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The entertaining Penjo Entertainment
News / Latest / Ernest Kanjo
Friday, 03 December 2010 13:51

Penjo2A salient ingredient of a vibrant film industry is the presence of production companies. These companies become even more relevant when they possess up-to-date, not obsolete equipment. Many young Cameroonians who have displayed passion in filmmaking have been setting up such structures with the vision of making the local industry a force to reckon with. One of them is Peter Njodzeka whose Penjo Entertainment Production is undoubtedly a million miles step-forward initiative for Cameroon.

Created over a year a year ago, Penjo Entertainment Production, based in Cameroon's capital Yaounde was born out its CEO's uncontrollable passion for photography and motion pictures. "Even without a camera, I would borrow one to take snapshots of water points I set up in my area of origin via the NGO I run," Peter explains. He continues: "My funders noticed I was doing nice photographs and thought I could do better if I had more sophisticated equipment and that is how they offered me a stronger camera."

Fully inspired, the young filmmaker later acquired other equipment including a professional High Definition (HD) camera, boom mic, tripod, professional wind shield, music speakers, projector, computers, editing suite with appropriate software (CS5, Sony Vegas 9). Before he knew it, Penjo Entertainment Production was in place.

Penjo Entertainment Production has since been producing adverts, short and long films, documentaries and still photographs. Some of its latest productions include Keyboard, The Children, Sneak (in Lamso - a mother tongue in Cameroon), Orphans (documentary), Weep and Beriwo (to be launched soon).

According to Penjo Entertainment Production CEO, the company is set for further projects all in a bid to keep the local film industry alive. "I find it pleasing to contribute my own little quota to the growth of the seventh art in Cameroon, reason why I'm putting in such effort," he says. "I intend to collaborate or partner with other filmmakers so that together we can do quality jobs for our compatriots whom I think should be served appropriately," he adds.

Penjo Entertainment Production is situated at the Mendong neighborhood in Yaounde. Its CEO could be reached via This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or +237-7771-6288.

Last Updated on Monday, 06 December 2010 16:50
Cameroon: Film stars are communication graduates
News / Latest / TTS
Thursday, 25 November 2010 11:41

Junior and Efeti in police uniforms shortly after a scene in Asaba Ferdinand's MY SUCCESSOR


Who says artists are not good academicians as well? Certainly they are! The Cameroonian movie family is a proud mother of two graduates from the Advanced School of Mass Communication (ASMAC), Central Africa's pioneer communication school. Actress Efeti Moka Endeley and film editor Mbongho Junior N.N have been honoured with the first degree in the science of communication after defending their internship reports and professional presentations.

For the young actress who specialized in journalism, Efeti defended the report of an internship carried out in the news department of the State-run television, CRTV in September 2010. During her intership there, it should be noted, the now certified journalist who doubles as the Secretary General of the Yaounde branch of the Cameroon Film Industry (CFI) covered and reported important news events which were applauded by viewers. She earning an  impressive grade from her jury for the internship report.

In her professional presentation, the actress produced a properly edited newspaper, SEARCHLIGHT, in which she did an in-depth report on begging in Cameroon's big towns and cities. This, other stories and the paper's layout won over her jury who did not hesitate to give her a top score (very good) in the Cameroonian university rating system.

On his part, Mbongho Junior N.N, reading Advertising also recorded top scores  in his internship report and his 43 minutes TV spot professional presentation which attracted the admiration of his jury.

Back home, classmates, friends and fellow filmmakers joined relatives and families to celebrate the academic victories. At the Mokas, guests feasted on richly prepared Cameroonian traditional dishes including kwacoco and mbanga soup or better still timanambusa, waterfufu and eru, ndole and yams, egusi pudding and miondo. They eat and drank 'in the name of the queen of the evening' as the MC for the event put it, referring to Efeti. Then some guests took turns in speaking, all of them describing the young journalist as hard working, intelligent, ambitious and focused.

To former director of cabinet at the Prime Minister's office, Hon Paul Njie Mioto, Efeti whom he has nursed from birth has made his parents and the entire community proud. He congratulated the ASMAC graduate and hoped she was going to find a job so soon.

To the CFI actress' father, his daughter is exemplary as far as discipline is concern. "That makes us proud parents," Moka Endeley who is a staff in the Cameroonian National Assembly said. It is such discipline, ingenuity and hard work that accounted for Efeti's successful professional attachment to Among Youths, its former Editor told guests to the Mokas. According to Ernest Kanjo, Efeti displayed professional consciousness as reporter for the said magazine, even though she was still a student. He encouraged her to keep up with such a working spirit and make herself a reference in journalism.

At the Mbonghos, the story was the same. Guests feasted with the celebrant and did not fail to say things just as they did at the Mokas. Speaking on behalf of the film family, actor and producer Chiatoh Collins reiterated that CFI was proud of Junior. "That is why we are here and our presence must be felt," he said.

On his part, Kanjo who described Junior as the twin brother of Efeti and both as his professional children spoke of the young graduate as an inquisitive and ingenious person.

Efeti Moka it should be recalled has featured in My Successor, a 52-episode serial produced by Premier Films and CRTV and directed by Asaba N. Ferdinand aka Penda. The serial was projected on CRTV in 2009. She has also featured in Neba Lawrence's Royal Destiny produced by Ayi Chatou Inoua, starring Nollywood's Emeka Ike and Tonto Dike.

Meanwhile, Junior who edits films has featured on billboards as a face model for two successive anti-AIDS sensitization campaigns. He is also a talented stage actor.

(Photo shows Junior and Efeti in Cameroonian police uniforms shortly after a scene in Asaba Ferdinand's MY SUCCESSOR)

Last Updated on Thursday, 25 November 2010 14:34
Cameroon gospel band contest: Highlights
News / Latest / Ernest Kanjo
Wednesday, 10 November 2010 03:40

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/hs983.snc4/75620_167783033250280_155700884458495_461860_293252_n.jpgThe gospel band creation project dubbed Gospel musical 2010 is two months old, but the climax is yet to reach. Such climax is certainly when the show will get ongoing over TV channels, followed by public voting to geared at producing the final five. However, much water has flown under the bridge since inception with site attractions to note. TITOPSTARS has been looking at some of the things and people that have marked Gospel Musical 2010 this far.

Power of prayers

Inspired by God, the Gospel Musical 2010 has been rolling on hitch free, thanks to God. The organizers have not failed to recognize this and have at every moment invited the Amighty to grace the project. That explains why prayers have been a regular happening at the start and end of each exercise within the project. Spiritual leaders after spiritual leader have in their opening or closing prayers begged God to bless the project and even when power has attempted to disrupt recording, the Almight hand has intervened. Who says God does not have a special attachement to projects that glorify his name?

Media on board

Without the media actively taking part, it is difficult for any event to be described as successful. Gospel Musical 2010 has had its own fair share of media attention. Apart from Newspaper; radio and Tv reports here and there, journalists answered present art a recent press conference to explain the concept. Meeting the organiwers at the Solomon Tandenng Muna Foundation in Yaounde, the press men and women quickly fell in love with Gospel Musical 2010 after listening to the Papa Rolland Dipita talk. They have since promised to give the programme wide publicity. Meanwhile CRTV, Vision 4 and a Bamenda-based TV station have gotten into broadcast agreements with DRIMP Foundation, the organizing body while hoping other TV strations will come on board.

"With God, we'll make it" - Nforngwei Rogers

Popularly known within his Church community as Daddy K, Nforngwei Rogers has praised God for making it possible that the Gopsel Musical 2010 kick off. The Central and West AZfrica representative of Cambridge Pushlishers who doubles as initiator of the project has been speaking at the recording sessions of the TV shows, atking place at Yaounde's Hotel Kampthe. Nforngwei, a well-known publisher in Cameroon lauded the efforts of the technical crew as well as the contestaing singers whose talent he described as great. "With God, we"ll make it," he said. He encouraged not to relent till as he put it, "We get to where God wants us to reach."

Achalle is coach

If Gopsel Musical 2010 is a display of seriously and quality; it is largely thanks to the people involved. One of such is song icon and talented artiste, Achalle who has been the coach of the contestants in camp. The winner of the first edition of the Stars de Demain song competition in 2006 has been drilling the competitors on several aspects including voicing, stage attitude, general comportment, etc. "It's such an honour for me to work with Achalle," said one contestant. "It's been wonderful working with them," Achalle told journalists at the recent press conference. The Stars de Demain hero has two albums in the market.

Odile Ngaska and her word

A strong point in the Gopsel Musical 2010 project is the full involvement of Odile Ngaska, the Board chair of SOCAM (Cameroon's corporation in charge of music copyright issues). Her presence has been an inspirational factor to virtually every member of the team, most especially the contesting singers. Notice how her positive comment gladdens them after a captivating performance. The renowned gospel music artiste had since expressed her interest and love for the great initiative. "Music was created by God for God," she had said. And rhetorically asked: "Who therefore are you singing for if not for God?"

Terence the Pharaltee

This time he has been talking, not singing. The hyper talented young musician has proven he is master of the art by the brilliant professional comments he has been making on the jury. Each time he handles the mike, the hall goes silence because as someone put it, he is going to dish out another music lesson. "Well you know I have been doing this for a long time, it's my thing," T-Boy, as the singer is fondly called told this writer soon after last Sunday's recording. He has also been the dream of some of the contestants who would not help gratifying his remarks at them.

That frankness of Salif

If there is some one who seems to have been grabbing ever attention, it is the Manager of the hotel hosting the TV recording of Gospel Musical 2010. Salif has been very professional in his judgment of the performances. Perhaps what makes him even more exciting is his frankness which is not aimed at discouraging the contestants though, but making them understand they have to work relentless if they hope to become professional singers. His comments are usually received by nodding from the audience. Someone mention: "I'm convinced he has done this exercise before." To be part of Salif's five therefore, the boys and girls must not sleep.

Papa Rolland: In a lighter mood

One would not be wrong to say - no Papa Rolland, no Gospel Musical 2010. More and more, the coordinator of the project gives live to Gospel Musical 2010. Apart from his salient comments from the jury bench, the Man of God doesn't fail to provide humour. "Do me that style again...I was almost thinking that the stage is too small for you...You were born to sing...If you continue in that manner, this thing will put food on you table..." are some of Papa Rolland's comments. At times he would simply look at the candidate after a brilliant show, pause for while and then say - "I have nothing to say, God bless you!"

Bright Phase brightens show

Silva, Pally and Beryl have been bearing the Bright Phase flag in the Gospel Musical 2010. Apart from being members of the technical crew of the project, the trio have had to thrill the audience from time to time with their soul-searcvhing songs. This, to the acclamation of the public, their fans and organizers. Beryle was even spotted helping song coach Achalle to do some of the back-ups that have been spicing the shows. It should be recalled that Bright Phase represented Cameroon at the last Africa All Music Awards (KORA) where they emerged fifth and entertained Burkinabe President Blaise Compaore at his Ouagadougou palace.

Enter M1 and Blue Drops

Know as two of Buea's most gigantic production houses, Molyko-based M1 Studio and Blue Drops have been the source of good quality sound and images for the Gospel Musical 2010. At each recording, M1's strongman, Emile Ngumbah can be spotted sitting behind a thousand-key audio console rattling buttons and nodding in satisfaction. On his part, Blue Drops Weg Muller Ikome Efokoa, the floor director would dash from one camera to the other and from the monitor to the console. Then, he would turn to the crowd and beckon the audience to applaud. Meanwhile Njukeng George aka Bootable, Stanley Micky and Mbi Felix would operate their cameras as they know best to produce the best of images.

To be continued...

Cameroon: Gospel Band Project Waxing Strong
News / Latest / Ernest Kanjo
Wednesday, 10 November 2010 02:24

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/hs041.snc4/34435_165536623474921_155700884458495_445961_6187434_n.jpgThose who have witnessed the recording of the first two editions of the TV contest, aimed at selecting five talented singers to make up a gospel band can at least begin to know who these future stars will be. Relying on their individual talents, the 20 contestants have been convincing the audience and potential voters in their various rights. Even after the first recording, many were those who carved out their band. "The contest can end with this first recording. I have my band already drawn up," said one fan of the five he thought had performed best. This reporter was tempted to name his as well, for, the five were just too irresistibly good. But for one thing, all the young singers were convincing and one would quickly have the impression that the pre-selection was carefully done.

Perhaps the jury's comments have helped the audience to decode certain complexities that characterize singing. Via such remarks, they audience has understood how rich and enriched the musicians are. Also such comments as "To me, you're a professional singer", "A little bit more and you're perfect", "Your style is what many musicians are looking for and can't find", "even the artiste whose song you're interpreting is unable to perform the way you do" have been common from the chairperson of the jury, renowned gospel artiste Odile Ngaska and her team comprising of Papa Rolland Dipita, Terence Pharaltee aka T-Boy .Ngaska who is also Board chair of SOCAM (Cameroon's corporation in charge of music copyright issues) has been quite impressed that there are young people who would not only join them in valorizing songs of praise, but would do it in a spectacular manner.

The contestants have been interpreting popular gospels songs from renowned musicians including R.Kelly, Espoir 2000, and a host of others

Meanwhile, TV presenters will be put to task when Gopsel Musical 2010 finally goes on the airwaves. This is because the moderators have been doing their thing so nicely. "They are doing a great job and I must congratulate them on that," said Nforgwei Rogers, the initiator and pilot of the project.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 November 2010 03:05
Breakthrough Cameroonian Gospel Band in gestation
News / Latest / Ernest Kanjo
Thursday, 21 October 2010 21:59


1672986268340_5946223-07-19That Cameroon is the new nursery for potential mega stars in gospel music is no longer news. Yet, it should not be taken with a pinch of salt, for, it goes beyond just producing big names and explosive albums. Rather, the Gospel Musical 2010, an initiative of the United Crusade Team for Jesus (UNITEJ) and Dream Foundation (civil society organization) is fixed on giving songs of praise a new twist.

The Gospel Musical 2010, a project aimed at selecting five young and talented singers  which has been ongoing since September 2010 has entered its last phase with 20 candidates already drawn to camp in Yaounde. The ambitious youths are vying for five prestigious places in what is going to be one of Africa's most explosive Gospel Bands in recent years. The 20 are drawn from four regions of Cameroon (North West, South West, Littoral and Centre), after song contests organized in each of these places.

Now converged on Yaounde, the pre-selected candidates are bracing up for a TV contest from where their fans will be expected to vote them to victory. Recording of the TV reality show to be broadcast by State-run CRTV and other private channels is scheduled for Sunday 23 October in one of Yaounde's befitting hotels.

According to the coordinator of the Gospel Musical 2010 project, Papa Rolland Dipita, a maiden album with 15,000 CDs to hit the market will be produced. The proceeds will be channeled to the artistes who must find a livelihood from the wonderful gift God has embellished on them. Said Papa Rolland: "We think the time has come for young and talented gospel singers to be identified, projected and given the opportunity to use their God-given skills to put food on their table." Also speaking at a press conference to present Gospel Musical 2010 recently, the coordinator explained that the initiative was equally aimed at encouraging decency and faith in God among singers. "They must not think that to be successful musicians, they have to go on stage half-naked or dance indecently," he emphasized. Papa Rolland challenged potential singers when he mentioned Tony Braxton, Sisqo, R. Kelly and others whose background in the art is Christian.

To Odile Ngaska, the Board Chair of SOCAM, the Cameroonian corporation in charge of copyrights issues, the Gospel Band in gestation will come to add to what has been going on for quite some time now. Ngaska who doubles as a gospel music artiste prided that such an initiative was coming to add meaning to a genre (gospel music) often relegated to the background, perhaps because of ignorance. "Music was created by God for God," she said. Add asked: "Who therefore are you singing for if not for God?"

Back in camp, the young boys and girls have been nursing hopes of becoming the pioneers of this much-talked about band, said to be going international as soon as it sees the light of day. "My conviction brought me here. I'm quite convinced I'll make it and know that my soul-searching voice will lead me through," Philipo Samsino, representing the Centre Region told TIPTOPSTARS. The 26-year-old singer, a student of the University of Yaounde I said it was time to bring out what God had deposited in him and he was thankful to the organizers for such a wonderful opportunity. "It's a unique and exciting experience," the 1.75m-tall singer revealed.

To Achu Joan, 20, it was one of the big opportunities to praise God and even if she was not going to emerge among the top five, she was ready to pray for the project and those who would have won. "I have done back-up for several artistes, but do think my place is in gospel music," the 1.70m-tall University of Buea Accounting graduate told us further.The Limbe-based singer however hopes she will grab more votes from the public.

On her part, 22-year-old Jeanna Ebangha from the South West Region revealed that she didn't believe in herself until she qualified for the last phase of Gospel Musical 2010. "Now I know I can make and I'm quite confident," she said. To the University of Buea Law graduate, she is meant to sing and touch people's lives and would be very privileged to be part of the 'Golden Five' in the making.

Meanwhile, coach Achalle, has been having a new experience training budding singers for a challenging music project. ''It's really been exciting and I must say I enjoy doing it," the pioneer winner of the Stars de Demain song competition told journalists in Yaounde.

The Gospel Musical is going to be an annual event. It has brought on board experts in music and renowned production outfits including the Bright Phase, Emile Ngumba , Weg Muller Ikome,  Njukeng George, Steve Micky and the Buea-based M1 and Blue Drops Studios.



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