HURT is a poignant, disturbing, controversial, but surely courageous and uplifting memoir of a young boy who grows up brutally abused amidst the rubble of Central Africa, desperately reaching up to love and later to forgiveness, and ultimately U-turning on a one-way expressway to distress and failure.
About the author:
Joe Fotso was born and raised in Bandjoun, a small village in the Western province of Cameroon, and in Yaoundé, the capital city of this Central African country. He endured an extremely rough upbringing at the very hands of those who were supposed to care for him. He was forced to wander the streets, steal for survival, and sell his parents’ bananas, hoping to win their love. But with each day that went by, he heard only hatred in his mother’s voice and saw only loathing in her steely eyes. Through it all he cried, desperately searched for his way out, and relentlessly prayed for someone who would listen and care. With tears profusely streaming out of his sad eyes through his troubled childhood, Joe held his pain in. However, his courage, spirit and determination only grew stronger with each degrading encounter. Through his many misfortunes, he relentlessly crusaded against destiny to find and follow his way, propelled by the same question he asked himself since the tender age of 14: “OTHERS, WHY NOT US?!”
After obtaining a Doctorate in biochemistry in 1994 from the University of Yaoundé, he became one of the many victims of tribal injustice in Cameroon, teaching biochemistry without pay for two years at the same university. In his quest for opportunity and freedom, he ultimately left Cameroon in 1996 for the United States where he enrolled at Kansas State University, Department of Animal Sciences and Industry. He obtained a second Ph.D. in 2003, specializing in chemical analysis and toxicology, and thereafter entered the active workforce.
Throughout his odyssey, Joe ultimately discovered the power of love and forgiveness. More importantly, he learned how to smile with steamy tears in his eyes, and to keep his hopes high against all odds. The lingering grief and healing smiles of his adulthood have urged him to look back and speak out. After years of hesitation while his wounds healed, Joe has made his life’s journey an open book—HURT. He now believes he always was protected in many ways by something hard for him to define: maybe God or his ancestors. Writing and playing soccer, which are by far his favorite hobbies, allowed him to express himself, and kept him strong and sane.
Joe is now a father to two beautiful children, Milly and Chris.
All of his siblings live in Cameroon, which he visits every three to five years.
He currently lives in the Chicago area with his family, where he is employed in a pharmaceutical company as Manager of New Drug Product Quality and Technology Transfer.
Joe has always been a disciplined professional with a burning desire, drive and determination to flourish.
- Biography & Autobiography > Personal Memoirs
- Biographies & Memoirs > Historical
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