Retired CRTV Journalist Says Anglophones were more marginalized in Radio Cameroon than today. Veteran journalist, Gideon Taka, has disclosed that Anglophone journalists were more marginalized in their days than what obtains in today’s CRTV.
In an exclusive interview with The Vanguard, Gideon Taka said they were treated as people who have come to join an already existing group. “We were viewed as strangers especially by Francophone colleagues with whom we were working. I remember there was always a serious struggle as to who uses the microphone during sports reporting and you could hear statements from sports reporting colleagues like ‘who is even listening to you’ but I fought against this in such a way that when I finally handed to Peter Esoka in 1990 when I was leaving for higher studies, there was no more problem”. He averred that he trained Peter Esoka in sports reporting and discovered him as a good fighter.
On his advice to CRTV management, Taka enjoined the management to balance programming in both English and French and equally pay particular attention to programs broadcast on T.V to reduce pornographic films at prime time and low-grade, imported programs from the West that destroy the youths. “My last advice was for management to create a consultancy within CRTV competent old hands in both French and English to serve as guards or watch dogs to uphold high standards in the corporation”. He opined that CRTV is using tax-payers’ money and so management should endeavor to serve fly-over zones especially areas along the borders.
Gideon Taka who was recruited in the then Radio Cameroon with “O” Levels, posited that they were trained on the job. “It took us two weeks of observing and practicing what others were doing”. He pointed out that there was no school of journalism in Cameroon at their time.
With “O” level certificate, Taka held the posts of chief of bureau, the highest position given to the English desk at the time. After obtaining a B.A in journalism and Masters in political science from the University of Western Ontario in Canada, he held all posts up to sub-directors. He was retired in 1993 as Station Manager of Radio Buea. Before then, he held the positions of chief of service of programs, chief of service of production, chief of service of archives and documentation, and provincial delegate of information and culture for the Northwest province.
Gideon Taka, who is the Station Manager of Radio Hot Cocoa and Head of Department of Journalism at Polytechnic Bambui today, stressed that in his days at Radio Cameroon he distinguished himself in sports reporting and was like a special reporter chosen by former President, Ahmadou Ahidjo as he followed him within and out of the country.
From our news desk