witnessed the departure of Yvan Noh Nafend from Cameroon to the mother of football (England), Manchester city of Pep Guardiola to be more precise on Friday, August 2nd.

Everyone seemed to be in an atmosphere of total joy but sports promoter and state TV consultant Victorine Fomum explained to that everything was not “merry”, and the heat was cranking up behind the scenes.

Being one of the ANAFOOT coordinators charged with the responsibility to ensure the smooth flow of Noh Nefeng’s documents, Victorine had to show hope when she had her back against the walls – as she explains everything that transpired underneath:

“It is a privilege for ANAFOOT to have this opportunity for Noh Nafeng Yvan to go and share his experience with other youths of his age at Manchester City”.

This program would be used to help children express themselves through the use of the English language. So, we of ANAFOOT especially the GM and the board chairman, Mister Issa Hayatou are very grateful for what we have done this far”.

The coach and veteran National TV consultant continued – “It’s been 2 years since ANAFOOT was created. For us to have sent a child to Manchester city is interesting, it shows that we have been doing something. But then, we cannot already start boasting because he is still going for a test and its just 2 weeks. We know that when he would come back it would give him another opportunity to work harder, and again it would be a spur to the younger generation in the academy who have not been able to get to the limelight and to the Cameroonian public at large”.

This is for us to know that ANAFOOT is certainly the academy to be. We want to use this opportunity to give a big thank you to the head of state H.E president Paul Biya for this vision for the youths of tomorrow, who are starting today”.

We wish him all a safe journey. It has not been easy working with his documents because I was a focal point handling the documents from the embassy and we thank God it all went well, we are grateful. The GM, Mister Enow Ngachu has not been sleeping, minute by minute he is on the phone asking how things have been evolving with the people of Manchester city. It tells you the interest he has in children, it tells you the interest he has in promoting the talents. The family of Yvan have been very, very cooperative from day 1 till today. I bet you his father has not slept”.

“His father works in Mbalmayo but each time they called him for a paper works he was there, the next minute and he is so patient. It is something that even other parents would encourage because there were times we lost courage. I am talking of when we were supposed to get the passport 21 days after, when we deposited or applied in the visa application center, it wasn’t. First flight on the book was on the 27th – it wasn’t, we went on the 29th first flight at the visa application center, it wasn’t”.

“Everybody was discouraged but when finally we got the passport and saw the visa inside, it gave another booster. Even the child lost courage, he fell sick – so it is to tells you that when an opening comes like this and we loss it or we get it finally, it gives another ora around his enviroment”.

“The other children of ANAFOOT Center were at the board chairman’s office who had a farewell massage for Yvan and to the younger people in the academy. He told them that success at the international level is a lot of discipline, a lot of hardwork, a lot of punctuality – and those were the messages he gave to him. He equally reiterated that when he goes there, he just has to be honest to himself and do just what he is asked to do”.

Talk to us about Nafeng and how have you prepared his psychology and mental strength to adapt?

Answer Victorine Fomum:

Well, he is a child who has never had this opportunity not only for him but in the family so it is a big experience. The whole family is here. Since I started working with him, each day, I give him a tip break because now if you have to give all to him – the child would chuck and get confused”.

” It is bit by bit, we want to boost his image and his character. When he was even selected for the U17 it was another test and trail for his potential and his ora, meeting with the African champions. He was selected. His techniques and tactics on the field was actually excellent and peculiar, which gave the coach the desire to make him the starter in some of the matches that they played with just ended competition the U17 took part in”.

“I believe Noh Nafeng is a courageous player – he is very athletic, he is very intelligent, he gives regular, good and efficient passes. I just hope that despite the stress of these last days, when he would land in Manchester city he would be strong to be able to give the best”.

“He is a midfielder who is very outstanding. It is rare for a coach or an administrator to give the qualities we are giving to Yvan but he has them so we need to continuously build them. In the future, as much as he grows, he knows that he has to give more and I believe he would stand out”.

” I just believe his health will let him go because it was not easy especially when the delay started coming with the passport. He even had a take a drip but I know Yvan is a brave boy. From the day the passport came the first person I called, You would not believe the first I called was Yvan. I called to tell him, you finally have the passport and the visa”.

“I called his father second to tell him, because he was in Mbalmayo and reluctant to follow me to the embassy this time around – meanwhile he’s been with me all through. When I called him and said we had the passport and needed his presence in the next one hour, I knew it was seemingly impossible to make it. In the next one hour he surprised me in Yaounde to tell you how excited he was.

” I then called the GM who mobilised the whole administration in a few minutes. Yvan has all it takes and I know God would take him through. It is also because of our Government that you are all here – because he is now an ambassador of Cameroon to defend the colour of the country Cameroon, in Manchester city“.

As earlier announced by some 48 hours back, 14-years-old Noh Nafeng Yvan has been selected in for tryouts to last 2 weeks. The training camp is organised by Manchester City. The program is known as “City football language school” and held for lads between the ages of 12 to 17.

At 14 Nafeng has already had time with the Under 17 National team of Cameroon.

Angu Lesley in Yaounde