Tribute to a friend and prison-mate; Christian Penda Ekoka
Ten days ago, when we learnt of the passing of Mr Christian Penda Ekoka, we were filled with sadness. On behalf of my people, and in my name, I extend our profound condolences to his immediate family and to the larger community he created through his activism within ACT/AGIR.
In the nine months that Mr Penda Ekoka spent at the Yaoundé Principal Prison, my people and I got to know him. The memory of him and his teammates in the prison courtyard, where we meet to pray, exercise, eat, relax or meditate, lingers on.
He came across as a rigid, stern, decisive, reserved, unbiased administrator and politician. At all times, his intellect and technical mastery was on display. He was soft-spoken, especially while gazing eyeball to eyeball for frank talks. Even where and when we disagreed, we did so respectful of each other.
We learnt and appreciated his keen interests, concerns and personal sacrifices to ameliorate the living-conditions, empowment and liberty of his country-people from their plight. We understood how some of his stances made him incompatible with palace crew and colleagues.
His death must leave a huge vacuum and an unwavering legacy. We join in prayers that those whom he has mentored through ACT/AGIR and through his other partnerships will carry his mission further.
May his family, friends and community be granted the fortitude to bear this irreparable loss.
Adieu dear friend Christian Penda Ekoka. May you journey well into God’s heavenly kingdom and find rest.
18th August 2021.
Kondengui Principal Prison Yaoundé