We had the opportunity to speak to Mr. Terence Ngassa, a sales manager "passé via Italia" and the recently elected president of SOBA Foundation Germany. We talked to him on his person and on SOBA Foundation in general. As a well integrated professional, family man and leader , we found him inspirational for our readers.
a Sister in Germany: Thank you for giving our readers your time and attention. Why don't you start by telling us who Terence Ngassa is?
Mr. Terence Ngassa: The pleasure is mine. I sometimes ask myself this very question. It is usually difficult to know oneself, but I think those who are close to me are in a better position to say who I am. The only thing I am confident to tell you about me is that I am just the Terence you've known .
a Sister in Germany: Would that mean calm-headed, always with a half-open smile, humorous, a family man who cooks and lately as it unveiled, a leader?
Mr. Terence Ngassa: (smiles)..no that's what you say.
a Sister in Germany: We actually have a column we term "passé via Bundes", wherein we profile people who at any point in their lives went through Germany. You happen to be an opposite of that, a "passé via Italia". Why did you make that decision to move from Italy to Germany. It is hard to find people who made such a move, am I right?
Mr. Terence Ngassa: You are right. Making such a move was one of the biggest challenges and decisions I ever made in my life. When I was in Italy, I thought I had found a second home. Italy gave me all the happiness a single man can get in life. I was so comfortable with the lifestyle such that I never thought of moving to any other country. I enjoyed living in Italy even though my then girlfriend, who is presently my wife was based in Germany. When we got married, I realised certain decisions have to be taken for the benefit of the entire family. That is how I found myself in Germany BAAAAM!!!
a Sister in Germany: How was your integration into the German society? What were your biggest challenges in the process?
Mr. Terence Ngassa: Integrating in the German society for me was just like being born again in another world. I found it difficult to integrate in Germany because I was just too in-love with Italy. That was the only difficulty I had. I never stopped thinking of Italy. Till date I still visit Italy to refresh old memories. I have to some extent fully integrated in Germany, but to be honest my dear, I´m still in love with Italia. The good thing is that my wife is also in love with Italy so time and again we get to visit the country; whenever we can.
a Sister in Germany: What would you say is the major difference between living as a migrant in Italy and in Germany?
Mr. Terence Ngassa: The difference is that the migrant in Italy faces more challenges in the job market as compared to the migrant living in Germany.
a Sister in Germany: You are such an over achiever, if not we will not be talking to you or trying to use your story to inspire others. You have an admirable family life, you are fully integrated in your career as a sales manager and you were recently unanimously voted as president of the prestigious SOBA Foundation. How do you do all these?
Mr. Terence Ngassa: You are right to say I am an over achiever. Well I don´t know how it got to this level, but there is one thing I believe in, if you respect and appreciate the people around you, no matter who they are I think you get to win their support and confidence. It might sometimes be difficult, but i think it's the best way to get your way through. Its working for me and I think it can work for everyone.
a Sister in Germany: What is your life motto and what drives you?
Mr. Terence Ngassa: My life motto is Happiness. I know one can´t be happy all the time , but I try my best to be happy even when I´m sad. What drives me is the smile on people´s faces. When they smile I smile too. It doesn´t cost us a cent to smile, but a single smile can change the world forever.
a Sister in Germany: As the newly elected president of SOBA Foundation, what is your agenda?
Mr. Terence Ngassa: As president of SOBA my agenda for the foundation is what I promised during the elections " UNITY" and " RESPECT" amongst SOBANS and it´s friends.
a Sister in Germany: SOBA has always set the bar high with its activities in Germany especially through your annual people's empowerment forum and your current I.T Project in Limbe. How do you plan to expand on that?
Mr. Terence Ngassa: As you mentioned we already have a lot at hand in terms of our activities. I don't intend to expand but concentrate on the already existing ones to ensure effectiveness.
a Sister in Germany: Any strategies to get younger Sobans motivated and active in the Foundation?
Mr. Terence Ngassa: My strategy to get young Sobans engage in our activities is simple. Let young Sobans handle some of those posts of responsibilities which their big brothers have been handling in the past. This is already in action. The vice president and the secretary general are young talented Sobans. This alone encourages other young Sobans to make their voices heard. I have also created bureaus which will engage all Sobans both young and old to take decisions on behalf of the association.
a Sister in Germany: a word of encouragement to our readers?
Mr. Terence Ngassa: I know you have very intelligent and respectful readers. However my word of advice is that when they read, they should concentrate on the good things that might impact their lives and the world as a whole. Any article that may destroy peace and unity belongs to the bin. I thank them for reading and being part of a forum that can make the world comfortable for all.
a Sister in Germany: we will take your advice as an encouragement to keep doing what we do: spread positive vibes. Thank you very much for gracefully speaking to our readers.
SOBA Foundation is an alumni association with roots at the foot of Mount Fako, in a little enchanting village called Sasse.
(pic: St. Joseph's College Sasse, at the foot of Mt. Fako)
Thus the acronym SOBA, Sasse Old Boys Association. Founded in 1939, St. Joseph's College Sasse is one of the oldest and most prestigious educational institutions in Cameroon. Since twelve years SOBANs from Germany have continiously sent waves across the globe through their various activities, especially their annual convention. The alumni helps them connect to their Alma Mater by sustaining values instilled in them while in Sasse College , as they use those same values to impact change and growth in their various immediate communities. SOBA Foundation Germany is a registered non-profit organisation with socio-philanthropic ambitions. Personally I love their annual People's Empower Forum, which is part of the annual convention and a platform on which economic, cultural and socio-political topics affecting the migrant and non-migrant communities in Germany are discussed, old friendships are refreshed and new partnerships are formed. They have slowly become a very important arm in the integration process in Germany, keeping true to their mission statement "to empower people to understand that they can manage their own destiny if they are ready to work for it"
Links : http://www.sobafoundation.org/