Ako-Aya: A Cameroorian Pioneer in Daring Journalism and Social Commentary
258 Pages
English
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Ako-Aya: A Cameroorian Pioneer in Daring Journalism and Social Commentary

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258 Pages
English

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Patrick Tataw Obenson, alias Ako-Aya, the rabid critic, social crusader and witty journalist, all rolled up in one, was indeed a popular and widely admired pioneer in daring journalism and social commentary in Cameroon. Little wonder that when he died, he left behind countless painful hearts and many questions on the lips of his admirers. As a man of the people, the fallen hero of Cameroon's Fleet Street shared his experiences, be they good or bad, with his readers. He was a virile critic even of the sordid things in which he himself secretly indulged. Obenson's mind was open, and through his popular newspaper column - Ako-Aya - he exposed society and social action in all their dimensions. He had an axe to grind with all perpetrators of social vices, especially those of them that infringed on the rights of the common man. He gave them a good fight, using his newspaper as his only weapon - a weapon which could not be neutralized even by the most affluent nor the most coercive leadership. And he did so with nerve and valour and venom. Only Tataw Obenson could spit out really scathing pieces of satire, aimed directly at the highest governing authorities of his society. Only Obenson could make allusions even to his own apparently ugly self. Only he could be liberal and honest enough to confess how he boarded a taxi and later bolted without paying the driver. Only Obenson was able to foresee his imminent demise from the face of the earth and literarily wrote his own epitaph�

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Published 01 July 2010
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EAN13 9789956578726
Language English
Document size 4 MB

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Ako-Aya A CamérOrian PionEr in Daring Journalism and Social Coéntary (An Anthology)
ephraim N. Ngwafor
Ako-Aya A Cameroonian Pioneer in Daring Journalism Social Commentary (An Antology)
Patrick Tataw Obenson1927-1979
Ako-Aya A Cameroonian Pioneer in Daring Journalism and Social Commentary (An Anthology)
Ephraim N. Ngwafor
Langaa Research & Publishing CIG Mankon,Bamenda
Publisher: LangaaRPCIG Langaa Research & Publishing Common Initiative Group P.O. Box 902 Mankon Bamenda North West Region Cameroon Langaagrp@gmail.com www.langaa-rpcig.net
Distributed outside N. America by African Books Collective orders@africanbookscollective.com www.africanbookscollective.com
Distributed in N. America by Michigan State University Press msupress@msu.edu www.msupress.msu.edu
ISBN: 9956-616-59-1
© Ephraim N. Ngwafor 2010 First published by Institute of Third World Art & Literature, UK, 1989
DISCLAIMER All views expressed in this publication are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Langaa RPCIG.
Content
Dedication .............................................................................................vii
Introduction The King is Dead ................................................................................ 1
Chapter One The Daring Nature of Ako-Aya ...................................................... 21
Chapter Two Ako-Aya Against Tribalism ............................................................. 35
Chapter Three Ako-Aya Exposes: The Vices of Certain House-Wives ............. 45
Chapter Four Ako-Aya and Prostitution ................................................................ 59
Chapter Five Ako-Aya and Women from the East .............................................. 73
Chapter Six Ako-Aya and Women: Personal Experiences ............................... 79
Chapter Seven Ako-Aya and Gossips ....................................................................... 89
Chapter Eight Ako-Aya and Letters to the Editor .............................................. 101
Chapter Nine Ako-Aya and his Enemies ............................................................. 105
v
Chapter Ten Ako-Aya and the Big Towns ......................................................... 109
Chapter Eleven Ako-Aya and Re-Unification ......................................................... 145
Chapter Twelve Ako-Aya and Politics ...................................................................... 155
Chapter Thirteen Ako-Aya and the Big Stories ......................................................... 163
Chapter Fourteen Ako-Aya’s Problems at Job-Site .................................................... 185
Chapter Fifteen Ako-Aya and Misleading Titles ..................................................... 193
Chapter Sixteen Ako-Aya and Christmas ................................................................. 201
Chapter Seventeen Ako-Aya and the Fall of the City of Victoria ............................ 205
Chapter Eighteen Ako-Aya and Fraud in the Bota Wharf ........................................ 217
Chapter Nineteen Ako-Aya - A Prophet of his Death .............................................. 225
Chapter Twenty Ako-Aya’s Last Few Months on Earth ........................................ 229
Epilogue ..............................................................................................243
vi
Dedication
TO MY FATHER
GIDEON ANYE ANGWAFOR
vii
Introduction
The King is Dead
hen, in 1952, King George VI of England died quietly in ElvisWPresley died in 1977 of a drug over-dose, papers all over the his sleep, the papers came out in the morning with identical headlines, ‘‘The King is Dead’’; and when the rock star, world, almost unanimously declared, ‘‘The King is Dead.’’ Yes, there was no other fitting title to describe the death of Tataw Obenson on Sunday April 29th, 1979. ‘‘A King Died’’ in Victoria. His death has created a big vacuum amongst our Cameroonian journalists. I read in him behaviour peculiar to both Martin Luther King, Jr., and Malcolm X, all of whom were freedom fighters in America; the only difference being that he hadn’t the big degrees of Martin Luther King, Jr., or the war-like nature of Malcolm X. However, the trio preached justice. Again, in him, I saw a mind that is as rich as Jimmy Callaghan’s and Winston Churchill’s, all former Prime Ministers of England. What is more, like Jimmy Callaghan, he was a self-made intellectual who never acquired the work permits, (degrees), bestowed by academic institutions which have housed many of us for so long. Like Socrates and Plato, Tataw Obenson was a great teacher. Those who read his articles and never had their consciences sensitised, have been very hardened people indeed. We shall hardly have Tataw Obenson’s double again amongst our journalists. If there is one reason for writing this book, it is because I would like to see Tataw Obenson alive, and I doubt if there is any other way out than to produce his works in a more permanent form. To achieve this purpose, I have reminded myself of other publications such as Saint Paul’s letter in the New Testament, Socrates’ trial and several others which have been produced verbatim without any violence being done on any word, so as to maintain their authenticity. Although Tataw Obenson wrote mainly in satires, their interpretations were as easy as being able to know that George Orwell was referring to Trotsky when he gave him anew name of Snowball in his well-known book, Animal Farm. To achieve his
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