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Punctuality: The Value of Being On Time | Shansel Mbaku

It's no secret that the stereotype of Cameroonians being habitual latecomers exists. While we may not be able to control every situation and circumstance, it's essential that we make a conscious effort to prioritize punctuality.


When I ask people why they are late, more often than not, they respond with the excuse of being busy or caught up in traffic jam. However, is being busy a valid reason to arrive late for an event? The truth is, everyone is busy. We all have responsibilities and commitments, but it is how we manage our time that determines our ability to be punctual.


Unfortunately, those who arrive early often bear the brunt of lateness. I have lost count of the number of times I've patiently waited for individuals at appointments, only to be presented with flimsy excuses that could have been avoided had they planned ahead.

This constant experience can demoralize those of us who genuinely value being early and respecting others' time. We may find ourselves growing weary and eventually succumbing to the temptation of lateness. However, it is crucial to recognize that being late is not just a matter of inconvenience; it also reflects a lack of consideration and gratitude.


Arriving late communicates a sense of disrespect and ingratitude, whether knowingly or unknowingly. It sends the message that one considers themselves more important than others, implying that others should wait for them. Such behavior can strain relationships, erode trust, and ultimately hinder the progress of our personal and professional lives.


While we cannot control every situation that arises in life, we can make a conscious effort to plan ahead and avoid being late. By managing our time effectively, setting realistic expectations, and prioritizing punctuality, we can demonstrate respect for others and foster a culture of reliability and trust.



Let us challenge the stereotype and prove that Cameroonians can prioritize punctuality. By making a conscious effort to arrive on time, we can inspire others to do the same and create a positive shift in our collective mindset. Remember, being on time is not just about respecting others; it is also about valuing our own time and maximizing our potential for success.


  • Shansel Mbaku'22 | Open Dreams

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