Douala

Le JobTalk : Solving Cameroon’s Employment Gap

There’s a job event taking place in Douala in four days. It’s open to all. You just need to download your free ticket.

It is organized by the human resource startup- Agence ARCH led by Marco Mbilla. The first edition proved to be timely.

I will not attend. Not because I don’t think it is relevant( why would I be writing about it if it wasn’t??) But, because I will not be able to get to Douala by the 30th of April.

Le Job Talk  aims at engaging job seekers and employers in conversations that could lead to mutual gain.

Job-Talk-2-1

Human Resource Management staff, degree holders, job seekers and other consultants around the questions: how to get a job, what job givers seek and how to position yourself in the job market.

Just like I  don’t think  everyone seeks to get a job,  I don’t think everyone should be an entrepreneur or build a business.  Here’s a Quora thread on “Why doesn’t everyone become an Entrepreneur?”.

A leader is only one because there are followers. Take away the followers and she’s nothing. Nada. Niet. We need people to build businesses. And we need people to work in those businesses.

The first time I met Marco ( together we some other dudes and a dudette) we were trying to organize an award ceremony (whatever happened  to that bro?).

The second time, it was at ACTIVspaces in Douala. Where we met again for the 3rd time during  the first edition of Elodie’s #CamerSMMeetup ( Oh, there’s another on the 14th of May, get your free tickets!)

If you’re in the city on the 30th, don’t miss it. Thank me later.  And oh, don’t forget to be careful with the taxi cab drivers.

 

P.S: While writing this brief update, I wanted to make the case for Unemployment in Cameroon. I needed numbers. Turns out, the first Google hit is the very non-Cameroonian site. Then,  I read this on it: 

“Unemployment Rate in Cameroon is reported by the Institut National de la Statistique du Cameroun”- http://www.tradingeconomics.com

Obviously, you know what I did.  Here’s the site. I did a search and the only result was this.  Guess what? The research dates as far back as 2010. I didn’t even bother to download the pdf document (which is in FRENCH ONLY!!). Please, if you do, let me know what it says.

I can read french. I just don’t find it fun to read data that doesn’t matter.

I hope it is my ignorance of data that begs this question: is there any Cameroonian institution that does reasearch on this very important data? Or should I wait for Davos to get info on my country? Please, someone put some data in the comments. 

I hope I am wrong. I want to be wrong. I want to believe that I am just too lazy and ignorant that I don’t know where to find data on my country anywhere on the internet.  That would be way better than the feeling in my stomach right.

P.P.S: I don’t event want to get started on the design of the website. Ugh.

Thank you for reading oh! Are you on Snapchat? Add me! —–>@tchassakamga
*Ellie Goulding Voice* I need your love….please like and share. And if this is the first time you’re reading this or visiting my blog, start here.
I love you too.*wink*

Advertisements

@flyethiopian celebrates 70 with #cmrbloggershangout (or Because I am a typical customer)

I have never been on a plane. Nor a boat. Nor inside any hovering craft for that matter. But I know, someday ( soon) I will. So, like every optimistic first time airplane customer, I may have fiddled with the mental image of my first ever plane ride. And I have come to one simple conclusion: if I were put to choose between Virgin Atlantic, seed of the awesome knight and Ethiopian airlines, now 70 years old, I’d pick ET.

Addis Ababa To Cairo First Flight ET

Ethiopian Airlines First Flight 1946

How do you make your purchase decisions?

The device you are using to read this, how did you get it? I mean…why did you get that one and not the other?
I am assuming here that you had a choice. If, like me, your mother bought for you, well, don’t worry, you’ll get my point soon enough.

Why do we pick one item over another? One brand over another?

I had been thinking about this for a while. I still do every so often. However, I came to a conclusion last Friday. This was during the #cmrbloggershangout organised by Ethiopian Airlines. The hangoutcoincided with the celebration of 70 years of existence of the African airspace behemoth.

We often think we make “informed decisions”, that we are not moved by advertising or peer pressure or that ( I love this one) : I feel like the brand really cares. That is why I bought this particular toothpaste.

Yeah. Right.

According to this post by Peep Laja, founder of Conversion XL,  people don’t often know why they prefer something.  And this conclusion is drawn from a jam testing experiment. Laja goes to add that:

People make instant decisions with their sub-conscious. When they have to explain the choice, the choice might change all together since the rational mind is then involved”-ConversionXL.com.

In that same post, it is pointed out that not only are our choices made from mixed sources, but they are very- and this is important for me- very peer influenced.

Which is the backbone of my very personal argument.

Not my first hangout.

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

And it won’t be the last. But it is not everyday that you get to visit the Douala headquarters of an airline and sit with the country manager – Mr. Tsefaye as well as with a  high-placed administrative assistant- Mrs Marie Andela.  This, and the super chill atmosphere that seeps whenever I meet my fellow Cameroonian bloggers.

That is the look I have when my laptop battery is running down and I can't disrupt the presentation to plug it in. Nice shoes huh? *wink*

That is the look I have when my laptop battery is running down and I can’t disrupt the presentation to plug it in.

It was pure coincidence( at least, that is what I was told) that our hangout happened to be set on the same day the company was celebrating 70 years. 

No, We had no cake.

But we did have a meal  later on. But don’t think that is why I would choose ET.

 Food? Really? Nah, I am not that cheap.

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Aside from the intimidation celebration of an airline business running successfully for over 7 decades, we had a full presentation on the past, present and future of Ethiopian Airlines. Enough to make me realize that these guys would never be satisfied.

Not in a greedy way. I mean in a business way. They dubbed this- vision 2025.

Let’s back up a little shall we…

In 2005 they changed the game with the announcement :

“…it would be Africa’s launch carrier for the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner, with a firm order for ten of these ultra-modern jets, and an option for five more. The order for the new fuel-efficient, long-range, passenger-friendly aircraft was valued at USD 1.3 billion. Boeing begun production of the revolutionary new aircraft in 2006 and Ethiopian expects to take delivery beginning from 2011”- http://www.ethiopianairlines.com

In August 2012, the first Dreamliner was delivered to the company. From 1946 to 2016, they have never stopped getting better equipment, winning awards, expanding their market and creating equal opportunities for all their employees. Both male and female. The latter which is  most visible in the very acclaimed All Women Functioned Flight ( November 19th, 2016) for which its  group CEO- Tewolde Gebre Mariam- was awarded a month later, the most gender focused CEO Award by the LWA- Leading Women of Africa.

Only last month, ET  was chosen  by the National Association of Nigerian Travel Agents (NANTA) as the Best Airline in Nigeria.

I would love to think that these awards and accomplishment guided my “informed” choice. That it was because of this constant desire to be better that I would want my first ever take off to be with a gender balanced airline.

Er…yeah…not really.

You see, awards don’t move me. Neither does Beauty. 

The straw(s) that broke Kamga’s airline decision back.

Camer bloggers

During the question and answer session, a lot was covered about the history of ET, the new programmes, the mileage and discounts- especially discounts!

If there is only one thing you must take from this already too long blog post, it is this:

Purchasing Ethiopian Airline tickets ONLINE = 7% off ALL ONLINE TICKET PURCHASE.

Of course this may affect retailers and other “hard copy dudes”, but, not only is the system secure, were we assured, but- the world is online. We have to use the new platforms to our advantage.  Add this to their loyalty programme and what you get is the loyal customer cocktail.

I was interested in the women. I love women. I love my mother…who is a woman…my sisters are women…I love them…you…get my drift?

*wink*

What was the effect of the all female flight? Obvious question for an obvious answer. I did not expect anything other than large scale positive reviews given the wave of gender awareness that is sweeping through the world.

But by jove! The passion with which Aunty Adeline- Publisher of Fabafriq and master mind behind the first ever #Camerbloggershangout– answered, I was sold.

She was on the flight. Her eyes glowed as she described the atmosphere on landing, how everyone was trying to take pictures and what it meant to her as a woman and as a business person.

As3JFceeRrxafqvl-Mg_EfiT3ydrQc2zS07YWHJyY28H

Aunty Adeline gave the welcome address and later on shared her personal tale as one whose job has her in the air most of the time.

Previously, she had talked about the experience she’d had with Air France. Her flight was delayed and she’d been asked wait , for hours, in the cold, in the airport and not allowed to get to a hotel to wait for the next flight!!  She did a rant on Facebook. Trust me, you (as a company or individual) don’t want Aunty Adel to rant because of poor service. Remember my MTN Cameroon Rant? Triple that and you get the scale of her rant.

That was not the only rant I have seen recently on Air France another airline.

Tie breaker with no ties.

AmLU04FZco4d1nmnESqI3gxsiKS1Z5y8_bb881uK8ghr

L-R: Miss Elodie of Les Marches D”Elodie, Mrs. Marie Andela, Mrs Adeline Sede K., Mr. Tsefaye ( See those eyeglasses on the left? Yup. That’s me.)

Now, Adeline’s job requires that she travels a lot. Same for my buddy Cedric. From what they said about ET and their personal experiences with other airlines, I can, without a doubt, choose ET over any airline in a heartbeat.

Especially when Nkiacha Atemnkeng of Writerphilic Blog ( an airplane aficionado whose love for writing fiction only slightly surpasses his love for teaching it) made a personal comparison of ET and other airlines. He had used them recently for a writing workshop and had been lodged in a three start hotel during whatever-they-call-it-that-passengers-do-in-countries-they-are-not-supposed-to-be-while-awaiting-their-next-flight. His words:

“… upon arrival in Addis Ababa, passengers don’t spend long hours on transit. I believe where Ethiopian really killed it, is the fact that, they actually accommodate ALL their transit passengers in a hotel. I remember when our airport bus arrived at the 4 Star Friendship International Hotel in Addis Ababa, where we spent the night, I stared at the hotel and almost went, “Should err, should I add more money to sleep here sah?” Now that’s unlike many other airlines that compel transit passengers to sleep at the airport. And sleeping on an airport seat is super stressful sha! So, any doubts again why ET beat so many well established airlines in Cameroon and the whole of Africa as the continent’s most profitable airline? On that profits note, in 2015 ET made 176 million dollars in profits globally, in an industry where most airlines are bleeding cash…”- Writerphilic

With:

  1. Three known professionals publicly backing Ethiopian Airlines’ claims for work ethic and customer satisfaction.
  2. ET being the  first sponsor of the first ever #Camerbloggershangout-expresses creativity and a love for innovation.
  3. A sumptuous meal for bloggers in the much coveted White House Restaurant in Bonapriso.

Now, you know why I will pick ET over VG.

It was because of the food. Nothing else.  *wink*

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

P.S: Now that you know what I did last Friday, can I get your opinion on Ethiopian Airlines? Do you think I am making a wrong decision? How do you make your own decisions? Friends ( like me)? Advertising? Or a mix? Be sure to leave a comment and share this post if you liked it. Thank you for your time!

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

How to Irritate #Douala Cab Drivers (#Satire #Humor)

At the Deido Roundabout (Rond Point)- the Reunification Monument..

If someone would have told me I’d be spending life after graduation in the economic Capital of my Nation Cameroon, the hurt on my face would have been a perfect reflection of the heat, sandy earth and outright chaos that Douala is.
However, given the nature of my career choice( media content) Douala, is definitely the place to be. There is more to this place than I could ever put in text. In the meantime, enjoy this taxi cab modus operandi satire- a product of my daily commute.
( I take four cabs to work everyday. Except Sundays. Two to go and two to return home. Let me not even start on the traffic. That, is another story. Enjoy)


A. Don’t tell them how much you have.

Don’t propose. When you get to your destination, stretch your hand like you do into the offering box on Sundays and give what you have. Make sure you ‘sound’ and ‘look’ entitled. After all, you’re paying. And that’s just his job. When he tells you “you should have said it earlier”, neither be calm nor apologetic. Make sure he knows he’s not your father. Even if he looks older than your father.


B. If your money requires change, ensure you notify just as soon as you alight.

If he’s not pleased…well…no big deal; you’ve given him his money anyway. Now, it’s part of his job description to find your change. And oh, don’t forget to strut impatiently about. Throw in a comment or two about incompetence. You have things to do. And as usual, look and sound entitled.

C. Don’t tell him you don’t know your location.
In Cameroon, we have 4G ( or do we?) So, by my meager understanding of technology, GPS should work. Or Siri. Or something. Anything.
I just need to give my driver the location and he should gleefully announce when we get there. That’s his job. He has a super brain. I don’t still get why he’s not an engineer or something… If by any chance he asks you whether you WERE supposed to drop at a zone you’ve apparently skipped, if by any chance he raises his voice in anger and disapproval at your lack of initiative, tact and base communication…you know what to do, right?
Hint: you’re impatient, entitled and you have a life. No time for basic human kindness.

D. Be very, very quiet. The whole time. Even if he asks whether you’d have preferred Ronald or Messi to win the most coveted Football award, don’t tell him that when you heard Messi’s name you cried for Ronaldo. That you’re not a football fan but you still know that what Yaya Toure did was not cool. Don’t smile. Even though it’s free. Remember that the driver can read minds and doesn’t need human conversation like other…you know…humans. Your life his better than his. He’s not your level. Why bother?


E. Change your location multiple times.

Especially if it’s just a regular fare and not a depot*. It doesn’t matter if the stops are not in the same neighborhood . In fact, the farther and more intertwined the stops are, the better. They might say Douala is a huge town and that no one really knows it well. Who cares? Of course you don’t. You’re paying, that’s your job. He’s driving, and should know the town end to end. That’s his job.

Bonus:
F. Stand on the wrong side of the road. Of you can, stand at a junction where it’s difficult for the driver to stop. Whisper your location such that only another passenger will have to repeat it to him.
And remember: you’re entitled. You’re busy. You have a life.

If well carried out, the disdain cab drivers would go a long way to ensure that you always get to work late, always pay more than required, and eventually have to switch to bike riders.
And I’m very confident we can find a way to piss them off too.

Did I miss out on ways to get drivers angry? What’s your experience like with cab drivers? Do you like how they get treated sometimes?

I’ll be glad to know what you think.

*depot: Rent a cab to drop at a particular location and you ( single human passenger) pay the fare for the other four empty seats just so the cab gets to your stop without interruption.

#cmrbloggershangout: A Recap of The Second Edition

Five months ago, on Saturday 14th June, 2014 Fabafriq Magazine organized a bloggers’ meet up, dubbed #cmrbloggershangout in Douala. The event, first of its kind was  sponsored by Ethiopian Airlines. It took place in the Bonapriso neighborhood in White House Restaurant.

LR Yours truly, Adeline Sede, a young exec, Bessong Bessem, Ngahane Desire

LR Yours truly, Adeline Sede, a young exec, Bessong Bessem, Ngahane Desire

 

This Saturday 15th November, 2014, the 2nd Edition of the hangout took place still in the economic capital of our nation. This time, it was was co-sponsored by Fabafriq, Ethiopian Airlines, DHL,Wasamundi and by our host Vivindi Consulting SARL.

Seated at the table, our hosts.

Seated at the table, our hosts.

It took place besides the beautiful pool of Hotel Le Meridien in the classy Akwa environ. Mme Adeline Sede K. is the publisher of FabAfriq Magazine and she is the driving force behind this soon-to-be-traditional meetup of bloggers, online reporters, media personalities, designers, photojournalists,media sympathizers, investors and business owners.

Hotel Le Meridien has a beautiful pool

Hotel Le Meridien has a beautiful pool

Traditional media doesn’t  advertise as  it used to. What business owners need to  understand is that bloggers are these passionate individuals with an online clout. They are  the current best bet for effective product and service promotion. This forum is to let the investors see the opportunities they have in ‘using’ these bloggers and for the bloggers to get a chance to  be paid so as  keep doing what they are good at“- Publisher of FabAfriq.

Mme Adeline Sede K. Founder and Publisher at FabAfriq Magazine

Mme Adeline Sede K. Founder and Publisher at FabAfriq Magazine

This hangout saw a slight lower attendance than the previous mostly because of the short notice. But the benefit was that the quality of engagement was significantly better than the previous.

We had the  the C.E.O -Mme Mangoua- and the Managing Director of Vivindi Consulting Sarl– Miss Marie Cecile Nguekam.

Our beautiful hosts L-R Mme Mangoua- CEO of Vivindi Consulting , holding the booklets is Managing Director of Vivindi- Marie Cecile Nguekam

Our beautiful hosts L-R Mme Mangoua- CEO of Vivindi Consulting , holding the booklets is Managing Director of Vivindi- Marie Cecile Nguekam

 

As for the ‘floor members’ we had(for those attending for the second time):

Our chair person-Mme Irene Azong-Wara of Febmart,

Mme Azong-Wara of FebMart

Mme Azong-Wara of FebMart

Chantal Edie of Chantal Edie Photography

The pictures are courtesy of her professional eye.

Thanks Chantal.

(R) Chantal in her dazzling red (L) Marie Cecile

(R) Chantal in her dazzling red (L) Marie Cecile

Clifford Ako C.M.O of Wasamundi

Clifford Ako, CMO of Wasamundi.com

Clifford Ako, CMO of Wasamundi.com

Brian Njotsa,

Who wears dark glasses better than Brian?

Who wears dark glasses better than Brian?

Simo Jandie C.E.O of  Jandie Multimedia Concepts(JMC),

Simo Jandie of Jandie Multimedia Concepts

Simo Jandie of Jandie Multimedia Concepts

Gilbert ‘Gilly’ Zamani- Web and graphics designer,

Gilbert 'Gilly' Zamani web and graphics designer

Gilbert ‘Gilly’ Zamani web and graphics designer

and Miss J.J Nshom , TV host( On7) and TIPTOPSTARS editor,

The TV host and TIPTOPSTARS editor

The TV host and TIPTOPSTARS editor holding some of Marion’s creations

The relatively new faces included Miss Marion ( she made a very special…Miss’s day),

Miss Cameroon 2014 proudly wearing one of Marion's handmade necklaces.

Miss Cameroon 2104 proudly wearing one of Marion’s handmade necklaces.

Miss Binta,

Miss Binta, Journalisma and Mass Communication graduate.

Miss Binta, Journalisma and Mass Communication graduate.

Herbert Budi- Aviation student and entertainment adept  and Njeukwa Bounkeu-a Vlogger and guitar virtuoso,

L-R Yours truly, pensive Njeukwa and welcoming Herbert

L-R Yourstruly, pensive Njeukwa and  Herbert

Roy from Ernst & Young( Roy and I  had a short ‘discussion’ on Photography. He’s very passionate about photos and prefers them natural and unaltered. He abhors Photoshop).

The amateur photographer and expert auditor.

The amateur photographer and expert auditor.

Because my brain loves playing tricks on me, I would plead with the attendees to please draw my attention to anyone I INADVERTENTLY missed or whose name I could have spelt poorly.

We started with an introductory note from Mme Sede K. and Mme Azong-wara later took us through our purpose for the afternoon which was to engage the Vivindi staff thoroughly.  We all introduced ourselves individually with yours truly doing the translation when necessary. At the end of the exchange, we had achieved a preliminary consultancy for Vivindi bundled with suggestions and clarifications. Especially on how we were supposed to assist in the Business Forum International  of the 3rd of next month.

Vivindi Consluting is Local Network for a Global business and in my next blog post, I will go deeply into the mission of the company and the activities of the 3rd.

Hotel Le Meridien is a beautiful and well built location. I did not pay attention to the number of storeys but two things struck me:

  1. The aesthetics: The ‘out-house’ design – beautiful sky blue water filled pool surrounded by well made wooden tables all in an airy environment under either large stylish umbrellas or a cozy shaded large veranda.
  2. The toilets: I love clean toilets. I hope this is not too weird but…when I flushed the scent was sweet. I was tempted to press the button again. I resisted.

We had a table to ourselves and the afternoon sped away. When all the main points had been trashed, we were treated to king’s quality meat and seafood fest-all with mustard and pepper. Crowned with natural…I repeat NATURAL guava and pineapple( or was it orange?) juice.

Le repas

And good wine.

French Style.

 

 

 

This gave us the opportunity to relax and talk informally at length. We  exchanged addresses  during this time.

 

This is the best part of hangouts. The chitchat. The laughs and the jokes. The real bonds are made in this way. Especially the lasting ones.

It is during this period that smart bloggers pitch  to business owners in a very private way.

'Private' sessions with the hosts.

‘Private’ sessions with the hosts.

And those who know they game usually earn great deals.

You know yourselves.

As the evening drew close,I was genuinely satisfied with the assembly.

I had tasted sea food for the first time and had met new,vibrant and enthusiastic individuals. But guess what? The universe decided that this was not enough.

That Kamga will meet with a celebrity. That his childhood dream( which he never had) would come true and that he would touch …a Miss.

Miss Cameroon 2014 and the #cmrbloggers

Miss Cameroon 2014 and the #cmrbloggers

Goodnight and thanks for reading.

Please, “Like” and “Share”.

Spoilers for next two  posts:

  1. Vivindi Consulting Sarl intends express the impact Ebola plays in the Cameroonian economy.
  2. Up-close (but not very personal) with Miss Cameroon 2014. The interview proper. I would be glad to hear your thoughts.Miss FabAfriq and Miss Cameroon 2014.Miss FabAfriq and Miss Cameroon 2014.