When one door closes, another door opens. My interest in accountancy was sparked when my dream of a career in science evaporated. After proper analysis, I opted for ACCA. It has been a great ride. I started out with a Big Four firm in Cameroon, working with a range of clients facing diverse challenges, before moving into the development sector, where proper accountability is key.
It was my aunt Elizabeth who introduced me to ACCA. She was my first inspiration, followed by my wife Marvel. After I qualified, Njoh Litumbe (the late politician and Cameroon’s first professional accountant) and Fidelis Mancho, my direct supervisor at Deloitte West and Central Africa, mentored and inspired me, and accompanied me in my professional growth.
I spent five years with Deloitte, before moving into corporate. However, that involved a lot of travelling, which cut into the time I could spend with my family. I decided to switch paths again and into a more stable role, so joined SNV, an international development organisation focused on helping people living in poverty.
In 2016 I moved over the border to manage the finances of WWF Gabon, where I am now also interim country director. Gabon is a French-speaking country, so I have to work entirely in a second language. The zeal and quest to break new ground drives me out of my comfort zone and strengthens my resolve to brave challenges as they come.
If I could change a law I’d alter the educational curriculum. I would change it from mostly theory-based to being more practical, helping prepare the students for the job market and entrepreneurship.
Covid-19 has tested our commitment and resilience. It has forced us to learn new ways of working. As head of the office I have had to take the lead, developing new ways to take advantage of the strengths of each team member. The period has been hectic, yet we survived even the roughest moments.
What I enjoy about my role is challenging the status quo. It gives me the possibility to innovate solutions to many challenges. Capacity building is key to an effective succession, and I enjoy training and coaching team members to help them perform at their best. It’s a great pleasure being of service, and I have also learned a lot myself.
One of my greatest achievements is turning around the fortunes of WWF Gabon. In terms of financial performance, it was ranked eighth out of the 10 offices in Africa when I joined as finance manager. Within two years it had moved to the top spot, and it remains there today.
If I weren’t an accountant, I’d probably be a corporate driver. I love driving good cars. It tunes me in to the right frequency.
I’ve been a Manchester United fan for more than 20 years. So much so that my whole family are all adorned with recent kits. I am a lover of high-tech cars too and get great pleasure from cruising in them over thousands of miles on road trips. I also love socialising, meeting new friends and hanging out over a drink while we chat.