(This article was published In The Post Newspaper By Elvis Tah, some months ago)
Sasse College, Striding Steadily 70 Years After
By Elvis Tah
Saint Joseph’s College, Sasse, now endeared by the catch phrase, the cradle of excellence, was the first college in the English-speaking region of Cameroon. With it came the spirit of sanity, morality and intellectual honesty. Standing elegantly on the shoulder of Mt. Fako, is a radiantly yellow coloured building, with an evergreen lawn and a spacious arena, which is perfectly kempt. Sandwiched in between the administrative building and the dormitories is a central football pitch that gives the campus a befitting beauty.
St Joseph’s College started timidly in Bonjongo, Buea, in 1937. The Mill Hill Missionaries later moved it to Sasse in 1939 as a Minor Seminary, where most of the students graduated and moved to the Major Seminary in Oweri, Nigeria. Initially inaugurated with two dormitories only, a kitchen, a science laboratory and a handful of students, Sasse has grown in leaps and bounds. It has produced several priests, bishops and several other big names; the likes of former Prime Minister, Peter Mafany Musonge, Prof. Victor Anomah Ngu, Prof. Ephraim Ngwafor and so on. The current Principal of the College, Rev. Fr. Aloysius Ndifor Ituka, said, “After Harvard, we can say Sasse is the goal. We are doing our best to keep the standards flying.” Though a single sex education, it might be interesting to know that some ten women also passed through Sasse - Emerensia Besumbu Njume, now based in the US, attended Sasse in 1966. At the time, there was an attempt to transform the college into a co-educational institution. The attempt, however, botched and the girls were transferred to Our Lady Seat of Lourdes College, Bamenda and Queen of the Rosary College, Okoyong, Mamfe.
“The missionaries also thought of a polytechnic. The idea is still alive. We are nursing ideas to transform Sasse College into a university college in the nearest future,” Fr. Ndifor noted.
According to the Priest, Sasse College has faced several challenges in its quest to maintain its standards and continue to stand tall in the emerging competition with other schools of reference.