Breaking The Myths: Chungong Cleatine Asongwe
Youths Can Succeed in Cameroon
Youths For A Better Cameroon
There is a bevy of problems ravaging the African continent at the moment. Cameroon is no exception to this phenomenon. In response to this situation, youth – the Yahoo Generation, ‘Generation-Y’ – are seeking immediate and cosmetic solutions to their problems. Many go in search of greener pastures in the Western World, engage in a fraudulent online activity (known as 419 or Yahoo) or take drugs.
In today's world, most of Generation-Y is drawn to and moved by materialism, the fast life and secularism.
They are impatient and have little compassion for human welfare. Very few, like Chungong Cleatine Asongwe, can be regarded as a beacon of light in these dark times.
He has faced difficulties and survived trials all his life, and has firsthand experience of poor governance and its adverse effects on people.
- The problems he encountered growing up and in his education did not break him. Unlike many other Cameroonians, he has not lost his patriotism or his love for Africa. He has not gone in search of the proverbial greener pastures. Instead, he chooses to work relentlessly, in Cameroon, to make his country and our continent places of opportunity, development and peace.
Cleatine's parents come from both sides of the Mungo – one anglophone and one francophone. This has given him a more profound insight than many, into the delicate and challenging situation of linguistic coexistence in Cameroon.
Very few people can see as clearly as he does, in this maelstrom of intolerance and violence that has gripped our nation. Cleatine has an eye for unity, peace and development for everyone in Cameroon.
He has visited 70% of Cameroon, which has given him an intimate knowledge of Cameroonians and their plight. During his travels across the country, he has met and empathised with his compatriots, gaining firsthand knowledge and experience of what it takes to live together.
Cleatine’s passion for inclusive governance in Cameroon and his desire to see growth and development in his home, have steered him into the realm of some great people. In particular, two icons who now serve as his role model and mentor - Professor PLO Lumumba and Barrister Akere Muna, respectively.
Cleatine fuses their teachings and guidance in his work and life, adding his personal touch to produce a leadership style that has a positive effect on Cameroon youth.
In this regard, he launched Youth for a Better Cameroon (YOBCA) in 2016 to garner young people to take a greater interest in and participate in the democratic process in Cameroon.
He was inspired by what youth have done in this regard in the Philippines and Botswana, among others.
YOBCA fights human rights abuse and demands youth participation in all aspects of public life.
- It demonstrates to them the importance of participating in the democratic life of the nation and urges them to become torchbearers of truth and change wherever they find themselves.
- YOBCA has organised a series of workshops and conferences to build capacity among young people in Cameroon, as they prepare to serve the nation and the world.
- In September 2020, YOBCA offered scholarships worth 1,000,000francs CFA to some successful GCE O/L and A/L students in Miselele, a community in the Tiko Sub-Division, Fako South West Region of Cameroon.
This singular act is to teach the young that education is the foundation of a successful society.
Cleatine’s leadership style centres on genuine dialogue, inclusive governance and strict accountability.
This form of leadership and governance reinforces his conviction in the ideal of unity.
He is opposed to disintegration, especially in Cameroon at this time. He does not ascribe to the view that a two-state situation will solve the problems that currently bedevil Cameroon.
Despite corruption and vote-rigging, Cleatine pushes young people to have hope and to work towards lasting solutions.
Cleatine is committed to his passion and dream of seeing youth become a formidable force in democratic affairs, a force for change and development in Cameroon.
Working for Barrister Akere Muna’s Presidential campaign in 2018, Cleatine worked through Mr Muna's NOW Movement to garner support for the candidate from across the generations and the linguistic divide in Cameroon. Even veteran politicians were unable to achieve this.
He was so successful in building trust and confidence that he was able to escort Barrister Akere Muna to Kembong, the most dangerous place during the Anglophone war.
Such actions won him the admiration of this respected and revered man and a place at his table in the historic Cameroon Grand National Dialogue of October 2019.
This is proof enough that he is a formidable force to reckon with in the possibility for positive change in Cameroon.
Cleatine has refused to pick a side in the war of separation in Cameroon, preferring to seek alternative solutions to this and other nagging problems plaguing the country.
He drew heavily from his experience as student President of the Faculty of Social and Management Sciences, at the time the largest Faculty at the University of Buea.
In addition his present service at British High commission as a political and Communication Intern will give him an added advantage in getting lasting solution to bring an end to the Anglophone crisis.
Cleatine is an avid reader and researcher on issues relating to African Nationalism and restoring freedom and growth in Africa.
Cleatine is the antithesis to the suggestion that today’s youth are lazy and easily swayed and can therefore not hold leadership positions in Cameroon.
His life and work show that a new generation of Cameroonians is ready to take on national leadership and use their ideas and strength to bring about change.