Thursday, May 5, 2016

Andre Ondele: Profile of Paul Joseph Goebbels of the Congolese press

Andre Ondele: he is another brilliant and hardworking journalist, whose eloquence and professionalism has not been put at the service of the country, but in the promotion of one man: Denis Sassou Nguesso. His detractors call him the Paul Joseph Goebbels of the Congolese press. For since he was appointed as Director of the Presidential press corp, a department, within the presidency of the republic, created to promote the actions and deeds of the president, he has excelled only in praising the President. If one were to rely on the programmes of Andre Ondele’s broadcast on TV as benchmark of success, one would think that, Congo would soon become a paradise on earth and Denis Sassou Nguesso, the best president that Congo has never known. Since he was appointed to head the Presidential press corp, his creativity and professionalism has been invested entirely at the marketing of Denis Sassou Nguesso. Those who only discovered him when he was appointed to head the presidential propaganda unit, they are surprised his fanaticism, hence they are calling him all kinds of derogatory names.  

Andre Ondele is a talented and hard working journalist. And without any pretentions whatsoever, he was the architect of the media and public relations success of Jean Jacques Bouya. At that time, he was managing the Communications department of the Major Public Works Department or Grand Travaux that has become a full-fledged ministry attached to the presidency of the Republic. There are three good things about Andre Ondele: he is as already mentioned, hardworking and then, loyal and dedicated to whosoever he is called serve. In fact, he is a workaholic who works relentlessly for the success of his boss or any mission given him. The same zeal with which he had put at the service of Bouya, it is the same that, he is putting to serve Denis Sassou Nguesso through Claudia Sassou Nguesso, his direct boss. Besides being hard working, Andre Ondele is equally good at trying to convince his colleagues to toe the same line as he does.  

That is, to support whatever thing the regime does. And this can be seen in a television programme that he anchors weekly, aptly called Congo Press Club. This TV programme has four regular guests: Jean Claude Kakou, Mfumu Fylla, Joachim Mbanza and Godefroy Yhombi, with an allocated budget and their job is to sing weekly praise to President Denis Sassou Nguesso. The other programme that he runs is called 7/45 and it is also in the contour of the former, the promotion of what the president does without any iota of criticism. These programmes only show or support the allegations that, Congo is a Stalinist or dictatorial state, where personality cult and propaganda reigns supreme. Were it not for the fact that, Andre Ondele’s programmes on TV were one-sided, it would have been irreproachable professionally. However, the only good things with his TV programmes are that, his guests are professionals who express themselves well and the production quality is excellent. How could it be otherwise? It is meant to please the President of the Republic aka father of the nation. It is rather unfortunate that such as brilliant journalist is investing all his talent and professional know how, just to promote one man, Denis Sassou Nguesso. The sad thing with what Andre Ondele is doing is that, he is   promoting passionately, a system that may not outlive the initiator.

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