Report by Roseline Obah Akah (President CAMASEJ NW/CCMN NW & West Region)

Members of the North West Chapter of the Cameroon Association of English Speaking Journalists (CAMASEJ) have been schooled on Non Violent Communication. This was during a one day workshop that took place on Wednesday October 17 2018 in the conference hall of the Pedagogic In Service Training Program, Ntamulung, Bamenda facilitated by Mr. Dzebam Godlove Ayaba, Trainer for Non-Violent Communication.

Opening the workshop, Mr. Webngong Emmanuel, Pedagogic Adviser for PCC Bamenda Station told attendees that in order to fight hate speech, journalists must work on their communication. He thanked CAMASEJ NW and the President of the Cameroon Community Media Network (CCMN NW) for always partnering with their institution for such knowledge acquisition sessions. The Pedagogic In Service Training Program deals in environmental education, life skills and democracy in schools.

According to Mr. Dzebam Godlove, Non Violent Communication is a language of the heart started by Martial Rosenberg, an American scholar. He said “It’s about building a compassionate relationship with your neighbours, children and everyone in the society.” He went ahead to disclose that it’s about being real not nice because to him, most of the troubles in the world are caused by nice people.

Non Violent Communication begins with the process of Observation (sight, smell, taste, hear) followed by Feeling, then Need and Request. Observation is very important because a wrong observation causes nothing short of resistance from the concerned. N.V.C helps us to communicate without using blame and judgemental language as the society has taught us because the end result is always a fight back from the other other end.

Obah Roseline Akah is the Station Manager of C.B.S Radio Bamenda and chapter president of CAMASEJ N.W. and the Cameroon Community Media Network (CCMN NW/West). Assessing the outcome of the workshop, she said “I am very satisfied because we as media practitioners are the watchdogs of the society. During such crisis period, only a workshop like this can help us recoin and reshape our reports so that the audience is fed with peaceful messages.” She went ahead to caution colleagues that as they go back fortified, they must endeavour to do good for the community by practicing non violence in their communication so as to bring and maintain the much cherished peace. Same view shared by Emmanuel Woloko of C.B.C Radio, Bamenda. To him the workshop has enriched his communication especially as it gives steps to communicate in a non violent manner beginning from the home to job sites and the mass media. He ended by thanking the organisers for involving him in the workshop to help improve on what he already knows.

Etaka Regina Liengu is of Cameroon Tribune. “I’m taking home the spirit of communicating without sparking violence especially as our country is at the verge of a collapse. As citizens of Cameroon, in all we do, we must promote peace”. These were her words when asked to situate her take home message from the workshop.

Other lessons learnt were that in communication, whenever you use “But”, the first thing you said becomes negated in the mind of the hearer. It’s preferable to use “Though” or “However”. Again, practitioners were taught that human needs are universal but the difference is in strategy. We need nourishment but differ in what we take in as food; rice, beans, plantains. We need movement but differ in the strategy to move; car, bike, trek, fly. Lastly, attendees were schooled on empathy, that is, listening and understanding another person’s feelings through emotional connection. It is always advisable to be at the same level with the person in terms of seating position. This aspect alone eliminates the thought of one party superimposing on the other.

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