Mr. Simon Ateba is the bi-lingual publisher of SIMON ATEBA NEWS on simonateba.com and an investigative journalist who was arrested in 2015 and accused of being a Boko Haram spy while he was investigating the dire conditions of Nigerian refugees in Cameroon.
Boko Haram had killed more than 25,000 people in six years and displaced over 2.5 million others when Mr. Ateba decided to take an incredible risk in September 2015.
He ventured into a war zone in Cameroon’s far north to find out how those who had been displaced by ISIS’ partners were living. But he was arrested and jailed for days and was only released following regional outrage and protests in Nigeria and Cameroon.
Mr. Ateba, who is also a columnist and a trained public relations and advertising manager currently based in Washington DC, USA, had earlier been attacked by pirates on the Gulf of Guinea, kidnapped in a bus in Lagos and left in a lonely bush to die but miraculously survived, only to be beaten to comma by pastors in a Nigerian mega church, who saw him as a threat. A heartbreaking documentary titled Nigeria’s Millionaire Preachers narrated the incident on UK-Channel 4.
Born in the French speaking part of Cameroon, Mr. Ateba who speaks and writes French and English, struggled to learn English in Lagos, Nigeria, starting from 2003.
He eventually went back to campus to study Mass Communication and Public Relations and Advertising, graduating in 2010 with a Postgraduate Diploma in Public Relations and Advertising.
Apart from writing, and publishing SIMON ATEBA NEWS, Mr. Ateba is also a resource person at various seminars and conferences.
He trains others on the secrets of journalists. During those training sessions, public relations officers learn how to impress journalists and young bloggers also get to learn how to become master bloggers.
His series, newly started, called the secrets of journalists, are gaining traction. Mr. Ateba also builds websites and teaches French language to those who want to acquire another skill, the skill of speaking French.
Fearless, but fair to all people, Mr. Ateba loves to say that his newspaper, SIMON ATEBA NEWS, is a great platform for all human beings, people of all colours, religions, tribes, languages or countries.
To him, people should be loved and catered for, no matter where they come from, the colour of their skin, their countries, religions or tribes.
At the core of his journalism understanding, is the human being. It’s all about human beings, he says. According to him, a great journalist is not the one who simply masters the art of writing, but the one who deeply cares about the people, and can capture their emotions with his words and voice to bring social changes.
Being a great journalist is therefore being able to feel what the people feel, weep with them when they weep, and rejoice when they rejoice, he says. It’s all about telling the story of mankind, our story.