Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Tribute: Pa Mimba Alfred Jato; The Teacher, Career Politician

Funeral Service at Baptist church Binju

The biblical Timothy in 2Timothy 4:7-8 teaches us that life is like a battle and only those have fought hard would be remembered. “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing” says 2Timothy 4:7-8.
Some people may have known Pa Mimba Alfred Jato better than I and will have a lot to tell about his life and work, but my memories may be no less important, for they go back to the Man, the Teacher and the Politician I met as a young man and news hunter thereafter.
His sense of humour made him the teacher that he was. In fact so thrilling that no student would afford to miss it. He had a soft voice and he used to talk to in a wonderful way. For a workaholic like him, teaching was what he loved and did it with a lot of dexterity as would be revealed on his biography. Pa Mimba had total tunnel vision when it came to empowering young leaders of tomorrow. Weekends at times he did not know, I was told. Whether this perpetuum mobile was the best way to run an institution could only be judged from the results he would obtain. Always the best on something that historians and psychiatrists can argue over endlessly.
Mimba Alfred Jato
But it suited Pa Mimba permanently striving personality. He taught in several; schools, primary and secondary (See number of schools below)
As a career politician, his dexterity landed him on the pedestral as local party scribe of the Cameroon People Democratic Movement-CPDM, common called “Section Secretary”. He was Section Secretary of the Donga Mantung I (Nkambe) and had worked with several politicians like late Hon. Tamfu, Ngabir Paul Bantar (now Mayor of Nkambe). Yet he never stood on his dignity or became grand. In rare moments of enforced inactivity, he would sit on my desk and develop new political strategies and orientations. If you look at anything Pa Mimba wrote or the speeches he made before, there's nothing outstanding or distinctive about them. He really only made an impact on the evolution of the party. Mimba Alfred was neither the most eloquent politician of his generation given that politics was being transformed into a game of insult. But he was without doubt the most determined. At a time of doubt and disillusion, his unswerving belief in his own convictions proved to be his most important characteristic. His values were simple and straightforward, based on the austere his childhood up bringing- hard work, self-discipline and thrift.
Who Was Pa Mimba Alfred
Pa Mimba Alfred Jato was born in 1942 in the family of Fai Ndiboti and Mami Mary Mumbfu in Tfum, Tabenken village in the Nkambe Central Sub-division of the Donga Mantung Division

Primary Education
            He started his academic life at the Basel Mission school in Tfum Tabenken in 1949 from infance one to standard two. He then left Tabenken to C.B.C Binka, where he attended standard three to five. Because of the absence of standard six in Binka, Pa Mimba moved to C.B.C Ndu where he completed standard six in 1956.

Life as Teacher and Headmaster and Student of Teacher Training College
Wife and Daughter
  From Ndu, he came back to Binka as a teacher and taught there for a period of twelve months. He was later transferred to Dumbo in Misaje sub-division where he taught for one year. In 1959 he was transferred to CBC Wowo village in Ndu sub-division as Headmaster.
From Wowo village, Pa Mimba saw the need to further his education. He decided to move to the Baptist Teacher Training College (BTTC) Buea from 1960 -1961, where he obtained his Teacher’s Grade three certificates. In 1962 he was posted to CBC Ande as Headmaster. From 1963-1964 after he went back to the Baptist Teacher Training College (BTTC), this time in Kumba and attended the Higher Elementary Training course, which earned him a Teacher’s Grade one certificate. He was sent to Fonfuka in the Bum sub-division as a Grade One Teacher.

Life as High School Student and Secondary School Teacher
After spending two years in Fonfuka, he again decided to further his education in CCAST Bambili from 1966-1967, where he obtained the Advanced Level Certificate in Geography and History. With this qualification, Pa Mimba was sent to teach at Kom Teacher Training College in Belo (KBTC) from 1968-1969. One year after, he was sent as a Tutor to JMBC Ndu.

Life abroad (University of Edinburg)
In 1970, Pa Mimba obtained a government scholarship to study English as a second Language at the Moray House College of Education in Edinburgh –Scotland. When he came back from Scotland in 1971, he was sent to teach at BTTC Buea.

University of Yaounde
            In 1972 he began with his studies at the University of Yaounde, where he obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Geography and Sociology, as an Option. He graduated from the University of Yaounde in 1975.

Life as lecturer and Principal after his University studies
After graduation from the University, he was posted to Government Secondary School (GSS) Meiganga in the Adamawa Region, where he taught English for one year and was transferred to Government High School (GHS) Nkambe. In 1986, he was transferred to GSS Wum, in the Menchum division. Three years later, he was transferred   back to GHS Nkambe.
            In 1992 he was appointed as the Principal of GHS Ako. Three years later, he was made pioneer Principal of GSS Njinikom in the Boyo Division. He spent three years in this position prior to being transferred to GSS Binka. Pa Mimba Jato spent one year at GSS Binka until his retirement in 2002.

Political and Social Responsibilities
He was a very active and dynamic militant of the CPDM in Donga Mantung 1 section and was Branch President of Chua-Chua quarter, and kept the branch very lively and active on many political fronts. He was the current section secretary of Donga Mantung 1 till he left this world on the August 22nd, 2014.
He was the Divisional Director of Mutual Health and was also the acting Divisional President of the Red Cross.

He was a Knight of the Cameroon order of merit. He also had awards from the CPDM and the Red Cross.
Until his death, he was the Divisional President of the Cameroon Red Cross

 Private life
Thousands gathered to pay last homage in Tfum-Tabenken
Two years ago Pa Mimba started having problems with his health. Doctors diagnosed cardiac complication and he has been battling with this since then and was lastly taken to the Banso Baptist Hospital for his usual therapy on the 19th of August 2014 and he passed on to eternity on 22nd of August  2014 at 7.55am.
Pa Mimba got married to Grace Nshani Mimba on the 6th of April 1972 and they lived together until his departure from this world. They had one daughter together.
He leaves behind his beloved Wife, the Daughter, three sons and four grandchildren and the entire Bo Nkfuchi family and friends to mourn  him. 

When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)

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