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By Chris Mbunwe — Educationist, sports promoter, developer, philanthropist, Francis Yong, died on Monday December 23, at 6.30 am Cameroon Time in Atlanta USA, where  he has been receiving treatment for some three months.


Pa Yong, as he was fondly called, left Cameroon for a regular medical check-up in America some three months ago and had plans to come back and, first, bury his mother who died and is still lying in the mortuary. One of his 10 children, Jacques Yong Achia, the Administrative Secretary of Yong Sports Academy, told The Post, that their father was diagnosed of “some traces of cancerous cells lodged in the small intestines.”

The funeral programme is yet to be announced. The news of Pa Yong’s death was shocking to academicians and sports lovers across Cameroon, given the fact that Yong Sport Academy, current Cameroon cup holders made the Northwest proud and, as reported, Yong, in his sick bed, got the great news from Cameroon, saying his dream has been fulfilled.

He is reported to have been arranging for his return to Cameroon when his health failed him and death prevented him for seeing, enjoying all what he toiled for. Everywhere in Bamenda, in Njangi groups, bars, offices, everyone has a positive story about Yong. Yong is described as a great loss Northwest has ever registered. “Most people knew others who had money and died, but never felt their presence as the felt Yong.

“Yong was everywhere, opening and running Secondary High Schools; Yong’s involvement  in sports, YOSA; Yong in the media world, CNTV, Abakwa FM; Yong in farming, Yong all over …” stated Barrister Yari. One of the surviving brothers of Pa Yong, Charles Mani, 56, said their father and mother bore six of them. 

“He was caring, loving and sponsored so many children in school, whose parents we did not know. I started the Typing Institute with him at what was popularly known as “7 doors Old Town”.  From here, we moved to Waterside, school fees were CFA 5,000 a year, until the huge number in enrolment brought us to the present site of Progressive Comprehensive High, then CHS Bambui.  All these schools gave birth to the National Polytechnic Bamenda,” said Charles Mani.

The Secretary General of Northwest FECAFOOT, Christopher Kaba, remembers P Yong as a humble man with whom they did a lot on the sports domain. “He encouraged me to join the referee job. He was a retired referee. As technicians, we convinced Yong to create Yong Sports Academy that moved from 3rd Division to the MTN Premier League and, today, we grabbed the coveted trophy of Cameroon Cup.

Northwest Governor, the Vice Chancellor of University of Bamenda, UBa; Opposition SDF Chair, Ni John Fru Ndi, students of National Polytechnic Bamenda; lecturers, have described the death of Pa Yong as the greatest blow to the Northwest Region. Yong, as the highest private employer, is known for excellence in everything he did.  He hated lies telling, stealing, corruption and never identified himself with any political party.  The question on every lip is “who will fill the vacuum?”

Meanwhile, according to Yong’s eldest son, Jacques Yong Achia, their family has resolved to bury their grandmother, Mama Helmina Tse, on January 8, which coincides with Pa Yong’s birthday. Michael Yuh, who knows all about Pa Yong’s educational establishments, said Yong was a successful educationist.

“My uncle created three Secondary High Schools and one Higher Institute of Learning – National Polytechnic Bamenda. I can assure you that the future of all these schools is bright because he laid a solid foundation and we have qualified and devoted staff. He was a man that will accept beans, corn for school fees from poor parents because he understood what hardship means. His generosity knew no bounds. We have lost a father,” Michael Yuh concluded.


Yong Francis was born on January 8 in Bamenda. He obtained the First School Leaving Certificate, FSLC, in 1961 from Catholic Mission Primary School, Big Mankon, taught as a pupil teacher in the same school, briefly, and left for private  studies in a Secretariat and Commercial Institution in Limbe, Southwest Province where he spent two and half years. After completing his studies, he started writing overseas external examinations.

He bagged the LCCI Advanced Level London, RSA Stages III London, GCE ‘A’ Level; Diploma in Management from LCCI London, Diploma in Secretariat Duties, Diploma from Government Combined Professional School, Buea, and completed Part One of the Corporation of Secretaries London, but did not register for the exams.

Other Courses Attended:
–    1969 attended a Red Cross First Aid Teacher’s Course in Yaounde
–    1971-1972 attended a Red Cross Advanced Instructors Course in Health and Disaster Preparedness and Administration in the University of Legon, Accra, Ghana.
–    1975 attended a Red Cross Instructors Course in Yaounde organised by the French Red cross. Was appointed Provincial Coordinator of the Red Cross in charge of Training and Administration in the Northwest.

Government Service:

Employed as a clerical assistant in the Government Printing and Stationary Department, Buea, in July 1964 and admitted in the Government Combined Clerical School, Buea, in October 1965.

Posted to Divisional Office Bamenda on completion of the course. Served as a clerical/confidential secretary to the Senior Divisional Officer, Mezam, and was later on transferred to the Subdivisional Office Bamenda Central Subdivision as a clerical officer. 
Was later appointed Liquor Licensing Officer for the Bamenda Central Subdivision. In 1985, he requested to be replaced on ‘RESERVE” for two years. Finally retried from the civil service in 1987, after having serving the government for 22 years.

Occupation: Before he died, Yong was:
Educationist and Proprietor of three High Schools, a Higher Professional Institution and a School of Sports, namely:

1)    Comprehensive High School Bambui
2)    Progressive Comprehensive High School, Mankon, Bamenda
3)    Kom Comprehensive High School, Anyajua, Kom
4)    National Polytechnic, Bamenda
5)    Yong sports Academy, Bamenda
He was Owner and President General of the following Elite Football clubs: Yong Sports Academy, YOSA FC; Bamenda and National Polytechnic Bamenda.

Other Responsibilities:
–    1990-2002 was appointed Education Secretary for Secular Private Education in the Northwest.
–    Has been a First Division Referee for 18 years before retiring.
–    Had been President General of the Belo Area Development Union, BADU, in Kom.
Married with 10 children

– Knight of Cameroon Order of Merit, 1983
– National Sports Medal, 1984, and Officer of the Knight of Cameroon Order of Merit, 1984.
PAUL HARRIS FELLOW AWARD offered by Rotary Club International, Bamenda.

First published in The Post print edition no 01493

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