At 31, Henry Njalla Quan Junior made history. He is the youngest-ever executive committee member (4th Vice President) in the history of the Cameroon Football Federation (Fecafoot). At the regional level, the elite of Bimbia was voted South West Fecafoot boss. The heir of former CDC General Manager, Chief Henry Njalla Quan, is a born football administrator, a business administrator by training, a loving father to his three kids, a darling husband, and a philanthropist to the needy. Nyanga Magazine uses words and pictures to paint a succinct portrait of the gentleman nicknamed “President.”
nless you go in search of what you want, no one will hand it to you on a golden plate... Never let anyone tell you that you are too young to lead and force you into believing that you still have time. Make an impact while you can!” These are maxims from the inspirational Henry Njalla Quan Junior. Like a prophet who does what he says, he chose to impact change in the football sector. With firm conviction, the astute football administrator christened his propaganda “a new dawn” in Cameroon football. At 31, the lone son of Chief Henry Njalla Quan, former General Manager of the Cameroon Development Corporation (CDC) and founder of the Njalla Quan Sports Academy (NQSA) and of the football club aspired to restore lost glories and make football in the South West Region an obligatory reference. His charming plan of actions fetched him robust supports from delegates.
His election as President of the South West Regional League of Fecafoot in replacement of Dr Ndive Thomas in November 2021 and later national Fecafoot 4th Vice President, the youngest-ever executive committee member in the history of the FA, took many by storm. Njalla Quan Junior’s legacies as President of the renowned NQSA, and manager of the squad for the past nine years also contributed in catapulting him to those top positions.
Matching words with actions
To take football forward in the South West Region “we have to reconcile the different stakeholders and instill good governance. We plan to ensure that young players (U-15, U-17, U-20, U-23) get a fair chance of being represented in national teams. Foreign scouts shall be invited during tournaments to give players the opportunity of moving on to better professional settings abroad.
During our first-four-year mandate, we want to have at least one female team in the Guinness Super League, and at least two men’s clubs in the Elite Championship,” the charismatic leader said, before adding that its realisation requires huge financial resources. Away from regular Fecafoot subvention, the S.W Fecafoot boss envisages to organise fundraisers and make personal sacrifices. To match words with actions, he has dedicated his salary as S.W Fecafoot president towards developing amateur football clubs in the region. At a party to celebrate his election, Njalla Quan Jr. improvised a fundraiser and over 1 million FCFA was collected. From that money, he donated sets of jerseys and balls to four clubs, and supported some media organs.
Relationship with a Eto’o
“Prior to the sweeping victory of Samuel Eto’o Fils as Fecafoot supremo on 11 December 2021, we had never been in contact. I think it is the common vision and passion which my humble self and Eto’o shared which got us close. Today, we have a better professional working relationship. Eto’o is someone who listens a lot,” said Njalla Quan Jr.
Highs and lows
Asked what have been his achievements and failures since managing the NQSA and the team, he said “I will like to be judged by the public for what we have done so far. However, since I must say something, I think we have done quite a good job, most importantly keeping the institution alive, following the passing away of the natural founder in 2012. One of our biggest achievements has been to blend academics and sports at our Man-O-War Bay campus in Limbe.
More so, we have given hope to many young footballers, particularly the under-privileged. Many players who went through our institution have become men of substance. As for regrets, we were not being able to keep the Njalla Quan football club at the Elite level for more than three years after the death of my father. With my responsibility at Fecafoot now, I have had to resign as President of the club.”