By Njodzeka Danhatu
Journalism and Mass Communication students in the University of Buea, UB, have been trained on cartooning which is another genre of journalism.
The training took place during a seminar on UB campus, on July 11, organised by the National Association of Cartoon and Satirical Journalists, NACASAJ, in partnership with the JMC department.
The workshop was attended by Masters and Final Year students who were drilled on how to draw cartoons that people across tribes and backgrounds, can understand.
Cartoons, as the trainers said, can tell a story in many words, be it entertainment, satire, educating or informing. JMC students were equally drilled in tactics of drawing, interpreting and analysing cartoons.
Lambert Eyabi, the workshop’s main trainer, said the forum was aimed at identifying some talents in this category of journalism. He said they are only a few cartoonists in Cameroon, while stressing that it is imperative for cartoon communication to find its place in the country.
At the close of the seminar, students were paired for some drawing exercises. Each group comprised of those who could conceive ideas, draw and interpret cartoons. Students with best drawing skills were identified and will be followed up by NACASAJ to encourage them to become future cartoonists, an aspect which Sone Bayen, a trainer/journalist said, is very lucrative.
Reacting after the workshop, the Head of the JMC Department, Dr. Kingsley Ngange, enthused that the department wants the public to know that there are a variety of ways in which they can receive news.
“There are people who like it raw, others through entertainment. The cartoonists bring out the information but in a light-hearted manner, in that, they decide not to bring in real actors, but imaginary actors through drawing, but the message resonates. They may be cartoonists, but they portray real-life stories, and we thought, that genre of journalism should not be left out,” he said.
The UB JMC boss added that his strategy as HOD cum journalist is inclusive, that is, taking along with him all the three main functions of journalism which are; to inform, educate, and entertain, now the third, which is infotainment: “informing by entertaining and entertaining by informing.”
The journalism scholar said he will be recommending that such seminars should be held, at least four times a year, since JMC students love it. This genre, as he explained, modernises the educational system, adapts to market demands and the realities on the ground.
“Since it is for our Final Year and Masters students, before they go to the job market, they are armed with several ways of reporting the news, genres including cartooning,” he added.
However, in the Ns and Ns series, a combination of Nganges and Ndodes, dealing with workshops and research, the one-time best UB lecturer averred that JMC is a moving machine and is functioning perfectly well, contrary to what some may think.
These numbers of seminars, he expounded, are some of the best things the department had never had in 25 years. On why such events have succeeded, Dr Ngange said: “The successes are determined by one simple magic collaboration, teamwork, and determination.”