Human Disabilities

Hectic Yet Enjoyable Academic Ride For JMC’s First Ever Graduate With Visual Impairment

Kesah Princely has become the first ever journalist with visual impairment to have graduated from the University of Buea's Department of Journalism and Mass Communication (JMC).

By Regis Che

Kesah Princely has become the first ever journalist with visual impairment to have graduated from the University of Buea’s Department of Journalism and Mass Communication (JMC).

Kesah enrolled into the University of Buea in October 2016 to commence a three-year academic journey which he said was “hectic, yet enjoyable.”

Since the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication was created 26 years ago, the dexterous journalist did not only feature amongst the 2019 best graduates but also went down in the department’s history as the first-ever student with visual impairment to have successfully concluded the degree program.

“I feel super elated to have surmounted the several challenges that clouded my stay in JMC. Indeed, it was a hectic, but an enjoyable journey,” he said.

As a pace setter, Kesah Princely encountered several hurdles throughout his undergraduate studies.

“I had no access to the school library because of the unavailability of Braille books and/or audiovisual equipment to aid my learning. I equally faced difficulties comprehending courses that required illustrative teachings.

“Accessing my result, attitudes of some lecturers and students, and having Braille materials were also major challenges,” Kesah revealed.

As a means to set the standard for future JMC students with visual impairment, the record holder documented problems he faced as a student in a narrative research project titled “Challenges of Persons with Visual Impairment in the University of Buea’s Department of Journalism and Mass Communication.”

In the 58-page document, the disability advocate cum practising journalist recommended to the institution’s hierarchy tips to effectively train journalism students with visual impairment.

How Kesah Princely overcame his challenges, he revealed “this success is owing to courage, determination, and above all hard work. I received invaluable support from my ‘amazing’ TWIF NEWS colleagues and family members who assisted me throughout my academic moments which have been highly characterized by the longstanding armed conflict in Southern Cameroons.”

The graduate who is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Conflict Resolution in the University of Buea, has a flair for both digital and broadcast journalism.

Besides serving as TWIF NEWS’ Director of Communication, the ambitious journalist is a Cameroonian correspondent for US based news organ, EboniGram.

Being the sixth best graduating student, he said his outstanding performance stemmed from his high spirit of volunteerism from which he has garnered much experience in the art of news gathering, treatment and dissemination.

He has offered free services in amongst other media outlets: Lakeside Radio, Kumba; NDEFCAM Radio, Bamenda; and PSTV, Buea.

The JMC record holder now has as task: practising journalism, advocating for the rights of persons with disabilties, and pursuing his postgraduate studies despite the difficulties that may lie ahead of him.

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