Although we all receive messages all the time, it must be acknowledged that there are some messages that arrive and create an unforgettable impact on the receiver. I received one of such messages online this morning, and it has made my day.

It came all the way from Phnom Penh in Cambodia, from a fellow Cameroonian who is an interpreter at the United Nations Assistance to the Khmer Rouge Trials (UNAKRT). He is called Polycarp Ambe-Niba.

Below is what the message says:

“My Dear Brother,

When I am feeling down and out, there is no better tonic for my flagging spirits than to read one of your short stories, such as the Soiled Bowl of Garri, which I have just read with special relish. Stories like these are so soothing because I can relate to you, the author, as well as the story line, characters and setting.

I look forward to meeting you when I next visit Cameroon to thank you viva voce. I am sure you still remember me from the short time we spent together in Bambili. I only refer to our time in Bambili because by the time I joined the 5th form in Sacred Heart from Bishop Rogan College, you had left.

By the way, I am writing from Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where I and my family are residing and working. I work as interpreter at the United Nations Assistance to the Khmer Rouge Trials (UNAKRT). I have been here for the past 5 years.

I am writing to make a special request: How can I buy all your publications, especially your 9 books? I would very much like to order those books.


Polycarp Ambe-Niba”.


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