One of Cameroon’s most celebrated news commentators and veteran journalist, Michael Sam-Nuvela Fonkem, has made a peaceful transition to eternity in Buea at the age of 62. He passed on at the Buea Regional Hospital on October 8, 2015 at about 7.30 pm after suffering from a long infection. His death comes three months after he retired from the United Nations Operations in Cote d’Ivoire where he served as a Public Information Officer since 2010. When Cameroon Tribune arrived at the Government Residential Area (GRA) Buea where he resided, wailing family members said Sam-Nuvela died at a time they least expected.
“He was expected in the days ahead to launch two of his books. One of them being “Snapshots,” the spouse, Fonkem née Manyi Fofung Immaculate, revealed. Michael Sam-Nuvela was born on January 28, 1953 in Ikeja; Lagos, Nigeria. He joined the then Radio Cameroon in the late 70’s after graduating from the International School of Journalism, Yaoundé (ESIJY) in 1976. He worked with the likes of George Ngwa, Adamu Musa, and Luke Ananga, Ebssiy Ngum, and Akwanka Joe Ndifor; all of blessed memory on the no-nonsense Sunday special, “Cameroon Report,” that castigated the wrongs in government cycles. Retired journalist and one time Station Manager of Radio Buea, Paul Kode, recalls memories of the falling former colleague. “What I admired about Sam-Nuvela is his natural gift of a golden voice. All of us were broadcasters but some were more gifted than others and Sam was among the gifted.”