Cameroon’s pioneer journalist, politician dies

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Cameroon has been thrown into mourning following the death of a popular journalist and opposition politician, Mr. Boniface Forbin.

Dr Forbin, who published The Herald; the first ever privately-owned tri-weekly newspaper in the Central African nation, died at the Yaoundé University Teaching Hospital on Sunday, family sources said.

He has been variously described as the monument of the journalism profession in the country.

He also contested the October 2004 presidential election.

Eulogies have since been pouring in from colleagues at home and abroad and former staff of The Herald since his death was announced.

A former staff of media house, now based in the US, Mr Martin Ayaba, said Dr Forbin who died at the age of 73.

He described Forbin as a seasoned journalist who used the pages of The Herald to articulate the plight of the Anglophones in the Cameroon construct.

“His editorials on the burning Anglophone issue of our time were very poignant and palpable to read. For all of these, I salute you senior comrade and wish you well in your transition,” Mr Ayaba wrote in his eulogy.

Another former staff of The Herald, now a senior Social Affairs ministry official, Mr Douglas Achingale, said it was not by the chance that the print media baobab hopped the twig on Easter Sunday.

“For, like Jesus Christ, after touching the lives of many on earth, he rose to heaven on that day,” Mr Achingale wrote, adding that the late Dr Forbin was a pacesetter in English language print media journalism in Cameroon.

“To this day, The Herald, albeit now defunct, is undoubtedly in a class of its own.”

Two-third of the Cameroon Anglophone journalists between 1990 and 2000 passed through the professional hands of Dr Forbin.

Mr Achingale said The Herald was a school through which many who were today icons of the profession passed.

Read more: Africa Review

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