Call Box Business;
Salvation for Cameroon’s University Graduates
By Moki S. Mokondo for Fako UK / Fako News Centre
Many young Cameroonians have testified that, “call box” (telephone booth) business has rescued them from unemployment. They say that the small profits they make from the business helps them to buy at least their basic needs for their up-keep rather than depend on their families.
However, they have also disclosed that the business has become more competitive as many more young men and women join it daily. For this reason, they need to constantly evolve strategies to get the highest number of customers.
According to these young Cameroonians who are mostly university graduates, they now operate out of their telephone booths. They explain that they storm grounds where occasions are taking place with their business phones, carrying along a billboard to get the attention of potential customers.
Many of them attend occasions like the 11th February (Youths Day) and 20th May (National Day) celebrations, graduations and other ceremonies with billboards hung on their back and front advertising their business. Some determined young men explained that they would prefer to do this as a means of survival than using other un-orthodox means.
A 29 year old call box operator in Buea town who asked for anonymity maintained that, he graduated from the University of Buea since 2004 and till date is still to secure a job. He lamented that despite the series of applications to get a job, the Cameroon government has reduced them to petty businessmen like call box operators, bar attendants etc. He argued that even though he makes some money from his call box, it fails to assure him financial security as a graduate.
The 29 old noted that, it is frustrating to stay in Cameroon without a godfather(proxy of high influence). He argued that most of his friends who got lower class degrees now work with the government institutions due to the influence of godfathers.