Meet CAMpreneur, VENATIUS NSI FON of CareersAndJobs4U

Hello people..It’s been a while since the last CAMpreneur and I excited about this one.. Why? because I think in as much as we tend to focus  generally on criticizing our beloved country, there is hope and good things are happening in Cameroon. Some people are taking the initiative and making bold steps to make a difference. Here is to spreading positive vibes and good cheers…Enjoy!

..Meet the CAMpreneur behind the recently created
      Give us a brief introduction of yourself
and what you currently do in Cameroon?
My name is Venatius Tsi Fon originally from Mankon –Bamenda Cameroon. I
completed my Ordinary and Advanced levels in St Pauls’ College Nkwen, and a
graduate from Southampton Business School (Southampton Solent University) in
the UK with an MA in marketing management, am also a qualified Chartered Marketer.
I currently work as the Communications and Fundraising Advisor for an
International NGO SOS Children’s Villages International. An NGO that looks
after orphaned children in 135 countries in the world. I am in charge of
communications and fundraising in west and central Africa, Managing 18
countries in the region.
When and why did you leave Africa? Where did you
travel to and for how long?
I left Cameroon in 2001 just after the September 11 (911) attacks; I flew
in to the UK two Months after these attacks. Then it was every young man’s
dream to “FALL Bush” and I being an urban kid also had this dream in me, and I
decided to move to Britain to chase the British dream ie if such a dream
actually exists.
I spent ten years in the UK studying for an undergraduate degree in
marketing a master’s degree in marketing and the chartered marketing program
CIM. I then used five years hustling.
motivated you to move back home after the time spent abroad? Was there a
particular incident/circumstance that made you say “This is it!” I am
going back home? Or was a gradual well thought out process?
As a qualified chartered marketer with a master’s degree in marketing from
a top business school in the UK I was only still getting jobs as either a cleaner
or a security guard in a super market. Most people from Cameroon in the UK
would do the CARE job i.e. working in the hospitals and caring for the old or
mentally ill. I did not like that and preferred the cleaning and security job.
Being a marketing specialist I knew I had no space in a society that was
even trying to cope with the credit crunch. I was very confident in the potential
in my country has and I decided to use my skills there. My elder brother had
studied in Leeds University and had moved back to Cameroon, my other elder
brother had also studied in the USA and had moved back to Cameroon so these two
were the pillars that supported me to take that bold step to come home.
Did you have
doubt as well about what awaits you in Cameroon? What were your main worries?
My main doubts were one would I get a job, will I be able to integrate in
to the Cameroon society after ten years, will I make it big, what would my
peers say when I return. You have these thoughts in you making you to be afraid
of your own country because you now suffer from what we know as reverse culture
shock. I had lost touch also with friends and all I was not sure if I would
make new friends and all. So it was really something I had to think of. But
having two brothers who had returned back from the USA and the UK I had some
inspiration from them and the support was immense.
If you had
doubts about Africa and Cameroon especially, why did you insist on moving back? 
Despite the doubts I moved back because home is home. I knew for sure with
my wealth of education I will not lack a job I knew it will be hard but drawing
from the experiences of others I knew I will get a job.
 We all know
how difficult the job market is out here. Can you explain to us how you handled
it? How long it took and what got you to where you are today in the corporate
Moving back is a daunting process as you would have lost touch with old
friends and coming back means making new ones. This also means you would not
know the job market and it’s not easy integrating in such a society. Coming
back to Cameroon is like starting life afresh in a new country.  The job market is really tight as jobs are
not advertised as you will think it should, professional jobs are there but how
do you get to see them, we don’t have jobs centers or unemployment centers
where you walk in to and say I am looking for a job, we don’t have career offices
I arrived Cameroon and three months later, I had a job. Technology in Cameroon
is evolving and most jobs are now are posted online, secondly most corporate
jobs are advertised in the Cameroon Tribune and if you read that newspaper you
are bound to see something that you like. It took me three months to get a job.
The first two months I would say I use it to acclimatize the third month with
the help of my brother I applied for hundreds of jobs target was minimum of ten
per day.

I must say Networking is very also very important, I use to drop CVS in all
the companies in Douala. And sometimes you may have to step up your search. I would
come to a company and lie that I have an appointment to see the GM and when I
go in I would say I just wanted to hand in my CV to the right person. I
remember meeting the GM of UBA in Akwa and I walked to him telling him I had
dropped my CV in his office. It’s also important to note that my choice of
friends also helped me to succeed easily. I made friends with people who had
come back from abroad and are settling in and this really helped as well.  In the third month I had interviews with
Maersk, British American Tobacco and Zenithe Insurance. BAT offered me a role
but I was not keen on the salary I still had these big ideas of earning the
biggest salary in Cameroon. Few weeks later Zenithe Insurance offered me the
role of Marketing Manager for the Insurance Company.
I took the Zenithe job and worked hard to make my impact. The secret to
succeeding in Cameroon is hard work. I worked hard for one year there and
carved out my career paths knowing that I may start in Zenithe but may not end
there. When I knew I had reached my target and limits I decided to move on. I
started applying for jobs again that were in line with my career plans and had
interviews with UBA, ECOBANK, my Current office and Camairco. Had some
interesting offers from the others but decided to go for SOS Children Villages
International. Four years in Cameroon and am in top Management Managing 18
countries and am at the peak just where I had hoped I would be.
How would you
describe the job hunting process here, compared to that abroad? What tools are
available for job hunting?
Job hunting in Cameroon is different we don’t have job centers, career fairs
or unemployment centers. We have word of mouth so and so company is recruiting,
networking you meet the GM and HR people recruiting and they will tell if there
are vacancies or not. Online most recruiters post jobs online and the Cameroon
Tribune. Most jobs in Cameroon appear in the Cameroon tribune. The issue is
most people return and think that Cameroon tribune is the government paper
instead of reading and learning and integrating they stand alone and criticize.
I had a book where I wrote the names of the companies I had applied to what
role I applied and what they do so that if called upon I just refer to it and
prepare for the interview. I would take a taxi for the whole day and we would
drop CVs to all the companies in Douala. Job hunting is a very tiring and difficult
process in Cameroon.

You are the
CEO and founder of, tell us what motivated you to start
this company.
Returning to Cameroon made me realize that it was difficult to know where
jobs are.  I also heard there were some
online communities for jobs and I would search a lot on these and would see
just a few jobs but not really what I wanted.
I then decided that it will be a good thing to have a forum for those people
looking for jobs will not only search jobs, but companies will come and head
hunt for talent as well.
A dynamic lady and friend saw the idea and its potential and liked it. She
then approached me and encouraged me to take it to new heights. Her name is Betty
Atia. She seemed to have a vision and a clear direction so I decided to go into
a partnership with her. I am the CEO and Founder and she is the Co-founder. So
in brief that is how was born out of passion to help job
You did
mention that you manage 18 countries in west and central Africa in your
organization so how do you manage and your responsibilities
I do work a lot in the evenings at home to catch up with the mails and
inquiries and my partner also works very hard. We are planning to recruit one
staff member for now who will be managing our office. When you are doing
something born out of passion, you will enjoy doing it and will find the time
as well. This may mean having very little sleep at the very start.
I can say that the small company was born out of passion. I had created a
feature on my time line known as the TEE time show aimed at giving people tips
on how to build Cvs and how to get the jobs of their dreams and I also taught
them the difference between a career and a job. I had also created the groups
Brain Gain on FB a group that helps to change the perception of Cameroonians in
diaspora about jobs situations in Cameroon as well as UK Alumni Cameroon a
group that helps Cameroonians in the UK who have moved back to get jobs and also
to help those who are in the UK who wish to come back.
I realized then that the jobs I use to send on these groups use to help a
lot of Cameroonians and I thought to myself why not create a forum where every
Cameroonian can access these jobs and have access to the services we offer.

Was it a
difficult task getting everything together?
Once we decided that it will be good to have a professional service that
can coach Cameroonians and give them access to thousands of jobs, my business partner in
the UK, Betty Atia bought the domain name and we starting working. The
following week CRTV contacted me and mentioned that they had heard about what
am doing for young people in terms of job search and will want me to feature as
main guest on Hello.
On Hello I spoke about writing CVs and motivational letters and how to
search for jobs. I gave my contact details on air and immediately I left the
show I had over hundred calls and the emails started tolling. We have received
more than a hundred emails for inquiries and we have over 200 likes on your
Facebook page which is just one day old. Our company is just two weeks old and
we see it growing.
 What advice
will you give companies in Cameroon about recruiting good talent for their companies? 
 Cameroonian companies and other
multinationals should trust employment agencies like ours because we are
impartial when it comes to recruitment. We can hand pick the five best
candidates for them and they can do the final selection. This saves many of
hours of work that an HR or organizational development guy who could have been
working on appraisals and individual work plans would spend on it.
What will
you advice Cameroonians looking for work to do?
I will tell them to follow their dreams and passion and stop applying for
jobs just for applying sake.
Look at the job description and make sure you qualify before applying.
Don’t be an accountant and be applying for a marketing job. If they don’t know
how to package and sell themselves Careersandjobs4u can help them do that.

Any final words for those afraid to invest or look for work in Cameroon?
 Cameroon is growing at a very fast rate as we
are preparing for emergence. Africa is the next big thing and we would follow
the steps of the BRIC nations it will be slow but we will get there. Will you
be there when we actually reach there or will you stand by, gaze, bemused and
say had I known.

Early career orientation, advice, job listings, interview coaching with a long way for potential employees and employers.
Thumbs up to you and your team,Venatius. People can already see the benefits of this new venture!The SKY is NOT the limit. 
OK people, you know who to contact for jobs, advice, interview coaching and more. 

Author: IRepCamer

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