Ndefru Melany, #AFFCameroon Cohort 2 Fellow
“My experience as #AFFCameroon Fellow with #defyhatenow has taken me away from my usual way of reporting news from within my context. Living in an armed conflict zone, “everybody” passes for a “reporter”, “photographer” or “videographer” just to pick any kind of information and dump it on social media, as news. The internet is a vast space where content published for public consumption can be accessed by billions of persons at the speed of light. Thanks to #AFFCameroon, we have been able to factcheck all sorts of information, stick to gatekeeping, in order not to add to the existing tension. Mentors at #defyhatenow have always remained open to questions and have shown willingness to assist where there is need. I have learnt how to contribute to professional discourse, especially reporting or discussing sensitive issues around the on-going conflict in the North West Region. Through #defyhatenow, I have been able to network with other fellows, share ideas and experiences and even collaborate on writing stories. If I had stayed within my present context, I would have been limited in my reporting, but now I can also tell stories that take my readers away from the usual gunshots and bloodshed reports on my blog. Today, I choose to rather build minds positively, generating positive energy and tell stories that build hope”.