Nobody saw us coming – This was the headline of The Guardian Post Magazine editorial comment as the daily newspaper marked its 20th anniversary in September 2021.
Just yesterday [January 4, 2021] also, the newspaper recorded another milestone as it clocked five years as a daily in Cameroon.
Experience shows that you attract sympathy when you venture into where people do not expect much from you. Many are even ready to help you stand.
This is unlike the pompous and striking personalities who enter the arena promising to turn the world upside down. May be through the long list of credentials they are touting.
Such tend to invite but bullets and everyone seems to cry out, “pull him down before he devours all of us”.
Those who identify themselves as mud slingers at the Guardian Post are coming too late. They use shallow strategies to fight an edifice that is already deeply rooted and has known arid times and gone through the worse.
“No one saw us coming”, is a strategy of winners. They let you take them for granted; belittle and minimise them before they shock you with their success story.
Ngah Christian has proven his worth when it comes to handling money. The financial management shocks from a hostile business climate that have sunk other businesses, have only toughened rather than cripple The Publisher of The Guardian Post.
His greatest strength is in winning the confidence of his workers. He often tells new intakes, “I don’t promise you a big salary. But the little I promise you will keep coming as long as you remain among the staff”.
This writer has witnessed this happen without fail over the past six years of joining the team.
Ngah remains upbeat even in the face of discouraging situations. I remember my first impression when a crowd of student journalists turned out to do their internship during the long holiday of 2015 when I was barely a few months old at The Guardian Post.
Being a young Newspaper House, the constraints were obvious and very daunting indeed. If enough space to accommodate the students could not be found, it is but certain that looking for other conveniences that could oil the learning process like library, canteen, means of transportation and so on, was like asking for too much.
Many things combined to dispel this pessimism as time went on and we started receiving and interacting with the students. First, instead of being worried as I was, my Publisher was visibly excited about the whole idea. He never saw what I regarded as constraints as such.
Rather, his focus was on the honour the regime was giving him to impact the next generation of Cameroonian Journalists.
He never lost any opportunity to tell them about the virtues of hard work, self discipline and, why not, prudent management when resources are lean.
He was eventually vindicated as I finally came to find delight in the squeezing together of bodies, the noise, and different character traits that were uncovered from time to time; not only among the students but even between and among interns from the different schools. To our shock, traits of pilfering were noticed among students from a particular school who were predominantly young girls in their early twenties. Other groups tried to show off the superiority of their schools in comparison to others.
This aspect was accentuated by the fact that, at a certain point in time, we started receiving students who specialised in other disciplines rather than print Journalism which is our focus.
As the publishers says, we have come a long way far more than our enemies expected as no one ever saw us coming this far.
With the comfort of a modern head office of our own, not only student journalists now enjoy a better atmosphere, but the office has become a benevolent host to other upcoming newspapers in Cameroon.
- Cyprain Ntiamba Obi Ntui