Raphia Ngoutane: Independent Cheery Teen Seeking Reform

By Sonya Kedarnath

Raphia Ngoutane, an  individual with Cameroonian roots, is sparked with a deep interest in international journalism. This fun, loving and always-positive junior in high school is determined to leave an impact through her writing.

Ngoutane wants to excel in her schoolwork and  give back to her fellow peers back in Cameroon, as, she says, they do not have as many opportunities as she does here in America. Ngoutane says, “I don’t want to take my opportunities for granted because I know kids don’t have the same as me.”

Ngoutane hopes to use journalism to connect with her dreams of helping her home country.

Ngoutane moved from the Central African country to the Bronx a little over five years ago. The transition she made was “horrible,” she said, and it forced her to mature. Her mind is full with knowledge about her background and expectations for herself.  With such ideas, she intends to set and fulfill life goals not only for herself, but also to get her family’s approval.

Opportunities such as the program College Now can be beneficial towards her possibly prosperous future, by providing writing techniques and opportunities to take a step forward in her journalism career.

Ngoutane can be characterized as a humanitarian advocate, because of her passion for the worldly information and eagerness to help. Because she is the oldest of four, soon to be five, siblings, Ngoutane has grown a sense of responsibility, which she says  is an essential skill in journalism.

This aspiring reporter also intends to travel as an international spokesperson. “I want to give my own opinion about stuff,” she said. She believes her persistence will allow her voice to be heard loud and clear.

One topic Ngoutane is fired up about is women’s rights. She views women and children as an underestimated group, which people should be more aware of. She would like to travel to different “in-need” places and give a voice to women and children. In her opinion, corrupt governments are complicit with the inequality and the unfairness widespread around the world.

At home, Ngoutane has strict and overprotective parents. “I’m single, but if my parents heard about me and a boyfriend, they would send me back to Cameroon,” she says with a chuckle . Her parents’ strictness motivate her to strive for the best and to always work hard, which will get her places in life.

In addition, her younger brother is always neck and neck with her academically. “The competition plays a huge role in doing well in school,” she explains.

Ngoutane surroundings have also formed her opinion about decision-making and motivation. Her close friends, Mary, Loranny, Sarah, Ana and Juana, all serve as a form of motivation for her as they compete for the top spot in their class. Ngoutane sees this competition as a good type of influence, which keeps her motors running.

Her friends describe her as competitive in academics and sports, but state that she can also be fun to be around. Mary Ogunji, has been a friend of Ngoutane for two years through school relations. Ogunji claims, “she has a funny laugh that brightens up the room”.

Ngoutane says she can be depended on and she easily trusts people when given enough confidence to do so. She states, “the more you know someone, the better”.

Her favorite drink being Sprite goes in hand with her bubbly personality. Since Ngoutane yearns for world travel, she enjoys eating all types of food and her music taste is also very varied. The movies she finds enjoyable are those including Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, Channing Tatum, and many other A-list actors.

Ngoutane is very dedicated to the causes she cares about. The thought of an affordable source of reliance for kids and women brings joy to her heart. She expects to open a women’s rights organization back in Africa, and hopes that this task will be easier with assistance from her journalistic career. Both the political and entertaining sides of journalism appeal to her.

To keep a good cheerful attitude, Ngoutane seeks relaxation in entertainment news. To fulfill her political curiosity, she seeks excitement in politics.

Given her background, Ngoutane is a unique person in many ways. She has been able to transition well from her different lifestyle in Cameroon, and she has kept her grades as the top of the class.

She emits charisma and maturity, which make her easy to be around. With the help of her parents’ strict upbringing, she has also become a very fair person. Surrounding herself with lively and competitive friends has also impacted her motivation in a positive way. This future journalist is an open-minded person, with the desire to bring reform internationally.

“I believe if you educate a woman, she can make a difference somehow,” says Ngoutane.

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