ADC agent walks up to the boarding gate to do the boarding announcement. “Ladies and gentlemen, the flight ET 905 to Addis ‘Abaaaa’ is now ready for boarding…” Colleague -Paul freezes, stretches his neck forward and creates furrows on his forehead, “Del, did you hear what that guy said? Addis Abaaaa!” “I heard,” she says and bursts into laughter. “Del, is that a new destination? Addis Abaaaa!!! Kaparasiani Yawaal! On va voir tout dans l’aeroport ci!” Paul strolls towards ADC agent after boarding and teases. “Gar, tu a fait fort aujord’hui, Addis Abaaa! Is that a new destination?” Guy squints at Paul, bemused. Delphine is cracking up at one corner. “Addis Abaaaa! C’est dans quel pays mon frere? Where is that place found? Or is it Aba in Nigeria?" Guy gets irritated and tries to mask the scowl but Paul is relentless. “Tu est tres, tres fort, mon frère, Addis Abaaaa!!! Have you become one of these Chinese passengers who disembark in Douala while on transit instead of Malabo and start asking me at the door of the aircraft, “Malabaa? Malabaa?” And I just say Doualaaaaaa! Get back into the plane! Now I’m going to add your new destination, Addis Abaaaaaa! Addis Abaaaaaa. Hmmm, Kaparasiani Yawaal!” And Paul walks away like he hasn’t hurt a fly. ADC agent’s face looks like he wants to Floyd Mayweather Paul’s forehead… #Paul is still waiting for the location. #Or maybe the guy Christopher Columbus’ed that place? #We need Addis Abaaaa holiday makers abeg! No Visa required.
Friday, October 9, 2015
I attended another Camerbloggers hangout at the Ovamba Cameroon Solutions office in Akwa earlier today. It was a cheery and highly engaging meeting between some Ovamba employees and Camerbloggers. The Ovamba’yees, Osbert Chiabi, Prashant Mahajan and Bianca Lee (who came all the way from the US) introduced us to their company and elucidated thoroughly about their activities. I wasn’t there at the beginning but I grasped something substantial when I joined the others a couple of minutes later. Here is the summary.
Ovamba Solutions is basically a financial institution by investors after years of experience in the African finance markets. It was created to support African economies by improving access to credit for the small & medium enterprise (SME) market. Ovamba uses a marketplace lending (p2p) model that allows their retail and institutional lenders to bid on / acquire up to 50% of loans. But the sme must fulfill certain financial conditions before receiving the loan. For instance, the company must be legally registered with Cameroonian tax authorities. It must have been in business for at least two years. It should have an existing account at a financial institution where you deposit cash from your establishment’s financial dealings. The owner must be above the age of 21 and willing to provide personal guarantee for a loan. Your business must not be involved in any of the following industries: Alcohol, gambling, money lending, adult entertainment, tobacco, weapons, timber and primary agriculture.
After the graphic demonstrations, the speakers threw the floor to the corporate bloggers demanding questions and points of doubt. And there were lots of questions flying towards them left, right and centre, to which they took time to answer as best as they could. I even got the impression that burrowing from Ovamba can be relatively easier than burrowing from a commercial bank. Prashant Mahajan, their tech guru also spoke on the digital side of things and monetized blogging which we were keen on. (The guy almost made me want to become an Indian Bangalore institutes techie with his knowledge!) "I can tell you all what you're doing on your laptop right now?" "Uh?" (Shocked) "You're in my digital space now, remember?" And he laughed, Kiki. It was one great helluva event! Why not check them out for details on ovamba.com
Saturday, October 3, 2015
At 2.00 PM today October 3rd 2015, about 150 people, among them company executives, journalists, "Camerbloggers hang out" members and other Cameroonian blogger stars convened at the magnificent Star Land Hotel, Bonapriso for the historic Bloggers Forum Douala. It was a fantastic bilingual event organized by Elodie Crescence and sponsored by Nexttel, Nescafe, Les Brasseries du Cameroun and hosted by Star Land Hotel. The Master of Ceremonies was Carole Leuwe, who introduced us to the panelists; Frank William Batchou, Jean Pierre Boep, Hugues Leandre Kamga, Brice Albin, Rene Jackson Nkowa, William Takor, Cynth Ibohn, Elie Kogoup, Edouard Tamba and Valery Njiaba. They presented in both English and French, various issues about blogging beginning from the elementary, what is a blog? To which answers popped from various thought angles, with some describing it as an online channel. The Q and A session even digressed to a "Journalist vs Blogger" debate, to which there was so much talk to clarify the difference (and some "pulling the mic off the mouths of over stretching speakers". Oops!). The presenters also talked of bloggers being influencers, with one citing the case of Senegalese bloggers helping to stop Abdoulaye Wade in his bid to seek for an unconstitutional third term in office. The panelists talked about content blogging and marketing, micro blogging, photo/video blogging on Instagram, product recommendation etc.
What many people were interested in, is how blogging can be used to generate income. Enstine Muki (whose blog enstinemuki.com is a reference money making blog in Cameroon), paved the way with this topic and said there is no clear cut formula to earn money from blogging but through various methods. It begins by deciding on and occupying a specialized niche eg, Fashion, Food, Tech, Tourism, Clothing etc and build an audience with excellent regular posts. He delivered a short insightful money making presentation mentioning affiliate marketing, affiliate networks, product networks etc. He also said he was going to teach his income earning skills in an upcoming bloggers workshop (date is still to be fixed). And that bloggers could create multiple blogs and even sell a profitable blog if an offer from a company is lucrative. Clifford Ako of www.wasamundi.com and Chop Knuckle started by classifying bloggers into four groups; Hobbyist blogger, part time blogger, professional blogger and corporate blogger. An aspiring blogger had to decide which type of blog he/she wants to create and work on it consistently to build a wide audience. The audience can be used as a bargaining tool. He also mentioned using webinars, podcasts and newsletters.
So, the future of blogging? Carole asked. Everybody leaned in the direction of the words, “growing” “bright” “explore unchartered territories” in their responses. Some envisioned a more connected young generation, therefore wider audiences, more business savy bloggers, more professionalism, more blogging conferences, mentorship of young bloggers, many more companies coming into the Cameroonian blogosphere hence making them cash in as their corporate bloggers and their social media managers. Bloggers are going to be rich! Yes, richer than Pa kadji! More shi-shi, more kabacha, more budget! Okay, I’m kidding. Lol. But I see bloggers living off their blogs exclusively one day, designing their own products and marketing from their homes on their laptops. Becoming "dot com" employees. The tech event ended on a highly chit chatty note amidst bottles of sweet drinks and cups of coffee by Nescafe and lots of pics. I went home after learning loads from the panelists. And oh yes, a brilliant specialized blogging idea hit me while Enstine was doing the big talk. Eureka!