By Che Ambe
While family disagreements following the late self-made millionaire’s fortune have simmered under the radar for a while now, this recent self-action is raising eyebrows and threatening to “spill the beans”. In an effort to immortalize his father, the late man’s eldest son Jack Yong, who is also the International Relations Officer for one of the late educationist’s crowned jewel – the National Polytechnic Bambui, singlehandedly ordered for a statue of his father from China. To the chagrin of the family and adorers, the final product, recently unveiled by the Cameroon’s Minister for Higher Education, Mr. Jacques Fame Ndongo, was everything, but the facial resemblance of Mr. Yong Francis.
While one cannot predict any Machiavellian reasons behind Jack Yong’s, action, the move no doubt accent his shallowness of the reverence the public has for the late Francis Yong, who was not only a visionary but a perfectionist. Other observers equally claim that splurging more money on an imported statue in bad taste, instead of a local architect risk alienating the community against the late man’s legacy of love simplicity and generosity. A former employee (name withheld) could not be blunter, “to them, he was a father, but to us, he was a country, a community, village, inspirator, harbinger…. He remains our glowing beacon, and deserves nothing, but the best”. To assuage the public damnation, one of the late man’s sons – Afu Yong, had to cover up the “impostor” statue of his father to preempt an impending family implosion.
The late self-made millionaire who passed away in 2013, of cancer at the age of 68, remains the most lionized non-political figure in North West Cameroon. Millions in the region and beyond owe their professional wherewithal to him through his near philanthropic educational initiatives in which insolvent parents could barter for tuition with arts and crafts, and other possessions including services. From rags to riches, the former clerk started his educational expedition with a typing institute that leapfrogged into clusters of secondary/high schools, and a higher institution. Many in the English-speaking Regions of Cameroon, believe the government of Cameroon owes the late innovator/visionary a monument worthy of a Mt. Rushmore, for his contribution to education and development in the county.
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