Connect with us


EBOT AGBOR: What Cameroon film industry is lacking to compete with Nigeria



Agbor Gilbert Ebot (AGE) is chairman and founder of the Cameroon International Film Festival (CAMIFF), one of the country’s leading film festivals. In this interview with Naija Diaspora Magazine crew, he gives an insight into the background of CAMIFF. Excerpts

How and why did you come about CAMIFF?

The idea came when I travelled to Calabar with a delegation of Cameroonian film makers and actors/actresses to attend the African International Film Festival (AFRIFF) organized by Madam Chioma Ude at Tinapa.

Ramsey Nouah was there with other actors. Ramsey Nouah was so amazed to see us at the event and remarked that I could also organize such in Cameroon. ‘Is there a festival in Cameroon?’, he asked me, and I told him there is a film festival in Cameroon, the Ecrans Noirs, which takes place in Yaoundé and is more of a francophone festival since it attracts countries from francophone Africa and francophone content producers. He said ‘why don’t you create your own festival?’ That was how we started working on CAMIFF in 2013.

In 2015, we had the first edition of CAMIFF. The Cameroon film industry is not really big. I think what is lacking is the opportunity to distribute or to commercialise the films that are being created; Cameroonians have talented people and professional individuals across the world. I don’t really consider the Cameroon film industry as a baby industry compared to other people; we started doing films in Cameroon before Ghana.

Ghana is lucky that the government is also supporting the film industry. We would have been able to explore the bilingual system of Cameroon to the advantage of the industry but in Cameroon, the francophones have largely dominated the Anglo-Saxon; so, it becomes more of a handicap to explore all the opportunities that we can use to grow.

From its inception in 2016, Nigerian celebrities (actors) have always been special guests just like in most recent Cameroonian movies.  Some have said it it’s a bait to seduce the « unpatriotic » Cameroon film lovers. How important is it to always have Nigerian super star actors around?


The Cameroon International Film Festival is a collective effort; I don’t say it is my success, it is the success of the entire film industry. The team in particular, works day and night; we push and we can say that through the Cameroon film industry, we have successfully invited Africa Magic (2016), Team Wang and Netflix epic in 2017, Amazon Prime, Canon, AFOREVO, CRTV to Cameroon.

And Cameroonians have been able to exploit this platform. We partnered with MTN to create MTN TV; later, MTN partnered with another group to create Yabadoo because the government was over taxing and over stressing the project of MTN Tv. But we are still pushing. It is a gradual process but we will get there.

And how impactful has it been to your success?

Since 2016, Nigerian celebrities and actors have always been special guests just like in the most recent Cameroon movies. The truth of the matter is that Nigeria is a big market with over one hundred and something million people living there and the Nigerian population is young and growing.

The culture of the Anglophone Cameroonians and that of the Nigerian people is similar. If we ride down to my village in Uwojo, Mamfe, across is Taraba and we speak the same dialect. There is intermarriage and do not forget that politically, this part was formerly Southern Cameroon, a territory that was administered at some point from Enugu.

So, we have had that intercultural exchange long before today. It is important to understand that there are two different systems in film making: the Anglophone system and the Francophone system.

When we do films with the Anglophone system, we look for our audience and the marketer within the borders of Nigeria and out of Nigeria; same like the Francophones, when they do their films, they want to go to Ivory Coast.

I don’t think that it’s supposed to be any problem for us working with Nigerians and to be honest it has been a very good exchange; in fact, it has been a very beautiful experience.

Cameroonians have learnt a lot from Nigerian film makers just like Nigerians have also learnt from Cameroonian film makers. I did my first movies in 2005 when Cameroon and Nigerian had a dispute over the Bakassi peninsular. I brought in actors from Nigeria for the movies.

We even used the residence of the then Nigeria Consul General in Buea; these are very powerful people with a very open mind. But Nigerians have a way of encouraging the film sector unlike Cameroon where there is too much bottleneck in the administrative system and this frustrates the efforts of good Cameroonian film makers. Our partnership with the Nigerians is exchange of service.

What do you say to critics and naysayers?

People will criticize whatever you do and however you do it; they will always go to have their opinion, but we take the criticisms and correct the mistakes. We amend the ones that we can amend, change the strategies of what did not work and try to improve on what might work or what will work towards the next edition. It is a continuous effort.

Statistically speaking, what is the place of Cameroon in the Sub-Sahara African Films sector?

The Cameroon film industry has its place. Right now, if you talk about Nigeria, you have to talk about Ghana, in terms of volume of content produced. Nigeria is leading, Ghana is coming after.

Cameroon and Senegal are on the same platform, in terms of content creation; then we have Ivory Coast. But within Central Africa, Cameroon is a major producer of content. We have our place; we should say we are number three in the Sub-Saharan Africa.

Tell us about the far-reaching milestones of CAMIFF since its inception?

Since the creation of CAMIFF, it has been a very successful journey and I think it has been a journey of blood and pain. Without sponsors and without money, you cannot run a festival. And that is what has been happening to us.

What does Cameroon and Cameroonians need to do to grow their industry to a satisfactory level?

The first thing is on how to recoup our investments. We need marketing strategies, the marketing platform and marketing opportunities. When you know how to recover the money you have invested in a project, then more people will want to invest and more projects will come out.

One thing that is lacking and which the Cameroonians desperately need are structures which will permit investments to be recouped. We don’t depend on government for sponsorship or funding.

People take loans from cooperative unions and little banks. Before they can do so, they plan and when they do their plans, they want to put it back in the market as soon as possible so that the interest does not die. Since we lack a distribution network and opportunities, that is where it becomes a little bit frustrating.

Recently there has been a wave of opinions on social media, wanting Nigerian content, especially music to be censored and gigs of Nigerian artists in Cameroon limited?

I am a believer of one Africa, a believer of a united Africa, but if that is going to happen, then all Africans need to think like Africans. I must say that Nigerians are not supporting any country in Africa or any culture in Africa except Nigerians.

Ebot Agbor

If you go to Nigeria today, no night club in Nigeria will play a foreign song from Africa; it is only Nigeria songs. I do remember Nigerian artists or Nigerian companies and promoters inviting artists from Cameroon to perform or take part in their events in Nigeria.

But you cannot count how many times a Nigerian artist has been to Cameroon and charged us some amount of money, flew in by private jets, take all the money and go. It is supposed to be a give-and-take movement. Are you saying that Nigerian promoters do not know that Cameroonian artists are doing songs? But they choose not to.

If they say they should limit Nigerian songs in Cameroon, it is to give the Cameroonian artists relevance. I am not saying that they should ban Nigerian music or Nigerian content in Cameroon and Cameroon is not the first country to do so. Ghana has done that a couple of times, South Africa has done that.

There is no artist in Africa today that is popular on YouTube with the highest scoring views than Diamond Platinum’s. Do Nigerian FM stations and DJs play Diamond’s music in Nigeria? They don’t. But do they play Nigerian songs in Tanzania? Of course, they do. So, it is a give-and-take thing.

If Nigerians don’t want to give, why do they always want to feel like they should take? I am just being realistic. Let us try to be one Africa; let Nigeria celebrate content that is coming from Cameroon, Kenya, Tanzania.

Nigeria has the capacity to organize an Award ceremony that can bring the whole of Africa in the creative world of music and film together to celebrate Africa; that is what we should be thinking.

How do you think Cameroonian artists and stakeholders can capitalize on Nigeria’s relative global success to grow theirs?

I think that the whole Africa has been very lenient towards Nigeria. Nigerians are not the first people to win Grammys.

Nigerians are not the first people to go on Bill Board. Before today, we have had artists like West Madiko and Richard Bona who have won Grammys who are Cameroonians. But still, Africa decided to sympathize and love Nigeria songs. When you go to Mali or Senegal, we have artists like Youssou Ndour.

It is like Nigerians make it sometimes so difficult to get a collaboration with other artists; trust me on that one, I am in this business and I know.

The Nigerian market is huge and very demanding in terms of standards and creativity and some say that foreign, especially Cameroonian content is hardly played in Nigeria nowadays. How true is this assertion?

You see the Nigerian market is demanding, the Nigerian market is open for protocol for content but the Nigeria platform operates in the Anglophone system and they limit Cameroonians to a Francophone country.

That is why you see that Cameroonian music is mostly passing on Trace Africa which is a Francophone content procurer not on Trace Urban, not on Trace Niger, not on MTV Base. But we need to change that.

Cameroonian artists themselves don’t even know that they have more potential singing in English than singing in French. They will learn with time and see that they have a better future singing in English and promoting the Anglophone identity. They will now benefit from what Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya and South Africa have to offer.

How can the disguised institutional censorship of foreign content affect the growth of local industry?

I don’t think that institutional censorship of foreign content will affect the growth of the industry. How will it affect the growth of the industry?  In America, you cannot watch Aljazeera; for you to watch Aljazeera and certain channels which are coming from outside, you have to pay extra money for you to get them. That is how it works, so everybody is protecting their own.

You go to China, China has blocked Facebook and certain platforms because China wants to promote Wechat and the others. So, they make certain platforms more difficult. If you come to Cameroon and Cameroon decides they want to promote more of what is Cameroonian made, I don’t see what is wrong with that; I see growth.

Do not forget that at some point in Nigeria also, Nigerians also revolted against the excesses of American songs. So, there is nothing that Cameroonians are doing that Nigerians have not done before or done worst before.

Growing up as a kid in Tiko was not easy for you. Film and entertainment were considered a luxury. When and how did you develop interest in this sector?

We did not really own a TV in our house, so I mostly watched TV from people’s houses through their windows. It was a luxury so I had to go to the video club where I would pay 50F, sit there and watch a film. It was luxury for me; someone who grew up in a very struggling background.

We did not even have radio. At the end of the day, I think God wanted me to be a film maker. He wanted me to push and create something solid in the cinema sector of Cameroon and I think I am just on the path which God has put me in. I have always loved films, always wanted to be a film maker someday; so, my dream and my prayers were answered in 2005 when I did my first film in Cameroon and that was just it. 

And till today I love nothing else than doing films. I love nothing more than doing what I am doing in the entertainment industry. I am passionate and drunk about it. If you say that film making is a disease, then I am very sick. My daily concern is on how stories need to leave our borders and get to America, get to China.

For instance, if the Chinese can come to Yaoundé and create restaurants, then they should be selling Okro soup in Berlin, they should be selling Eru in Mosco and selling Kwacoco somewhere in Brazil. We are taking our culture to these people; to the powerful medium of cinema. We are unrepentant of our passion in film making. I am unrepentant of my passion for film making.

Today, you’re a Knight of the Cameroon Order of Valour; according to you, what earned you this title?

It is a great thing that President Paul Biya was recognizing me for my work as a film promoter. I don’t know if President Biya has ever watched a Cameroonian film. I think the day he is going to watch a Cameroonian film; he is going to think about giving us the right minister to help prepare the entertainment sector. In 2007 Minister Ama Tutu Muna was appointed, she did a fantastic job.

After that, the Ministry of Culture as of today is a shadow of itself. Maybe, others will come to be recognized more as knights of Cameroon for the promotion of culture. I think I am the one of the first Anglophones to have this medal and I give thanks to God. I give thanks to the Cameroonian people. I give thanks to His Excellency Mr. Paul Biya for using his office to recognize my effort. Thank You, Mr. President.

What do you tell your kids and other young people who want to take on a career in this industry?

Building a career as a film maker is not an easy thing in a country like Cameroon. Politicians give little or no support to the sector. It is not easy, it is a struggle but if you can do it, you need to first of all want to do it.  If you want to do it, you will do it though it will not come easy but you can do it and you will do it better than I have ever done in my life. So, young Cameroonians have the potential to achieving greatness in the film sector.

You are married and a Christian. Aside your movies, what other movies, songs, tv shows, books do you watch, listen or read with your family?

I love films. Malcom X is my second film that I am so personate about; I love the movie I did since 2005  »before the sun rise ». I love that movie and I still watch that movie with Olu Jacobs  »Adorable son »; I love that movie. I love artists like Tzy Panchak, Ko-C, I also like Wizkid’s songs, 2face the best African ever. 2face Idibia is going to be remembered for a long time like Bob Marley. If you listen to 2face’s lyrics like spiritual healing, these are amazing songs.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Votre adresse e-mail ne sera pas publiée. Les champs obligatoires sont indiqués avec *


Nigerian Community praises Consul General Clark-Omeru over resolving Resident Permit issues in Cameroon



Consul General Clark-Omeru hosts Nigeria Community

…urges them to be law abiding citizens in host country

The Consul-General of Nigeria to Douala, the Republic of Cameroon, Ambassador (HRM) Queen Efe A. Clark-Omeru has hosted the Nigerian community in the Littoral Region for the second time to show appreciation for relentless services rendering to Nigeria nationals residing in the region of the host country.

It could be recalled that the executive of the Nigerian community paid courtesy visit to the Consulate General in May 2022 to express their maximum appreciation to the Mission who has been helpful in resolving pressing issues with the host country.

According to her speech, the CG welcomed the Nigerian Community executives led by the President, Honourable B.I.C Okwujiaku and provided details of the Consulate progress with the host country over pending issues concerning Nigerian residents in the region.

« It is my pleasure to welcome you to this event of New Year visit/wishes to me and the Consulate, » the statement reads.

« Since my arrival in June 2021, and with the presentation of my Exequatur which I assured you that the Consulate would not rest its oars by ensuring  that the issue of molestation  will be a thing of past in the history country. The Consulate has met several times with the officials of the immigration of the host country with particular reference to resident permit, exit Visa and the matter was resolved amicably as the immigration rights accorded to members of Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC)

region is also accorded to Nigeria due to the already subsisting bilateral relations between the two brotherly countries. »
The Nigeria CG also highlighted the issues of non-issuance of Resident permits which is a great challenge to Nigerian residents in the Littoral region as it is contrary to it immigration law.

« The issue of non-issuance of Resident Permit has attracted my attention, on that basis, I directed my officers on 10th February 2023, accompanied by the president and some executive members of the Nigerian community to meet with new Commissioner  EMI-immigration Madame Gertrude Bikok and the matter was also resolved due to the subsisting bilateral relations between the two countries.

The Consul General was excited to proudly commend the Nigeria community over their successful business activities which were satisfied by the host authorities. But urges her compatriots to be more tolerance of each other and remain law abiding to the host country.

In responding to the CG’s speech, the President of the Nigeria Community, Honourable B.I.C Okwujiaku heaps praise on the first female Consul General in Douala for her breath of peace among Nigerians in the region.

« Last year, we came to say thank you for the ones you have done. We have come again to further demonstrate our joy for your constant support, caring and motherly advise and solidarity  to us as your fellow compatriots in Cameroon, » he said.

« History will record it that as the first female Consul General in Douala. Nigerians have benefited from your good leadership and skills of work, » he added.

Also appreciating the CG is Eminent philanthropist, HRH Eze Thomas .J. Onyengubo, Eze Gburugburu 1 of Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo in Cameroon, who also urged the Nigerian community members to remain united and be law abiding to the host country.

Continue Reading





From the 18th to the 21st August 2022, the Pastoral Centre St Joseph of Kribi (Cameroon) hosted the 10th edition of what has become an annual ‘rendez-vous’ of capacity building of young Cameroonian Leaders and Entrepreneurs selected on the basis of their civic engagement, professional achievement and patriotic spirit.
Through this Academy, the Pan African Leadership and Entrepreneurship Foundation (PLF) by Go Ahead Africa Ltd has been contributing to the empowerment of hundreds of young people in the fields of Leadership, Entrepreneurship and Management.
Held in partnership with some of the most influential stakeholders in the Cameroonian economic ecosystem (Go Ahead Africa Ltd, Groupe SABC, the Port Authority of Kribi (PAK), BGFIBank Cameroon, Balafon Media and Vox Africa); and despite unforeseen circumstances, this 10th edition succeeded to gather forty-six participants (23 boys and 23 girls) aged between 18 and 35 years old under the theme « Challenges and opportunities of youth in a VUCA environment (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous) ».
For the Founder of the PLF, Roland KWEMAIN, these young Leaders are true ambassadors of the emergence and prosperity of Cameroon. « Our goal is to train a world class of Young Cameroonian Leaders/Entrepreneurs who are masters of their destiny and resolutely at the service of the emergence of our country and even of our continent, Africa » he said.

During four (4) intense days under the expert guidance of Leadership Coach/Trainer
Emile SINGEH and Assistant Coach Perrin KWENKEU, the 2022 batch developed through a tailor-made program:
·       Leadership and Management Skills
·       Entrepreneurial spirit
·       Spirit of Individual Social Responsibility and Active Citizenship
·       Knowledge and Valorisation of the Great Historical Figures of Cameroon
·       Appropriation of the Vision of a prosperous Cameroon
During this unique and extraordinary life experience punctuated by short nights (4 hours/day) and intense days of emotions, knowledge acquisition and teambuilding, the participants had the opportunity to meet and learn from their 2 Patrons:
·       Mr Patrice MELOM (GM PAK)
·       Mr Cyrille BOJIKO (Founder and CEO Balafon Media Group)

They also had the great opportunity to interact with some of the Leaders and Managers who drive the economic scene.
Among them we can name Mr Abakal MAHAMAT (General Manager, BGFIBank Cameroon), Dr Elizabeth FON (General Manager, TESHO), Mrs Arielle WAFFO (General Manager, DKT Cameroon), Mr Dagobert TAHA (Design Thinking Expert), Mrs Pulton ARUNA (Consultant, Corporate Trainer in Management Skills, Customer Care, Food Safety, Quality Management, Training Techniques).
As key part of the program, the participants worked on reinventing the CLA model during the traditional ‘24 heures Chrono’ where they spend 24 hours in a row without sleeping in a journey to better understand (themselves) and learn how to surpass their self-expectations.

As the Cameroon Leadership Academy heads to new starts for its 10 years’ Convention on December, 10th taking with it an annual event that brought together hundreds of young Leaders and Entrepreneurs; it’s worth reflecting on its legacy and on the impact it made during the past ten (10) years that the event grew to empower 850 youth with the mission of training better Leaders in order to build better communities. 
Emile Désiré SINGEH
President, PLF

Du 18 au 21 août 2022, le Centre Pastoral St Joseph de Kribi (Cameroun) a accueilli la 10ème édition de ce qui est devenu un rendez-vous annuel de renforcement des capacités des jeunes leaders et entrepreneurs camerounais sélectionnés sur la base de leur engagement civique, de leur réussite professionnelle et de leur esprit patriotique. 
Grâce à cette académie, la Pan African Leadership and Entrepreneurship Foundation (PLF), une initiative du cabinet Go Ahead Africa Ltd a contribué à l’autonomisation de centaines de jeunes dans les domaines du Leadership, Entreprenariat et du Management.
Organisée en partenariat avec certains des acteurs les plus influents de l’écosystème économique camerounais (Go Ahead Africa Ltd, Groupe SABC, le Port Autonome de Kribi (PAK), BGFIBank Cameroon, Balafon Media et Vox Africa) ; et malgré des cas de force majeure cette 10ème édition a réussi à rassembler quarante-six participants (23 garçons et 23 filles) âgés de 18 à 35 ans sous le thème « Défis et opportunités de la jeunesse dans un environnement VUCA (Volatile, Incertain, Complexe et Ambigu) ». 
Pour le Fondateur de la PLF, Roland KWEMAIN, ces jeunes Leaders sont de véritables ambassadeurs de l’émergence et de la prospérité du Cameroun.  » Notre objectif est de former une classe mondiale de Jeunes Leaders/Entrepreneurs camerounais maîtres de leur destin et résolument au service de l’émergence de notre pays et même de notre continent, l’Afrique  » a-t-il déclaré.
Pendant quatre (4) jours intenses sous la direction experte du Coach/Formateur en Leadership Emile SINGEH et de l’Assistant-Coach Perrin KWENKEU, la promotion 2022 a développé grâce à un programme taillé sur mesure :
-Des Compétences en leadership et Management
-L’Esprit d’entreprise
-La Responsabilité sociale individuelle et de citoyenneté active
-La Connaissance et valorisation des grandes figures historiques du Cameroun
-L’Appropriation de la Vision d’un Cameroun prospère
Au cours de cette expérience de vie unique et extraordinaire ponctuée de courtes nuits (4 heures/jour) et de journées intenses en émotions, en acquisition de connaissances et en Teambuilding, les participants ont eu l’occasion de rencontrer et d’apprendre de leurs 2 Parrains :

·       Mr Patrice MELOM (DG PAK)
·       Mr Cyrille BOJIKO (Promoteur et PDG du Groupe Balafon Media)

Ils ont également eu l’occasion d’interagir avec certains des leaders et des managers qui animent la scène économique.
Parmi lesquels, nous pouvons citer M. Abakal MAHAMAT (Directeur Général, BGFIBank Cameroun), Dr Elizabeth FON (Directeur Général, TESHO), Mme Arielle WAFFO (Directeur Général, DKT Cameroun), M. Dagobert TAHA (Expert en Design Thinking), Mme Pulton ARUNA (Consultante, formatrice en management, service client, sécurité alimentaire, gestion de la qualité, techniques de formation). 
Durant le traditionnel « 24 heures Chrono » qui est en réalité l’élément clé du programme, les participants ont passé 24 heures d’affilée sans dormir afin de mieux se connaître et apprendre ainsi à dépasser leurs propres attentes. Pour cette édition, le « 24 heures Chrono » était dédié à réinventer le modèle économique de la CLA.
Alors que l’Académie Camerounaise de Leadership s’apprête à prendre un nouveau départ avec la Convention de ses 10 ans le 10 décembre 2022, emportant avec elle un événement annuel qui a rassemblé des centaines de jeunes leaders et entrepreneurs, il convient donc de réfléchir sur son héritage et à l’impact qu’ elle a eu au cours des dix (10) dernières années durant lesquelles l’événement s’est développé et a autonomisé 850 jeunes avec pour principale mission de former de meilleurs leaders afin de construire de meilleures communautés.
Emile Désiré SINGEH
Président, PLF

Pour plus d’informations sur la Fondation et ses activités, contactez :

Etienne Martial MVONDO
Directeur Exécutif, PLF
+237 6 96 79 99 60 / 6 51 51 40 59

Emile Désiré SINGEH
Président, PLF
+237 6 77 82 36 12

Continue Reading





The law society, is the student association of the department of English law of the University of Buea, Cameroon. It encompasses all duly registered students of this department. It has been existing since the creation of the university in 1993, and stands out as the largest departmental student association, with about three thousand (3000) students at both the undergraduate and postgraduate level. With the motto| “integritas veritas justicia” meaning integrity, truth and justice, the main objective of the student association is to maintain a link between the students and the administration. The association is made up of fourteen (14) executives elected through universal suffrage, representing the various levels. The association is headed by the president who together with his/her executive are elected for an unrenewable duration of one (1) academic year. During the course of the year, the association is charged with organizing activities such as moot courts, symposiums, debates, academic interactions etc.

As a student enrolled into the department of English law during the academic year 2019-2020 and consequently became a Bonafide member of the student association. I was then, immediately elected to serve as the class delegate of my class. As the class delegate, I was the representative of the over 700 students admitted as freshmen during that academic year. Due to my diligent service as class delegate, I got elected as vice president of the law society for the academic year 2020-2021. With my experience as class delegate and then vice president, I postulated for the post of president of the law society and eventually won the election in a historic election that saw the law society produce the first female president in its over 23years of existence.

During my tenure of office as president of the Law society, my executives and I, organized a series of activities to the benefit of the students. To promote harmony and enhance a sense of belonging amongst the students, we launched the T-shirt for the department of English law. To be worn by all the students in the department on Wednesdays. Also, to create awareness on sexual harassment which is a common phenomenon in the academic milieu, we organized a symposium that was well attended by officials in the university as well as the various heads of the judiciary in the south west region. To educate the students on how to avoid, overcame and tackle issues related to sexual harassment. We also continued the customary annual activities of the law society such as moot court, academic interactions and the Law society Gala. however, amongst the many activities and events we recorded, was the launching of the gigantic project to construct a Law society coffee stand. This project is aimed at building a spot that will enable law students of the university commune together out of the usual formal environment of the classroom. We equally championed advocacy campaigns at the level of the rectorate and the Nigerian consulate in Cameroon to inquire why Cameroonian students were not being admitted in the Nigerian Law school.

Continue Reading