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

by Ephraim N. Ngwafor

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.

ISBN 9789956616596 | 256 pages | 216 x 140 mm | B/W Illustrations | 2010 | Langaa RPCIG, Cameroon | Paperback



“A thought-provoking document which in effect reminds Cameroonian journalists of the vital task and challenge of continuing a noble mission that was unfortunately terminated by an untimely death.”

Dr Shey Peter Mabu, Veteran journalist and former Editor-in-Chief, CameroonTribune



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