[Inspiring Women]Meet Mimi Mefo,Award Winning Cameroonian Journalist,An African Amanpour
By Ndzi Giyo
Born on May 16, 1989, Mimi Mefo is a graduate from UB’s Journalism and Mass Communication department and was previously English News Desk editor at Equinoxe Television, Douala.
As an outstanding journalist with years of experience, Mimi has a lot to write home about. She stands as one of the most distinct female journalists in Cameroon with over four awards and popular career records.
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On November 7, 2018 she was incarcerated at the New Bell prison for publishing a tweet accusing the Cameroon army for the death of an American clergy in the Anglophone regions of Cameroon admist the Anglophone crisis which began since November 2016.
After reactions of disapproval from national and international media, politicians and other personalities, she was released on November 10.
She presently operates an online news site Mimi Mefo Info which has thousands of readers daily.
In this prolific writing, Mimi spoke to ARREYB News Reports, revealing details about her 8 years of experience on the Cameroon media landscape coupled with the fact that she ventures on the daring side of political reporting.
She was interviewed by Ndzi Giyo
“I am ready to go extra miles, brave all odds to get the right information . Its all about passion”.
—- Mimi Mefo —-
Giyo: What are some of the challenges you encountered in the profession?
Mimi: Though I am bilingual (because I studied French and English in High School) the knowledge was not enough to adapt to the French-speaking environment where majority of press kits, speeches are delivered in French when i am on coverage.
A second challenge I faced is that my area of interest is politics and more often than not, I needed to invite guests over for debates but to have English speakers ready to be part of the programs was sometimes difficult (and I understand because the political environment is quite slippery).
The unstable political situation in the country was also a challenge to me, as my family at times suggests I quit or withdraw from political and investigative reporting.
Giyo: It’s hard to find women dominate in the African sphere of communication. How did you do it?
Mimi: I am a Cameroonian who believes that hard work pays. Humility they say is a virtue. I always consult senior colleagues, I’m receptive to constructive advice and ready to right my wrongs for a better output. I am the one at the forefront but mind you many senior colleagues in the office, our technicians and other veterans in the field out there have been the backbone of my success and i can’t thank them enough.
I am ready to go extra miles, brave all odds to get the right information and above all, gender has never been a barrier to me.
Giyo: Tell us about the gender part of it?
Mimi: I wouldn’t want any to qualify me unfit for a particular field of coverage because i am a woman and need to be protected. During one of my field reports in Batibo for instance, I remember I was the lone woman amongst journalists, administrators and security forces. It’s all about passion.
Giyo: Who’s been your inspiration/role model for all your time of practice?
Mimi: In Cameroon I have several male and female journalists who are an inspiration to me but more specifically i always looked up to Ester kima of CRTV since my early days in the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, UB. I love her confidence and articulation. Out of Cameroon, i am inspired by Amanpour of CNN. I wish to meet them someday and get to where they are now.
Giyo: You were recently crowned the 2017 Female Journalist of the Year at The Scoop Media Awards and BDMA Best English Blogger, How did you do that?
Mimi: I am nothing without my team; I want to thank the technical team and the newsroom at Equinoxe for their advice and support. I also thank everyone who looked up to me and encouraged me in one way or the other.
I thank the scoop media group and BDMA for the outstanding recognition , I would never have imagined my works were monitored by veterans in the profession, talk less of being recognized.
I also thank my family for always being there and above all I thank God.
Giyo: You’ve gotten an award; it doesn’t end there obviously; what’s your next move?
This was my 4th award so far. I believe the more the awards the harder I need to work to proof my worth. And i can’t do this on my own. I want to seize this opportunity to thank the management of Equinoxe for the confidence bestowed on me since day one. I am ready to collaborate and push forward in my present service out of Cameroon.
Giyo: Tell us about the service out of Cameroon:
Mimi:I just got out of Cameroon and hoping to be stable enough to talk about what I’m up to now. I have been on several conferences and made several talks on journalism and spoken about the crisis back home.
GIYO: Any plans for a family any time soon?
Mimi: About family, that is a soon to be project and i cant wait
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