On hospitality and view of life in Cameroon

When I set up my first company afronum GIE in Senegal,
it was a lot easier than here with afrotel in Cameroon. There are so many
bureaucratic hassles you fight with that you start to think if the
country really likes to welcome investors/visitors/tourists at all.

On the other hand you will find that the people here are enormously
welcoming and open to all ideas which could improve their life,
be it simple jobs in the tourist sector or selling bread in a new
boutique.

What astounds me most is the complete lack of PROFIT for profit’s sake
thinking. When there’s enough to live on why bother working you ass off
to get the newest iphone ? Nor, sir, not me. Of course, a washing machine
would be neat, but imagine the electricity bill next month ! Comfort
produces surplus costs, and that’s not what’s required here.

Today I was speaking with a friend of the family I live with, which is
at the same time my “family” as well. The kids call me Papa, although
of course I’m not the real one, but after 2 years seeing them grow
and following their school efforts, it came naturally.

I told her about afrôtel SARL and the probability to stay for good once the
biz is paying off. She looked at me and said: “Well, why wait ? Even when you
don’t work and have no money, it’s enough for all of us, right ? We get by
as we always did, and god will surely reward our efforts. You belong to us,
that’s all”.

What can I say ? I only managed to reply that after all I’m still the white
guy from Europe to all except the family, and I’m not brought up the way to
profit from others to live, and surely not from an African family barely
getting by. The argument was understood, but didn’t change their opinion
at all.

I just wanted to tell you this little episode to show you why I love Africa.
There is so much heart and true emotion here undisturbed by materialistic or
profit thinking. And I like all of you to come and share my experiences I
have been blessed to live for quite a long time.

These little things make life lifeworthy, and it’s worth every dime spent or invested here. The people deserve to be supported, and not being exploited any longer!

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