Bisong: Pleading for country after playing for country
By Franklin Sone Bayen
He was set to be a source of pride to his community and country. Up to a certain level, Michael Nkongho Bisong was, though he did not realize his full dream of earning caps for the senior national selection of Cameroon. Caps with junior national selections and a semi-professional career in Europe were great all the same.
Injury cut short the brilliant football career of Bisong, 48. Today, he is fully involved in humanitarian action, raising funds from his new base in the United Kingdom to support the under-privileged in his native country. He hails from Manyemen – Upper Balong in the Kupe-Muanenguba division of the English-speaking South West region of Cameroon.
He grew up playing football in the streets of his hometown and started his football career with Tiko United. He went on to play with second tier topflight clubs Cammark Kumba and Victotia United alias Opopo. He played a crucial role in getting Victoria United into the First Division in the first time of asking.
He narrowly missed out of making it to the Senior Indomitable Lions after representing Cameroon in the junior levels, playing alongside Cameroon legends Rigobert Song, Marc Vivian Foe (who dropped dead during an international competition in 2002), Bernard Tchoutang. The latter three proceeded to the senior team.
Bisong played semi-professional football in Germany and the United Kingdom before completing his university studies. He is currently a Senior Social Worker in the United Kingdom and Founder of the Bisong Foundation a charity reputed for “giving smiles to the faces of the underprivileged”.
Some of his humanitarian support goes to internally displaced persons (IDPs) affected by the ongoing armed conflict affecting his English-speaking part of the country, some in his own native village.