Wednesday, September 16, 2015

From Paris to Brazzaville (part 1)

When I left Cameroon for France, I worked with several media houses. It was not as though things were rosy for me from the start. Life is never easy for any immigrant in Western Europe or even elsewhere in the world. But with the help of friends and colleagues such as Daniel Emile Singleton, Tony Cross, George Kazolias, Diana Gladstone Smith, Barbara Cassasius, Jeff Apter and Zoe Harris to mention just these few, I integrated faster.  I also had the tremendous help and support from the Paris branch of the National Union of British and Irish Journalists abbreviated NUJ. At Radio France International (rfi), which I was stringing for them while in Cameroon and this since October 1997, things did not turn out as they had originally planned or promised me.  But interestingly, as my contract terminated with the English service of Radio France International, I got a job with AITV courtesy George Kazolias. It was a stringing job. From AITV, I went on to work as a stringer for Indigo Publications.

Indigo Publications are the publishers of the following newsletters: Lettre du Continent, Africa Energy Intelligence and Indian Ocean Report to mention just these few. However, that which is widely read and known amongst the business and political elite in French-speaking Central and West African sub regions is Lettre du Continent. This is so because, Lettre du Continent are specialist  and this, through a network of well placed top government functionaries in publishing secret information that traditional print and electronic media in the more often dictatorial regimes in French-speaking central and west African countries seldom have. Because, Lettre du Continent has and publishes first hand political and business news from the opaque countries in central and West African, which are in majority French-speaking, it is sold only through subscription and it is expensive. The annual subscription fee for the 8 page newsletter is Euro 800.

The editor at that time was Antoine Glaser, a journalist with a sound knowledge of French-speaking Africa and also the way Paris treats or deals with her former colonies south of the Sahara. Antoine Glaser was and still is my great friend. Besides working for Indigo Publications, I went on to work with the English services of Canal France International (CFI) and when they lost the rights to cover the Africa Cup of Nations football matches to LC2 International, a Benin Republic Television station headed by Enoch Christian Laheinde, I joined the new rights holders in doing what I was doing at CFI. That is football match commentaries and other individual team sports commentaries. While at CFI and LC2 International I focused on sports commentaries, it was when I joined 3 A Telesud that I did blossom professionally. 3 A Telesud is perhaps the first French-language pan-African Television broadcasting from Paris and directing its programmes toward French-speaking Africa and also the French-speaking Caribbean countries that are French dependencies. 

No comments:

Post a Comment