The media world in Cameroon’s Northwest province is in shock after a popular young journalist was shot dead in front of a snack bar in his neighbourhood, where he was a regular and well-loved face.
Anye Nde Nsoh, 26, was shot outside the Don Simon snack bar in Bamenda on the evening of Sunday, May 7, where he regularly served as an “animator” -a hype-man for music DJs.
That evening, he had just arrived when he noticed the battery for the sound system’s microphone was dead. He stepped out to get a new one from a shop a few metres from the bar.
Eyewitnesses say at that moment, separatist terrorists stormed the bar, announced a shutdown and asked everybody to leave or “face consequences”.
People started rushing out of the bar in panic. Anye was on his way back from the battery shop when he was seen dropping to the floor.
Many at the scene said they thought he was trying to take cover.
The military arrived, and a gunfight ensued. The terror group was dislodged, and they escaped.
Others at the scene noticed Anye wasn’t getting up after the gunfight ended. They went closer to him and realised he had been shot in the chest.
He died on the way to the Bamenda Regional Hospital, friends said.
The Regional President of the Cameroon Association of English-speaking Journalists, Muma Jude, said he was contacted by the hospital and told his colleague was at the mortuary.
“I quickly rushed to the scene and met his family members and some bystanders. We stayed and made arrangements for his corpse to be kept in the mortuary,” said Muma.
“Anye died with a microphone and battery in his hands,” he said.
Muma says he spoke with Anye’s aunt, who is currently unconsolable. “She believes her nephew was targeted,” said Muma Jude.
A friend of Anye’s who requested anonymity said he had received threats from separatist terrorists.
He revealed Anye was picked up by separatists on Feb. 11, after national youth day celebrations, and interrogated. Separatist terror groups have banned national day celebrations in the English-speaking regions since 2017.
Born in 1996, orphaned at a young age, Anye was at the start of his career, but had already secured employment at the leading sports website, Kick442 and The Advocate Newspaper.
The Publisher of the Advocate said he was “so helpful” and filled the gap with stories from the Northwest, especially on sports, culture, and community development.
Colleagues paid tribute to a young man who they say had a promising career ahead of him.
“We were both part of an online editorial meeting yesterday, only for me to read online that he was killed shortly after we had gone to press with his article on the front page…Sad he will not read the published article,” says Taryang Tabe.
The National Executive Bureau of the Cameroon Union of Journalists considers the attack a ‘targeted’ act by ‘criminals’.
In a press release issued this morning, President Marion Obam called for the arrest, trial, and punishment of perpetrators. She urged all journalists to remain in solidarity, especially during such trying times.
Several journalists working in the two English-speaking regions of Cameroon have been threatened by both military and separatist fighters. Media professionals say it is unsafe for them to continue working. Many have left the two regions and are internally displaced across the country for security reasons.
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