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Thousands Send ‘Home’ Becky Ndive 

By Elvis Tah, Diana Manda & Diane Hacko*

The supreme irony of death is that it fetches life. That extremely sad event of Sunday, July 12, simply blew the ever smiling Becky Njome Ndive to Olympian heights. From all indications, the world of journalism in Cameroon was reshaped, energised, reinforced and immortalised.

Hardly has any Cameroonian journalist been mourned the way Becky was. Her funeral brought together not only an unprecedented crowd of mourners from all walks of life from all over the national territory. It also attracted the crème de la crème of the Cameroonian society to her native Buea. And this, on a very rainy day. Becky’s death afforded Cameroonian journalists this rare social recognition.

The roll calls at the Ebenezer Baptist Church and her residence in Great Soppo Buea, spoke volumes… former Prime Minister Peter Mafany Musonge, former and incumbent Chiefs of Cabinet, Hon. Paul Njie Meoto and Dr. Paul Ghogomu; former Special Duties Minister Ephraim Ndeh Ngwafor, Dr. Dorothy Limunga Njeuma, one time Organisation of African Unity Secretary General William Eteki Mbomoua, Minister of Forestry and Wildlife Professor Elvis Ngole Ngole, and senior staff of the Cameroon Radio Television, CRTV.

Many other dignitaries from home and abroad also turned up to pay their last respects to the woman, described by many as a national heroine, a lady of rare qualities and values. Her colleagues at CRTV said she would be remembered as the hen that laid golden programmes like The Debate, Children with Becky, The Wake Up Show, Living with AIDS and Merry Trip.

Robert Esong Ekukule, who represented the CRTV Station Manager, said, for some 30 years, Aunty Becky gave her all to broadcasting. He saw in the fallen journalist, a woman with an inelastic smile that kept her audience glued to their television screens. "Her Programme, ‘The Debate’ made her tick like a clock…"

He said CRTV found it hard to let Aunty Becky go and she also found it hard to part ways with CRTV, which is why she worked for two additional years on contract. Her eldest son, Army Major Oscar Endeley, regretted the fact that his mother died barely a week after he was upgraded: "The regard and apprehensions you had attached to my recent promotion are beyond rational esteem.

"You gave birth to us and saw us grow with high aspirations for your offspring at heart. But fortune had its story. With your children growing apart from you, the best consolation was work; work well done, genuinely appreciated by all, even your detractors. Your children missed you then, and now that you were making way to pay us more attention, we’ve grown up…," Endeley bewailed. 

Her daughter, Susan Endeley found it hard to believe that Aunty Becky was no more: "I still can’t believe that you are gone. When you told me you were coming to spend time with me in Buea, little did I know that it was your last days. But I am most honoured that you chose to spend those last days with me… At the time, even in my wildest dreams, I could never have imagined that you could die!" Prof. Ngwafor said of Aunty Becky that she was such a hard working and determined woman who could turn white into black. He said Aunty Becky made impossibilities to be possible, especially in her programme ‘The Debate.’

The National President of the Cameroon Union of Journalists, CUJ, and Editor-In-Chief of Cameroon POSTline, Charly Ndi Chia said Becky was a pathfinder, a daring, hardworking journalist, who had a way with bringing people from across the socio-political divide, to participate in "The Debate". It was his wish that this popular programme outlives her.
During the funeral service, the Right Rev. Dr. Nyansako-ni-Nku, outgoing Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Cameroon, PCC, presented an intercessory prayer.

Drawing inspiration from 1st Thessalonians.4: 12-18, Pastor Josiah Tatagheng of the Etug-Ebe Baptist Church Yaounde, where Aunty Becky was a devotee, based his sermon on the theme, "Hope in Christ". Pastor Tatagheng said everybody should live their lives while considering death in their agenda, because, "if you live and die in Christ, you will have hope for the future [the world beyond.]"
 

According to the pastor, the only truth and goodness about somebody lies in God and is rewarded in death. "In life, there is time for everything, a time for man to be born and a time for him to die. Death is indiscriminate. It comes to everybody; the rich and the poor; the young and the old," said the cleric. Other officiating Ministers were Rev. Samson Khama, Rev. Dr. Peter Evande, Rev. Itue Motomby, Pastors Gentry Ndeley, Samuel Ndeley, Vekume and Liombe.

Biography

The late Becky Ndive was born on September 21, 1949, at Wokoko, Buea. She was the third child of Mola Peter Ndive Molua and Hannah Evenge nee Mokali, both of blessed memory.
She did her primary education in CBC Great Soppo and later moved to St. Francis Training College, Kumba, where she graduated with a Grade III certificate. She proceeded to the Cameroon College of Arts, Science and Technology, CCAST, Bambili, where she obtained the GCE Advanced Level Certificate.

In 1971, she left for further studies in Chicago, USA, where she bagged a first degree in Sociology. She worked at the Voice of America, VOA, and other private radio stations in Washington, while she studied. From the US, Aunty Becky left for Nigeria, where she worked with the Nigerian Television Authority, NTA, in Jos, Plateau State.

Upon her arrival in Cameroon from Nigeria, she worked with Radio Cameroon in Douala and Yaounde, where she served as Chief of Bureau, from 1982 to 1984. Aunty Becky was married to Dr. Emmanuel Mbella Lifafa Endeley, former Prime Minister of West Cameroon with whom she had three children, Army Major Oscar Findi Endeley, Ewelisane Mojoko Endeley, and Susan Endeley Nanyongo. Aunty Becky is survived by her children, grandchildren, siblings, friends and well-wishers.

(*UB Journalism Students On Internship)

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