Home The News The Role of the media in the Cameroon film Industry
The Role of the media in the Cameroon film Industry
News / Latest / TTS / Wednesday, 20 August 2008 12:58
CFI Delegates
Excerpt of Paper presented by Ernest kanjo at the Yaounde
Convention of the Cameroon Film Industry
"..Before taking a deep look at the current situation, let me rekindle some good old memories which would naturally provoke a strong feeling of nostalgia. As a baby (less than half a decade old), Cameroon Television, the then CTV was an august guest in every home on Saturdays. 8pm was prime time and no one could afford to blink their eyes when the famous serial L’Orphelin was on. Who could miss Le débrouillard for example? Silence on Joue was another must-watch series. L’Etoile du Noudi, Le Retraité, Japhet et Jinette and Etounou were other important rendez-vous on our darling television. Then the stars emerged: Esola, Mbita, Ta Zibi, Oncle Ochama, you can name the rest.


At that time, the Schwarzeneggers, Stallones, Seagars, Van Dammes and Jacky Chans were in full action, but they could not deprive their Cameroonian counterparts of their home audience. Even imported serials that were projected at the time could not compete with the ones produced back home. We watched the local serials with an unending appetite. That was Cameroon Television exerting its strength on the audience.


Unfortunately, the pace slowed down over the years as many of the locally-produced telefilms disappeared from our screens, giving way for foreign ones.  Such productions coming from abroad ceased the front seat on board the CRTV broadcast vehicle and soon became our identity. I don’t want to get into reports of women abandoning their boiling pots or crying babies to honour rendez-vous with foreign serials on our national television.

But if by 1998 when the Chilean pill, Marimar was rounding off, our locally-produced telefilms were still waxing on strong, the movie industry in Cameroon would have made bigger names than Marimar or Sergio. If by 2006 when the curtains were pulled on another craziness tablet, this time, the Fillipo serial, The Promise, our products were still waxing on strong, our film industry would have had more famous stars than Yna and Angelo. Unfortunately, our youth would quickly identify with an Yna or an Angelo than and our own actors and actresses. Else, why would these foreign movie stars be glorified on T-shirts, caps, bracelets, underwear and other gadgets, the way it happened? Or, isn’t Claude Ndengue who hit our screens as far back as 1987 when he starred in Trials of Passion a thrilling actor? Aren’t Solange Yijika or Grace Adama, just to name these thrilling actresses. They definitely are. But how much of them is known by Cameroonians? That is the big question!


CRTV has kept functioning, since creation, but not much is happening as far as promoting the film industry is concerned. One would go with the erroneous impression that films are not done in Cameroon, whereas we are told that movies are shot in the country on a daily basis.


The relationship between the industry and our national broadcaster seems to be limited to launch announcements, news coverage for awards and festivals, especially the ones that are patronised by the Ministry of Culture and “Hello”/ “Monday Show” / “Morning” Safari interviews. Yet, two and at times three-hour long foreign films are projected on CRTV. I may not know much about the commercial policy of the house, but I think CRTV would have contributed enormously to sell the industry if they allocated much airtime for our films. After all, isn’t Africa Magic doing Nigeria proud?......................"


Complete Paper available for registered members

Last Updated on Tuesday, 02 September 2008 12:40
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