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Friday, December 14, 2012
Henry Njalla Quan the Hero Whom I knew
The General Manager of Cameroon Development Corporation (CDC) who died on December 13, 2012 was a true-born soldier and a patriotic individual. There is a common saying that a hero is never known in his home, but defeated that notion during his lifetime. Something I think we all can agree on, is that the General Manager of CDC, Chief Henry Njalla Quan who died a day ago was hero. His passing away is a heart wound to all of us that he was lost in service to, not just our country, but to humanity. During his lifetime, Chief Henry Njalla Quan had different titles and different official jobs, but what he did best is what they call “development”. He was rarely found behind his desk wearing a suit or tie when there is field work left undone. I remember his first trip to Donga Mantung Division and how the population showed appreciation in a way that what could not be said in speeches was sang in songs. He was always out in the field meeting people and the one constant I found in everyone who spoke of him was how friendly and incurably upbeat he was.
I knew him as one of the foremost sports promoter, development luminary, a true militant of the CPDM party, a cultural promoter and the Man who gave marathoners the best Cameroon could offer to prepare any International competition.He was dexterous and would give his all for any action he takes. Born in 1949 in Victoria, Henry Njalla Quan I will remember Chief Henry Njalla Quan for the achievements and new orientations he instituted at CDC since 1998 when he was appointed General Manager. Bestowed the trust to manage the company that employs the highest number of workers with approximately 20.000 workers, second only to the state, Chief Henry Njalla Quan instilled the greatest expansion force in recent years to keep CDC on top. Today, Donga Mantung, Momo, Manyu farmers were in grief when the news of his passing away was confirmed. Not just because he thought of them in his expansion programme but because of the human face he attached to his development work. Njalla Quan was very innovative to extend the oil palm component of the CDC to Donga Mantung, Manyu and Momo where he convinced individuals develop small holder scheme and even promised to set up an oil mill in Ako and in the Mbaw plain.
Chief Henry Njalla Quan decorated during his first trip to Donga Mantung
Njalla Quan’s extension initiatives also led to the creation of the CDC Boa Plain plantations in Ndian Division and Matouke. Until his death, Njalla Quan was President of Cameroon Banana Producers’ Association (ASSOBACAM). He earned this position thanks to his ingenuity in extending the banana market to many more European buyers and by introducing the Cameroon “Makossa” label of banana which is cherished in the various shelves in the international market. Apart from the giant agro-industrial CDC which he managed, Njalla Quan was equally a sports lover and had created the famous Njalla Quan Sports Academy which today boasts as the only First Division club in the South West Region. He also sponsored other sporting events including the famous Njalla Quan Sports Academy marathon between Idenau and Limbe involving international athletes. For many years running, Njalla Quan was one of the chief spokespersons of the Central Committee of the ruling CPDM Party for his constituency in Fako Division. His vision, tact and reconciliatory character helped build bridges among political contenders in Fako Division. Elsewhere, Njalla Quan was a socialite, and a guitarist; always ready to stage at the slightest opportunity. His lyrics soothed many dancers on every floor where he entertained. He was a high-spirited orator who could conveniently keep any audience spellbound wherever he addressed them. Prior to his death, Njalla Quan had been absent from the CDC for close to six months due to illness. The shadow of the tall gait personality of Njalla Quan will remain to linger in the minds of all who knew and accosted him.
His work won the admiration of the Press and traditional rulers to the point that he is leaving this world with a lot of titles, which further confirms that he died as a hero leaving behind a vision for others to ensue.
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