Following the success of KiRette Couture’s Bamenda Rocks! 2009 the forward thinking label returns with an explosive second installment.
But unlike last year’s event, the upcoming spectacle will cross Bamenda’s borders to celebrate the diversity and creativity of designers from different parts of Cameroon.
“It was great to celebrate Bamenda’s contribution to our nation’s style and entertainment scenes last year. But it is also vital to honour our inextricable link with the rest of Cameroon especially as we forge a brighter future after 50 years of nationhood,” explained KC Co-founder, Anrette Ngafor.
KiRette Couture will lead Rodrig Tchatcho, Syl Anim, Tia MacRen, Nuvi Designs and Dilisous Coucou in a breathtaking catwalk to spotlight the nation’s burgeoning style scene. Themed “grassroots explosion,” the show also has a strong economic development focus.
“We chose this theme because we have realised that genuine economic development occurs from the grassroots. Through Bamenda Rocks! we empower young, up-and-coming designers by giving them a platform for further their development,” explained Kibonen Nfi, CEO of KiRette Couture.
The event will also feature performances from hip-hop megastar, Valsero, R & B collective, BAAM, Landry Njapa (Afro Soul) and Excel (Nigerian Beats)
VIP guests will rub shoulders with the designers at an intimate pre-event wine tasting session from (5.00pm- 7.00pm) Fashion Show from 7.00pm -10.00pm and after party from 10.00pm.
But Bamenda Rocks! is more than just about style and glamour. With an impressive international portfolio of charity activities its organisers place community development at the core of their operations.
Proceeds from last year’s event were donated to the Our Lady of Fatima Handicap Centre, Bambili. This year’s show will benefit Splash Networks International “fight against cancer in Africa” is a nexus of young Cameroonians who have come together in order to inspire a progressive culture through the use of natural talents. It seeks to open a new avenue in fighting poverty, presenting a new format in gaining mental independence by the young generation, tapping the innate abilities which lie fallow in many youths and adults and to liberate society from mental stagnation and servitude
NOTES TO EDITORS
Established in 2008 by Kibonen Nfi and Anrette Ngafor, KiRette Couture is an African-inspired brand with a global footprint.
Its chic wear products are inspired by the toghu, a colourful and intricately embroidered outfit used for special occasions by the people of Cameroon’s Western Highlands region.
KC has graced several prestigious runway shows including Nigeria’s Next Super Model as one of the official designers for the event. African Fashion Week NewYork, Fashion TV South Africa, Dressed contestants at the Lagos-based Ovation Red Carol 2009 event and London’s CamerCouture
Barely a year into its existence, the label earned a UK Black Entertainment, Film, Fashion, Television and Arts (BEFFTA) award nomination for Best Female Designer.
Bamenda Rocks 2! will take place at the pool area, Ayaba Hotel on Saturday 26 December 2010. The event will run from 5.30pm till 10pm
Standard: CFA 10000 per person Classic :CFA 15000 per person VIP: CFA 25000 per person.
To purchase tickets, please contact Fichian Nfi (Cameroon) on: + 237 77 96 59 58 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org Glenyse Neng (Cameroon ) on + 237 77 40 19 38
International press & media enquiries:
Cynthia Anduhtabe (UK) on tel: +44 7834 321 373 or email: email@example.com
Ngum Ngafor (UK) on tel: +44 7944 043 954 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Press & media enquiries in Cameroon:
Mirabel Nfihkela (CMR) on tel :+237 75 87 78 42 or email: email@example.com
Bertrand Tiotsop (CMR) on tel :+237 99 57 36 41 or email : bertrand_tiotsop @yahoo.fr
Travel info: Transportation: Guarantee Express from any city in Cameroon goes to BAmenda
Ayaba Hotel – CFA 30.000 excluding breakfast and food.
Mondial Hotel: Single rooms with TV – CFA 14.500. Double with TV - CFA 16.000. Suite with TV - suite 22.000 Rooms with no TV - 7.500
Mansfield Hotel - CFA 18.000- CFA 30.000 excluding breakfast
Are all rooms charged at per night.
All rooms are charged at standard hotel prices. Prices may be discounted depending if we have many people per booking they might get a discount .
At the Pan African event Posing with the East African guys Senegal represented South Africa in the mix Cameroonians in colour East African girls Presenting "Africa in Miniature" (Cameroon) to the Zambian President (Banda) In an effort to be as close to Kenneth Kaunda as possible
Representing Cameroon in a Pan-African invent in Zambia was an opportunity for me to be exposed to the idea of expressing myself with my culture, focus on what we have as Africans, what works in Africa and how to create a united Africa.
"UBUNTU" (Brotherhood, Togetherness) was the theme of the Pan-African event, and to me it says it all. It is time for Africa and Africans to realise that, the spirit of "UBUNTU" is what we need to break the barriers and be one.
The barriers i am talking about are not necessarily physical, we sure need the physical for naming purposes, for order and for consistency. The barriers i am talking about are mental, appreciating the difference in each and everyone of us,using what we have (riches) to get what we want (development).
It is important for us to explore our differences by expressing our selves. The kind of expression i am talking about, is being proud of where we come from and where we want to go. The kind of expression i am talking about here is more cultural than verbal.
We need commitment from within in every endeavour we undertake, courageous as ever, be creative and move from the steriotypes. Be curious enough to move from one level to the other, and to move from our comfort zones by being the changes we want to see in our world. Most important of all these to me, and i know i am repeating it, is - to contribute to the development of Africa by appreciating our differences.
When we successfully appreciate differences in people, cultures, ideas, rules... we start loving our selves and focus on improving rather than criticising.
The Pan-African event was a time to celebrate our continent, it's past, present and future leaders. We met great minds like Kenneth Kaunda (KK)- first president of Zambia, Today's president of Zambia - Rupiah Banda, top class young business men, breaking grounds in the most difficult economies like Zimbabwe and most important the future leaders of Africa in attendance, to talk around pertinent issues in our continent, and brainstorming on how to tackle challenges in our different communities.
"Vision Shaker" joins you today as you bring on your passion, and encourages you to push forward, and don't hold back, believing in yourself honestly from within.
Is it still worth migrating abroad for better opportunities? We all watch the news I guess, and are very aware of the economic situation around the world. We probably know someone or people who have lost their jobs, or have moved to other jobs as a result of the economic crisis.
If we belong to organisations in the developing or under developed countries represented abroad, the story is "Cost cutting"
What then do we make of this? It has almost become our culture in the developing world to go abroad for greener pastures; do you think it is still worth migrating abroad for better opportunities?
I spoke to a very close colleague to get his opinion on this, and this was his view. "Ideally, I want to stay in Africa, my heart is really in Africa, but I still want to have permanent access abroad, even at short notice..."
Then I spoke to an Indian, who lives in London, and is presently in Cameroon. She said something very interesting "This can be compared to the concept of a big fish in a small pond or a small fish in a big pond. For instance I know people who are Engineers in India, and they come to London and end up doing manual labour, I am sure they will have a better quality of life with that qualification in India than abroad. Also I think people with very good qualifications out there, have a better chance of getting jobs in the developing or under developed countries. We are better off using our qualifications where they are needed most. However, life is generally more comfortable out there; it just depends on what we want for ourselves."
In my opinion, there is a balance we need to strike somewhere, and I think developing countries have identified it, and are working on it, the under developed countries need to up their game a little. I recognise there is a lot of work going on already, even on individual basis.
Like one of the house mates in Big Brother Africa all stars mentioned, "I look forward to a day when we will all be equal, when no country will be looked at as bigger than the other or stronger, when we will have equal opportunity... (Tanzania)"
Another housemate said "If the G8 cared so much for poor African, who still live in mud houses, and still have diseases which have solutions out there, and we cannot get treatment because we have no money - they will hold on the space crafts they are building, hold back on the wars they are financing and support us to grow, even just to half their level (Ethiopia)"
To this I say "I hear you, but it is not as easy as that" what then do you think? What can we practically do? Is Africa the place to be, or is it worth going abroad for better opportunities?
Anything you create will start with a single thought. This thought could go on to many different crazy thoughts, however, if you keep the passion and vision alive, the thought stays and more so comes to pass.
Did you know "whatever you think about, you bring about"?
In all this, be flexible, so you can take on new ideas and thoughts, which could lead you to something new and even better or maybe different - whatever the case, the important thing is, you did give it some thought, and most of all, tried new things.
If you get to this point, there is evidence you are in action, you are open to change and you are thinking!
Did you know that creation is to think up new things and Innovation is actually doing new things?
Put your ideas into motion, be a creator and an inventor, place your ideas on paper and on the ground as well!
There is no History without a past; there will be no History without a present, nor a plan for the future. We have a past, we are in the present anyway, and we have great minds to work out the future. What then do we make of our History?
Tell me if you differ, what you will be thinking about...
I am standing here in the Indira Gandhi museum, the place where he is said to have died in. This is only one of the numerous Historical buildings you find around this country. Imagine the impact this has on the economy of the country, the image of the country, pride of citizens and why not the politics of the country? Even a taxi man feels obliged to introduce the Historical heritage of his beloved fatherland to a visitor.
Mark you, this is a country with huge levels of poverty, (so huge India is said to be stubbornly behind achieving the MDG's) political instability here and there, intense class distinction and enormous tribalism, an uncontrollably huge population... just to name a few challenges. Yet something is working.
I'll tell you why something is working despite the above.
As much as the focus is on the issues, so is there a lot of focus on what can be done, and like i keep saying, lets focus on what works!
Fellow Cameroonians, Beloved Africans, My beloved in the Diaspora, the time is now!
This is what the entire Taj Mahal looks like, and it's built with pure mable no miss of cement or rods whatsoever. The roses decorated with colourful mable has about 16 pieces to each rose, and if you think this is amazing, you will absolutely need to see the works done this day, where one little rose can have up to 69 pieces on them. This is the Ford, where the author of this wonder spent the last years of his life, though under house arrest, this was very much home to him, and equally constructed with a lot detail and durable material. I was also opportuned to get some poses with India's future. I was able to warm my way into these beautiful shy Indian girls, as we posed to a pic, with as u will guess, spectators... fun though! Totally exhausted and sweaty after going all the way up to the Taj, then going underground to see the original tombs,then back up to see the symbolic ones. That to me was pretty much it! One of the 4 guest houses, the first one you see as you arrive. I was in High spirit as i was about to walk this wonder The Taj Mahal
pictures may speak for themselves, without which, i will let you in on the bits and pieces of the Taj as time rolls on.
The story behind this building is one of LOVE for which I can say with certitude will not happen in these days for several reasons – these reasons could be economic, social, political or personal... but I tell you, it will be a hard one for this day and time. You can also read about it and the brief history from http://www.islamicity.com/culture/taj/default.htm
Once again, I could see in a people, uniform knowledge of tradition, history, talent, patience and love for their fatherland.
The original tombs of the Taj Mahal are opened once a year for remembrance, and on this one day of the year – I happen to be there! It felt like a blessing as I lived the history of the people with them, felt the intensity in the air as the crowds pulled in and indeed I felt the people.
Expensive as it was to get there, both in time and cash, exhausted and dehydrated as I was by the end of the tour, it was a very glorious 2hours of anytime i have spent in the last year, and yet I still could not resist the glamour of the home of this great man who came up with the concept for this very exquisite work of arts – the Ford, where he lived the last 8 years of his life, (though under house arrest by his own son.) That again is a detailed work of art.
The whole building of the Taj Mahal, is made of pure Mable, and decorated with flowers - each flower is said to have about 16 pieces of colourful well shaped pieces to it, i actually went to the site where these very patient men sit all day and make every piece to fit the bills of their inventions, and after seeing this, it was no wonder to me that it took 22 years to complete this structure, with about 22,000 Persians involved.
I definitely cannot have a complete story up for you now, but will as goes on.
In an up close and personal Interview on BBC with Kofi Anan, Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu, Graca Michel and Lacta Brahini, they examined this topic with so much passion. When asked the question “If there is one thing you could change in Africa, what will it be?”
Bishop Tutu said, its leaders Kofi Anan said a genuine effort to implement the MDG’s given we only have 5 years to go, and he laid emphasis on the poor. Graca Michel said, Africa needs to change the way it looks at and treats women. And Finally Lacta Brahini said, we should have a look at the promise on Africa, as the gap between the haves and the have not’s it huge and thus should be bridged.
Now, in my capacity as an African, I want to paint a bigger picture from a small story, once again, I’ll refer you to a developing world I know of... (I still wonder what the criteria for classification is) ... where you see the last person - despite the gap in the haves and the have not’s – working very hard, and i mean very hard, doing their bit with conviction and vision.
The love people show for their jobs or any activity they undertake, is a sign of responsibility for their lives and their community and most of all for their country and its image – Patriotism
The image I am talking about here is physical, which if looked at critically, you will agree with me that it hugely influences the mind – Perception! Whatever you stand for, starts from the visual, Yes! The image you see, and of course the ultimate ATTITUDE, which has a physical aspect as well.
Here i am talking about a forth coming personality, which shows interest, attention, advancement... Let’s take an image of a first visit to Kenya on a safari. As you arrive the hotel for the first time, the car door is opened for you and you a greeted by a traditionally dressed Masai man with a broad smile, in the traditional way as he welcomes you to his country... This you will need to experience to know the feeling, and I tell you, this man’s position goes beyond just a job, as it gives you a warm feeling inside when genuinely expressed. This again is done with no expectations.
When you go around a country and everyone talks to you about the same places, or same place of interest, the message is same, the passion is same, the interest same and in most cases, for love and pride of their fatherland – What else would you expect from a people like this, if not advancement?
I listened to the Ghanaian players being interviewed. Different people on different occasions on the same issues, their responses were in line with each others, their vision was same, their attitude same, and they shared the same confidence for each other. All I could think about at that point is “they are truly a team” and you could see that from their performance at the world cup 2010!
Come travel with me, as i visit the highly recommended “Taj Mahal” one of the world’s wonders and now the most beautiful structure in the world.
This to me is a statement of fact. Whoever made up that advert was correct.
I have wondered and still wonder, how? Despite the huge population, the poverty, The difference , the class distinction, India is still the practical, well structured and economically vibrant group of people. The quickest answers that come to my mind are:
- They are true to their traditions - They trust and believe in themselves, not letting external influences have an effect on them. - They all do their bit as expected by their country for them in their little corner. - They are ready to stretch, and can live in any condition and any place by their nature (first hand info)
This brings me to my big point on ATTITUDE (as u can see, there is no way I can stop talking about attitude, as it is the start of every venture)
These people have moved from just talking and inventing on paper to actual creation and utilization. There is this saying by Confusius used by the “dance 4 life” initiative:
“Tell me and I’ll forget, show me and I may remember, involve me and I’ll understand”
There’s nothing as important as actually understanding where the challenge is or rather, where the opportunity is.
My challenge with my beloved country is identifying where the real issues lie (I wonder if you agree with me?) without sounding political or negative.
What's left then for us to do, other than getting involved so as to understand and most of all, take action.
Guys, what lessons can we possibly learn from No 1 economies? To me, we will only get it confused and mixed up, as there is no transition to pick up from whatsoever.
wouldn’t you then agree with me that India and China are the way to go for us? These guys are incredible, but again, at what cost?
NB: join me at the power of ideas www.ideas.economictimes.com tomorrow in Delhi and get answers to those burning issues in our beloved continent – Africa!
In my opinion, we create our destinies. There are choices we make in life viewed differently by different people, as crazy, unreasonable or achievable and it is at this point that I agree with my friend Nielle Donald Walsh, who says “there is no wrong or right… it is just the way you do it…” Here again, ATTITUDE comes to play.
Just to share with you thoughts from a paper I read about humble beginnings, people who fought the odds from homeless cattle rarer with no parents to a multi millionaire and a voice for thousands. You definitely can name hundreds of such people in our community and beloved continent, I’ll tell you about a few in a bit.
All we need is the grit, the determination, the perseverance, the courage, the patience, the ability to keep learning and to take risks! This will take us to success.
In a country like ours where money talks, where influence is of great importance, where the law acts lightly on those with money and influence. It may interest you to know that there are people who can still beat the system and come out on top. This to me is a message of hope to every single one of us.
There is a whole world out there full of opportunities, have your pick, and do the needful. Deliver the goods, and Hey! Who will hold u then from flying? NOBODY!
The University games in Yaounde II - Soa, started on Sartuday the 17th of April in grand style. All higher institutions of the country represented, members of the school administration and top government officials.
After the ellaborate speeches and words of welcome to the anxcious crowd of students came the parade from the universities and institutions represented.
The grand moment came, when the big guy showed up - Zakumi - the world cup 2010 mascot. 'Za' stands for 'South Africa' and 'Kumi' for '10'. This guy has got attitude, you all have to know about him, he is painfully representative of our continent, and we just have to love him. details about zakumi on http://www.fifa.com/worldcup/organisation/mascot/index.html
Add up the following figures which represent the numerical positions of the letters in the word - ATTITUDE
A = 1 T = 20 T = 20 I = 9 T = 20 U = 21 D = 4 E = 5
Total = 100
We have the right attitude and it is this attitude we should portray and influence our continent - Africa.
My recommendation will be first to find your passion in whatever field you can identify for yourself. There are a million and one set backs you may and will encounter, but if you are true to yourself, and what you believe in, your passion will lead you on.
Imagine a Passionate person with the right Attitude!
“The major value in life is not what you get. The major value in life is what you become.” Jim Rohn
As earlier mentioned, here we focus on whats working. Today after a long chase, i managed to meet and talk to our very own country man, who has been there, and done that, and is here to make the difference... most important is the positive energy all around him.
Ladies and Gentlemen, have a feel of what it is like to be your own person, with strong convictions of life and taking ownership of it. Share his personal, economic and political views.
If you do get the opportunity to meet the unstopable, strong spirited Emma Kijem, take your chance! for those of us who may not, i tried to take out some words to share. Here we are...
- Who is Emmanuel Kijem?
I am a Cameroonian from Kom, in the North West region. I started my primary education in Bamenda, proceeded to Yaoundé where I got right up to class seven before finishing off in Buea. All my secondary and high school education was done in Sacred Heart College Mankon. On completing my A Levels, I was fortunate to pick up a Cameroon government scholarship to study Mechanical Engineering at the University of Leeds in England in 1988.
- What was your experience like studying out of the country?
Initially, it was quite tough as I had never been abroad before and never even lived away from home for any length of time. I was suddenly confronted by the prospect of cooking for myself, paying the rents and generally doing all that adults had been doing for me before then. Those challenges were, however, somehow outweighed by the sheer excitement of becoming independent and entering the hallowed world of university education– you know how it is with freshmen!? Those were truly heady days – the excitement of novel experiences coupled with the apprehensions generated by entering a strange new world.
I reckon I learned a lot during my stay in the UK and the lessons remain with me right to this day. One thing that struck me was the fact that by meeting people from other countries and cultures, who sometimes have vastly different worldviews from yours, you expand your horizons on several fronts. It puts your humanity and your place in it into perspective.
- What spurred your return to Cameroon?
I was spurred by a strong desire to make a difference in my country. My experience in England showed me, in the most jarring way, just how far behind our country is. But it also generated in me the strong belief that we could still close most of the gap if we took dramatic action. I was not alone in thinking like this; many of my friends felt the same and eventually made the decision to return as well. There was a lot of excitement and hope at the time as we all looked forward to putting our newly-acquired degrees to the test. We were all consumed by a wave of idealism that spawned lots of dreams and some have come true today. Of course, many either remain unfulfilled or have simply been consumed by the forces of reality. But I have never stopped dreaming and have never stopped riding that wave of idealism. It’s been tough going but very worthwhile. - Have you ever regretted your decision to return home?
No. The ideals we grew up with and the lessons we brought back from the UK, helped us to hit the ground running. But right from the very first contact with home reality, the impact almost blew me to smithereens. And the shocks have never stopped coming in. I believe I have remained true to the ideals and principles we came back with plus those we grew up with. But I have had to make some rather drastic adjustments along the way, not in the ideals or principles themselves, but rather in the way I have integrated them into my life. I believe even more today that I made the right decision to return home. It certainly has not been easy but it has been right for me.
- What has life been like in Cameroon? * tell us about your professional success
Life in Cameroon has been very tough for me and I believe I have learned very slowly how to cope. But all the difficulties I have encountered here so far pale in comparison to the benefits of the difference I believe I have made in many people’s lives, especially in my family. For me, it’s always been about making a positive difference and as long as I think I am doing that, my stay in Cameroon will be worthwhile.
Professionally, I have been in many places, overcome many challenges and done my best to make the best decisions I could muster at all times. Things have certainly not been smooth but every debacle has been a major learning experience for me. I believe I have grown to become a rounded professional and I’m very glad I’ve managed to do all that without ever compromising or sacrificing any of my ideals or principles.
I have worked in the IT and Telecoms industry in Cameroon for over 15 years now, mostly in Douala. My professional life has been replete with creating or introducing new things – enterprises, ideas, products or services etc.. I believe few things are as gratifying as when one stands back and observes one’s creation thrive and grow. I like innovating and I always encourage others to the same. I have done a lot of that and it has brought me rewards. - tell us how you have evolved to date.
I believe I have grown from being a guy that lived purely by strict rules to living from within. I believe in authenticity i.e. doing all you can to portray who you really are within to the outside world. It has required that I take a good look in the mirror and acknowledge lots of very unpalatable things about myself. It used to be that I would apply my rules and principles to every aspect of life and, of course, that usually clashed with the ways of our world. I would blame the entire world for my troubles and take solace in this victim mentality. Then I encountered some major upheavals in my life that gave me pause but I was fortunate to be introduced to the Human Potential movement soon after. It has been an exciting journey ever since. - What do you think about the state of Cameroon politically and economically?
I think its’ no secret that our country is going through difficult economic times and that our politics remain as divisive as ever. I’m, however, glad and grateful to God that we have so far escaped the horrific experiences some other African countries have had to endure. Economically, we have tremendous potential that remains unexploited. Our country is a true economic giant that has been asleep for decades. Politically, I think the country has been making slow progress on some issues, probably too slowly for some. All in all, I remain fully confident that we have the resources to take us out of whatever difficulties we find ourselves in today, whether it is in politics or economic development. - Do you have a plan for your country?
I think it would be very presumptious of me to suggest that I do. To be able to build a realistic plan for anything, you need a core base of accurate information. Even if lack of information is part and parcel of the planning process, you always need to have some fundamental data on which to start building. On this point, we face a serious problem in Cameroon. Information availability is a major problem as sources are scant and, even when they exist, the information they provide is usually inadequate and typically dated. Furthermore, this lack of accurate information always creates a void that is usually filled by rumours and outright lies. Rumour, innuendo, secret machinations etc.. are potent forces being used to devastating effect here.
Having said all that, I think we all have hopes and dreams for our country. These have led us to build the overall architecture of certain plans that could lead to the fulfillment of these dreams. - If you were to rule this country (Cameroon) what will you do differently?
I would try to do some key things that include the following : 1. redefine the compact between state and citizen to instill a new sense of patriotism in every Cameroonian 2. introduce the notion of service 3. dramatically accelerate and expand the ongoing process of decentralization 4. aim for very small government and develop private enterprise 5. invest far more heavily in infrastructure, especially transportation and IT 6. invest far more in health and education
Of course, all this is easier said than done when you are not the guy with the weight of the country on your shoulders. The office of a president carries tremendous responsibilities and pressures the rest of us cannot even begin to fathom. But those would be some of the things I would focus on.
- Please could you share a word with Cameroonian youth.
I would like to throw in a word of advice to our youths:
1. your life has never been, and never will be, about how much wealth you have or what you’ve done. It will always be about what you’ve become. The legendary motivational speaker, Jim Rohn (who passed away last year), says: “The major value in life is not what you get. The major value in life is what you become.” This, to me, is probably the most impactful advice one can offer to Cameroonian youths today. 2. don’t be fixated on wealth but rather dwell in creation and service. Work hard to create value and make a difference whenever possible and, invariably, wealth would follow you. 3. be careful who you consider your role models because you will take responsibility for actions they inspired you to engage 4. it is often said never judge or envy anyone for you see their glory or their misery but you never know their story. 5. Believe in yourself and do no evil. 6. love and respect yourself and everyone else and never do anything to others you wouldn’t want them to do to you 7. control your thoughts and stay clear of negative feelings 8. always be on the move – be ambitious and innovate
Once more I had the opportunity to meet one of our outstanding Cameroonian artist Syl Annim, in her little corner, bent over in her art work, barely a few hours before she took off for her base - Nigeria. We chatted at length about our passions, interests, goals, dreams... and in her very gentle, polite and soft spoken manner, I saw determination, self motivation, hard work and a vision for her country. She is on her way to Lagos, to arm herself and be back by the first if February to take part in the week long Fashion event in Douala! Watch out for Syl in 2010!
VS:Tell me a little about Syl
Syl: I am Sylvie Mbuta Annim, but everyone calls me Syl Annim, and thats the name for my label, I am an actress and a fashion designer... (laughing she asks, what else?)
VS: What's a typical day like for you in Lagos?
Syl: normally I sleep late cos I work round the clock, but when I'm on set I wake up at six am to go to location, then I come back home to my designing. I travel around sometimes for shooting, and when I do, I go with my hand work, and if I am not on a scene, while waiting, I am knitting or working on my designs.
VS: You have lived in both Cameroon and Nigeria, what are the strengths you think Cameroon processes?
Syl: There is a lot of talent in Cameroon, and we need to get people to help bring out the talent.
VS: What positive aspect about Nigeria do you think Cameroon should copy?
Syl: Nigerians are very industrious and hard working people, they take risks, they get out of their comfort zones and try new things. The country's Economy favours growth. When I look at Cameroon and all it's potential, one of the major set backs on business men, investors or growing businesses, is the tax. Cameroon needs to review it's tax policy to make investment favourable.
VS:What's your goal being in Nigeria?
Syl: I left for Nigeria to get into acting. Back here in Cameroon, I started acting, but the industry is still very young, so to grow, I needed to be in a booming and competitive market. While in Nigeria, being an upcoming actress, jobs don't come by that often, so I needed to try my hand in something else, thats how I started designing. So I am basically in Nigeria to gain all the knowledge available in these areas of art, then come back home, and grow the business.
VS: I know you have plans for the Cameroonian market, please let me in on some of them.
Syl: I plan to start a training centre to make most of my designs, train interested young Cameroonians on every single idea I have. There will be a lot of such ideas coming up from me in the near future.
VS: Wow, Syl, that's sounds really nice, please do call on VS if you need any help, we will be happy to be a part of your crew. So what will you tell Cameroonian youth if given the opportunity?
Syl: Let them believe in themselves, search deep to discover their talents, and work towards it. Let them follow their God given instincts, and take risks, and not just do things because the rest of the world is doing. Let them be bold, and try their hands in everything possible, till they find themselves.
VS: Thank you very much Syl, we hope to have you here again very soon, and this time physically why not? do have a save trip back as well. byeeeee!
As I think about this outstanding Cameroonian, I can think of a hundred adjectives to describe him. New face of KiRette Couture, Africa’s sexiest man, among top 50 to be looked out for, Hollywood star, upcoming for Nollywood… what have you?
With all these to a name, wouldn’t you understand my excitement at having David Nso in a one to one session?
In an interview with David in Yaounde on the 2nd of January 2010 in my little corner, he gave me an interesting inside of his personality... i will tell you what i think just after the interview, feel free to let me in on your views as well.
VS welcomed David Nso to Vision-Shakers in all excitement and anticipation. Whats a typical day like or you in New York?
David Thank you for having me today on Vision Shakers, I am very glad to be here. A typical day for me starts about 5am, when i wake up, take a shower and go to the gym. Apart from ;odeling i do have a daily job, which is in health and fitness. I improve people's lives through exercise, and after lunch i go for casting either for a role in a movie or modeling, i have agencies i work with, so this is taken care of by them. There after, i meet my health fitness clients again for the next half of the day in the gym. I don't deviate from my goal of becoming a role model to most people.
VS: I know you are very African, but as far as your profession is concerned, what has your African experience been like?
David: It has been a dream come true, as i have always wanted to bring back home the experience i have been able to get from the United States. I came back home and have met a lot of interesting people. There is a whole lot to do in Africa, not just Cameroon, Nigeria or SouthAfrica. Particularly, Cameroon is still very virgin as far as fassion and movies are concerned, and those are basically the areas i am interested in working in, i have a passion in those areas. Like i mentioned, i have met a lot of interesting people in Cameroon during this visit whom i will be working with eventually. So i am very greatful for the step i took by making this trip.
VS: what are your plans for the future in your carrier both abroad and in Africa?
David: My goals in Africa are enormous, there is a lot i want to achieve, I want to keep inspiring people especially the youth. My goal is becoming an icon, not only for Africa, but the World. I want people to be able to look up to me and from my experience and achievement be able to say "look at David, he came from nothing to all this" just to say i represent my culture and fashion in Cameroon, because thats where i trace my origins to, and thats where i come from. This is exactly what i want to stand for to the Cameroonian youth, because, most of them have a creative mind, but don't have the tools to go forward, so that will be my altimate goal to push them forward to achieve what it takes.
VS: How do you feel being nominated one of Africa's Sexiests men?
David: Oh My God! Thats the one thing that has moved me recently. When i saw it on the internet, i was touched and i told myself "if i can do it, then any body can" and i realised, it is all about your passion, your devotion, and how badly you want something. I also noted, it is not all about the looks, but it's more what you've done, how you carry yourself, your attitude, culture and stuff like that... More to this, the question that has been on my mind is what you do with a title like this, it is not all about becoming the sexiest man, but use it as a tool to educate people as you go around. i want to thank Jamati for voting me as one of the sexiest men, and i promise to use it as a tool to educate youth in Cameroon, Africa and the world.
VS: you mentioned Cameroon is still very virgin in this field, and after your visit, i can see alot of young people interested in walking your path, what can you tell them to keep them walking?
David: I will tell tell every young person who wants to walk my path the experience i had, and basically i will say, being black you have alot more to do. You have to work twice as hard as everyone else, because there is a lot of rejection in this industry. When you get that kind of rejection, it does not mean you don't have what it takes, you should be able to dust yourself and move on.
Thank you David for honouring my invitation, and we wish you only the cream of the best as you glide on to ecstacy...
Need i tell you any more? doesn't he say it all? vision? passion? purpose? direction? focus?...
Talking about talent, i urge you all to look out for these Cameroonian talents, do our best to support them, encourage them and work our way that direction in the following year! Thumbs up guys!
In a previous article i spoke to you about KiRette Couture, these girls are only starting, yet they are already giving. They supported one of their Bamenda sisters living with HIV (Florence Akwachere - who was happy to meet all those present, and in her address she said "when you have faith, everything is possible" she is happy and living healthy)and to them KiRette is all about giving. What do you recon they will be doing by the time they are in their 5th Year...
There are others on this list who have the courage to stand the scrutinising eyes of the public by taking part in reality TV shows, yet we wonder if there is talent in Cameroon? watchout!
There are others who dare to take their hubbies to another level, i am talking here about people like Wax who have a face in show biz as well as the corperate world, yet are able to stay way above water in both worlds and are willing to hold the hands of those who are interesting in a swim, I am talking about emerging stars like G Baye who are walking Wax's path.
There are Cameroonians toping international competions like Africa's sexiest man - David Nso, who has been thrilling Nigeria and Cameroon from the moment he landed from New York recently! Nollywood is trailing him as he walks the corridors of Hollywood. Cameroon has your back man!
The list goes on and on... do look up dulcecamer and let me know what you think...