Featured

Stanley Enow: 10 Things I Love About Cameroon

Douala-based rapper Stanley Enow selects the 10 things he loves the most about Cameroon.

In our “10 Things I Love” series we ask our favorite musicians, artists & personalities to tell us what they like the most about their home country.


In this new installment Douala-based rapper Stanley Enow, who released his debut album Soldier Like Ma Papa last year, shares the 10 things he loves the most about Cameroon.

"Impossible N'est Pas Camerounais"

A good number of our people live by this Cameroonian motto: Impossible N’est Pas Camerounais, meaning "Nothing Is Impossible to a Cameroonian." This slogan is a great source of motivation. It’s like Obama’s famous "Yes We Can."

Life in Africa is not easy and Cameroon is no exception, however Cameroonians have been blessed with a go-getter spirit. Faced with all the challenges that an average African child faces on a daily basis, Cameroonians don't give in to all apparent limitations.

With myself as an example, I always go that extra mile. To me everything is possible no matter what.

A view of Akwa, Doula. Creative Commons photo courtesy of Colette Ngo Ndjom (via Flickr).

Cameroonians Are Becoming More and More Supportive Towards Their Artists.

During recent times, I have experienced magical sensations when on stage. I find the crowd singing fully to my songs, screaming and fainting, it becomes very interesting for me living the life of a performer.

The connection you get from the crowd keeps you going and makes you feel there's something deeper than music. Cameroon is the place to be! I can't brag enough!

The Benefits of Two Official Languages

English and French are spoken as official languages. This gives virtually all Cameroonians (once they realize the potential) the unique capacity to easily cut through and across most parts of Africa and parts of the world breaking language barriers with considerable ease.

Thanks to the fact that I use English and French in my music it easily receives attention from various parts of the continent. For example, Ghanians, Congolese, Nigerians, French, Americans, English-speaking Europeans can quite easily understand the message in my music.

Cameroon; Africa In Miniature

We have about 240 ethnic groups in Cameroon and various local languages. This alongside the geography, history, architectural past, and culture, has earned Cameroon the description “Africa In Miniature.”

I feel amazed as I have friends and fans of various ethnic groups and we all live in harmony. Imagine the beauty of a diversified fan base appreciating your music in various ways according to their cultural and ethnic realities.

"Colors of Douala." Creative Commons image courtesy of Christine Vaufrey (via Flickr).

Kind Hearts

I have been given the opportunity to travel and see the world and I have been across parts of Africa, I have met people of different races and cultures. The people of Africa in general are kind hearted and respectful but those in Cameroon I would say are beyond imagination!

Can you imagine a country whereby everyone comes and feels at home? Well, let me tell you other Africans, Europeans, Asians reading this; Cameroon is the best place in Africa you can easily visit! But remember, once you get to Cameroon you may be tempted to relocate here for good :)

Ndolè, Fufu and Eru, Mbongo Tchobi, Achu, Koki...

One of the most captivating points of a nation is its meals. We have a variety of delicious traditional meals you will never find anywhere else in Africa. We have Ndolè, we have Mbongo Tchobi, we have Achu, we have Koki, we have Koki Corn, we have Nkwi...

When ever I travel out of Cameroon I quickly get home sick as I miss my Fufu and Eru which is my traditional meal from my tribe Bayangi from Manyu. Our meals also serve as a source of inspiration.

I remember singing about Fufu and Eru in one of my soul tracks, "Have A Dream" off my album Soldier Like Ma Papa.

Our Education System

Our education system is one of the best in Central Africa. Students from several African countries for example Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Nigeria come to Cameroon for specialised training. During their stay here they definitely learn about our culture and export our music to their various countries. That is one of the means via which my music gets exported to other parts of Francophone Africa especially.

Interior Decor and Fashion Design is the New Cool

Cameroonian buildings are as beautiful as those in Ghana as more and more Diasporans invest back in the country and also bring in their refined skills, talent and expertise. Both local and imported fabrics are used to create a unique taste and a feel of our urban scenery.

Cameroon has grown leaps and bounds the last five years in terms of its lifestyle. New cool spots and events are springing up here and there to create a deserving setting for the 'Bushfallers' (visiting Diasporans) and returnees.

It is beautiful when one goes into a local food joint served in very a cool space with Wifi connection. It makes life easier in Cameroon and enables us to always remain connected.

The Beauty of the Cameroonian Woman

African women in general have something unique. There is nothing as pleasing as seeing a well-built dark skinned lady sitting next to you say at the airport or in the bank!

I remember the catchy phrases in my first official song, "Hein Pere," in which I celebrated the beauty of the Cameroonian woman incarnated in our national divas and heroines such as Charlotte Dipanda, Lady Ponce and Kareyce Fotso.

Political Stability

One of the greatest things a nation needs to ensure sustainable development is peace and political stability. Imagine a situation whereby you have all the wealth on Earth but the climate is tense and constantly insecure like in some parts of Central Africa where there are constant political upheavals.

If the people live in constant fear, people will probably not be disposed to enjoy music to its fullest no matter how good it is. God Almighty has spared us so far from such challenges and we greatly thank Him.

popular

Introducing OkayAfrica's 100 Women 2020 List

Celebrating African Women Laying the Groundwork for the Future

It would not be hyperbole to consider the individuals we're honoring for OkayAfrica's 100 Women 2020 list as architects of the future.

This is to say that these women are building infrastructure, both literally and metaphorically, for future generations in Africa and in the Diaspora. And they are doing so intentionally, reaching back, laterally, and forward to bridge gaps and make sure the steps they built—and not without hard work, mines of microaggressions, and challenges—are sturdy enough for the next ascent.

In short, the women on this year's list are laying the groundwork for other women to follow. It's what late author and American novelist Toni Morrison would call your "real job."

"I tell my students, 'When you get these jobs that you have been so brilliantly trained for, just remember that your real job is that if you are free, you need to free somebody else. If you have some power, then your job is to empower somebody else."

And that's what inspired us in the curation of this year's list. Our honorees use various mediums to get the job done—DJ's, fashion designers, historians, anthropologists, and even venture capitalists—but each with the mission to clear the road ahead for generations to come. Incredible African women like Eden Ghebreselassie, a marketing lead at ESPN who created a non-profit to fight energy poverty in Eritrea; or Baratang Miya, who is quite literally building technology clubs for disadvantaged youth in South Africa.

There are the builds that aren't physically tangible—movements that inspire women to show up confidently in their skin, like Enam Asiama's quest to normalize plus-sized bodies and Frédérique (Freddie) Harrel's push for Black and African women to embrace the kink and curl of their hair.

And then there are those who use their words to build power, to take control of the narrative, and to usher in true inclusion and equity. Journalists, (sisters Nikki and Lola Ogunnaike), a novelist (Oyinkan Braithwaite), a media maven (Yolisa Phahle), and a number of historians (Nana Oforiatta Ayim, Leïla Sy) to name a few.

In a time of uncertainty in the world, there's assuredness in the mission to bring up our people. We know this moment of global challenge won't last. It is why we are moving forward to share this labor of love with you, our trusted and loyal audience. We hope that this list serves as a beacon for you during this moment—insurance that future generations will be alright. And we have our honorees to thank for securing that future.

EXPERIENCE 100 WOMEN 2020

The annual OkayAfrica 100 Women List is our effort to acknowledge and uplift African women, not only as a resource that has and will continue to enrich the world we live in, but as a group that deserves to be recognized, reinforced and treasured on a global scale. In the spirit of building infrastructure, this year's list will go beyond the month of March (Women's History Month in America) and close in September during Women's Month in South Africa.

100 women 2020

Audio
Burna Boy 'African Giant' money cover art by Sajjad.

The 20 Essential Burna Boy Songs

We comb through the Nigerian star's hit-filled discography to select 20 essential songs from the African Giant.

Since bursting onto the scene in 2012 with his chart-topping single, "Like to Party," and the subsequent release of his debut album, L.I.F.E - Leaving an Impact for eternity, Burna Boy has continued to prove time and again that he is a force to be reckoned with.

The African Giant has, over the years, built a remarkable musical identity around the ardent blend of dancehall, hip-hop, reggae, R&B, and afropop to create a game-changing genre he calls afro-fusion. The result has been top tier singles, phenomenal collaborations, and global stardom—with several accolades under his belt which include a Grammy nomination and African Giant earning a spot on many publications' best albums of 2019.

We thought to delve into his hit-filled discography to bring you The 20 Essential Burna Boy Songs.

This list is in no particular order.

Keep reading... Show less
popular
Image courtesy of Lula Ali Ismaïl

'Dhalinyaro' Is the Female Coming-of-Age Story Bringing Djibouti's Film Industry to Life

The must-watch film, from Lula Ali Ismaïl, paints a novel picture of Djibouti's capital city through the story of three friends.

If you're having a tough time recalling the last movie you watched from Djibouti, it's likely because you have never watched one before. With an almost non-existent film industry in the country, Lula Ali Ismaïl, tells a beautiful coming of age story of three young female Djiboutian teenagers at the cusp of womanhood. Dhalinyaro offers a never-before-seen view of Djibouti City as a stunning, dynamic city that blends modernity and tradition—a city in which the youth, like all youth everywhere, struggle to decide what their futures will look like. It's a beautiful story of friendship, family, dreams and love from a female filmmaker who wants to tell a "universal story of youth," but set in the country she loves—Djibouti.

The story revolves around the lives of three young friends from different socio-economic backgrounds, with completely varied attitudes towards life, but bound by a deep friendship. There is Asma, the conservative academic genius who dreams of going to medical school and hails from a modest family. Hibo, a rebellious, liberal, spoiled girl from a very wealthy family who learns to be a better friend as the film evolves and finally Deka. Deka is the binding force in the friendship, a brilliant though sometimes naïve teen who finds herself torn between her divorced mother's ambitions to give her a better life having saved up all her life for her to go to university abroad, and her own conviction that she wants to study and succeed in her own country.

Okayafrica contributor, Ciku Kimeria speaks to Ismaïl on her groundbreaking film, her hopes for the filmmaking industry and the universality of stories.

Keep reading... Show less
popular

Stogie T Enlists Nasty C, Boity, Nadia Nakai and More, for ‘The Empire of Sheep’ Deluxe Edition

Stream the deluxe version of Stogie T's EP 'The Empire of Sheep' featuring Nasty C, Boity, Nadia Nakai and more.

Stogie T just shared a deluxe version of his 2019 EP The Empire of Sheep titled EP The Empire of Sheep (Deluxe Unmasked). The project comes with three new songs. "All You Do Is Talk" features fellow South African rappers Nasty C, Boity and Nadia Nakai. New York lyricist appears on "Bad Luck" while one of Stogie T's favorite collaborators Ziyon appears on "The Making."

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

news.

popular.