroonian DV Lottery Winner Dies 10 Days After Arriving U.S. 

The 22-year-old woman, whose residence papers were still being processed, inexplicably died in her sleep


Promise Ndzi, 22, was on the cusp of living the American Dream after landing in the U.S. from her native Cameroon through the Diversity Lottery programme. But barely 10 days after her arrival in Columbus, Ohio, Ms. Ndzi died in her sleep. She had not manifested any signs of illness.

Sources close to Ms. Ndzi’s family told that the young woman, who hails from the Wimbum ethnic group in the Northwest Region, went to bed in the night of February 10 apparently hale and hearty, as youths her age back in Cameroon prepared to celebrate the National Youth Day on February 11. The following day, she was found dead in her bedroom. We were unable to establish whether an autopsy has determined the cause of death.

Our sources said U.S. authorities were still processing residence papers for Ms. Ndzi, whose air ticket to the U.S. was paid from a loan obtained by her widow mother. The mother, we were told, had hoped Ms. Ndzi will start repaying the loan as soon as she gets a job in the U.S. That was not to be.

As the girl’s distraught family back home in Ndu, in the Northwest  Region of Cameroon, anguished over how to raise an estimated 15,000 U.S. dollars (nearly 9 million FCFA in current exchange rates) required to pay for the repatriation of her corpse, the Wimbum Cultural and Development Association in the U.S. (WICUDA-USA), decided to come to the rescue. Our sources said the organisation has so far raised over 9000 dollars for the cause.

The chair of WICUDA-USA Oliver Tangiri confirmed the fundraising initiative to “It is often said that the measure of a civilization is how it treats its vulnerable members. I venture to add that it is how it treats its dead,” Mr. Tangiri said. “We hope that through this campaign, WICUDA-USA will not only help assuage the financial burden on late Promise Ndzi’s family, but equally contribute to ensure that she gets the dignified burial that every human being deserves.”