Tuesday, November 18, 2008


When I interviewed this lady, I have to say that I was totally blown away. In fact even before the interview took place, honestly, I was not sure how she would be even though I was open and ready for anything. I did not even expect her to say yes when I wrote to her requesting for the interview. I thought she would have a different attitude simply because of where African Vibes Magazine is in terms of recognition.

She totally blew me away and even left me with "good" anxiety. Her desire for change, to be part of that change and to lead that change in the perception of Africa as a whole, her patriotism and pride in her mother continent touched me profusely that I was so excited, agitated and encouraged after speaking to her.
Her "yes we can" attitude is definitely worth grasping and I know, no, I believe that if we all grasp this atttitude, forgetting our respective countries and thinking of Africa as one "country" we will be able to make a huge difference and impact in it's current state.
I am so excited that I could just go on and on however, I would like to share with you what she had to say. Please leave your comments as usual, it can only make Dulce Camer grow stronger and in the direction you all want it to go.
Happy Reading y'all!
Amabel and Elvis at Devry Awards

DC: Why was African Vibes Magazine created?
AN: Well the motivation behind AVM was to give back hope to Africans and a reason to be proud of who they are. I wanted AVM to paint a more hopeful picture of Africa and Africans that is brighter than the negative images we see in the media often.

Amabel and Eto'o
DC: Were you formally trained?
AN: I do not have a journalism degree no. I jumped into the water and learnt along the way.

Amabel and models and designers at AVMag bling in Atlanta

DC: How hard or easy is it starting a magazine empire?
AN: Oh it is hard [she laughs], very hard and that is why people come in and out of it all the time. It is very difficult because there are challenges - limited income, limited knowledge, finding the right people etc. There is so much to learn, especially knowing your market base.

DC: What about funding? How did you get the initial funding?
AN: It was and still is self funded. I have a partner who is also a friend who believed in this and together with help from other friends and family we have journeyed through 2 years, going on 3.

Amabel interviewing Eto'o

DC: What about paid advertisers?
AN: We do get them but not as many as I would like. Some of the advertisers we are interested in are only interested in the bigger magazines so we have to grow to be able to attract them.

DC: What do you think of the image of Africa in the West?
AN: Well, I definitely feel that it is improving. I am saying this because I get a lot of messages from people who are seeing a lot of changes taking place. Some of the challenges however is not enough Africans working together for this good. We have a long way to go as Africans but I know that we (AVM) are doing our part and we will continue to do so.

Amabel and Archbishop Tutu

DC: Do you think that it is up to us Africans to change this poor image of Africa?
AN: Absolutely! If Africans who have always been at a disadvantage don't do it then who should? We need to develop pride for our continent. I think lack of patriotism is also a problem. We need to be proud of who we are and where we come from.

Amabel and Adewale during an interview

DC: What is your professional background?
AN: I have a Bachelors in Business and an MBA

DC: Why did you decide on a magazine?
AN: I always saw a magazine as a medium of communication where we could present Africans vibrantly with a presentation that will appeal to a broad audience. In today's world, the internet is providing many new tools that can also do that and we are actively involved in taking advantage of the online medium as well.

Amabel at AVMag spring bling 2007
DC: Is it available in print too or only online?
AN: It is available in print. We also provide a digital edition which is available online.

Amabel at AVMag spring bling 2006
DC: How can international customers get a copy?
AN: Right at this moment we only provide the digital edition to international customers unless they choose to purchase an issue and pay for the shipping which can be quite expensive.

DC: How do you deal with distributors?
AN: The way that distribution works is on a consignment basis. The challenge is getting a major distributor to represent you as they are very picky. We went through a tough selection process and were finally picked up by a National distributor with global representation. We also work with University bookstores, black bookstores, libraries and some ethnic stores.

DC: If you were not into magazine editing, what else would you have done?
AN: So many things. I am a versatile personality. That is why I chose a magazine because there is so much you can do with it! I would have done something in the fashion industry and probably will in the future. I love fashion!

Amabel and Angie Stone

DC: Where do you draw your strength from?
AN: Wow..I draw strength from so many people I meet. From people that have overcome challenges, random people I meet, people I have interviewed, my mother, my brother, my sisters and my friends.

Amabel and Derek Luke

DC: What are your goals?
AN: At the moment my goals center around the magazine. I want it to be the most influential magazine representing Africa. I want it to be a global publication and not just a US publication. My vision is to make it into a household brand, a brand every African will be proud of but a brand that encourages people to connect and invest in Africa and Africans.

DC: What did you want to be when growing up?
AN: I wanted to be a teacher or a lawyer...I still love both

DC: What did your parents say about this career choice?
AN: Well, I don't think they had the opportunity to have a say but they have been very supportive and encouraging. My mother makes me believe I could conquer the world.

Amabel and actor Jimmy Jean Louis at PAFF
DC: Do you think that the views and opinions of our parents concerning our career choices are changing?
AN: Yeah! Either their views are changing or they are forced to accept the career choices we make. Things are evolving, we are forced to embrace other options and not just be set on the old career paths.

Amabel and Asalfo of Magic System

DC: What is your take on the freedom of speech in Cameroon?
AN: Well.. I cannot elaborate on the current situation as I have not been to Cameroon for a while. The media is usually not free but one thing I have found exciting about this is that however much governments try to control information - with the wave of the internet, text messaging and camera phones, information still gets seen and heard. Everyone is now a journalist - people are increasingly able to share information regardless of limitations on their freedoms!

Amabel and Tokiya at the AVMag spring bling in Atlanta

DC: Who has been the most inspiring African celebrity you have featured on the magazine and why?
AN: [She laughs] that is a tough one! All the people I have spoken to have inspired me in some ways. I have learnt so much from all of them and I am not sure I can pick one. Archbishop Tumi, inspired me a lot, seeing someone who is pushing forward for Africa, giving us hope. Adewale, the Nigerian actor was inspiring and encouraging and very positive, Samuel Eto'o, the same, inspirational among others. I can't pick one out!

As a guest speaker at Young African Professionals meeting

DC: Where is African Vibes Magazine heading?
AN: Well, AVM is taking advantage of all technological advances that are available. One responsibility of ours is to get Africans to talk. If we look at the wars or disagreements that exist in Africa it is sometimes due to lack of communication between groups with differences. The future of AVM lies within uniting, empowering, educating, motivating and inspiring all Africans across the globe. We have ongoing projects that will impact those in Africa. The "Village Effort" for example is a project which will be ongoing to support sustainable development across the continent. We will also have award events which will be held to show our appreciation to those who are doing great works back in Africa. We want to share our African experience with the world.

DC: What is your motto in life?
AN: I have many words I lean on but one thing I live by is not to worry about those judging me or telling me I will fail because I know that one of the best ways I can learn to do something better is by making mistakes and learning from them. I also know that no matter how small my mistakes or how big; no matter how much a mistake knocks the air out of me, as long as it does not kill me, I will knock the dust off my sleeve, pick up my wits about me and charge on forward armed with the lessons learnt from the experience.
I have a quote which I love, it is by Hellen Keller and it states "I am only one but still I am one, I cannot do everything but still I can do something and because I cannot do everything I will not refuse to do the something that I can do"

Amabel with her panellists at the ADF global peace summit 2008
DC: You recently won an award, what was it for?
AN: The award was the Devry Distinguished Alumni Award. The university was celebrating it's 25th year in Southern California by honoring 5 outstanding alumnus in the entire Southern California region. I was quite honored to have been selected as one of them.

DC: Congratulations! Keep doing what you are doing because you are an inspiration to many.
AN: Thank You

DC: Dulce Camer
AN: Amabel Niba
To get your copy or to subscribe, please check out http://www.africanvibes.com/

Thanks for reading Dulce Camer peeps, thanks for the support. Please contact me if you have anything you want me to put on the blog, ie, events, shows, etc etc.
Roll on next talent
Stay sweet


Belle Niba said...

I enjoyed doing the interview with you Cynthia. Keep doing your thing.

Amabel Niba

Anonymous said...

wow! v inspiring. how can you call it work when u get to rub shoulders with derek luke and jimmy jean louis! those brothas are just finnnnnnnnneeeeeeee. keep doin' your thing amabel. your drive and vision are truly inspiring. love that dress in the pic with jimmy jean-louis btw.


Dulce said...

Thanx Belle for your time, again I am honoured and humbled to have been able to speak to you.
Du courage ma soeur!

Anonymous said...

Impressive interview. Amabel Niba is pretty inspiring. I like the quality of the magazine. Keep doing what you're doing.
I hope one day, the mag will also be distributed in Cameroon and Africa as a whole. Thanks Dulce for this.

Dulce said...

You are welcome Kamer.
Let's rep Camer y'all
Amor siempre

Anonymous said...

Great Interview! Amabel is an inspirational young woman. Loved her Hellen quote!


Anonymous said...

i say! have not been on here in a while. Go girlie!
mamfe oranges

Anonymous said...

Great interview. Very intelligent young lady and wish her all the best!

Menoosha said...

Did you see how Eto'o was EYEING her???? Yay! Great interview! Great interviewer! Great interviewee! ;-)

Daisy E said...

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Amabel is an inspiration to all of us. Great job Cynthia

Dulce said...

Menoosha ma gurl, I saw how he was eyeing her - she is a beauty though and so gentle looking!
Thanks for the comment babe

Dulce said...

Daisy girl, I tell you! Her inspiration and vision are to be copied!
Can't wait to have you too on the blog ;-)

Anonymous said...

Wow, this is one empowering lady and her heart's in the right place. Looking forward to see this magazine take over the world.

Dulce said...

Thx Jojo, comment appreciated.
One Love

Prince Hamilton said...

This is great stuff; it is quantitative and qualitative too. Keep up the good work for if you are not standing and are not down then you are up and going no matter the pace.