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USA: Cameroon gets own awards
News / Latest / Ernest Kanjo
Thursday, 19 January 2012 22:14



In recent years, Africans living in the diaspora have been very concerned about recognizing and appreciating the continent’s values, talents and productivity. The creative arts domain has easily been figured out, given that sons and daughters of Africa have amazingly excelled here. As a way to reward excellence and in a bid to promote talents and creative initiatives, individuals and groups living out of Africa have from time to time organized events to pay tribute to those who have kept the engine steaming. This has mostly been the case with Nigerian and Ghanaian communities in the US and the UK.
Sporadically, the Cameroonian diaspora has organized recognition events, but would in most cases limit them to specific areas of creative arts – fashion and beauty contest. Never has there been a Cameroonian recognition event that covers all domains of arts and culture and involving Cameroonian artists and celebrities living around the globe including back home. That is what is about to happen.



Last Updated on Monday, 23 January 2012 03:47
Reviewing my 2011 culture year
News / Latest / Ernest Kanjo
Thursday, 12 January 2012 00:22


TTS-FACEBOOK-SITE2Long before Among Youths (for which this writer was Editor-in-Chief for close to five years) went on a break, we had been reviewing happenings in the domain of arts and culture at the end of each year. For each edition, we would recollect best-selling stories within the just-ended year and package them in a tribute-paying piece. Our focus since then has always been on young Cameroonian creative artists in a bid to promote talent in a talent endowed country. Never mind if our stars have not hit a mark internationally – we ferry them from nothing to something. Join us in this edition in recalling some of the things that happened within our entertainment industry in 2011.

Last Updated on Thursday, 12 January 2012 00:33
Cameroon bids bye to fallen heroine, hero
News / Latest / Ernest Kanjo
Tuesday, 26 July 2011 16:15



With a heavy heart, the film industry in Cameroon now talks about two of its iconic members in the past tense. Having passed on a couple of weeks ago, Bebe Manga, heroine and Janvier Ngonga Ngassa aka Pa Oyono have been laid to rest in her native Tinto (Manyu Division in the South West region) and Bamena (West region) respectively.

The death of the two artists attracted huge sympathy from millions of fans spread all over the globe. Their works have been savoured and are still being consumed by an undetermined audience all over the world.

One of the rare elderly men who dared into and succeeded in the art of acting in a country where filmmaking is not sufficiently encouraged, Ngonga made great strides in a rich career posterity would recount. He triggered to the limelight in 2005 when he performed in the selling Before the Sunrise produced by Agbor Gilbert Ebot, starring Nollywood’s Zack Orji, Olu Jacobs and Dakore Egbuson.

Ngonga who passed on on 07 July 2011, hit the success road again when he played on set with Nigeria’s Clarion Chukwurah in a fine cinematographic piece that described the practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), The Blues Kingdom, yet another movie produced by Agbor Gilbert Ebot. His movie exploits did not end there. In a block buster that hit headlines in Cameroon, the talented elderly actor put up a great performance in Neba Lawrence’s Royal Destiny, produced by Ayi Chatou Inoua. The movie, shot in Yaounde in 2009 had Nollywood’s Emeka Ike and Tonto Dike starring. Cameroon’s Moma Pascal, Solange Yijika and Quinta Eyong also played major roles in the movie. He had earlier done Land of Shadows co-directed by Zack Orji and Neba Lawrence and produced by Agbor Gilbert. The soft-spoken Ngonga has featured in several other films including Land of Shadows, Royal Destination, A Great Pain, Great obligation, Besides 3 Worlds.

Meantime, Elizabeth Bessem aka Bebe Manga will be remembered for her magnificient performance in Rich Mange’s (brother of the fallen heroine) Pheonix Scar produced by Agbor Steve and Chrono Entertainment in 2008.

You can watch him in the trailer of Clash of Inheritance, one of the best selling entirely Cameroonian movies in which Ngonga played a major


Last Updated on Monday, 01 August 2011 11:07
Stella Damasus in Cameroon
News / Latest / Ernest Kanjo
Wednesday, 18 May 2011 10:50

Stella DamasusNollywood star Stella Damasus is supposed to have arrived Cameroon. The Nigerian actress of great repute was programmed to be on board one of the flights from her country that was expected at the Douala International Airport yesterday. Stella will be in Cameroon on the invitation of Splash Networks International, one of the pioneer film houses in English-speaking Cameroon.

According to Splash Network CEO, Cyril Akonteh, the popular Nollywood actress will be accompanied on her maiden visit to Cameroon by her manager Bunmi Ayeni. In an announcement over the Cameroon Film Industry (CFI) yahoo medium, Akonteh told filmmakers that their Nigerian counterpart will be here to foster a constructive partnership between her and Splash Network International with a broader vision of building a strong and reputable Cameroonian film landscape. ‘’In fact Stella is willing to invest a lot, financially, morally and materially in developing the entertainment industry in Cameroon,’’ Akonteh said.

On the sidelines of her two-day rencontre with showbiz kingmakers, the CEO of Stella Damaus Archives (SDA) will undertake a health visit to the Douala Reference Hospital where the actress will donate items on behalf of Splash Network International to cancer patients. The move falls in line with a newfound common front to combat cancer in Africa launched by Splash Networks International and SDA. ‘’…we intend to give hope to cancer victims, survivors and their families,’’ Akonteh explained.

Before the Nigerian star returns home, Stella will visit one of Buea’s renowned schools, St Therese International Primary School where TIPTOPSTARS understands there is already an uncontrollable anxiety.

It is the first time Stella is visiting Cameroon. She is one among scores of Nollywood stars who have in the country to either lay ground works for partnership or feature in Cameroonian productions. Some of the include Patience Ozokwo, Nonso Diobi, Pete Eneh, Charles Awurum, Emeka Ike, Tonto Dike, Jim Iyke, Emmanuel Franz, Nkem Owoh (Ukwa), Sam Loko Efe, etc.

Meantime, Splash Networks International has gone into the annals as the first film outfit to fly in Nollywood stars who starred in Peace Offering in 2003. Other popular Cameroon-Nigeria co-productions are Before the Sunrise, The Blues Kingdom, Land of Shadows, Royal Destiny, Wendy and Sacrament.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 18 May 2011 13:53
Places and thier Fond Names
News / Latest / Ernest Kanjo
Tuesday, 01 February 2011 21:50

This writer may not know what name you have given to your town or city, but what is almost entirely clear is that virtually all places have been nicknamed. The culture of giving affectionate names to our towns and cities has grown along the years and seems to be doing so even more and more. Whether it is out of love that affectionate appellations are attributed to towns, it is difficult to tell. But to say some of those crafted names have rendered some countries; towns or cities popular is not exaggerating.

In Cameroon where travelling to the United States of America is almost every young person’s dream, the name Etas is pregnant with meaning. Etas is the Cameroonian coinage for the USA and is commonly used by youths with bushfalling (Cameroonian coinage fo travelling abroad) ambitions. It is an extraction from the French appellation of the United States of America – Etas Unies. While bush-prone youths use Etas to refer to the US, adult Cameroonians join the rest of the world to refer to America as Uncle Sam’s country.

In Cameroon today, just like any other place in the world, it is common to talk about China. The reason is obvious – China is the world’s leading economy. Perhaps because of the new syndrome, lovers of the country in Cameroon simply refer to China as Ching Chong. But from all indications, the name is inspired by the language.

If China (Ching Chung) has been the new bed of roses for Cameroon, France had long been every young Francophone’s dream. If you didn’t have ambitions of travelling to Mbeng, as Nicolas Sarkozy’s country is fondly called, then you didn’t have a vision in life. Mbeng has also been used to refer to Cameroon’s economic capital, Douala.

Germany has had its own share of the cake. When in the late 90s the Germany Division One football league (Bundesliga) became popular in Cameroon via a slot on CRTV known as Grand match, the name Bundes crawled into the Cameroonian vocabulary. ‘’He has travelled to Bundes” is what you would commonly hear in conversations among the country’s youths.

Next door, the new appellation for Nigeria is spreading like wildfire, especially in the showbiz world. They would simply refer to Africa’s most populous country and a leading economy as Naija. Naija is also commonly used in Nollywood movies.

Formerly in Cameroon, Awala, referring to Nigeria was a common appellation. Meanwhile in Naija or Awala, like elsewhere on the continent, emigrating to Europe or America is the dream of many a young people. These youths would seek greener pastures in Ogodoyibo (Europe and America or white man’s land), come back home in porch cars and to set up magnificent buildings.

Another growing economy that is increasingly attracting many and absorbing scores of job-seeking youths is Equatorial Guinea, situated near Cameroon’s coast. Even before the country discovered oil wealth and has been exploiting, Cameroonians gave it their own name – Panya. If you hear someone say ‘’I’m going to Panya.’’ do not ask – they are on their way to Equatorial Guinea.

Down South, Zimbabweans have found a pet name for their beloved country, just as South Africans have had one for their beautiful city Johanesburg. While Mugabe’s people refer to that great country as Zim, compatriots of Jacob Zuma simply say “You are welcome to Joburg.” And if you haven’t known that Johanesburg is affectionately called Joburg, be ready to get missing at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi for instance. There, the flight announcers are more at ease with Joburg.

Back in Kamer (affectionate appellation for Cameroon), some towns and cities hardly go by their real names any more. The capital city Yaounde has either been referred to as Ville de sept collines (translated as the town of seven hills), for its hilly nature or simply called Ngola, an appellation stemming from the city’s ancestral roots.

Apart from being referred to as Mbeng, Cameroon’s economic capital Douala has also been known within university circles as Doul. The appellation stems from the city’s lone state-run university, the University of Douala or simply UNIDOUL.


Douala By Night - MBeng/Doul

Situated a few kilometers from Douala is Limbe, Cameroon’s leading tourist destination. Limbe is also known for its petroleum plant, the National Refinery (SONARA). Proud of the presence of this huge petroleum outfit, inhabitants of the sea-side resort have referred to Limbe as OPEC City (OPEC stands for Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries). Some called it Petrol City.



In Kumba, headquarters of Meme Division in the South West region of Cameroon, the situation is not different. The town for which its inhabitants can let anything go has had its own affection. It has for decades been called K-Town. In fact, boys from Kumba are known to be so infatuated about the town that at times they simply just say: “I’m going to K this weekend.”


Bamenda - Abakwa

On their part, admirers of the North West regional headquarters, Bamenda think their town is the just darling place. They would therefore call it Abakwa. And when it is time to demonstrate that love, you would hear them say Abakwa boys. A famous football team PWD Bamenda was always referred to as rthe Abakwa Boys, Boys.

What is the fond name you have given to your town or city? Leave your comments with Photos of your towns

Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 May 2011 21:25
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