On a visit to scout the potential of this West African Country to make film productions of international repute, she declared that Cameroon deserves more than what African movie celebrities have been giving her. In her words, “we have scenery here. A lot of people don’t know many things about Cameroon. Let the world see the beauty of this place; the talents we have and work together to make it a big entertainment industry.”
Her plan is to rally some colleagues in the movie industry from Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, Kenya and Sierra Leone, to bring in their expertise at the service of budding talents in Cameroon. Such a step which has already been taken towards these other African Countries, would enable talented people in Cameroon who want to break into the international market get proper training.
The intensive training will take the form of workshops offered free of charge for three months, spearheaded by the Stella Damasus Arts Foundation. “I believe that if we start small, we can grow. I believe that if we train people, knowledge is power. Knowledge is the biggest thing someone like me can give to anybody,” she said. Within a year, she hopes to have trained about two hundred people who can go out and tell powerful stories through the art of film.
The need for professional training is indeed an issue to be tackled by those in the Cameroon film industry. Even though a few state Universities have a drama and theatre arts department, the focus as the name implies is on performing arts for the stage, not staging a production for the screen. A number of independent structures have sprung up; some with good equipment but which lack trained personnel to pass on required skills.
Cameroon is one of those African Countries where Nigerian movies are greatly watched and renowned Nigerian movie stars are a household name on the lips of most young people. However, the Country possesses much talent in dire need for a gateway to excellence, professionalism and exposure in the world’s film industry. The Nollywood actress affirmed that it would be great for Cameroonians to get to watch their own movies too everyday on Television.
“It is a lonely road to climb up the ladder and there is nobody there with you. We would love for Africa to come up with us, and we want Cameroon as well to come up,” she expressed.