WOMENâ€™S DAY ISSUE:
THE NEW CAMEROONIAN WOMAN
ISSUE NO. 003. MARCH 2018
“On International Women’s Day, let us all pledge to do everything we can to overcome entrenched prejudice, support engagement and activism, and promote gender equality and women’s empowerment.” — UN Secretary-General, António Guterres Hello everyone. Welcome to this Women’s Day special issue. The International Women’s Day is a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities. With this issue, we focus on young Cameroonian women who in the truest sense, never left the country for “greener pastures” abroad or never turned to the trend of “selling what they have to get what they want” ; but rather are achieving their goals and following their passions in a society where the woman’s place is believed to be in the “kitchen”. By reading their stories and individual journeys, I hope more young women get inspired and focus on achieving their dreams despite the circumstances surrounding them. Happy reading and happy women’s day! Ebangha Njang Editor-In-Chief, Sa Majesté Magazine. Email: email@example.com
ello Ashley. Thanks for accepting to be part of this special issue. Please tell us more about yourself. ASHLEY: Thank you for the opportunity. About myself... Urghhhh!!! This is one hell of a question I don’t like. Because I like staying mysterious and also if I choose to open up i might end up writing the sapphire of any longest series you know and i might bore readers with all the details including my childhood memories lol ( because I was such a dramatic kid but loved by everyone). Well, I am Liz Billie Jean Ashley Enow, born in the early 90s, first and only girl from a family of 3. I’m very petty and naughty but I got a bit of that gangster attitude in me. I’m also a core hip-hop lover
ASHLEY ENOW JOURNALST
of that gangster attitude in me. I listen to mostly old school rap music and I remain a die-hard fan of Tupac Amaru Shakur. I got a couple of dead and living legends whose life or music inspire me like Bob Marley, Lucky Dube, Pablo Escobar, J.F Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Michael Jackson, Joan Rivers and those living I got Hillary Clinton,Toke Mankiwa, Samuel Eto’o and Roger Milla. I’m also very spiritual. I love spending time talking with my Maker a lot. Not a crowd lover and it only happens when the occasion necessitates it. I love a lot of ink. I love language a lot and so far I know my 3 loved languages which is in order of preference; Spanish, French and English. Oh, I’m also a soccer fan with Barcelona FC being my club. I can give everything for Barcelona! SMM: How did you start before becoming a journalist? ASHLEY: It’s funny lol I started off in primary school. I began representing my school in every social activity.I was very very young (skinny,tiny with those large eyes lol) intelligent, smart and always neat (because my mom didn’t joke with that). I was much loved by my teachers so I began representing my school for radio interviews. I was only 9 then, radio presenters were fascinated by my boldness and intelligence and they encouraged me to call around more, which I did. My mom would take me there most times. But I stopped when I got to secondary school. By Form 4 I started all over again because I got a lot of pressure from friends but this time around it was modeling. As a teen model it seemed to be working out for me, I got the shock of my life the following year, 2005. A cousin, Elliot, who was managing me in his own little way because he was young too then, did most of our deals in try by error and was a total mess lol sorry couz. He mounted me so much pressure to get into a Coca-Cola pageantry competition which I reluctantly did. Kaboom!!! I was the winner by the Grace of God and the youngest contestant and by the end of that year I had an all expense paid trip to Bristol, U.K!Everything happened so fast! I had to quit modeling again because of school but would host once in a while on radio when I had the chance to. I thought it was that easy then, I knew by now I’ll be the Oprah or Tyra Banks of Africa. But it’s not been an easy journey because I tried out everything at a tender age including acting in high school in a school friend’s movie production as a lead character. I’m talking about 2007 now; I was so passionate about everything I did because I became a member in his team and I supported in my own little way too, I remember back then we badly needed partners and sponsors .Though everything ended up in a fiasco,I never gave up! In the University, I began doing local magazine features and in our local university magazine “Chariot” I did one too and in Nigeria. After my First Degree, I had to travel to Nigeria to meet my family and I began modeling again and got into hosting and acting. Came back to Cameroon, started off with my red carpet moments which I halted but plan on doing a comeback soonest. Then I landed my first paid job as a TV presenter while doing my Master’s program in the University of Douala. While I still remain an On Air Personality, I’m currently working on my own TV shows
because I’m now a freelancer. I have a fun show on YouTube; “Poolin’ With Billiejean” which I’m the producer, and currently working on the Gossip Girl Africa show and a grand movie project. It’s not an easy journey but I’m trusting God for everything. Because 2018 is my year as it started out so well for me. There’s no stopping. Get ready to see this tiny face girl everywhere. Lol SMM: Great story! We wish you the best in the journey. We notice your fashion sense is very different, in a good way! Do you do it to stand out or it’s just your style? ASHLEY: I do not dress to stand out, it’s naturally my style, effortless. But I love standing out by nature in everything I do. I’m not a trend follower. I believe in setting out my own style that suits me. I hate stepping out and looking like someone else. SMM: As a TV presenter, does your dress style or looks ever interfere with your job? ASHLEY: Not at all. That’s one of the reasons why I love my job. Because my looks or fashion sense is just what the camera needs. I’m saying this in the most humble way. :) SMM: Being a female in a male dominated industry is not easy. Have youever been a victim of any sexual harassment or come close to it? ASHLEY: OHHHH!!! I feel like collapsing right now! I have like countless times experienced it. It’s that bad! This exists everywhere. Before, I use to really get furious over that and tried to talk them down into feeling ashamed or guilty or end up abandoning everything i was working on which put us in contact but then they kept coming. So i have my way of dealing with such persons. Some family members have never wanted me in entertainment because of this and our religious background too. But I made a solemn promise to God I shall never compromise to a man because I need a favour because if someone offers to help, then God simply used that person. That’s why I talk to God first before standing infront of any man to ask for favour and I don’t get this kind of embarrassment and even when I do I always come out clean. It is working for me. I always do my best in everything I do so I don’t face such or anyone coming at me saying you aren’t good enough or fit for this but if you do this I might consider you. Uh uh!!! There’s no room for that! I believe in God and I’m a moralist though a lil of a crazy person lol. I got my standards, moral values and principles I strongly adhere to. I’m a non-conformist. Sometimes I feel like if some girls learn to decline some of these men will stop. But some go as far as citing the names of other young ladies who yielded to their selfish desires and would tell you you aren’t different. You won’t die.World of no shame! :( SMM: Sad! So how does your family take it with you being in entertainment now? Being that most Cameroonian parents would prefer their daughters to be lawyers, nurses or teachers? ASHLEY: I do not face that kind of problem anymore, but I had before, from close relatives. It wasn’t easy because I thought of giving up many times, I felt traumatised. They got so disappointed because they know how intelligent I am and to them it’s a waste in this direction. But my mom
always got my back (I love you mom :) ) She believes in my dreams and future more than anything. I promise to make her proud and I’m getting there. SMM: I can totally relate with you on that. I’m glad you’re following your dreams. A lot of Cameroonian young women go through same and don’t want to disappoint their families so they end up unhappy in the careers chosen by their families. Since you were into modeling and movies instead, what changed your mind to become a presenter/host instead? ASHLEY: Well, I didn’t change my mind. I had always been doing all alongside you know, the work load on me is so heavy right now. I’m working on a lot of projects now and can’t do all consistently at a time. It’s very demanding. For movies, it’s not full-time and for modeling, I had to give it a break for now because models in Cameroon are so underpaid and I happen to spend more time in Cameroon for now. I don’t just want to stand out as a mere model,I’m building my own brand. I plan on getting into modeling back but my number one job is being a TV and radio presenter. SMM: Okay. You started out as a radio presenter before branching out to T.V. Which do you prefer? ASHLEY: I got into radio out of excitement at 9 lol and elderly persons believed I could do it. It wasn’t my will then but I fell in love with it when I grew up. And for TV, I just found myself doing it already. I’ll tell you I prefer both because that’s what I do and enjoy them both. SMM: It seems like you have gigs both in Cameroon and Nigeria. How do you balance working in both countries and staying so consistent? ASHLEY: It’s not easy, if I tell you it is then it’s a setup. I have worked before between Douala and Yaounde. It wasn’t easy. Now between two countries, hectic! But I just organize myself and when I know I have to be on a movie set in Nigeria for at least 5 days or more depending on the kind of production, I have to ensure I dont have any live TV shows in Cameroon and I make sure recorded shows are ready for broadcast while I’m away. Before the episodes are over, I’m back for next production you know. When you do what you love there’s the will and strength and God always makes a way out for you. SMM: True. Tell us one fun part about being a presenter. ASHLEY: One fun part about being a presenter is that you get to travel the world, experience new places, cultures and meet different people and lodge in those V.I.P suites lol For example, my experience during the 2015 African Nations Cup. :) SMM: Do you have a dream celebrity you’d love to interview someday? And why? ASHLEY: Sad!!! Yes, I would have loved Joan Rivers for an interview. Her, because
she possessed this high level of sarcasm and outspoken nature which I so admire. I am very much like that, I hate gossip. I just like to spit it out. I relate to her a lot and see myself like her. I equally admire her hardworking and perseverant nature towards life and career.That’s a woman who started out from nothing to something with failed marriages ,rejected, numerous failed TV shows as a single mom yet she finally conquered, was successful in that same career she chose and touched lives before exiting this world. I had always hoped for that day I’ll meet her and talk about those common attributes we share, go crazy on the show and she would have granted me the audience. May her gentle soul rest in peace. SMM: Yes, Joan Rivers was phenomenal! What advice can you give young Cameroonian women who have dreams of becoming a journalist/presenter like you someday? ASHLEY: I’m a young African woman following her dreams. The entertainment industry is not as easy as it seems. But that’s not a reason not to venture into it. It’s not a barrier from following your dreams, it’s a challenge rather. Never underestimate the power of hardwork, resilience, perseverance, consistency and above all prayers! You can become and do anything you set your mind to, provided you are willing to put in the hours. Never try to compare your journey to someone else’s. Believe in yourself with conviction and never let negative people psych you out. SMM: I hope your story inspires a lot of souls. Thank you so much Ashley. We wish you the best in your journey and thanks for sharing your story with us. ASHLEY: You’re very welcome and thank you too. To learn more about Ashley, add her on Facebook: Ashley Billiejean Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
H (Audrey did not make it on the cover because she had an emergency on the day of the photoshoot with the rest of the ladies, and unfortunately for her we couldn’t postpone the shoot. Audrey finally did her individual shoot on a different date.)
i Audrey, thanks for accepting to be part of this issue. How are you? Tell us more about yourself please. AUDREY: Hello and thanks for having me. I’m so humbled by the opportunity but sad i couldn’t make it on the cover :( I am called Audrey Nabila Monkam, from the NW region, a native of Bali Nyonga precisely. I have a BSC degree in Banking and Finance from the University of Buea and I am a model. My hobbies are singing, dancing, adventure, watching movies, fashion and i love seeing those around me happy. SMM: When did you realize you wanted to be a model?
AUDREY MONKAM MODEL
AUDREY: Well I realised I wanted to be a model in secondary school where I did my first ever runway in Form 4. Before, I thought it was that easy to wish for something and easily achieve it but then I came to realise hardwork is what pays off if you ever have a dream. SMM: Oh yes it does! Who are the supermodels that actually inspire you and why? AUDREY: Everything about modeling interests me and i always wish to know what is happening in which ever domain but again there’s this supermodel, Naomi Campbell! She gives me the inspiration of not looking down on how many failures I’ve come across but to push further. At her age she still models because she paved the way and stamped her signature all along that road. She made her name by not giving up due to her weaknesses but using her strengths to move further; by not getting disappointed in anything that seemed negative but finding the good and/or opportunity in every negative situation. SMM: We noticed you have been in the modeling scene and doing pageants too for the past 4 to 5 years. How do you enjoy it? Is your family supportive of your career? AUDREY: Yes I have been a while in the modeling industry and it tastes sweet some times and bitter some times too. It is just life and when it is successful I am more than happy but when my expectations don’t come to reality, I take it that I need more work in that domain. My parents are more than supportive of my modeling career and that is one of my reasons for pushing. SMM: Being in the modeling industry, most females are subjected to a lot of sexual harassment. Have you ever been a victim or come close to that? AUDREY: Yes!! Yes I have and I can also testify it is everywhere; job market, entertainment world in general. You know it really isn’t easy especially for women in the modeling world but u can always be who you are/want by setting your goals and standards. SMM: Yes to standards! You were first runner-up for Miss Arts and Culture FENAC 2016, special guest at RSI Awards 2017 alongside Miss Cameroon 2016 and amazingly won and was crowned Miss Beach 2017! How do you feel about your journey so far? AUDREY: I feel very happy and so so fulfilled to be able to have made my parents proud this far but I feel there’s more I still have to do and quite a lot. SMM: Yeah, there’s always much more to do though. Most models branch out to different sectors of the entertainment world; either singing or acting. Do you have interests in any? AUDREY: :) yeah I do have an interest in acting but I don’t know why I keep feeling a huge stone weighing me down through reluctance lol SMM: You should try it lol you never know. What’s a hidden talent most people don’t know you have? AUDREY: A great sense of humour haha! I can bring out the fun or “dullness” in almost every thing I see or hear. SMM: Do you have any designers or fashion agencies
it would be your dream to work with someday? AUDREY: It is my dream to work with Victoria Secret someday. SMM: Why Victoria Secret? AUDREY: Because they inspire my body goals. :) SMM: Since you’ve walked the runway for so many fashion shows in Cameroon and modeled for different designers. What advice will you give aspiring young models concerning the modeling industry? AUDREY: All those aspiring to be models; the road is tough but you should keep pushing. You’ll fail many times but that’ll help you learn better. Failure is when you fail and refuse to get up but when you decide to do better, u become twice like the winner. There is something I’ve learnt to accept in the past years in my career as a model; there will always be people less than you, almost like you and more than you in whatever you do, your success depends on what particular thing you have to offer that they can’t or better still how you package yourself. The most important thing before your efforts is God first and every other thing would go smoothly. I want younger aspiring models to have self respect and high standards, to follow their dreams with hardwork but with class. SMM: Good one. Thank you so much Audrey. We wish you the best in your modeling career and keep representing the young Cameroonian woman. AUDREY: Thank you too and thanks for keep supporting us. :) To leearn more about Audrey, please check her out on Facebook: Audrey Monkam. Email: email@example.com
i Lelio. Thank you for accepting to work with us on this special issue. So who is Lelio Achanga?
LELIO: You’re welcome and thank you too. I am pleased. Lelio Achanga is a makeup artist, an accountant, and entrepreneur who runs the brand Dazzle by Lelio. I like to consider myself a God-fearing and non-conformist, who is passionate about elevating women.
SMM: “Elevating women”, I love that! When did you realize you had a passion for makeup artistry? LELIO: I would say it was progressive... I never really set out to be a makeup artist; but I realized makeup is one of the ways I use to fulfill my passion for elevating women.
LEILIO ACHANGA MAKEUP ARTIST
So it started when I moved to Cameroon from Nigeria for University , and I noticed that makeup was not that big of a deal, (as opposed to Nigeria where it is a lifestyle) and most women in Cameroon were doing makeup that masked their beauty ,instead of enhancing it. I wanted to change that so I eventually enrolled in a beauty school in Lagos, got certified and fell in love with the creative power of makeup and the rest ,I would say, is history.
SMM: Do you have any makeup artists that inspire you? If any, why?
SMM: Great! Now please tell us more about your brand “Dazzle by Lelio”. What is it all about?
SMM: Give us your top 3 makeup tips. Let’s learn something new lol
LELIO: “Dazzle by Lelio” is an online makeup and beauty business that provides makeup services and retails makeup and beauty products. We sprung out of the need to make women look and feel their best, by providing makeup services, and retailing makeup and beauty products so that we can always cater to the makeup and beauty needs of women all over Cameroon and beyond. Our makeup services include makeup for weddings, events, red carpets, photoshoots, movies, fashion shows, music videos, commercials, individual makeup classes, and lots more. We also double as an online store that retails a variety of good quality makeup and beauty products from tried and trusted brands which we deliver nationwide.
LELIO: Lol my go-to tips right now would be: -Have a good skincare regimen. I love to emphasize on paying attention to the skin; especially for people like me who have sensitive skin and are prone to breakouts because your makeup is usually as good as the skin beneath it. I usually recommend regularly feeding the face with natural organic products like honey to give your skin a healthy looking glow which is the perfect base for flawless makeup. -Apply your regular black eyeliner close to your upper lash line as a base before applying liquid liner over it. Your eyeliner will look more pigmented, and richer and would give the illusion of false longer lashes . -Use a lip balm or lip gloss to instantly add glow to your face by applying it on your fingertip, and dabbing it lightly on your chin, on the tip of your nose, highest points of your cheeks and the center of your lips to instantly give that glow from within look we all love. (N.B: use it in moderation).
SMM: Makeup artistry has become a fast growing business in Cameroon. Your work is amazing by the way! How do you manage to stand out from the rest? LELIO: Thanks for the compliment :) I think I try to stay true to my personality and incorporate it into my work. I love simple, clean and minimalistic makeup, but then again I am a non-conformist and love to create so I switch it up every now and then from soft glam, to a full glam, to transformations and gore (special effects) and people needing my services always know there is something for their personality. In essence, my art is not limited to just one aspect of makeup but I do it all, and always have fun with it. SMM: I love how you elaborate on what you do and your brand. Good job! You do very amazing character impersonation makeups and makeovers worthy of horror movies. You ever thought of working for film production companies? LELIO: Thank you once again :) I have been opportuned to work with some production companies as a freelance makeup artist, most notably Omega 1 Entertainment and Zellmatic Pictures. It’s always a pleasure to work wherever I can add value with my services. SMM: Where do you see yourself in 5 years? What’s next for you and your brand? LELIO: I hope to be a very successful entrepreneur living a purposeful life that adds value and elevates women and I hope Dazzle by Lelio would be the go-to brand for all things makeup and beauty. SMM: There has been a lot of talks about makeup artists getting more and more expensive to afford. Judging from your social media, it looks like you get good gigs! How do you make your work approachable but yet still refined ? LELIO: Lol on the contrary, I think makeup artists just want to be compensated fairly for their services and expertise and Cameroonian makeup artists are way more considerate as compared to what our counterparts charge in other parts of the world. Personally, I put a lot in my craft and I am all about customer satisfaction. So coming to me means you are getting the value of your money. :)
LELIO: I admire a lot of makeup artists doing amazing work but Pat McGrath is undoubtedly a huge inspiration. I mean, she is literally the world’s most influential makeup artist, trendsetter and a makeup goddess!!!
SMM: Thank you!!! The last makeup tip is interesting lol. There are actually so many young women in and out of Cameroon who want to join the makeup artistry business but would eventually need guidance. What’s a word of advice to them? LELIO: My advice is that they do a lot of reading and research, attend makeup seminars ,practise on as many people as they can so they understand different face shapes and skin tones. Keep up with the latest trends in the beauty industry. Also, be as creative as they can be because at the end of the day, having your own creative touch is what will help you stand out. Good luck to them. :) SMM: Lelio, thank you so much for your time. We learnt new things today too :) LELIO: Thank you too. To learn more about Lelio, please visit her Facebook page: Lelio Achanga Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
NGASSA NINA CHEF
ello Nina. How are you? Please tell us more about yourself. Who’s Nina Ngassa?
NINA: Ngassa Nina is a young entrepreneur based in the South West Region of Cameroon. Engaged in multiple businesses; Nina’s Slow Boyz, V. W. Catering Services & Decoration, Chef Nina, Nivea Zone Representative,etc. SMM: What are your brands all about? NINA: Nina’s Slow Boyz is a business initiative which I conceived about two years ago. It is about processing and marketing snails both at national and international levels while V. W. CATERING SERVICES & DECORATION is our brand for event services and planning. SMM: Impressing! So we learned you were once in the world of beauty as a hair stylist and was very good at it! Can you tell us more about Athat journey? NINA: Hahaha. Yeah I have always had a business mind. Back in my university days I ran a beauty shop ( hair dressing, pedicure and manicure). I am naturally gifted in hair styling and braiding so when I got to the university, I realized hair extentions and beauty salons made a lot of money. I began buying hair from my hometown of Kumba (relatively cheap) and selling in my university room. Later, I opened a salon and ran the business till I decided to relocate to another town. SMM: You’re such a hustler Nina. I love it! Sources also told us you ventured into movies as a producer and an actress back in 2011. Please tell us more about that and where we can watch some of your works too. NINA: Nina the movie producer!!!!! Oh yeah, in 2011 I produced my first and only movie at 21. It was titled “Vanity Fair” which I also starred in. I always loved script writing and loved movies too so I decided to give it a shot. Like every other youth, I was adventuring. The project was successful I must admit and it’s unfortunate I may not tell you where to watch the movie in 2018 because distribution rights were sold to a Nigerian marketer. I left the entertainment scene because I had little mastery of the marketing aspects of it hence I could no longer sink money into a project which I would not be able to recover. That is why I left the movie industry. It’s entertainment and business as well, not just about the fame.
SMM: So is that the reason you left the entertainment world to get into culinary? NINA: No. I didn’t just leave entertainment and get into culinary full scale; I went job searching and was never hired. SMM: Aww sorry to hear that. Being an excellent chef, can you tell us your favorite Cameroonian food? NINA: As a chef... Oh God we know Cameroon is blessed with so much food; rich in quality and variety. If i will dare to pick one meal to be my best then I will go for Nina’s Slow Boyz ( Snails ). SMM: “Nina’s Slow Boyz” has quickly become a must-have especially for people travelling out of Cameroon and we notice you ship worldwide too. I know you must be so proud of your hustle. What does your family think about your hustle? NINA: Nina’s Slow Boyz...... That’s a household name indeed! It’s amazing even to me that God could give me such a vision; something so common but never noticed per say. Ironically I come from a Bamileke home and we know in the Bamileke culture, eating snails is like a taboo. Well, I’ve been eating snails from childhood and since I started processing and marketing them my family has been so proud because no one saw it going this far. Infact Nina’s Slow Boyz now has healthy competition. I have seen others trying to process and market snails too just like I do but you know it was always “congo meat”, snails or “nyamangoro” till Nina came with Slow Boyz making it Nina’s Slow Boyz. Hahahah SMM: Haha. We learned you also started your own snails farm at the back of your house. Now that’s a step ahead! Tell us more about that please. NINA: Yes! More than a year ago I decided to experiment on snail farming but it’s not as easy as it looks. I built the little nursery to do a test but I am still learning. It’s a school on its own. SMM: Do you use only the products from your snails farm or do you buy from suppliers? Where can people order your goods? I mean I need to order me some too lol NINA: Oh no... My little nursery is for home consumption. Hahahahaha 99.9% comes from the interiors as of now. I have strategic areas where it comes from. My clients get to me online and we have succeeded to have a nationwide distribution
network and internationally; we do America, United Kingdom, Belgium and Germany. Many more routes to be available soon either directly or through partnership. SMM: You’re such an inspiration to a lot of young hardworking women in and out of Cameroon. Anybody inspires you Nina? NINA: I am humbled a lot of youths look up to me as an inspiration and yes I do have those who inspire me too. My mentor happens to be my mom. She is business oriented too so she is my biggest push. Then I have other people who inspire me too and unfortunately one of my number 1 supporters of Nina’s Slow Boyz, who made me believe I could sell snails and be proud of it just passed away in January :( Donald DonPrince, may you RIP. SMM: Sorry to hear that. So what’s the next step for Nina? Any new projects this year? NINA: By the Grace of God Nina has some visions for 2018... I may not talk about it right now because I believe in actions first but it shall be unveiled in the months ahead. SMM: Okay. We can’t wait to see what you have next for us. What’s a word of advice to other young women who would want to start their own businesses in Cameroon one day? NINA: A couple of words of advice for young women with entrepreneurial dreams are; first of all to believe in themselves. Next is learn to start small or volunteer to improve your craft or area of interest. Then, use every opportunity to make your work known and have faith. If you fail, please try again. SMM: Thank you so much Nina. We pray more young Cameroonian women follow your path. You’re an inspiration. NINA: Thank you for having me. To learn more about Nina or order some Slow Boyz or her other services please add her on Facebook: Ngassa Nina Email: email@example.com
PAMELA TARLA DANCER
ello Pamela. How are you? Nice having you on this issue. Please tell us more about yourself. Who’s Pamela Tarla aka Pamzy?
PAMELA: Tarla Pamela is a young ambitious and multi-talented lady, a professional dancer who is completely passionate about the art and willing to give a soul to it for people to relate and cut across various forms of storytelling. So, I am a go-getter who will stop at nothing until she achieves her goals. SMM: Okay “Pamzy”. Where did the name come from? That’s all I want to know lol PAMELA: “Pamzy” Hahahahaha. It was my idea though. I wrote an article for our school’s magazine when I was in Form 1 and was asked to attach a nickname and that’s how the name ‘’Pamzy’’ was born; an original name created by me. SMM: lol wow okay. So when did you start dancing? You’re an amazing dancer by the way. PAMELA: Thank you!!! Been dancing since I was a kid; pre-nursery,that’s still very fresh in my memory. But professionally I have been dancing for 3 years now. SMM: Any Cameroonian dancers ever inspired you? If yes, why? PAMELA: Yeah! Brenda Dery. I have always admired her even before I found out she’s Cameroonian. Her passion, style, attitude, energy. Though in a crew, she stood out and I saw myself in her and as such I aspired to be like her and even better. SMM: You’re part of a dance group, KGD (Kamer Great Dancers). What inspired the group and how many members are in the group? PAMELA: Actually, it is my idea. I have been in dance crews but after meeting Brenda Dery, I wanted something more serious not just the regular dance crews we see daily. I wanted a combination of
dance, originality with passion and I thank Brenda Dery for the great advice she gave me. So, KGD is made up of 4 dedicated dancers. SMM: I can honestly say, I personally feel like you’re the “Beyoncé” of your dance group. How did you become so popular & celebrated than the others? PAMELA: Hahahahaha I take that as a compliment, thanks. Personally, I am a perfectionist and I achieve that only through hard work. I know where I come from, what I want and where I’m heading to and these keep me going. Notwithstanding, I respect all my crew mates and I appreciate their efforts and contributions to making the crew a huge success. SMM: Your dance group has danced in so many Cameroonian artists’ music videos. You must be getting all the gigs. You ever thought of mentoring other young girls who want to follow their passion as dancers ? PAMELA: Yeah it has always been my dream to mentor young people who share same passion. Hopefully I’ll start up my own dance school this year to groom others who believe in dancing like I do. SMM: Yes you should. Do you ever plan on branching into something else other than danc-
ing? Maybe singing? Or something else? PAMELA: Well, I started in showbiz as an artist way back when I was still in secondary school and I used to belong to a crew called ‘’A-GOONS’’ and I’ll often do backup for some artists. Will love not just to go back to be an artist but to merge the two. SMM: Do you have any other talent, apart from dancing? Let’s know lol PAMELA: (chuckles) I braid. Like really well and I love being creative about it, not just following the regular trends. Meanwhile, I sing, act and design as well. SMM: Wow! Tell us; of all the artists you’ve worked with, who was your favorite to work with and why? PAMELA: Daphne!!! Though she’s a pain in the ass sometimes and we got our ups and downs, I’ll still choose her over everyone else because she’s the simplest of all the artists I’ve ever worked with in Cameroon and she got a very good team. SMM: Tell us the proudest moment of your dance career. PAMELA: Wow! It was when I shared the same stage with Davido. Words can’t even explain but I felt like I’m close to achieving what I’ve always dreamt and wished for and I am working earnestly towards it. SMM: I totally understand your feeling :) It was nice talking to you Pamela, though very brief. What’s a word of advice you can give a young woman who approaches you and tells you she wants to be a dancer like you? What will you tell them? PAMELA: Believe in yourself, empower yourself constantly because the path isn’t as smooth especially for us women. Always be humble and also always remember God is First, He is the Ultimate. To get in touch with Pamela, please add her on Facebook: Tarla Pamela. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
SULET NKAFU DESIGNER Hello Sulet. Nice having you here. How are you? Please tell us about yourself. SULET: Hello and thank you so much for having me too. I am actually very humbled. Meet me, NKAFU ATEMNKENG SULET by name, and a young girl of age 25 who had a BSc in Accounting and now just had an MBA in Finance. Following her dreams made her a young aspiring entrepreneur in fashion designing. I live with my family in LIMBE but due to school and business I’m based in Buea. I am also the Creative Director and Founder of AFRIK FASHION TREND (AFT) also known as Nkafu Sulet’s Productions (NSP PRODUCTIONS) based in BUEA with the SLOGAN “UNIQUE IN STYLE & CLASS” SMM: Growing up did you see yourself becoming a designer? SULET: Not really. Knowing fully well when I was a kid we still had every child’s dream of becoming doctors, accountants and many more but as years went by with the passion I had in me to always dress good and different in my own way I saw myself one day becoming a Fashion Designer and I believe fashion designing was meant for me. Growing up I have always had the zeal to mix my outfits and my friends’ to get the best combination out of it. SMM: When did you fully get into designing though? SULET: Getting into designing was a whole struggling process for me. It all began from a dancing vision when I used to be part of a dance crew called “STRIKAZS” back then in Limbe with Tarla Pamela (one of the best Cameroonian female dancers now) being our leader. Then after I realized dancing to me was a hobby and not a passion so I later got into being a sales representative and marketing agent for one well known Cameroonian fashion brand known as AMARE CESAR. From there I managed the brand for more than a year and understood what it entails of owning and marketing a fashion brand. It was sure a rough and stressful path for me with a lot of challenges but one thing I’m grateful for is that I learned so much working with the owner of AMARE CESAR. After that I worked with FREDASH as hostess with his FIAFA Team in 2014. Being part of his organizing team inspired me more and gave me the zeal to ask many questions to myself. I got more inspired seeing big designers on the runway and getting advice from the experiences they shared with me especially NUVI CREATIVE. With the guidance and advice from Mr. Alfred Nemfor himself, it made me start up my own brand professionally and also financial support from my family and a special friend and brother, Alvin, made me start in August 2015 when I launched my brand and my first logo, and the following year I had the opportunity to get on the FIAFA 2016 runway as a young designer. SMM: Imagine that! Very good story Sulet. Describe to us your creative process. SULET: My creative process comes first from within, then after from my environment as a whole. That is, I get motivated by my own self before creating and then after by the demands of my clients. I produce both male, female and kids outfits as well. I produce most of my collections for a purpose. Most times they are inspired by the seasons, the fashion sense of our generation, (mostly the youths because they are my target market) and also by fashion shows I do. From all these I could start with my creative process from input to output and make sure my clients are satisfied.
SMM: Do you rely on inspiration from your designs or just plain hardwork? SULET: I would say I rely on both inspiration and hardwork because I have the inspiration and I work hard daily to attain my set objectives which then is to have a happy and satisfied client. I get inspirations from my mentors both in and out of Cameroon, I also get inspired by the works of my colleagues and works of other people which give me the motivation to always work hard and lastly I get inspired by my PASSION. Working hard on the other hand is my watch word and top priority to attain my set goals and bringing my dreams to reality. SMM: What has been your highest and lowest moment in your career as a designer? SULET: My fashion designing career journey has not been an easy one from the start to 3 years today. My challenges are more but I thank GOD it makes me stronger and gives me the zeal to work more. My highest moment is most especially when I have a happy and satisfied client because my clients are my top priority in the business. Also I am very happy with the reputation I get from my clients and fans for my work. The comments they send with a lot of appreciation push me more to work and keep working hard as always. Lastly my highest moment in my career is when I prepare for any of my fashion shows and do an inspired collection that pulls the attention of everyone and the runway is all a success. My lowest moments are my challenges which only make me stronger. Firstly, one of my lowest moments is when I make a client’s outfit and can’t deliver at the right time due to delay from one thing or the other or my team of tailors can’t meet up with the client’s standards. This breaks me down the whole of that period until I get it corrected. I feel down too sometimes when I go in search of fabrics for a client’s order and can’t find the exact thing and the client can’t understand the fact that fabrics don’t come the same all the time. Also, one of my lowest moments is when I have to prepare for a show financially because it entails a lot and is quite very expensive; from registration, production of a new collection for the runway, adjustments of outfits for the models, exact sizes after fittings and “essayage” to the transportation of your products to the show and worst is if you make no sales or you don’t get any client which is one of our motives. Lastly, one of my lowest moments is when you produce a creative collection for your clients and after massive promo online you get clients but they come saying they need theirs to be in a particular way after the stress you went through to produce many samples for that collection. Same goes for these runway outfits; after production and been used on the runway after the show, customers come to buy but start describing they want same but with a little difference so it makes the outfits difficult to go out for sales which at times result to a great loss for me because either it’s sold on a discount, (less than the actual price) or it stays with me for a long period of time before I get a client. SMM: Now I feel bad! Most of your lowest moments, I am those clients you talked about. Thank you for talking about them. It will help a lot of us know the stress designers go through so we act better next time. So what is your proudest project so far? SULET: My proudest project is the CAMEROON FASHION DESIGNERS STREET SALES which was initialized by us the Cameroon young
designers. We had the ideas and brought it to reality within a short period of time and it was an amazing outcome. It took place last year November 24th and 25th at IYA Restaurant in Buea. It was a two-day event which was all about bringing together all designers to produce massively and come sell their products at a fashion market setting and we invited everyone to come buy at our discounted prices and it was all a success. Today I am proud of being part of the organizers and making the event one of a kind in the Cameroon fashion industry history. The Cameroon Fashion Designers Street Sales was based on selling ourselves (us the designers) to the general public and to our clients as well. Also it was a medium for us to know our clients better; both their positive and negative critics on our products and know their sizes and what they demand more. It was more like a trade fair where many products are been sold in an open air market concept. I would say I am proud of this project all thanks to my team and cooperative colleagues like Fabric Doctor, Desta Couture, Distiguished Designs, Margo Mode, Kolo Designs, Juliett Sparcs Designs,BC Designs, De Aura Designs, Amah Fashion House and many more who we all believed that we would make it and finally made it bigger than expected. Planning for an event within 3 months was our greatest fear but with the inspiration we all had and with the help of a massive teamwork, it was all a success and our objectives were achieved and we all could boast of selling one or two products on that day and creating enough awareness which was our main objective. We learned a lot from our first edition and hope our second edition coming up soonest will be better and bigger. Also one proud project which is still processing and undergoing this 2018 is rebranding AFT and making it better and bigger in a professional way with little changes and making sure my clients are well satisfied with no problems faced. I am creating a new logo which will be realized soonest and working on my website which will also ease my international clients especially to be able to get whatever they need as well as clients in the country. SMM: What is your favorite part of being a designer? SULET: My most favorite part of been a designer is SELF SATISFACTION. That is the fact that I’m proud of doing what I love and always dreamt of doing. The satisfactions make me so happy that I don’t even feel the stress of challenges in doing my job. I am also much happier when I do my job and my clients are well satisfied and happy. It makes me go WOW and more proud of selling myself and my brand’s reputation positively. SMM: Do you have any Cameroonian designers that inspire you? SULET: Yes, I have a lot of Cameroonian designers who inspire me in different ways. But I think NUVI CREATIVE for male designers and EB KREATIONS for female designers. They inspire me more because I contact them any time and any day for advice and they are always ready to attend to me knowing fully well time is a problem to most big designers.
SMM: How do you stay up to date with this fast changing fashion world? SULET: I think that is where the “TREND” in the AFT comes in. I am a trendsetter and I make sure I am updated with the recent trends by doing massive research both online and offline to make sure I give my clients the best of taste and fashion outfits. I also try to bring out my customers’ desires by always working hand in gloves with them. SMM: It is also a tough competition out there I must say. How do you deal with all these competitions? SULET: Seriously, it’s not an easy task for me but I remain strong and firm in my works because in all businesses there is bound to be a competitive market. I am focused with my goals and objectives so I try as much as possible to tackle the competition by being “simply unique in style and class” which is my SLOGAN. Most importantly I always stay happy because a happy BOSS gets a happy CLIENT. SMM: Recently, we saw a post you did on your Facebook about helping some orphans. Please elaborate more on that. Someone might be inspired to do same. SULET: Permit me to say you are wrong there. They are not orphans. They have parents but were neglected due to circumstances that their parents found themselves in (poverty). The baby, Rejoice, 2 years old, was noticed by my kid sister and me right behind my house where she lived with her siblings and their aged dad who takes care of them. With the crucial situation we saw Rejoice, I could not handle but pity the baby and care for her since she lacked that. Due to the love I have for kids and I like seeing people happy, my family and I decided to take them in and care for them as our own and nurture them. After a hospital checkup it was detected that baby Rejoice was suffering from malnutrition and lacked love and care which my family is giving her today with the help of other good people.So I decided to put up the post 6 months after I saw baby Rejoice and her siblings to thank GOD and to testify the changes in her life and also this year I am embarking on raising funds for their education which is the top priority of every child. So if anyone is interested to help baby Rejoice and her family, they can also help through me. There are so many people on the streets that need help. We just have to search deep. SMM: Oh. Sorry about the mistake, we mistook them for orphans. So sorry! Great job you did there and i pray so many people follow your example and help out those in need. Any word of advice to young women who want to follow their passion of becoming designers like you? SULET: Yes of course! To all my young women out there who want to follow their passion I will say “FOLLOW YOUR PASSION” because there comes a time when we will realize that PASSION pays more than DEGREES. We should do what we love and we should learn to believe in ourselves and outcome. Hope my little story serve as a motivation and an inspiration for you to follow your own talent and passion. SMM: Thank you Sulet. Your journey and story is so inspiring. I know at least some young woman will be inspired. SULET: Thank you so much too and again I am so pleased by this opportunity. To learn more about Sulet and her Afrik Fashion Trend designs, please visit her Facebook pages; Nkafu Sulet and Afrik Fashion Trend (AFT) Email: nkafusulet@yahoo. com
Published on Mar 8, 2018
Published on Mar 8, 2018
Sa Majesté Magazine is designed to empower Cameroonians; women especially, across the globe who might never normally consider following thei...