Thursday, January 15, 2015

Top Six Funniest Douala Airport Moments



 6) This one was purely the hand work of mischievous MAS colleague Oliver. Now there are some passengers who barely know what flight they’re boarding, generally old people. And even some young people oh. You ask a passenger, “sir, which flight?” He or she looks stunned. He/she stares at the passport first, “Eh, the 2.00 PM flight.” “Is that the name of a flight?” he/she rechecks again, this time at his flight ticket, “Eh, em, Ethiooo-pian airlines.” “Okay, this way.” 

Now bring mischievous Oliver into flight name ignorance and you’ll get a masterpiece of flight name confusion. Do you want to know what I mean? Right. Oliver’s recipe of sending a passenger into flight name confusion is simple. He combines two flights, simple, period. Kenya Airways and Air France. Here comes the passenger towards Oliver who asks, “Sir, which flight?” Passenger looks at passport first, then says “errrrrrr” before he goes to the flight ticket to check. Oliver quickly understands he’s one of the ones mentioned above and asks the passenger,

“Sir, Kenya Air France?” passenger stops, looks at him dumbfounded and stammers in confusion. “Yes. No. Yes. No. wait, which flight did you say?”
“Are you flying on Kenya Air France?”
“No. Yes wait….” his face showing utmost confusion, he scrutinizes his flight ticket again while Oliver screams,
“Young man, are you flying on Kenya Air France?” colleagues watching Oliver almost collapse in laughter.
“I am flying on a Kenya flight but not passing through Air France, sir.”
“Okay, this way,” Oliver ushers him towards the Kenya Airways queue and makes a face at laughing colleagues.

5) This one happened in 2012 when the defunct Air Nigeria used to land here. The airline was facing serious managerial crisis in those its last days. As a result, it broke all the rules of aviation and operated like a bus agency. I swear even Garanti Bus Express operated better than them. So it is no surprise that they used to have constant wild flight delays of seven, eight and even nine hours (without the Air Nigeria staff informing passengers oh!) And it was always we, the Swissport crew taking all the insults and heat. We were seldom informed when the plane would land either. So when passengers asked us about arrival time, we sometimes disappeared. (The Air Nigeria staff knew how to disappear very well. They checked in passengers and vamoosed from the airport like ghosts, abandoning the angry passengers). On one of such long delayed flights, passengers at the boarding gate had tormented my colleague Valery and I at midnight to the point of total exhaustion. When Valery finally caught sight of the approaching plane a few hours later, he pulled out his walky-talky and announced with his hoarse voice,
“Bad luck Air Nigeria on the ground. Bad luck Air Nigeria on the ground.” I paused, looked at my colleague Shirley and we unanimously burst into laughter forgetting all the hunger and exhaustion.

4) The next one was narrated to me by my colleague Rosaline. She was at the boarding gate one day searching carry-on luggage when a female passenger walked towards her with her carry-on. Rosaline wore plastic gloves which she used to search the carry-on luggage. When the passenger saw her, she guessed Rosaline was probably a nurse or a doctor. So the passenger placed her bag on the ground and lay flat on the search table, spreading out her legs and arms for Doctor Rosaline to operate her belly before she could board the plane. Rosa suppressed a laugh and told her to get up and place her bag on the table so that she could search it instead.

3) I was at the baggage sorting area during an Arik air flight registering all the checked-in bags. As the bags rolled down the belt, I noticed that there was a lot of noise from one of them. When I put my right ear next to the bag, I heard some wonderful Ivorian Couper decaler music. Uh? As the bag passed through the X-ray machine, the bag handler who carried it to the Arik air trolley started dancing to the bag’s music. I grinned and pulled out my radio.

“Boarding gate for Container!”
“Go ahead for gate”
“Sequence 22 has to come down to the baggage sorting area.”
“Why? Has it been withheld by the Customs?”
“Not the Customs. His bag is singing.”
“What? What do you mean by ‘his bag is singing’.”
“Sequence 22 has to come down and turn off the music playing from his bag. If not this place would turn into a nightclub.”
“Copied, Container.”

When the gentleman descended and opened the bag, we discovered that he had left his radio set on. So the device had entertained us with a good dose of DJ Arafat. Mpangor!
*On a certain Swiss Air flight in 2011, my colleagues had discovered a bag which was vibrating. Scared that it may be an explosive they almost ran away. When they called down the passenger, they discovered that, he had left on his battery powered shaving machine after usage, put it into his bag and drove to the airport. As a result, his bag kept fidgeting and moaning, vrrrr, vrrrri, vrii, vrrrr, vrrrrrm.

2) Some months ago, I met a white American man at the arrival hall whose shirt was soaked to the point that it looked like someone had pelted a pail of water on him, sweat glands at the maximum with expulsion, his right arm clinging to a handkerchief wiping furiously at his forehead. When our eyes met, he went, “you know I’m from Minnesota where it’s minus forty degrees.” I replied, “Welcome to Douala where it’s plus thirty degrees, The oppressive heat at this airport bites at the human skin like it has teeth.” (No air conditioning then.) The man shook his head in disappointment.

1) My top funny moment happened on Kenya Airways. A male passenger had arrived very late at the check in counter when check in had ended and all the check-in agents had left. So he asked around what he had to do to get on that flight because “it is so important, I have to travel today oh my God. I cannot miss this flight…” bla bla bla (As if you didn’t know all that when you arrived late!) He was directed to the Kenya Airways office anyway. But there was nothing the KQ staff could do because all the check in agents had left and the check-in system had already shut down. The man pleaded but Therese was steadfast,

“Sir, it is not possible for you to fly today. However, there is another flight tomorrow. You will pay the penalty for your “no show” and we will….” The man cut the KQ staff, Therese short and chipped in intelligently,
“But I showed up! I showed up at your office ten minutes ago. I showed up. How can you say I am “no show” and I did not show up, uh?” Therese smiled.
“Sir, if you don’t check in during the normal check in time and check-in ends, you are considered a “no show passenger” and…”
“I said I showed up eh! Did I not show up at your office? (passenger points at my colleague Peter) Young man have I not shown up at the Kenya office? Uh?”
“You were supposed to show up at the counter and on time, not at our office when the counter is closed and boarding is almost through at the gate. I’m sorry, you will only fly…”
“I showed up ooooh, madame, I showed up. Please board me. I showed up!”



South African Goliath!

I met this Goliath at the boarding gate traveling to Joburg on South African Airlines. Guy told us he is the smallest in his family. I am 1.77 m tall oh. But see how I bi na Lilliput for yi corner. Hmmm, he is quite a South African Gulliver!


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Meeting Museba



I was working on South African last Wednesday and was at the “box”, SA boarding pass control. A tall, gold complexioned beautiful woman walked towards me and asked if I was treating Camair-co. She was flying to Lagos. I said nope. But her pretty face was familiar. I thought and.....Yes. Got it!

“Museba!” I said slowly. She nodded and smiled, meaning she was the one.
“Ah! I like your music. I always watch your videos on Boom TV.
“Okay, thank you.” I didn’t have my camera with me but I spotted my colleague, Marie Michelle passing by. So I met MM and told her to take photos of Museba and I. And so MM fired two shots.


Thursday, January 8, 2015

Daphne and Wax Nde tear down the roof of the BBCL event at Le Meridien Hotel, Douala



I arrived at Le Meridien Hotel in Bonanjo, Douala on December 30th, 2014 just in time for the highly anticipated “Bold and Beautiful Camer Ladies”, BBCL event. This event was the brain child of some bold and beautiful Camer ladies pictured below.

Meet The Social Media Manawas @ A Business Opportunity for Top Brands


It started as an idea, an opportunity and a necessity for a fusion between Cameroon bloggers at home and those in the diaspora. They wanted to connect in real life and exchange ideas. However, the event they decided to put together is more than just a meet and greet event. It is a networking event that has attracted many businesses as they know this is an opportunity to brand their products and be visible to the thousands of followers following these bloggers.
Social media is the new way to push businesses to the right clients.



The Bold & Beautiful Camer Ladies (BBCL) group was established with the intention of bringing together young and dynamic Cameroonian ladies who are very active worldwide in promoting their business activities, mainly on social media. The group currently has over 400 members located around the world with a potential reach of over 600,000.

FabAfriq Magazine is pleased to be amongst the founding members of this amazing event and would like to invite all it fans to join us as we unveil what 2015 has in store for us. Here below, is a little bit of information about the heads behind this event and where they blog.

Chantal Edie is a photographer and the Owner of Chantal Edie Photography

Anrette Ngafor is a Fashion Designer and Creator of the Liiber London, a Fashion clothing line

Delly Vibang is the genius behind multiple websites like Ferdelle.com and several others

Hilda Awambeng is a Fashion blogger, Stylist and Creator of Mammypi, a Fashion & Lifestyle Blog

Adeline Sede is the Publisher/Founder of FabAfriq Magazine, a Fashion & Lifestyle Magazine

Antonia Mundi is the Publisher/Founder of Maischna Magazine,  a Fashion & Lifestyle Magazine

Reneta Ndisang is a Fashion Designer and Creator of  Mareta West, a Fashion clothing line

Yefon Mainsah is a Blogger and the Creator of IRepCamer, a Lifestyle & Entertainment Blog

Mbole Ekaney is a Fashion Blogger and the Creator of The Hotjem, a Fashion & Lifestyle Blog

These bold and beautiful ladies organised the event and also racked up sponsors such as Baileys and Madiba Consultants. It was the third such meeting in our inaugural bloggers meet year, 2014. After dining and wining, (NGO damay) we all made our way to the hall for the main event. There were close to a hundred participants. Compare that to the fifteen who attended the first one at White House in Bonapriso and you’ll guess we’re forging ahead.

I admired the hotel’s exquisite architectural layout and Christmas illumination as I made my way to the pool side where bloggers, fashion designers, models, entrepreneurs etc were being treated to a fabulous buffĂ© (manna from heavenly blogosphere) and shack. (You want know whetti bi shack? Shack mean say jong. Lingua K-mer). Non K-mer google up. Lol. 


The master of ceremonies for the night was Hilda Awambeng, who introduced the panel; Mbole Ekaney, Yefon Mainsah, Anrette Ngafor and music lover Takor. Techies Churchill and Clifford Ako of Wasamundi were also available for technical support. Last but not least, Chantal Edie was the photographer.
MC HIlda

Panel



Each of the panel members gave a talk on various blogging issues and from their angles of fashion, music, work and advice on how to blog better and build a wider audience, so as to attract companies who can come up with publicity deals. There were many questions and contributions from the attendees. There were complaints and counter complaints from some and advice, technical advice and more advice from the tireless panel. I learnt loads of new things from the panel’s advice and I got a little irritated from some of the attendee complaints.

And among all that serious blogging-talking, questioning, advising and technical advising, the organizers managed to spice our blogosphere with fabulous rainbows; the rainbows being the fashion costumes adorning the bodies of the tall beautiful models, who paraded our hall’s runway like they were all Naomi Campbells.

Finally, there was acoustic sunshine in the blogosphere dazzling as beautiful music from three brilliant, young Cameroonian artists. The first artist to perform (whose name I missed) made us gyrate to his strong Cameroonian rhythms. Next, came the contemporary makossa artiste, Wax Nde who tore down the roof with his performance singing a song that he worked on with…oh hoo, hear the name well oh, Koko master, D’Banj. Ooooshea! Wax Nde’s new album “Makossa” is out now. Get your copy oh! With collabos by Femi Kuti, D’Banj and other household names in African music. The boy is good. 

Wax Nde and Adeline Sede kamga of Fabafriq magazine

The third and final artiste of the evening was our young, magnificent Reggae star girl, Daphne who performed a gospel song before blowing our hearts away with her hit track, “Rastafari” which is topping the music charts on Trace Africa right now. She’s even been on the number one spot there y’all. She’s put a beautiful soulful twist on her reggae music and it’s something you’ll not want to miss in your music repertoire. 

Daphne performing "Rastafari"

After her performance she went to the open air section to deliver an interview to the Urban TV crew who were also filming the occasion. (Hey, but Daphne is not “smoke high as a Marley oh!” She nodi “fume le gae like Jovi oh” Meme si elle fume le gae, “Et p8 koi?” Uh? The talk and performances ended but the professional hook ups took off then. The BBCL event was one successful one. And we know it’s going to be even bigger in 2015. Happy new year y’all.

moi


Popular blogger Yefon Mainsah and I

*Two pictures and part of my article, courtesy of Yefon Mainsah's blog "I Rep Camer."