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Tributes to Legendary Journalist, Sam-Nuvala Fonkem 

Lead Story

Sam-Nuvala Fonkem: He Dared To Be Different!

By Charlie Ndi Chia


Sam Nuvala Fonkem

Late Sam-Nuvala Fonkem

The eulogies have been steadily streaming in since O’Sam passed on, on Thursday, October 8, 2015. The outpouring of emotions and love from home and from the Diaspora has been effusive. Plaudits for this courageous man who spent the greater part of his useful life searching for illusive justice, equality and probity are still pouring in.

Strong belief in the egalitarian agenda, justice and fighting for the weak, are certain qualities that any of us with a fair sense of history would readily admit that O’Sam possessed in generous measure. He was fearless, forthright, fair-minded; he had commitment and character, qualities lacking among journalistic circles in Cameroon today.

Emergency publishers, Quixotic writers and bedroom critics sneakily waited for the likes of O’Sam; without making it obvious, they would wait for him to shake off the dew drops imposed by jack-boots, speak the truth to power mongers and power brokers before surreptitiously weaving bland prose and inviting such cheap limelight that O’Sam never bothered about.

O’Sam was courage personified. He had poise and class, a gangling beau who literally towered over his peers. There was always this shuffling gait in every step that he took. He carried a prescient personality. He spoke for everyone. The outpouring of eulogies, of appreciation for him is simply overwhelming, stunning.

But, lest we forget, a handful must be simply glad that, that powerful voice that would ask questions, that would bring fecund ideas to the table is gone. The typical uppity parvenu, the sadist that robbed him of his personality, of every hard earned coin, of the very elixir of O’Sam’s life  when times were exceptionally tough for the man, may as often, heave a sigh of relief that justice has been buried. Not to worry, anyway, for, this is only the proverbial backstabbing gluttonous ostrich, the Iscariot that for sure will be mourned on dry cheeks when the time of ultimate reckoning comes.

But in O’Sam, Cameroon has lost an avatar; with the demise of this gangling patriot, a vacuum that will take another lifetime to be filled has been created.

The moving tributes in this special edition, plus his own words on marble say as much.

Goodnight, Sam-Nuvala Fonkem; goodnight, big brother!

Below are links to other moving tributes to the fallen journalist from some of Cameroon’s foremost intellectuals, his friends and family members:

O’Sam Tasted Demon Forms of Crazy

Gone So Soon, O’Sam

“Death, Be Not Proud” – Adieu, Ni Sam-Nuvala Fonkem

Hohoit, I’ll Forever Remember Our Hello Joe Cheese Missions

O’Sam Lives Forever

Sam-Nuvala Fonkem And The Foot-Prints of An Exceptional Era Of Journalism In Cameroon

Sam-Nuvala Fonkem: One of Cameroon’s Foremost Incisive Journalists

Sam-NuvallaFonkem as I knew Him (By Tatah Mentan)

To You in Heaven: A Missive to Old Sam

Snippets Of My Time With O’Sam

The Dimming Lights, The Fallen Curtains

O’Sam Was Loyal, Supportive Of His Friends To A Fault

Uncle Sam Was A Deep Family Man

Tribute To Papa Sam (Committee of Friends of Sam-Nuvala Fonkem)