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What Should Be Done For The Mt. Cameroon Race To Regain Its Glory Of Yesteryears? 

Compiled by Chris Mbunwe, Elvis Tah, Kini Nsom & Francis Tim Mbom
 

The Mount Cameroon Race succeeded in the past because it was identified with the sponsor, which was Guinness Cameroon. Guinness sponsored it single-handedly and rewarded athletes, but confusion or cacophony set in because too many actors got involved in the race, each of them with personal interests.

I am talking of the Ministry of Sports and the local population. At the end, everybody was looking up to the Ministry, and knowing how the machinery in the Ministry functions, it made it in a way that the event is only certain to take place when funds are disbursed. The funds are usually disbursed very late. This has not been helping matters. So, let it go back to Guinness.  
Choves Loh – NW Regional Chief of SOPECAM, Cameroon Tribune

It Should Be Privatised
If we were to bring back the credibility of the Mount Cameroon Race, we will have to re-privatise it. When Guinness was organising it, it was wonderful. It is surprising that at the time when Government was selling all the corporations in the country, they left the Mountain Race. It would have been better if the race was left in the hands of individuals. We are just a few days ahead of the race but look at how dull the town is. This is not how Buea used to be weeks before the Guinness Mount Cameroon Race.

I think for this race to regain its past glory, it should be privatised. We should stop pretending as if we don’t know what is wrong. When the race was nationalised, they said the first runner was going to get FCFA 500.000, which many saw as a great innovation but when the winners got their package, they realised that instead of the FCFA 500.000, it was FCFA 300.000. But in the days of Guinness, this never happened.
Julius Mbeleke Ndembo, Pupil Lawyer, Buea

Paramount Chief, Locals Should Organise Race
This race has lost fame because of poor organisation imposed on the people of Buea by the Yaounde regime. How can a race be organised in Yaounde and run in Buea? Before money reaches Buea, it must have developed wings. The Paramount Chief of Buea and the locals should be given the chance to run this race.  Also, to regain past glories, the prizes should be very attractive and encouraging.
Polycarp Tarla-Proprietor EEC Azire Mankon

Clear The Clouds Of Suspicion
Government and athletes should clear the cloud of suspicion surrounding the race. It is rumoured that prizes are not awarded following merit and that some persons use super-natural powers to monopolise the awards. My brother who went in for the race did not win despite the enormous efforts he put in and since then, he thinks the race is run with mystic powers.
Sodoma Jiovani Antonio Masai -Yaounde

Go Back To Drawing Board
This race used to succeed at first because Guinness Company brought in all its resources to organise it. Guinness understood what this race meant to attract people using culture, because the mountain is already the culture of the people.  If it has to succeed today or regain its past glory, we must go back to the drawing board and get the same people. Most organisers of that race today have come with the intention to make money, when they are not competent enough. Their intention is to swindle money.
Ms Ita Ndzezah Manoji – Journalist, Foundation Radio Bamenda

Sensitisation Of The Population
Government should sensitise Cameroonians on the race. More advertisement should be done, especially in foreign channels, because that is what most youth watch nowadays.
Kadji, Politechnique Student, Yaounde

Guinness Should Take Over Its Organisation
I am of the opinion that Guinness should take over the running of this race to avoid the hitches and embezzlement that has characterised the organisation of the event of recent. This is the only way that the race can regain its fame. It beats my imagination that the Ministry has not realised that due to its mediocre performance, each year that race losses fame.
Mme Delphine Abongnwen – Business lady, B’da

All Stakeholders Should Be Involved 
The Mt Cameroon Race is dwindling; the steam is no longer there. It used to be a great occasion with a blend of sports, culture and tradition. But now, it is complete sham. If we have to revive the past glory of the Mountain Race, all the stakeholders will need to come together and talk as one man. The chiefs and the organisers should come together and let’s reason together to see how we can better organise the race.
Chief John Njie Mokossa, Bwitingi Village, Buea

Organisation Should Be Handed Over To Local Population
What I know is that, going by what used to happen in the past, the Mount Cameroon Race gained popularity because of Guinness Cameroon. This company apart, I will suggest two things for the race to regain its past glory; let the Ministry in charge hand over the organisation to the local population. Let finances be sent to Buea to manage this race and they will be surprised.
John Akande – GTC Baba II

Disburse Money To Local Organising Committee
The Mount Cameroon Race is being organised in Yaounde and executed in Buea. Why can’t they bring that money to Buea and disburse it to the different committees that are charged with the organisation of the Race. The Bakwerians believe in the tradition of their hills. They do libation on the eve of the Race or a few days before it. But the way it is now organsied, it would appear it gives no importance to this.

It is so badly organised in such a way it has lost all its credibility. We thought that the Mt Cameroon Race would be one of those races which Cameroon can be proud of. But this is not the case. And up to this morning, we were made to understand that money for the organisation has not yet been disbursed.

One begins to ask the question, when will it be disbursed and when will it be used for a race that is on Saturday. I remember that the Mayor of Buea, sometime ago, walked out of a meeting because the Yaounde clique was not willing to associate the local organising committee in the organisiation of the Race. So if they want to call it the race of Hope; let us see the hope.
Martin Che, Ace Journalist, Limbe

Search For More Sponsors
Organisers should search for more sponsors who will sensitise the population on the race. There should be some seriousness in the organisation and the choosing of staff. Moreover, compensation should be a very rigorous exercise.
Emmanuel Lawrence Nang -Yaounde

Organisation Should Be Done In Buea
We are just at the eve of the Mount Cameroon Race and I think we can only start thinking of the race of next year because it is already late to do anything concrete now. I have the impression that we are going back to our very sloppy manner of arranging this whole thing. You cannot imagine that up till now, the means is still not there, meetings are held in Yaounde instead of here.

The only hope that we have is that the Southwest Regional League has been doing something at the local level. For the first time, they have mobilised their own means to do what was possible. And talking about the improving the race, preparations should start well ahead of time and the organisation should be given to the Local Organising Committee.

Yaoundé should only come with the means and give just the necessary support. It is very unfair that the race is run in Buea and organisation takes place in Yaounde. It is quite and embarrassment and that is why we are doomed to fail even this year. I can already foresee a failure. 
Matute Menyoli, Journalist, CRTV Buea

It Should Be Given A Global Dimension
If people are sure that the benefits will be significant, many people will show up for the race. It should be popularised and be accompanied with great cultural manifestations. At least, in the opening ceremony, organisers should invite many artists and dance groups.

There should not be cultural discrimination. Even artists from abroad should be invited. Many people will come if they know they will benefit something. They say the world is now a global village and I think the Mount Cameroon race will gain immense popularity if it is given a global dimension.
Ambene Fouda-Yaounde

The Race Of Hope Has Become One Of Hopelessness
I should start by saying that there is no hope about the Race of Hope. If there had ever been any hope, I think it was when it was being organised by the Guinness Company. Today we see or find little or no hope in the race because the local organising committee is not being involved in the handling of the race as everything comes from Yaounde.

It is as though the Race is being imported to Buea. And I think that for the Race to have anything to be credible, I think the local organising committee and every stakeholder this way should be involved in the organisation from the beginning to the end.
Kwi Bangsi – Manager, Ocean City Radio, Limbe

Hard Work Is Key
Mount Cameroon is part of our History and we should valorise activities on it, including the race. Athletes should work hard. We have noticed athletes of the precedent generations were very reluctant to stop working even when called upon to stop. Today’s athletes should follow the example.

The Federation or structure in charge should equally encourage hard work by organising more preparatory competitions even before the race proper. The organisers should equally award significant prizes to winners. Government should support the organisers because the fact that the mountain has the country’s name is indicative of its importance.
Cosmas Melingui-Yaounde

Indegenes Should Be Involved In Organisation
When I was young, I realised that the Mount Cameroon Race was very interesting. It was a crowd pulling event but when Guinness stopped organising it, the race lost its glory. In order to bring back this lost glory, Buea indigenes should be involved in organising the race.

The organisation should take place in Buea instead of holding meetings in Yaounde. The Athletic Federation President should know that when the indigenes are not involved in the organisation, many people will not be interested to participate in the race; the population will not be there, the place will not be animated.

Secondly, the prizes to the runners should be encouraging. It is unheard of that somebody will run a race and win a prize and they start deducting taxes from the money as they have always done. They should do proper publicity and animation to keep the town alive so that everybody enjoys the event.
John Lyonga Nganele, Councillor, Buea Council

Seek Solutions To Problems Facing Race
I think Government and athletes should reflect seriously on why the glory is lost. Thus, they can identify the problem and seek solutions
Ndongono Jean de Dieu-Yaounde
 

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