African student begins studies at Mesalands

Special to QCS

Charlie Ndambadji is finishing up his first semester at Mesalands Community College with hopes of pursuing a career in wind energy technology.

Ndambadji, 29, is a native of the Republic of Cameroon, which is located in Central Africa. Camaroon has a population of about 18 million people. Ndambadji speaks three different languages, including French, Spanish, and British English. He attended the University of Douala in Cameroon, where he obtained a master’s degree in electrical engineering.

He has a brother that lives in Las Vegas, N.M. and attends New Mexico Highlands University and a younger sister who lives in Belgium attending University of Liege. He also has a cousin living in California. His parents and seven brothers still live in Cameroon.

Ndambadji states that many people in Cameroon do not have electricity in their homes.

“Africa has major problems with electricity because there is no electricity for all of the people,” he said. “There are more than 40% of people in Africa living without electricity.”

Since his family lives in a major city they receive affordable electricity. However, his grandmother like many people in Africa, lives in a small village where electricity is scarce.

“People in the villages can’t afford to pay their bills and therefore don’t have electricity,” Ndambadji said. “The cost of electricity is high and is much more expensive in the villages, because it’s selective.”

Ndambadji wants to study different forms of renewable energy, especially wind energy because there is an abundant amount of wind in Cameroon.

“My long time goal is to be able to teach wind energy in Cameroon at the university. That’s why I decided to attend Mesalands, because it’s a great college,” Ndambadji said.

He is currently taking general education and English as a second language (ESL) courses to improve his American English skills. In January, he will be taking WET 102: Fundamentals of Wind Energy and will officially begin the Wind Energy Technology program at Mesalands in fall of 2010.