Sasse Old Boys Association (SOBA UK) president Shupo Francis has said their Union meeting is still one of the best Ex student associations in the UK and more will be done to make sure it grows and achieve its real potential.
He made the statement at the Penta Hotel during the 2013 annual convention of SOBA UK that took place in the South Eastern town of Reading, England. He said problems not withstanding, the EXCO he has led for the last nine years has helped develop the brand that is now the envy of many Ex student associations from Cameroon.
Some of the issues that were discussed included the construction of a college sick bay project and the financial help SOBA Uk is still promising to give, some internal problems and expected elections for a new EXCO. Treasurer Akoh-Arrey presented the financial statement of the association while Secretary General Bime Lafon talked extensively on why internal communications of the association needed to be strictly controlled.
Members for the first time resolved to give financial assistance to the family of any registered SOBA Uk member who dies.
President Shupo Francis was non committal when asked if he will be contesting as a candidate during the January 2014 elections. Opinion is sharply divided in the association on whether Shupo and his team can continue in office after nine long years or hand over to others who also had ambitions to run SOBA UK. An independent electoral commission is expected to be set up to run the elections.
The convention ended with a red carpet/black tie grand gala night at the Shenghai in Reading. More than 300 guests were present for the occasion that continued to the wee hours of the morning. A raffle draw and award of prizes to some deserving Cameroonians was part of the gala night . Eating, drinking and dancing was part of the package.
Bime Lafon later told Iroko Africa running SOBA UK was extremely challenging. He said EXCO members gave their time freely and hoped new features are added to the organization including a regular newsletter and registering the association as a charity. Bime said the SOBAN brand was big and well known enough to build businesses that could generate money to sponsor some of the projects they will like to fund.
Most people who attended the convention described it as “successful”
Emmanuel Tchombe (Class 2004) said “the convention was very good and well organized.” He added it will be good more younger Sobans are part of the meeting. Elad Valentine (class 1980) was also impressed with the organization. “I got what I expected. It was massively glamorous and highly recommendable.” He however had a problem with timing. “Lets reduce the talking and try to get the timings right” Elad added.
John Bawak said ” it was good value for money gave me a chance to meet up with class mates , share old stories and be reminded of what Sasse meant and means to me. Networking with other professionals who hold the Soban brand to such high esteem is always great”.
SOBANs who traveled from abroad to attend the gala included Namata Godwin from the USA, Ejikeme Francis from Ireland, Val Molulu from Cameroon , Agbor Sylvanus from Germany and Ivo Esong from Quatar.
Proposals for some changes to the organization were made but because the AGM started late, some were not examined. Hopefully they will be examined later.
Herewith pictures the gala night.