A sea of humanity-from newspaper vendors to reporters, buyam-sellams to traders, commoners to political leaders, bike riders to vehicle owners, trade unionists to teachers, editors to publishers etc stormed Mile 90 Nsongwa (Bamenda) to pay homage to a renowned newspaper publisher who died on July 18, 2017.
The Government Delegate to the Bamenda City Council, Vincent Nji Ndumu, the mayor of Santa council, Kan Elroy Moses, the mayor of Batibo council, Tajoh Friderick, CPDM political bureau member Madame Regina Mundi, the Publisher of The Guardian Post and lone English Language daily Ngah Kristian, the Director of CDVTA Njuakom Francis and a host of other dignitaries who were buried in the crowd of mourners descended down to pay their last respects to Mbah Kynaston-Eric Motomu, Publisher/Editor of Chronicle newspaper.
Both the readers of Chronicle newspaper, friends, and family friends, were weighed down sensitively when they took their seats in front of the casket in which the Eric's body was kept. Uncountable number of people, including quite a good number who came from far distances could not hold back tears.
Friday, August 4, 2017 will remain a memorable day for journalists of the North West Region. That was the day heaven loosened and descended on media practitioners as they all bit farewell to the man who was popularly known as DP. Eric Motomu was the lone media prophet in Cameroon.
Eric has an indelible place in the history of Cameroon journalism. Like French astrology Nostradamus–Michel de Nostradame, Eric was able to forecast cabinet shakeups, appointments, dismissals and they all came to past as he predicted.
He variously saw tomorrow at different times in his newspaper reports. This is remarkable, because 90% of the events that later unfolded proved Eric Motomu right. Eric Motomu was a prophetic journalist and one who would dare where others can never. Gwain Colbert rightly puts in his eulogy that “Motomu’s life can be said to have been drained away by those who persecuted the truth”.
Not only was he an absolute expert in his field, he was also approachable and quick to share tips and advice with young reporters who dreamed of being like him someday.
To the Government Delegate to the Bamenda City Council, Eric’s loss is hard to bear, but Eric's contribution to journalism will live. To Ntumfor Barrister Nico Halle, the news of Eric’s sudden and dramatic passing away was devastating. Eric he wrote “was a vibrant and intelligent journalist. He was unique in his approach to journalism”.
Eric’s elder sister, Mrs Sama Edith sent tears running down the jaws of everyone went she gave a vivid account of his life from childhood to the final time he died. She said Eric’s demise will create a profound vacuum in the family. The President of North West Chapter of the Cameroon English Speaking Journalist Oba Rose, described Eric as a pillar in the profession and one of the best advisers in her team.
Dotta Akamancho Ezekiel, Publisher of the Watchdog Tribune who spoke on behalf of the publishers said that it is thanks to Eric that journalists are no more seen as beggars and it is Eric how set the pace for journalist to build houses.
One of the heartbreaking messages came from Tim Finian, Publisher/Editor of Life Time Newspaper from his prison cell in Kondegui. Tim wrote: Three weeks after, I would be jotting down some few words as a eulogy for you is uniquely painful experience you don’t wish your worst enemies. The gentleman I called “Partner in Crime” for 17 years had transitioned into eternity. That afternoon when Kelly called that “my man” was in bad shape, I gave a desperate ear more keenly. “The person who would have been taking care of me now on my sick bed is Tim, now that he is in prison. I am finished.…..Eric sincerely my brother, colleague and friend, fare thee well to where you now watch over us with glee of proof that your earthly mission is over.”
When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)