Tuesday, January 21, 2020
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Tribute To Papa Sam 

Sam’s main contribution to Cameroon and its journalism was his refusal to be intimidated and his refusal to become a praise singer of Governments which he found to be corrupt, unjust, and tyrannical. He rejected sycophantic journalism and he believed a journalist’s profession must have a powerful impact on his community and their rulers. A microphone cannot be censored and when a journalist is on the microphone, he can say his piece, even under a dictatorship and face the consequences. Damn the consequences he did, as he damned the “Monkeys”, his own word for the corrupt, the inefficient, the absurd and the newly rich whose wealth was based on graft. He paid the price with detention after detention after detention, the longest of which lasted for five months.

Frustration is the name of any journalist who functions where he is not free to speak his mind. This was his experience in the Ahidjo years. His life was full of love for his country, loyalty to his friends which never wavered, contempt for deceit, betrayal and sycophancy and wine and song. He loved music, particularly jazz and highlife. Thanks, Sam, for many late nights and for the talk and conversation which was always witty, humorous and sarcastic; thanks for being a great friend and for being the last bohemian. Now you are at one with your ancestors, your parents, many friends, JK and your man Castro and may the conversation continue in the land of the dead. May your turbulent soul rest, at last, in the bosom of Abraham.

Moki Monono (on behalf of The Committee of Friends of Sam-Nuvala Fonkem