Thursday, 24 November 2016

Henriette Thatcher's Lounge is One Year today - A tale of Passion - Happy B-day HTL

Today marks one year round, since this blog was launched. and I am more than grateful to you all, who are subscribed to this growing news outlet.

I had a dream. I knew I was born to be a columnist, but my educational path was not groomed towards that direction. I knew I could hold people spell bond with my pen, ever since I was in the secondary at GTHS Ombe.

Once, I had an arguement with our English Language Teacher Mme Elizabeth Wacka, who during an exercise, asked us to write on Seize and Size. After the exercise, she gave a dictation full of those two words.

It happened that in one of the sentences with SEIZE, Mme Wacka marked me wrong, and said the right word was SIZE. The sentence was about a 'senior student, who SEIZED money from a junior student'. She said I would have used SIZE instead, but I argued with her, that the right word was SEIZE and not SIZE. (we all know some teachers hate to be corrected by students). She angrily took my book after I had over insisted, and went away with it.

Two days later, she sent for me to meet her in the staff room, were she was with some of our teachers. She said she was proud of me, and that I was very right, but warned that I should never challenge  her in class again. I apologised, and when I turned to leave, she called me backed and asked about my family background. I told her that I was the daughter of a farmer and  a smoked fish seller in Mile Four Limbe . 

She and the other teachers said my parents made a huge mistake of sending me to a Technical and Commercial School. They said I was supposed to have attended a grammar school because the genius in me could not be groomed in GTHS Ombe. 

I explained to them how I had passed the interview into Saker Baptist College Limbe, but the date for the payment of the deposit fee was too close, and dad could not have afforded to pay at such short notice. 

I had passed the Common Entrance in List B, which was not among the selection criteria for admission into GHS(Government High School)or GBHS(Government Bilingual High School), but I passed list A in the Technical entrance examination which gave me entrance into GTHS( Government Technical High School)Ombe.
I knew what they were talking about. I knew they had seen the writer in me.  Before sending me back to class, they jointly advised that I should divert in the University to read Letters, Law or Journalism, because I was doing Shorthand Typist, a path to Executive Office Practice. 

As I left, I knew they were right, but how do I gain admission into the University of Buea, with after my Baccalaureate? I knew I had a date with destiny on writing, but I didn't know how to proceed.

I was very good at writing business letters which was part of our studies, and very efficient in love letters, and very best in history.

Most of the trade subject teachers we had were those who had studied in the same path like me, and whom the mixture of French and English had destroyed the potential English Proficiency in them. 

It happened that while I was preparing for my PROBATOIRE examination, I decided to register for the Technical and Commercial Advance Level, organised for the first time by the Cameroon GCE Board. I registered three subjects, and I can't tell how, but I past in two papers skipping upper sixth to finally gain admission into the University Institute of Technology Douala, after my dad had exhausted all his energies and cards on getting me admission into the University of Buea.

I was admitted into Bilingual Secretarial Administration Year 1, with only one subject taught in English, out of about fifteen, by a Bulu Lecturer Prof. Essam Ze, who seemed to have gained some English Speaking experience during a crash course in the US. The rest was in French, and so all my hopes of perfecting my English died. Each time I wrote a letter to a friend, I could still hear that unexplored writing genius in me saying 'Thatcher you've got to use me. You are off track. The real you is still in you unexplored, do something'.

My focus to graduate from the University with flying colours was high, as I did everything I could, to be able to read, write and  speak in French, which were the keys to succeed in a Francophone learning environment.

 I completely lost the English accent in me. My tongue became heavier to speak English, as I embraced the French culture, until I successfully graduated with a BTS(Brevet de Technicien Superieure) in Bilingual Secretarial Administration(Secretariat Bureautique Bilingue).

I was surprised at how fast I adapted to the French system, until I became more fluent in French than English. I got a job, but there was this quest of story telling in me, each time I had to write an interdepartmental mail, and most of my colleagues loved my stylish e-mails. Others asked if I studied journalism, other even advised that I subscribe to write in local newspapers, which I did.

In 2015, while sailing through some rough waters in life, I met this friend Oudney Patsika online from Zimbabwe, whom God used to bring me to my true destiny of the writer that I was born to be. 

In his own word during a chat, he said: "God has asked me to make your voice heard through blogging". He asked if I could write, and I answered yes. He said I should write on anything and send to him.

I wrote about my own life story "A Beautiful Soul in Hell" and when he read it, he said "Henriette, you have everything to become a great blogger. I will offer you a blog, name it whatever you want, make it reflect the writer in you, use it to make a name for yourself, because that is where you will find your missing destiny".

On November 24th 2015, when I clocked 40, Henriette Thatcher's Lounge was born. Oudney kept his promise and gave me the blogging idea as my 40th anniversary gift. "Thank you very much my Zims brother for life"

For the first six months, I was publishing one to four articles daily, while  doing some crash courses on how to make your blog attractive, how to write eye catching articles etc...

Many of you encouraged me along the way. Many of you gave destructive comments on articles, while others gave constructive comments to help the blog grow, but whatever you wrote, was for my own profit. Thank you very much.

At HTL, we don't only publish articles, we advertise products and services, we build websites and blogs, we design logos, we do professional translations from English-French-English, and help our readers with perfect messages for all occasion.

You our dear audience, have been very supportive, and it is all thanks to you that we are where we are today and still going forward. We are here to stay. We are here for you , but we won't sabotage people, their image and their businesses for all the Billions F CFA in the world. 

We verify information before reporting. We let some individuals know we are writing about them if it is not a general situation. We even pay to get sound reliable information, and what ever concerns the interest of the public, we publish.

Thank you wonderful people for being with us. We are sorry for grammatical errors, but those who have been here from the start, can testify that we are getting better daily. 

We welcome your critics and suggestions in our inbox on the contact form, and we implore you to join us as we pop a Champagne for the blog, which clocks ONE today, while Thatcher herself clocks 41 today.

Happy Birthday to Thatcher, Happy Birthday Henriette Thatcher's Lounge.

God Bless You All

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