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Standing Up against Corruption

Over the years, I have fought, I have struggled, and I am still managing to elude corruption off my way. The journey has not been easy especially when corruption becomes a custom. It is so complicated that I do not in all occasions recognize it.

3 years ago, I was a publicist agent for Orange Cameroon; sub-contracted by AGENDA. My job entailed to pitch on the new products and also sampling clients’ reaction to these products. My work was fun and engaging, except for the fact that these companies hardly ever respected any of the contracts.

One glorious day, I received a call from my supervisor requesting that I come collect my salary from the Accounting Manager. It was good news to me and I had to be present because if I happened not to, I may wait again, until god knows when.

Ironically, all the joy I brought alone to collect my pay quickly vanished, as myself and my colleagues were informed that the company has decided to deduce 25% from each and every one’s salary. With reasons being that we have worked for 20 days instead of 30. I couldn’t shut-up my large month after the news. So, I asked the boss whose fault was it; the team or the company?

In addition, I drew his attention to the fact that the company had asked everyone to go home, promising to get back soon. Only to show-up, 2 months later, without apologies for delay payment, but reasons to deduct 25% of hard earned salary.

The following day, I received a call from the Executive Director, requesting to meet with me. He was vex at me for not accepting the money and said it was wrong to deny my salary. Alternative, he said I would have taken it and later makes a complaint. After the big speeches, he signed in my 100% salary. I happily took it and thank him. That was it; I was fired without any noticed.

After this incident, some of my colleagues advised me to apologize. But I made them to understand that I will never regret my actions.

Though, I lost my job but change occurred. My colleagues now appreciate the act as the company has become conscious and respectful to contracts.

At that moment, I needed to act, knowing fully I may lose my job. Staying quiet I couldn’t accommodate.

Thanks for reading.

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PS: dear readers, my interpretation in this context is referred to the Web definitions of corruption. E.g. - “The lack of Integrity or Honesty, use of a Position of Trust for Dishonest Gain…” the more reason in my introduction I mentioned the fact that corruption is so complicated and thus re-inventing itself in many different forms.

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jadefrank's picture

Standing up to the man!

Dearest Zoneziwoh,

Standing up to a boss, to big business, to a man in a position of power, takes courage. This story is an inspiration to all workers, all women, who have been taken advantage of. Imagine if everyone else were as brave as you, and stood up too... the business would have to decide between losing all workers or fixing their mistake. You are blazing the trail for women everywhere. Thanks for sharing this powerful story!

Love,
Jade

zoneziwoh's picture

Thank you so much for the

Thank you so much for the encouraging words.

Dear Jade, honestly i tell you; there comes a time in one's life that you have no choice but to stand up and say ENough is Enough. Jade, it was enough, i couldn't pretend to accommodate it again. Besides, my decision and reaction were influenced by a couple of things.

1) the fact that employers would always mistreat their employees bc they believe that these employees can't complain, afterall unemployment rate is high. Once they dare to speak against they will lose their job.

2) they fact that most employers take young people to be very desperate, and thus could toy with them the way they desire...etc.

These and many other issues got me irritated and i said to myself, no! No, i can't take it. To make them know that it is not true that employees can't complain. Again that it is not true, young people are desperate and I am not scare losing my luxury. I am not.

And that is why you see Cameroon remains what it is. many people don't want to challenge the status quo. People are scared to speak out bc they fear they will lose their jobs, luxury etc.

It true, life is hard and people have to protect / secure their space but to what extent?

Unfortunately for me (if i may say), after losing that job, life became bitterly hard for me. It seemed as if everything was crumbling. I experienced the color of life. Oooh Jade, my life after that is another story on its own.

As a result, my friends advised me to apologized , and that it won't cost a thing to apologized. mmmh! I appreciated their concern for me, but i told them i don't regret my actions and will never ever regret it.
Some people insulted me, telling that it was a wrong move...the fact is I don't care. And i never wanted to know whether what i did was wrong or right. I also did make up my mind that Life cares, it remains worse; employers care they don't employ me- so long as i live, i will not died.

And guest what another friend told me, she said ' ziwoh, you know you are no body now and as no body you need to climb the ladder first. Once you are there you can speak'. Again, i asked her if once am there what guarantees that i will speak? On the contrary, i would have been entangled myself in the corrupt system and may not speak bc i will be contradicting and implicating myself.

Until when we start learning to stand up and say no to issues that doesn't comply with the values, we cant create change.

It is a strong battle. And at this stage of my life, i will not compromise my values. There are non-negotiables.

Stay Blessed

Zoneziwoh

Blog: http://zofem.blogspot.com/

Facebook:Zoneziwoh Mbondgulo Wondieh

Twitter | Instagram: @ZoFem

Oluwatoyin Ajao's picture

Courage!

Courage, purpose, determination, integrity! I love how you handled this issue!

Toyin Ajao

dbunton's picture

I commend you and your

I commend you and your efforts Zonewioh. You are very inspiring. Thanks for the Booth article, I am reading it today.

Darren Bunton

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