Saturday, December 21, 2013

Reunification Jubilee: Cameroon Celebrates 50 Years of Bilingual Broadcasting - Bayen

(NewsWatch Cameroon)-Plans to celebrate the reunification jubilee this year are two years behind schedule, notes Franklin Sone Bayen. The journalist, corporate communicator and researcher says:  “What is on schedule to be celebrated this year is 50 years of English language broadcasting on Radio Cameroon/CRTV radio or 50 years of bilingual broadcasting in Cameroon”.
Franklin Sone Bayen
In a release, Mr Bayen holds that this year marks 50 years since 1963 when the first English language broadcasters were recruited into Radio Cameroon Yaounde, following reunification in 1961. Francis Wete (CRTV deputy GM), Paul Mawo, Emmanuel Moudjih (former Radio Cameroon director), Ako Bryant, Sammy Chumfong, David Endeley, Frida Kima, Henry Fossung (retired ambassador), Peps Abia Nche, Neba Fabs and Alice Musa were among those Anglophones first recruited into Radio Cameroon Yaounde through a competitive test in 1963.
“Before their recruitment, Radio Douala (a French World War II propaganda radio created in 1940), Radio Yaounde (created in 1955), Radio Garoua (created in 1958) and, to a certain extent, Radio Buea which existed since 1961 but become fully operational only in 1967, were each broadcasting in only one official language”, writes Bayen.
The arrival of these first Anglophone broadcasters in Yaounde according to Mr Bayen, “marked the beginning of what has become this peculiar simultaneous bilingual broadcasting, with English-speaking and French-speaking broadcasters presenting news and programmes and running live commentaries in both languages without interpretation, to the astonishment and delight of foreign visitors”.
Mr Bayen believes that since private audio-visual outfits have followed suit as regards bilingual broadcasting in Cameroon, “it means this is not all about Radio Cameroon/CRTV; it also means 50 years of bilingual broadcasting in Cameroon in general”.
In view of this somewhat forgotten or neglected anniversary, preparations are underway in collaboration with other competent bodies to organize a Cameroon audio-visual bilingualism fair where audio-visual outfits will showcase Cameroons broadcasting bilingualism. On the sidelines of the fair, academic discussions will be organized. 
In the release, the journalist indicates that in view of the anniversary, he is finalizing two books - 50 Years of Bilingual Broadcasting in Cameroon or 50 Years of Radio Cameroon/CRTV “Reunification” – a historical account plus profiles of some key Anglophone broadcasters and Here is the news read by... – a comparative analysis of the two distinct styles of presenting news in English and French on CRTV radio.
By Ndi Eugene Ndi in Yaounde

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