026: The African Timeline – w/ Dr. Judwin Ndzo & Dr. Clarisse Wuttidma.

“When are you getting married? When are you having a baby?”…..etc.

Do any of these words sound familiar to you? Truth is that if you grew up in an African household, you most likely heard at least one of those words thrown at you. Somehow, we seem to have created this social timeline that has been instituted as a crucial part of being successful as an African. It feels like a degree, marriage, children, etc at an appointed time should be our ultimate goal and highest achievement in life. We tend to forget the essence of purpose and fulfillment, however that may come across to us, should be our ultimate goal in life. 

Today, we will be challenging these superficial ideologies that put so much societal pressure on us Africans. We will defy such a doctrine that has pushed so many Africans to make horrible decisions because they are trying to fit into the status quo and please their loved ones and the community at large. I will be having a somewhat remote fireside chat with two of my very good friends –  Dr. Judwin Ndzo and Dr. Clarisse Wuttidma. 

Dr. Judwin Ndzo is a Pediatric Registrar in East Midlands North, currently based in QMC Nottingham, England. Shortly after graduating with her MD degree, she worked at Solidarity Clinic in Buea, Cameroon, where she developed a passion for managing children. Her interest in nutrition led her to her job with MSF Swiss (Doctors without Borders) and later the French Red Cross in Garoua-boulaï, Eastern Cameroon where she worked in a refugee camp for almost 2 years, looking after malnourished kids. Following this, she won a Chevening Scholarship to study a Masters in Public Health (Nutrition pathway) at the University of Southampton, UK. That same year, she sat the Plab exams and obtained a license to practice in the UK, obtained a job as a pediatric junior doctor, then got into pediatric residency the following year. 

She is keen to help other young Cameroonians/Africans pursue their career goals. When not working, she somehow manages to find time traveling, working out, hiking, cooking, socializing, and hanging out with friends!

Dr. Clarisse Wuttidma was born in Cameroon and moved to the UK in 2006 right after high school. She studied economics and finance at Brunel University London. Upon completing her Ph.D. in Economics and Finance, she started working as an economics and market researcher. She currently works as a rail business consultant for a global company, actively working on the decarbonization of the rail industry and privatization of France’s Rail industry.

She has a great interest in economics and environmental sustainability, educating, encouraging, and helping others attain their goals as much as she can. She loves spending time with friends and family, especially her nieces and nephews. She loves cooking, baking, and entertaining guests.

[00:01 – 03:37] Opening Segment

  • Introduction

[03:37 – 18:27] Sharing Personal Experiences with The African Timeline

  • Get to know the guests
  • The timeline pressure from family
  • Pressure from friends and work colleagues
  • The Aunties who will be on your case
  • Host, Anyoh talks about how the Community has made careless talking a norm

[18:27 – 35:30] The Insensitivity in Our Community & Pressure on Men

  • The gossip culture in our community
  • Take into consideration people’s personal struggles
  • Guests share their thoughts on the social pressure men face
  • The common outlook on marriage in our African Community
  • We need to stop comparing our lives to other people’s life.

[35:30 – 46:58] Changing the Norm

  • Being open-minded
  • Being cautious about what we say
  • Trusting your process and believing in your journey
  • Being authentic to ourselves.
  • Living your life and not someone’s life.

Tweetable Quotes:

“Our community has painted a picture that says being married and having children is the ultimate goal of life. But there is soo much more to life than marriage and kids.” – Anyoh Fombad

“In the end, it is somebody’s life, and what they choose to do with it. If they get married, fine. If they don’t get married, that’s fine also. Don’t go around pressuring people to take these decisions.” – Dr. Judwin Ndzo

“Life is short and life is not a straight line. Live every day with purpose and only make decisions when you’re ready.” – Dr. Judwin Ndzo

“It’s wrong for us to think the qualification for men to get married is a house and car. What if they lose their job, the car, and the house? We have to change that mindset.” – Dr. Clarisse Wuttidma

“Stay away from the noise and pressure so it doesn’t lead you into making regrettable decisions.” – Dr. Clarisse Wuttidma

“There is so much careless talk in our community. People say hurtful words to you, they laugh over it and tell you they were joking. We can do better.” – Anyoh Fombad

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You can connect with Anyoh on Facebook (@anyohf), Instagram (@anyohfombad), and Twitter (@anyohfombad).

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