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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.

Interview
Photo: Benoit Peverelli

Interview: Oumou Sangaré Proves Why She's the Songbird of Wassoulou

We caught up with the Malian singer to talk about her new Acoustic album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

When Oumou Sangaré tells me freedom is at her core, I am not surprised. If you listen to her discography, you'll be hard-pressed to find a song that doesn't center or in some way touch on women's rights or child abuse. The Grammy award-winning Malian singer has spent a significant part of her career using her voice to fight for the rights of women across Africa and the world, a testimony to this is her naming her debut studio album Moussolou, meaning Woman. The album, a pure masterpiece that solidified Oumou's place amongst the greats and earned her the name 'Songbird of Wassoulou,' was a commercial success selling over 250,000 records in Africa and would in turn go on to inspire other singers across the world.

On her latest body of work Acoustic, a reworking of her critically acclaimed 2017 album Mogoya, Oumou Sangaré proves how and why she earned her accolades. The entirety of the 11-track album was recorded within two days in the Midi Live studio in Villetaneuse in 'live' conditions—with no amplification, no retakes or overdubs, no headphones. Throughout the album, using her powerful and raw voice that has come to define feminism in Africa and shaped opinions across the continent, Oumou boldly addresses themes like loss, polygamy and female circumcision.

We caught up with the Malian singer at the studio she is staying while in quarantine to talk about her new album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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