Prison Labourer Begs for Samuel Eto'o's Help in Letter Found Inside Shopping Bag

Mark Patterson@@MarkPattersonBRUK Staff WriterApril 30, 2014

Chelsea's Samuel Eto'o reacts to a decision by the referee Mike Dean, during an English Premier League soccer match against Sunderland at the Stamford Bridge ground in London, Saturday, April 19, 2014. Sunderland won the match 2-1.(AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Lefteris Pitarakis

An Australian in New York found a cry for help from a prison labourer inside a shopping bag she picked up from Saks Fifth Avenue—in which he sought the help of Chelsea striker Samuel Eto'o.

The letter claims to be from the man who made the bag, who claimed to be unfairly held in a prison factory.

On the top, it is marked: "HELP! HELP! HELP!"

The Huffington Post report that it was discovered by Stephanie Wilson in September 2012, while the letter itself was dated three months earlier. 

The letter—and attached picture—suggested an African man may have written it. After a lengthy search, DNAInfo tracked down the man, now free from prison, a Cameroonian by the name of Tohnain Emmanuel Njong.

Eto'o, also from the Cameroon, is a hero in his home continent. At the time he was playing club football with Anzhi Makhachkala in Russia.

In addition to reporting the inhumane conditions, Njong's letter asked:

Please help to contact the United Nations Human Rights Department or if possible Samuel Eto'o and let them know my sad story. I'm Eto'o's fan club manager in the University.

Thanks and sorry to bother you.

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

According to the report Njong was teaching in China when he was sentenced to three years in jail for fraud—a crime he denies.

While he was in prison, he worked from 6 a.m. until 10 p.m. making paper bags or other small items.

He was released in December 2013 and put on a plane back to Cameroon.

That he sought Eto'o's help is in some way no surprise—as well as being a football star, he's also known as a philanthropist because of the work of his foundation in the country.

Eto'o will not have been aware of his story, but Njong is quoted as saying he is glad someone did discover his letter.

"It was the biggest surprise of my life," said Njong.  “I am just happy that someone heard my cry."