Thursday, January 29, 2009


Monsieur le director himself speaks to Dulce Camer about his passion for film making and his desire to create a wave of change.
His mind is very intriguing and he is certainly very passionate about what he believes in, hopes for and expects to achieve.
Whilst his motive is to rock the boat and create some change, he is also very focused on black image and representation in the media.
Below is the interview, happy reading y'all!

DC: Why did the chicken cross the road?
CN: Erm…to get away from white people [he laughs]

DC: Who is Cyril, the person?
CN: I am a funny, down to earth person who is very focused on his dreams and aspirations. I am also a born and bred Kumba boy! [He laughs]

DC: How did you get into directing?
CN: Erm…it started with creativity, I have always been creative and plus every time I watched a movie or programme, I always thought I could do a better job. I met the right people and the rest is as they say…is history.

DC: What is your academic background?
CN: “a bi Sasse boy [he laughs]” I did law at the University of Buea and also did computer support and then management and I am trying to get another degree in advertising.

DC: How do you get down to writing your scripts?
CN: I write my scripts everyday as the inspiration comes.

DC: How would you improve the education standards in Cameroon?
CN: [he laughs]…on record or off record?
DC: On record!
CN: Ok, I will erm…change the curriculum that the students study. I would give the kids something far more important to study than the nonsense they have at the moment. I would also make education free.

With the late Vashti Jones

Late Vashti Jones & Cyril
DC: How can we increase the level of creativity we see in Cameroon?
CN: It is hard to do as there are unnecessary checks and balances. We need to cut off the barriers and limitations. I do believe that there are a lot of creative and talented individuals in that country and they are unable to express themselves.

Nollywood actor Desmond Elliot & Cyril
DC: Do you think we as Africans care much about our origins when we move to the West?
CN: Origins, that is where you come from like the word says. It has a lot to with your mental frame. A lot of people think that in some shape or form they are “inferior” to some “people” so when they leave Africa to go to the West, they try to assimilate and in assimilation they discard their better sense of judgement in order to make it. Some will shorten their names so that the Western people can better pronounce or say it. We always feel as if we need to please or satisfy them and let them try to define us.

DC: Can we as Africans change the negative perception of Africa?
CN: If the Africans want to improve that perception, they can do it in no time. Look at the people in power, they are just as bad. I think it starts from within a person…that is a change. Education has a lot to do with it and I don’t mean institutional

DC: Are the younger generations of Africans in the West, aware of their origins?
CN: Yes they are aware of it but they are trying to make it disappear. The ones that come here at a very young age do not remember their years back in their old society plus what they study at school some do not even want to be associated with their origins.

DC: How supportive have people been towards you?
CN: They have been very supportive, everyone has.

DC: What else do you do apart from directing and writing?
CN: On set, I do anything else

DC: Do you use Cameroonians in your work?
CN: Cameroonians are very tough and I have tried so hard with them! When I send out messages for castings, I always get replies from Cameroonians wanting some extra explanation of what it’s all about while those from other countries will just say ok I will be there but not the Cameroonians! So now, I have a few Cameroonians I work with who understand the game.

DC: Are they professional?
CN: Well on my set, they have to be.

DC: Are the “normal” careers still desired by our parents in your view?
CN: I think so…reason I say this is because I have seen so may young people with immense talent that when you approach them and speak to them to highlight their talent, they become so excited about it but when they go home and you approach them later, they are no longer interested. At this point, I know where that decision has come from – their parents who only regard being a doctor or a lawyer as the only careers.

DC: What themes are you obsessed with in your production?
CN: Image

DC: What do you mean by image?
CN: I have a plan which is to get my foot on the door and get my name out there as a director and then I will be following the footsteps of Spike Lee, who is my role model by the way.
He does not portray blacks in stereotypical roles. In Hollywood portrayal of blacks, they are shown as stupid and idiotic. Loften Mitchell, a writer on black theatre quotes that “there has been a deliberate distortion of an image” where you have to stereotype yourself to be accepted. I will be focusing on stories that project blacks as much more than killers and gangsters – that is my obsession – the image I am giving out of black people.

DC: Right!

DC: What motivates you?
CN: I am motivated by positivity. I like surrounding myself with positive people who dream big like I do, this motivates me to do more. I have no limitations.

DC: What is your goal?
CN: My goal is to change the world through movie making, one way or the other. My stories will bring change especially to mother Africa – that is my number one priority.

DC: What advise do you have for someone wishing to follow soot?
CN: The sky is the limit and don’t give up on your dream even if you meet negative people. Stay in school and study and do your passion on the side. Always try to use your imaginations the best you can

DC: What new materials are you working on? If any?
CN: I am currently working on a new film series called “Back Pack Boyz” which will be shot throughout the Summer of 2009. You should visit the website and view some Trailers / teasers at

DC: How do you envisage this year 2009 to be creatively?
CN: 2009 will be a good year for me because I will be diving full time into filmmaking after May. I have a lot of incomplete scripts that I will finally have the time to tie up the lose ends and go out looking for more projects. I also plan to visit the UK and check out the scenery.

DC: Ok, we are waiting!

DC: Obama becoming the first black president of America, has that had an impact on you at all?
CN: It means a lot to everybody. His plans to change the economy are so similar to mine that I have come to the conclusion that it must be a black thing! Honestly, I can’t imagine why his predecessors never thought of all the ideas he is putting forth to have the economy bounce back. For instance, for many years I had always thought about going after the rich people in order to ease some of the problems of the poor whereas the leaders before Obama had always thrived to protect the rich at the expense of the poor.
DC: Is he (Obama) capable of changing the world?
CN: Oh yes!! Barack “The Magnificent” is the answer to many questions! He is moving fast too so I like him a lot. Did you realise that the last of the Israeli terrorist invaders left Gaza the day Obama took oath of office? That’s change happening right there. Also, he has already signed an order to close Guantanamo Prison within a year. That place was a disgrace to humanity, and at the same time a symbol of American Imperialism. He will do good I tell you. May God/ Allah bless the man and his family!

DC: What is hope in your opinion?
CN: Hope is the feeling that what is wanted can be had, that events will turn out for the best. You can’t have hope (don’t need hope) if everything in life is going just the way you want. It is obvious all around the world that society is in a dire need of reformation. Wars, poverty, unscrupulous politicians, IMF, famine, frustration and general disillusionment has got the common people “hoping” that one day their conditions will change for the better. That one day, “third world” leaders will actually be born with brains in their heads so they can think of their own people before they sign away their birthrights to Western parasites. That the next presidents will bring development to their countries! That one day all the gun manufacturers of the world will fall down and die so that there will be no more wars, so that our poor mothers won’t have to panic every time their children venture unto the streets of Soweto, Compton, Gaza, Mogadishu, Harlem, Sarajevo, Darfur, Tibet, Kingston etc…

DC: Wow…
DC: and Success?
CN: Success is when all these dreams and aspirations have all been answered by the most high and we’re living stress free and in perfect contentment! And that we go to sleep at night and wake up to a new face at Etoudi Palace!

DC: Oh, I cannot finish this interview without asking about your music collection! I hear it is vast!
CN: Ha haa [he laughs] I am old skool! I don’t like the new music because it is baseless and stupid so I don’t listen to it. I don’t like hiphop nor coupe décalé either because they have so much power and influence over their audience. If they were to change their lyrics, they would make a real change. I like things that make sense, reggae is my number 1. On my playlist, my number one artist is Dobet Gnahore, she is from Ivory Coast and she can play any of the traditional instruments very well. Her father, Boni Gnahore taught her all she knows.

DC: Okay..thank you so much!
CN: Thank you
DC: Dulce Camer
CN: Cyril Nambangi

Thanks for checking the blog y'all and let's each try to do something we can to make change happen where we are. It can start in your neighbourhood, in your community, in your town, in your city, in your country, in your part of the world...all it takes is one person with the right idea and the right attitude. I am going to borrow Amabel Niba of African Vibe Magazine's favourite quote by Hellen Keller "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"
Stay sweet

Monday, January 26, 2009


BHF Magazine is a new online and print magazine founded in 2007 by Geoffrey and Jennifer Olisa. It is a quarterly publication directed at everyone with the aim to present an accurate view of what it means to be African by bringing to the forefront the modern, forward-thinking, business orientated, proud to be African and doing it for themselves individuals through Fashion, Art culture etc and shattering the widely popular notion of Africa as a backwards, coarse and uncultured continent.
It also has one of our paysan, Bernice Angoh, who is a fab writer (Lemonade Street) as a contributor!

Check it out and grab a copy at
Also catch their group on Facebook.
Stay Sweet

Thursday, January 22, 2009


African Boy by Menoosha & Manifest

Butterfly by Wax Ndifonka

Never Surrender by Kilian

Camer representors! Big up to all of yous doing your own thang!
One Love
Stay Sweet

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Fashion from Cameroon is attaining new heights and this can be seen from the vast amount of talents and creativity that are out there from Imane Ayissi to Anggy Haif to KiRette Couture to Olivia Ervi, they are all doing their best to represent and to take fashion to a whole new level.

From this list of creativity and talent is the fashion label "Coté Minou" which was launched in 2006 by two very creative and very fashion-ABLE girls by the name of Maryanne E. Mokoko and Stephanie T. Mouapi of Laurel, MD. These ladies have not failed to deliver high quality and very innovative and glamourous designs.
Here below is my interview with da girls...happy reading!

DC: I love fashion because....!

Maryanne: Fashion is a wearable type of art, used in a variety of ways to express the type of person I have chosen to be.
Stephanie: Fashion is always changing. It allows for versatility and allows my imagination to run wild. Fashion promotes uniqueness. Everybody or most people, consciously decide how they want to portray themselves, the fun part are the reactions from the onlookers. We know everyone has an opinion and they are never wrong.

DC: If you were to choose a celebrity (male or female) to change their style, who would it be and why?

Maryanne: Not necessarily to change their style, but there are so many influential men and women in the music and film industry of which it will be my pleasure to dress. Examples are Jada and Will Smith, Alicia Keys and Common just to name but a few!
Stephanie: I would not want to change anybody's style I would rather love to style celebrities from all over the world. If I had to style any two celebrities my choices would be Rihanna and Shia Labeouf. They are consistent with their looks and I believe coming up with something for either one of them would be lots of fun.

DC: How did you come to choosing the name “Cote Minou”?

CM: Côté is french for corner. The word Minou was formulated by the combination of both of our nicknames Maryanne: coucou and Stephanie: nini and with M being the first letter of both of our last names. So in essence it is Maryanne and Stephanie's corner!

DC: Describe to us the girls (characters) behind Cote Minou in 4 adjectives?

Maryanne: Outgoing, ingenious, funny, ambitious.
Stephanie: Creative, dreamy, straight forward, laid-back.

DC: Why did you become fashion designers?

Maryanne: We wanted to put Africa on the map. We both loved drawing clothes, so we decided to turn a hobby into a lifestyle by helping people see the variety of creative ways by which one can wear theAfrican cloths. They do say you are what you wear...We are African...AKA the citizens of the birth place of fashion!
Stephanie: The love for fashion. The most important decision we made was choosing African print as our signature fabric. Designing a garment and going through the process of making it is nerve-racking. But when you see the finished product, the satisfaction is overwhelming and the feeling never gets old. The best part is watchingthe customers going crazy over the designs. I always watched out for the different ways they accessorise their outfits.
DC: Well said, by the way!
DC: Where you formally trained?

CM: No, we were not formally trained.

DC: What is the best thing of coming from Cameroon?

Maryanne: ..Good One! We have the best food and we are globally known as the citizens of "Africa in Miniature". Diversity at it's best and we try to remain at peace.
Stephanie: Our life style. The bonds we make with each other are unbreakable. If there is one thing God is proud of Cameroonians it will be the: "Love your neighbours as yourself" thing. Actually we love the neighbourhood as ourselves. It is hard to know who is blood related and who is not!

DC: Describe to us your individual fashion styles!

Maryanne: I have different styles, I consider myself to be alltogether Funky, classy, vintage, mix and match, casual..depends on where I am going.
Stephanie: I don't think I can describe my fashion style because it changes with the occasion and the season. All I can say is I like looking different from others.

DC: Who or what has inspired you?

Maryanne: Oohh ..Many driven and ambitious people in my family as well as themes such as music, movies, nature, textures, colors, patterns and so on.
Stephanie: The people who inspired me are my aunts. I have 5 aunts who can do a mean job with a sewing machine! One of them is a designer and when I was younger, she would let me design my white dresses for school. Three of them are interior designers and the other aunt sews for a living.
DC: What support did you get from your families?

Maryanne: Actually, we have gotten a lot of support from our families. Our mothers are proud, and so are our fathers. They are making sure we stay focused and level headed. We can't blame them.
Stephanie: It took a while for my family to understand what we wanted to do. They came around with little difficulty and now they are the best supporters one can wish for. So far my mom has bought 2 Coté Minou originals!

DC: How do you source out your fabrics?

CM: We source our fabrics from a variety of places. We get fabrics from Ghana, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Cameroon, as well as here in theUnited States

DC: Who does the actual sewing?
CM: We do not do all the sewing but we have a number of tailors who sew our designs.
DC: How do you decide on which model wears what outfit during a fashion shoot or show?

Maryanne: Whatever clothing fits best! For fashion shows, we take into consideration their skin tone and body and height type as well as dress size. For fashion shoots, it all depends on the theme or look we are going for with the shoot. I believe we have tried and successfully completed a variety of looks to help show the diversity in our designs.
Stephanie: There are a number of aspects to consider when picking out a model. First we put into consideration the type of event or the occasion we need the model for. Then, we consider the design therefore the body type we need. The skin tone plays a major role in picking out the fabric especially for photo shoots. I am particular about the height and the walk when it comes to runway. I prefer tall girls and a great walk that sells the garment.

DC: What are your visions for Cote Minou?
Maryanne: We intend to have a fashion house back home in Cameroon and also have our clothes available in many cities in the US and in the world.
Stephanie: Also we want to participate in as many "fashion weeks"as humanly possible!
DC: What are your academic backgrounds?

Maryanne: I have an architecture and design background .
Stephanie: I have a Biology and Social Sciences background.
DC: different, okay!
DC: Tell us your personal reaction(s) to Obama being elected president.

Maryanne: You should have seen us that night we were screaming so loud we almost lost our voices. I am truly happy about this change. He is very gifted and I hope he will be a true leader and enlighten many.
Stephanie: We popped champaign that night and drank the entire bottle! The feelings I felt that night were magical and unbelievable at first. I believe he was hand-picked and anointed by God. I pray his term is a success!
DC: Did this have an impact on you at all?

Maryanne: Yes , I can safely say prior to his campaign, I never thought that in our lifetime (well at least this early in our lifetime) we would have the opportunity to be served by a black President. He ran the best campaign ever and I hope I grow up to be as smart and intuitive as he is.
Stephanie: To me, Obama gave new meaning to the word HOPE and the concept of the American dream. The possibilities in this country are endless. This historical event has taught me never to give up on my dreams nor get discouraged. We saw his struggle and saw all the negativity he had to endure but he rose to the occasion without one dirty word. He is my Hero.
DC: He is and will continue to be an inspiration to many.
DC: How competitive is the fashion world?

Maryanne: I think the fashion world is very competitive that is why every designer should consider himself/herself as his/her own competition and strive to make himself/herself better than he/she is now.
Stephanie: The competition begins with me as a designer. I am always trying to figure ways to improve my designs. When it comes to other designers the main goal is to always be unique with your ideas. While staying unique you also have the customers in mind. It is like thinking outside the box with a lot of restraint. We cannot go too crazy yet, at this level we are doing our utmost best to appeal to our customers. The customers make the competition interesting.

DC: What has been the response so far towards your label, Coté Minou?

Maryanne: I think I can say, a great deal of people appreciate ourwork, we thank God. I once heard a customer say she wanted to change her entire closet to our clothes. She is one of our frequent customers...
Stephanie: It is unbelievable sometimes when I think of the response we have been getting. It has been great, I cannot complain! We really appreciate all the love and support we get from people out there. We are grateful to be where we are right now. God has been good to us and hopefully we are moving in the right direction.
DC: Are your clothes available internationally?

CM: Yes they are, not in stores though but we can ship orders to anywhere.

DC: How can International customers get their hands on them then?

CM: Once you select a style from our collections and send us your measurements, we then have it made for you and mailed to you. We have done so for some of our customers in Europe. You would have to pay for shipping though... The best way to contact us now is Facebook another alternative is leaving a comment on the blog so we can get back to you.
DC: Would you be putting on a fashion show in Europe – say London anytime soon or in the near future?

Maryanne: Whenever we are invited...We would love to but as of now the response is not yet, hopefully soon...
Stephanie: We are hopeful.... that will be one dream come true on the list of many dreams. We accept invitations to all corners of the globe. One of the perks of being in the fashion business is traveling and meeting people from all over the world. With any luck in the near future we will be in a city near you.
DC: What is the recipe for success in your eyes?
Maryanne: Determination, execution, persistence and evaluation. Keys to success also involve good communication and the ability to take initiative as well as complete tasks to a level of satisfaction.
Stephanie: The first ingredient is determination. You cannot give up just because things do not go as planned. Perseverance requires lots of patience and hard work. Success might be handed to you but you need to work hard to keep it; that is one thing I never forget. Learn from all the mistakes you make. Mistakes should make you smarter; they simply mean next time you will save yourself some trouble. One other ingredient is humility and never forget where you come from. Success comes and goes, so you have to be mentally ready for any changes.

Please visit them at:
Their website will be launched soon.
PS: Catch the Coté Minou girls at a fashion project which will be held here in London this autumn. Details to be disclosed at a later date ;-)
DC: Dulce Camer
CM: Coté Minou

Thanks for reading and checking the blog!
Stay sweet and definitely stay tuned

Monday, January 12, 2009


KiRette Couture is a revolution. And at its helm are creators Anrette Ngafor and Kibonen Nfi.

Influenced by their passion for fashion and their love of their roots, the duo weave traditional and contemporary styles to bring African sexy back to the street and the catwalk. Hatched in the New York chic bubble, KiRette aims to create a new fashion language that transcends racial and cultural borders.

(Anrette & Kibonen)

They specialise in tailored, handcrafted and limited edition pieces. All their products are reasonably priced. Do you love fashion, the arts or just the sweet sensation of creative freedom? Then hop onboard and spread the word. Help turn vogue up-side-down together with KiRette!

UK Branch: Anrette Ngafor (CEO)
Tel: +44 (0)7912 602 095
US Branch: Kibonen Nfi (CEO)
Media enquiries:
Ngum Ngafor
Tel: +44 7944 043 954
Kathleen Ndongmo
For more information, please visit: http// (under construction).

I am so loving their designs, very Funky, very Fresh and more than Fabulous in my opinion. It has an edge and I am so looking forward to being in one of their lines. Watch out for my interview with the lady KiRettettes soon on Dulce Camer!

Stay sweet y'all