Inclusive Reporting: Trailblazing disability advocate solicits community empathy not sympathy for PWDs

By Bakah Derick 

For years now, Dr Angoh Kingsley has been advocating for the rights of persons with disabilities in Cameroon. The desire to enforce his competence on the subject of inclusion pushed him to study to terminal degree level in special needs education.
Dr Angoh Kingsley speaking at the Sisterspeak237 workshop 

Though without a fulltime job, Dr Angoh has been fronting campaigns across the country for the rights of persons with disabilities through his organization; the National Inclusive Association of persons with disabilities and the destitute. He is amongst the earliest persons to have completed a terminal degree in inclusive education in Cameroon and has been monitoring media coverage of disability issues. 
“I will appreciate them (Media) for the work they do because the mind is gradually changing. What we want the society to know is what disability is all about, what the society should take us to be. We lay emphasis on the social model (disabilities cannot be reversed but society can to sort the needs of persons with disabilities) of inclusivity.” Dr Angoh tells www.hilltopvoices.com

Speaking to www.hilltopvoices.com on the sidelines of a workshop for 30 media professionals organised by the women and minority group centered organisation Sisterspeak237 with support from the Swiss Embassy Yaoundé in Buea on Thursday 11 August 2022, the advocate was clear on his position about media and coverage of disability related issues in Cameroon. 
#EndCovid237 #CmrFreeCovid19 

“The media has been trying to change the perception of the public towards persons with disabilities however there is still much work to do. At times, journalists are conditioned or remote controlled to write stories that will please organisations which is what we don’t want because working with persons with disabilities you have to do it from your heart not being sympathetic but having that empathy by putting yourself (journalists) in their shoe and nobody will derail you from writing the right story.” He noted. 
Acha Rita of Sisterspeak237 speaking on understanding disability PWD situation in Africa/Cameroon 

With the variety of modules treated at the workshop, Dr Angoh hopes the media will redirect focus on disability issues 

“I expect the media to be the ones to blow our trumpet from a very genuine background not being bias, not being controlled by different organisations maybe to sing their praises.” 
Comfort Mussa speaking at the workshop on finding unique stories from Gendered/disability angles 

#Sisterspeaks237’s workshop like many others focuses on gender and disability inclusive reporting of the armed conflict in the North West Region of Cameroon.  The Coordinator and multiple award winning journalist Comfort Mussa thinks her organisation is making the difference by being more intentional, practical and results oriented.  They will be doing follow-up through the commissioning of stories and mentoring of some of the participants on news gathering and treatment. 


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