Saturday, April 18, 2015

PHDs - Pull Her/Him Down syndrome

In Cameroon, we have a chronic and backward syndrome called ‪#‎PHD‬, yes, PHD - Pull Her/Him Down. When we see someone ascending, or obtaining something we yearned for, or achieving something we wish we could, sometimes our envy, jealousy, hurt, wound, deception can transform into an ugly vile of hatred. That's fine. But when that hatred develops into public out lash and defamation, then there is a problem. People are entitled to speculate, to have an opinion, but defamation - I.e. to dirty someone's name based on unfounded stories, is wrong - socially, legally and humanly.


I understand however that envy and rejection can show the ugliest faces of some people; yet as young leaders we must learn and train ourselves to deal gracefully with rejection. To accept failures with dignity. To self-examine ourselves - see what we did right, what we did wrong, what we can improve on. To analyse what made a winner win, and emulate some of those characteristics. As youths, with the many years we still have to live (God willing) we should learn to learn, adjust, improve, believe again and try again. Whatsapp founder got rejected by fb and twitter 5 years ago, but Last year the same company that rejected him bought his product at $19billion dollars. Isn't that a lesson on perseverance and dusting oneself up and trying again? Why do we, Cameroonian youth, sometimes try to justify our setbacks by throwing stones at other people's success. Why do we accept our mediocrity by sabotaging other people's success stories? Why do we, even with blatant proof that our spéculations about someone are unfounded continue to hold on to our lies to prove to ourselves and our conscience that we were right, no matter what. Part of growing up into capable adults is to be able to take responsibility for one's actions or admit one made a mistake. Because as long as we let bitterness or anger sit into our bodies, we will only attract negativity in our life.


I am one of those some will call overly optimistic, but I do believe that the more we think positive and we have a positive outlook on life, the more positive things will come to us. I don't just believe In it, It live it. It have experienced it throughout my life. The more we open our hearts to love, to care, to understanding, to our passions, the more our desires will be given to us. The Bible says it well , "commit yourself to the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart." (P's 37:4) Paulo Coelho also said it in he Alchemist, "when you really want something, the while universe will help you achieve it." Sadly though, while some are letting their light shine, trying to please God, and sending positivity to the world, others sit in the comfort of their rooms to develop thesis to criticize those who are being elevated. But the Bible and these universal truths are not exclusive. They belong to everyone who has the faith to believe,to grab it and act on it.
So, the saddest part of the story is that, while the PHDs are too focused on Pulling Her/Him Down, they are missing out on their chance/opportunity to exercise God's love to gain the best from Him. A generation with some, too blinded by anger and envy, that they miss out on tapping into the potential and abundant source of love that they have to become great and elevated by Him.As a follower of Jesus Christ, as a Human lover, as a youth leader, as a wife, as a worker, as a Cameroonian citizen and as an AfroOptimist, I choose LOVE because love helps us to understand, respect, forgive, give, give the benefit of doubt, appreciate, encourage, live. I chose to arm my eyes with glasses of love, guard my heart with love, that even if I criticize it will be with love, if I argue it will be love, if I disagree it shall be with love. I choose love, and I let Jéhovah Shaphat do the judging.


At the end of the day, in my opinion, there are no two cures to eradicate this PHD syndrome in our communities. You might say I'm biased, but my faith guides my thoughts and actions. I believe many people need to be Injected with two antidotes to the PHD virus, these Injections will cause them to: 
1. Want to and try their best to Love God with all their might, strength, and spirit, and 
2. Try their very best to Love their neighbors as themselves, 
And if their body does not respond to the antidote in that way, let their body, mind and conscience not rest, until they act according to those injections. Lol.
How will Cameroon not be a GOLDEN place with such an antidote?


I'm done. With love,


Olivia 

(Image source : http://d1fgfr5mimgdhd.cloudfront.net/…/2…/03/PhD-480x280.jpg)


Monday, April 13, 2015

Paul Kagame, my modern day Thomas Sankara

APRIL 07, 2015 

Waow, the boldness and frankness! A new wave of African leadership. Respect ! Seeing Sankara through him.

“To those who teach us freedom, democracy and human rights while protecting those who killed one million of our people, we say to you: Rwanda has changed for good and forever.We will stand up for our right.
How can you plot my death at night and give me lessons about how to live my life in the morning.
Rwanda, we are a small country in the middle of nowhere but we are a country of people. People who have pride in themselves. People who are ready for peace and for war for our rights.”

- President Kagame speaking at the 21st Commemoration of the Genocide Against the Tutsi.

Follow the discussion on Fb: https://www.facebook.com/olivia.mukam/posts/860452055312 

APRIL 13, 2015 

I understand he is a very controversial figure in the world, and my previous post about him testified that he is certainly not a unanimous heroe; and I came to understand that he committed lots of crimes/injustices and has his share of unjust actions; But man... he speaks so much sense, I cannot not share this :


"
For fifty years, they have been telling us about poverty reduction. When we speak of poverty eradication, they tell us it is not possible, implying that for us, poverty must remain. For fifty years, the methods of development have been the same and we have seen no change. Our universities should be teaching that Rwandans deserve better than being beggars and living off the wealth of others. Some of those who give us aid today were where we were 60 years ago. But they used their history to transform their nation. We were all created with equal abilities. There is nothing we are missing to transform our nation. Transformation is up to each and every one of you. There is no shortcut.”

- President Kagame speaking to over 10,000 students gathered at the University of Rwanda campus in Huye.


‪#‎Kagame‬ ‪#‎Africa‬ ‪#‎Vision‬ ‪#‎NewKindaLeadership‬

Follow the discussion on Fb: https://www.facebook.com/olivia.mukam/posts/862382042602


Sunday, March 22, 2015

Youth As Solution - Harvard Trek in Cameroon

There are few weeks where you have the opportunity to meet, discuss, and connect with some of the most inspiring, motivated, and impactful youths you'll find in Cameroon, Africa and America. 


What started with a chat with the cream-of-the-cream techies of #SiliconMountain ; 


...continued with a U.S. Embassy Yaounde sponsored Youth Dialogue with Mandela Washington YALI Fellows on Gender-Based Violence #GBV, Sexual & Reproductive Health Rights #SRHR in rural Cameroon and advancing youths' voice in the #Post2015 agenda; 


... and continued with a dinner with the Harvard students (HBS, HKS) on "Family-owned businesses in Africa" hosted by the Fadil Group (owners of the Pullman Hotel, Douala);


 ended with a #YouthAsSolution Conference co-organized by the AfricaCaucus of the Harvard Kennedy School , Harambe-Cameroon , Africa 2.0 Foundation , Synergie de la Jeunesse Camerounaise and Inspire Afrika Mag, that brought together some of the most successful startup owners and founders in Cameroon, who have raised from $25.000 - $350.000 individually of startup capital. 



Beyond these actions, personally - I relished on the time I spent and reconnected with some of the brothers and sisters had bonded with in the past; I had the opportunity to listen, observe, connect with young, smart, and engaged counterparts. I hope I get to live more weeks like these through the year, because I tell y'all it boosts the mind, spirit and body with a burning flame that can continue to give out fire to hundreds of others.To have an idea of the conversation, follow my twitter thread here (@Sankara1111) : https://twitter.com/sankara1111 

We have a lot to be proud of with our Cameroonian youth ! We are indeed the solution to our countless problems. #Team237 #Youth #Cameroon 


Zoneziwoh Mbondgulo Wondieh (Mandela-Washington Fellow, President of Women for a Change Cameroon and defender of youth's voice for #Post2015agenda) , Christelle Bay C (MW Fellow and President of Hope for the Needy Association (hofna) Cameroon , working wto empower women and children in the Northwest in a sustainable way) Hilda Bih (motivating youths to discover and exploit their fullest potentional. My Sheroe!) Louna Manuela (Quality auditor at Barakat ) Lou Gabbee Mballa (Associate of Inspire Afrika) Nara Lawrence ( <--- and="" co-founder="" font="" giver="" most="" of="" present="" thoughtful="" wasamundi.com="" wedding="">Churchill Nanje Mambe (The "Elephant of the African job market, via Njorku.com Cameroon ) Fua Tse & Nyiwung Valery Colong (Two of the brains behind ActivSpaces.com ) Charlie Wandji ( #ACCA entrepreneur of 1Task1Job.com ) , Jacques Jonathan Nyemb (The instigator of the #HarvardTrek to Cameroon , along with Yann Ketchanga ) Hiram Samuel Iyodi (fellow co-organizer and civic activist of SJC) Serge Tchaha (The Forbes journalist/economist) Jean-patrick Ketcha (Country director of Africa 2.0 and catalyst of the #YouthAsSolution conference) Chrys-Eve Fatiha Nyetam (The co-founder of Inspire Afrika, and the whip of the organizing team) Alain Nteff (The Anzisha Prize winner and Giftedmom co-founder) Alain Rodrigue Ngonde Elong (Environmental Entrepreneur and consultant, Founder/Director of RED-PLAST(recyclage des déchets plastiques) ) Dominick Belong (co-founder of @G.I Unit, of Industrial Engineers) Arthur Zang (Global winner of the Rolex Award, creator/inventor of the CardioPad Project ) , Madiba Olivier (The Video-game entrepreneur, raised $150,000+ to establish Kiro'o Games) Budi Norbert Mbua (Inspiration and Motivation coach, behind Budi Motivates ) Jesse Carlton (Cameroon's Dale Carnegie in the making, founder of SMILE Charity ) and last but not the least: The most underrated Cameroo
nian young #startup founder/creator-genius of Feem<--- :="" competitor="" file-transfer="" font="" global="" nbsp="" of="" the="">Fritz Ekwoge (follow him on twitter : @ekwogefee) succeeded to raise $250,000 for his enterprise. He is a young #CMR entrepreneur to know. 







#BrandAfrica #4Afrika #OnEstEnsemble !


Follow the discussion on Fb :

https://www.facebook.com/olivia.mukam/media_set?set=a.856753187872.1073741839.29103130&type=3



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Saturday, February 28, 2015

Grande Marche Patriotique. Tous Unis pour la paix au Cameroun.

February 28, 2015, more than 3000 Cameroonians from different social backgrounds came together for a Grand-March, to show our support to our courageous soldiers in the North of Cameroon, fighting arduously for us to live, for our territory to keep its territorial integrity. 

We came out today in numbers to say ‪#‎StopBokoHaram‬ in ‪#‎Cameroon‬.



 Interestingly enough, during the brief, thirty minutes march program, diffent groups had their second agenda. While some were chanting "Non a la France" and others screaming "Boko Haram tu es dans le ndem," others were stating : "Augmentez les prix (de la bierre), on va toujours boire!" lol. That's Cameroon for you. A group of crazy, diverse, interesting and peaceful people, who love their peace and who love their "enjoyment" and wouldn't trade either one for anything else. 





 Although the event didn't last a long as we all expected, it was an amazing show of support to our troops - together: Northern Cameroon - Southern Cameroon; Anglophone Cameroon - Francophone Cameroon; Christian Cameroon - Muslim Cameroon ; Local Cameroon - International Cameroon... We came together to Unite for Peace in our "Chere Patrie & Terre Cherie." - Long live the Republic of Cameroon ! ‪#‎Team237‬ Mad-Love ‪#‎OnEstEnsemble‬ !!!

Follow the Fb discussion here : https://www.facebook.com/olivia.mukam/timeline/story?ut=43&wstart=1420099200&wend=1451635199&hash=-1044399950119941229&pagefilter=3



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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Numerica - not just an artist, a great human

One of my lil bros is one of the Top Cameroonian urban artists nominated for a "Grammy-like" Award, called 'Canal d'Or.' One of the ways to nominate him is to "like" his photo on the Official page of the award ceremony, that will be held this Saturday Feb. 28, 2015

* Before I give you the instructions on how to vote, let me add this :

Most Cameroonians know Numerica Speed as the artist with lots of swag and great hits on TV; I know him as Alex - one of my lil bro's besties since C.I.S elementary school. Alex is always there, always present for key events in our lives, from birthdays to wedding (going far and beyond, riding a motorbike on a 30km stretch of dirt-road, in the pitch-black night, to make it to the village for the wedding. I'll never forget that ! )




-- Not only is he a great human being, he is a wonderful friend and an amazing artist, check out his offical page : Numerica Officiel . Despite the tough and high-quality competition, he deserves the Canal d'Or of Best Urban Artist, and for that, he needs your votes during these last two days.


To vote for him , follow these instructions: 


1. Click on this link --->(https://m.facebook.com/170050469773161/photos/pcb.634092333368970/634091626702374/?type=1&source=49&refid=17&fbt_id=634091626702374&lul&ref_component=mbasic_photo_permalink_actionbar&_rdr#s_7cb77725264d87c5ce30812b7508b8cd
)
2. Like the picture
3. Then write NUMERICA in the comments.

*** On your phones (for those in Cameroon) 
1. Send a message to the number : 8198
2. In the message write : Urbain 7 
The message will cost you 100 FCFA.

Thank you all !

‪#‎Canaldor‬ ‪#‎Cameroon‬ ‪#‎Team237‬ ‪#‎Numerica‬

Follow the discussionon Fb: https://www.facebook.com/olivia.mukam/posts/851133524722

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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Dr Steve, RIP - Thank you for your EWB work in Bamendjou.

I am really sad at the news of the passing away of Dr Steve Dentel aka Dr Steve, yesterday. He gave so much to us, to our community, to Cameroon, to Africa, to the USA to the world, we will miss his big heart. He dedicated six years of his life to come every six months to a remote village in the West of Cameroon to provide clean water to thousands of villagers , and to groom the engineering students of UDel. 

I will always remember his large welcoming smile, his (gentle) father demeanor, his love for Bamendjou, his laid back spirit, his great friendship and complicity with my dad, his flexibility to all kinds of unforeseen obstacles during the EWB project in Baking. I will always cherish the memories of these six years of Impactful and life changing work he did in Cameroon.


I know he revolutionized engineering and science in his domain. I know his spirit impacted so many more people. Dr Steve, I think you left too soon... but only God knows the day and time. I pray that your soul may find eternal peace, and I pray that your spirit may live on throughout the generations. Heartfelt condoleances to his wife Carole Post and his children.

RIP Dr Steve.

Original Fb Post : https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=849468097252&set=a.573857717662.2070743.29103130&type=1


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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Youth Day - Am I doing Something? Unsung (S)Heroes.

For the past month I have been tweeting (via @Sankara1111 ) about my insights and reflections after meeting, discussing, interviewing or simply observing 100s of youths in action, on the ground , at the grassroots level of ‪‎Cameroon‬ , and believe me when I say there is a lot to be hopeful for and happy about Cameroon's future. In addition to the mediatized and popular Camerooonian young he-&-sheroes ( Arthur Zang, Alain Nteff,Alain Rodrigue Ngonde E long, Frantz Atangana,Céline Victoria Fotso,Christian Ngan,Hiram Samuel Iyodi,Christelle Bay C,Jean Paul Brice Affana,Zoneziwoh Mbondgulo Wondieh,John Afesi Mbafor,Owona Serge Stephane,Charlie Wandji, Gerald K. Afadani, Olivier Madiba,Hilda Bih, Andrea Bomo, Cynthia Can,Paul-olivier Titty-Belate, and so many more...) there are thousands of silent local (s)heroes who are between 18 and 35 years old, and who mobilize, engage, impact their communities in various domains (agriculture, environment, mining, gender based violence, peace building, entrepreneurship,medicine, health, legal rights, music, art) from Wum to Mamfe, from Mbalmayo to Rey-Bouba, from Dschang to Yokadouma, Cameroon's youths are on the move, Cameroon's youths are working, in silence but with great impact. For that, I am proud , I am happy, I am inspired by our youths!

 I feel most especially privileged to meet so many young leaders in my everyday life, I feel blessed to be able to have an eagle-eye perspective... and I believe because I was granted that perspective there is still so much I need to propose and/or create for Cameroon's youths. I have an idea that has been ticking in my mind, as a continuation of the movement we had initiated in 2012 ("Am I doing Something?" With Harambe-Cameroon) To identify the young faces of Cameroon's movers-and-shakers in each of the ten regions of Cameroon and in the ‪#‎Diaspora‬ (USA, France, Germany, China, etc).

 For twelve months, each month we highlight 5faces in each of the 11 regions. It might sound like too many people, but trust me, there are that many Camerooonians doing wonderful things and leading in multiple sectors/domains of our lives around the work. And I believe it will give a great boost to our generation to be aware of what their peers are doing . I think it's feasible, but what are your thoughts? Who would like to flesh out this idea with me? Who would like to develop something in this spirit? This could be a great 2015 challenge, but I can't do it alone. ‪#‎Team237‬ 

What are your thoughts? 


‪#‎YouthDay‬ ‪#‎FeteDeLaJeunesse‬

Follow the discussion on FB : https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=847787215752&set=a.573857717662.2070743.29103130&type=1



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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Alain Nteff : Rocking Cameroon, WEF & Ashoka, and the world !

JANUARY 23, 2015 -- Bday boy, Yaounde 2015. 



It's one of my protégée’s birthday today... Going out of work today I reminisced on how, just less than a year ago, every Friday at 1pm we met up to discuss projects, develop projects, and implement ideas (e.g the HarambeCameroun.org and Solutionneurs.com website, and other freelancing contracts) .

 In less than a year, at only 22 years old, you accomplished so much with your Giftedmom project ( The Anzisha Prize winner & more). Last week we were so proud to see you off on your trip to Davos. This week, we were thrilled to read the HuffPost article on you – the youngest entrepreneur at the World Economic Forum (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…/alain-nteff-gifted-mom_n_65… ) Waow! We feel proud and ready to brag about you, like your parents would. lol.

My prayer is for you to reach bigger benchmarks this new year, and that you may capitalize on your world experience and exposure to generate income for the sustainability of your project. It needs to live, sustainably. ‪#‎Cameroon‬ needs it. ‪#‎Africa‬ needs it. Cameroon needs you. Africa needs you. May God bless you and protect you. Happy birthday bro Alain Nteff .

Follow the discussion on FB : https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=842955842862&set=a.523005211492.2037258.29103130&type=1 


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JANUARY 28, 2015 -- WEF 2015, Davos Switzerland. 

The Youngest man in Davos Alain Nteff, with the biggest names in the world : Melinda Gates, S.E Paul Kagame, Queen of Belgium, and last week : Aliko DanGote,Tony Olumelu, et al. Chapeau! ‪#‎Team237‬ See how our young ‪#‎entrepreneur‬ is making the Green-Red-Yellow (with a star) shine around the world !? ‪#Cameroon‬ Let's appreciate and celebrate our own, who is fighting for a noble cause : Maternal Health and a decrease of infant mortality, via his ‪#‎socbiz‬ : Giftedmom .

Follow the discussion on FB : https://www.facebook.com/olivia.mukam/posts/843485366692 

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FEBRUARY 10, 2015 -- By Alain, about a letter from me. 

"As the Youth Day approaches, we are glad at Giftedmom to have been invited to receive the Ashoka Changemakers Future Forward Award. Arrived Cape Town and the magic moment has been this Letter from Olivia Mukam Wandji. Thanks for the deep message Olivia and we are grateful for the amazing support we are getting from everyone back in ‪#‎Cameroon‬. It's all about ‪#‎Team237‬. Na God." 



  

Follow the discussion on 
FB:  https://www.facebook.com/alaintchato/posts/10205679754809970



Wednesday, January 28, 2015

3-Days outreach on GBV and child trafficking


What a day! Wonderful civic engagement program in ‪Nkambe‬ ,NW organized by ‪#‎HOFNA‬ and 5 Mandela-Washington Fellows in the Donga-Mantung region of ‪‎Cameroon‬. 

With close to 150 Secondary School students from ‪#‎GBHS‬ Nkambe, and about 8 fons (chiefs)of villages in the division, the themes today were : Ending gender-based violence ‪#‎GBV‬ , promoting the girl-child ‪#‎education‬ , and decreasing the rate of child trafficking, very prevalent in this region of Cameroon .



I must say, the trip was quite arduous (11hours drive from Yaoundé yesterday, crater & lake-full potholes on the roads for 4hrs, 3 flat tires, tiredness, hunger, exhaustion...) but, it was worth every bit of it. When you see the impact such activity has on youths and leaders in remote and hardly accessible areas, you understand the importance of it. As aunty Gla always says, "Everybody is somebody, and nobody is a nobody." 


Personally, I had never been this far into Cameroon , and I got to see a 110 y.o Fon, and I got to reconnect with the amazing and inspiring group of Mandela Washington Fellows, with whom we took a smashing selfie! What a day! Thank you God.

Monday, November 17, 2014

MTN-Microsoft Cloud conference, through my eyes.

MTN Cameroon and Microsoft West and Central Africa, led by the dynamism of two of their respective Senior Managers [Bertrand Nkoa (MTN) and Serges Ntamack (Microsoft)] collaborated to organize a 2-days conference on Thursday and Friday Nov. 13 and 14 2014, on the Cloud and its ecosystem in the public and private sectors of #Africa.



As a youth advisor on the Microsoft #4Afrika Advisory Board, I was called in the 4th Panel to discuss "Investors  and #Startups - Challenges and Opportunities in the digital age."I shared the stage with a young business owner, a venture capitalist and an elder in the ICT field.

My main point was that, unlike what was stated in a previous panel, I believe Cameroonian youths have competences - they may not be refined or packaged as expected,  but the skills are there. In the past 6 years, I have worked with enough youths to assert that there are many Cameroronians who can compete on national and international spheres. My point however is that - Cameroonian youths need to learn how to package themselves (skills,  talents and know-how) efficiently. They have to learn how to speak the 'global language' on the global market. Learn various etiquettes, understand what people look for, put their best foot forward and be competitive. The talent exists. It is raw. We just need to learn to see the best through and within people and help them express and showcase what is hidden inside of them.  

I truly believe that if many young Cameroonians are taught and coached on ways to express themselves,  present a case, and package themselves,  they will break all kinds of ceilings and gain the confidence they need to cement their mark on the world, in  their respective fields of expertise. Yet, for that to happen,  they need to be encouraged, motivated,  coached and mentored to believe in  themselves and learn how to navigate through this global village.

On this very panel, I was privileged to view first hand (and later on test) the innovative product of my fellow Fritz Ekwoge - Cameroonian inventor of "Feem" (check out the application available in your various app stores, and website : tryfeem.com  .) 
Feem is an application that sends  files instantly from one device to another without passing through the Internet. It's Brilliant! !! Fritz is the example of how a Cameroronian can innovate and propose a product that is competitive on the global market. My profound dreams and goals are  to inspire and engage more Cameroonian youths to believe they can make their name in the world,  like Fritz Ekwoge,  Arthur Zang, Olivier Madiba, Ismael Nzouetom, Cedric Atangana, Alain Nteff (just to name a few) - all young Cameroonian tech-preneurs  betweeen 22 and 32 years old, with services and products that have been recognized and are competing internationally. I work to have our youths dig and discover their true potential, so that they can be confident, prepared and equipped to make their positive mark on our generation, in their various ways.

Further on during the panel discussion, we  had Emerging Capital Partner (ECP) Vice president Aurore Bahounoui  provide information about the various funds available for companies/projects in need  of venture capital, from 1million dollars and above. And CEO of Stockaj.com (Yves Ngatchou) provided seasoned advice on doing business in the challenging business climate of Cameroon, "It's possible, just persevere and do it! "



It was a great opportunity to connect with many movers and shakers,  with shapers of policies , and with economic tycoons on how we can use the cloud,  and shape the environment to promote #innovation and the growth of startups in #Cameroon.



#Team237  Follow the conversation on twitter : #MTNMSFTCLOUD

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