Mbuetung Eyere is a young Cameroonian female pastor and entrepreneur. Contrary to the popular cliché which states that pastors are broke, Eyere believes it is profitable when it is your unique purpose. To her, being a pastor is call and anyone who wishes to take up pastoring as a career must make sure he/she has a genuine relationship with God.
Eyere shepherds the Champions Faith Assembly in Yaounde, the capital of Cameroon and dreams of using her calling to bless and positively influence generations across Africa.
Being a young woman, how did you get the idea/concept of becoming pastor?
My idea stemmed from my search for my purpose here on earth. In the course of searching and walking with God, I discovered that God wanted me to know and serve Him more. So getting into the pastoral office was a discovery I made in course of my search for my purpose here on earth.
What has been your biggest hurdle so far?
Having to guide people spiritually and physically has a lot of stakes. One needs to put a lot of things together to aid people to understand the mind of God for their life.
So being a leader spiritually and physically over God’s people is a challenge. But then again, I see all challenges as opportunities to grow.
Has there ever been a time when you thought of giving up? What kept you going?
Yes, of course. Like any other career, you get to a point where the challenges overwhelm you. But the spirit of God has been my strength. I just run to him in prayer. You know the Bible says, “Those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They will run and not faint.”
What is your favourite thing about being a pastor?
Watching baby Christians grow spiritually to where they can worship and know God for themselves. I am happy when I get to help people who are downcasted.
Using the word of God to encourage them and help build spiritual giants who can intend help others.
Will you encourage other young girls to take up pastoring as a career? Is it profitable?
Being a pastor is a call. It’s part of a person’s purpose. Everyone cannot be a pastor and that is where the profit comes in. Pastoring can only be profitable to you if it is your unique destiny.
You cannot find profit in another man’s destiny. You can only find satisfaction and profit when you are working in line with the uniqueness of your purpose. I will encourage any young girl who has discovered this to go for it.
What practical tips can you give to girls who wish to take up pastoring as a career?
What comes to mind is first of all the stability of her relationship with the Holy Spirit, because He will be her source of strength in and out of crisis and the challenges that come with the pastoral calling.
Also, she must have a confirmation of it being her call. That is it being the purpose of God for her life, not just because she admires or wishes to become a female pastor.
Again, she will need a source of finance to aid her in ministry. Else she may become a burden to her followers, which might, in the long run, make them disregard the anointing of God on her because she might be depending on them for financial support.
Furthermore a young girl who desires to serve God in a pastoral office must have mastery of God’s vision for her life, to enable her to move from one level to another in God’s divine agenda for her life Also, she has to diligently work on any form of weakness in her character or attitude, for this will her help become an effective leader.
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Janine Gaëlle Dieudji is a bi-national French and Cameroonian graduate of Culture and International Relations from Lyon 3 University in France. She also holds a Master Degree in Political Science from Paris 2 Panthéon Assas University.
She’s been living in Florence, Italy, for the past six years, a city she has since fallen in love with. This is how Florence became home to her and the place where she started to build her career as an art professional. She considers herself as a ‘multilocal’ by believing that we belong to all the places we have lived in. Home is where the mind can create and feel rested at the same time. This is what the life journey is made for, exploring to become the person we decide to be.
For me, it’s a person who makes the art scene move and is committed to it. It could be a curator, an artist, an art dealer, a gallerist or a collector. The ability to inspire others by your achievements and the way you humbly contribute to the dynamism of this versatile field.
What gave you the sparks to follow this career path?
Well, I truly love what I do which helps a lot. The absolute truth is that this path in a certain way chose me, actually.
First when I landed six years ago in the renaissance city, Florence. I was there for a year through a study exchange program (Erasmus). I had no idea six years later I would still be here, but I fell in love with this city, and every time I tried to leave (I have tried three times), I always come back after a couple of months.
The second time (in 2012) I was about to leave Florence because I wasn’t happy professionally. Then, randomly, I met the artist Clet Abraham. We quickly got along and I think he saw something in me, which became a working relationship. After six months in Lyon to complete my Master’s degree, we started a three year, beautiful and enriching collaboration.
Two years before Clet, I had a two month internship at the city hall of Rosny-sous-Bois in France where I assisted the Director of the Cultural Department in the organization of Beninese artist Zinkpè’s exhibition. At that time, I wanted to be a journalist or work in a cultural department of an international organization like the UN, La Francophonie or a French Institute abroad.
What’s the best way for one to make a name for themselves?
It may sounds cliché, but I would say to be yourself, stay humble and always be curious to learn something new. I believe that these ingredients make people excel at what they do. Humility and originality are the key, but also the hard work you put on it. One can not forget that fears and struggles are important in ones daily development.
How is it like working with talented people such as Johanne Affricot of Griotmag.com?
It’s definitely inspiring. Johanne Affricot is one of a kind and I’m very grateful to work with her. She’s multi-tasks, a great mom, a wife and a do-er with no fear.
She created Griotmag.com two years ago, the first Italian webzine celebrating an aesthetic, creative and cultural diversity in and from Italy – African Italians – and the African diaspora. From this project, she pushed forward by creating a webserie, The Expats – a a documentary web series exploring the lives of African Italian creatives living abroad in the search of new opportunities. Two new episodes filmed in London will be released by the end of this month. The use of the term in the title of the series is meant to be provocative and encourage reflection not only about the idea of black Italians in Italy and abroad but also Italians who do not know this “different” or “diverse” Italy.
I was very excited when she approached me a year ago, we immediately clicked the first time we met, we have a lot in common and work well together.
You have a lot of experience as a contributor. What is the most valuable thing you have learnt so far?
I realized that together we do better and we go further. I like changing and renewing myself so being a contributor on different projects makes me do different things and it’s exciting. I recently collaborated with Justin Thompson on the organization of the Black History Month Florence, we had at least 50 events all over the city, in only one month.
My main satisfaction was the Clay Apenouvon’s installation “Film noir, danse de survie” which I curated in collaboration with the City Hall and Institut Français Firenze. I met Clay almost two years ago at 1:54 art fair in London where I discovered his work and I love how down to earth the artist was. After that, we decided we want to collaborate, so we started in Florence, and hopefully will do more in the future.
My point is we don’t have to be shy or afraid to share ideas with people, this is how beautiful things happen, by putting our strengths, capacities, and inspirations together. With this philosophy, I’m actually doing a collaboration with Wires eyewear on the Italian and French market, and I’m planning to organize a Street Art Festival in Cameroon for 2018, as soon as I find some partners to fund it.
So Janine is also a translator. Is there a code of ethics when it comes to translating?
I’m new in this field actually; I started a couple of months ago in a multinational corporation, General Electric, I was translating engineering and computer science files. Honestly, I had no clue of what I was translating the first days, so I had to study different manuals and technical languages, I did a lot of research and it made my life easier. I’ve always been passionate by languages, I actually speak three and half (Spanish is the half, I understand it well but since I’m living in Italy, I’m always mixing up with Italian when I try to speak it.) and I took a six month course of Chinese when in College, I really liked it, I wished I had gone into it in depth, but then I started working and let it go.
Speaking many languages doesn’t make you able to be a proper translator, it’s really hard. This is why the first code is to always translate into your mother tongue, making sure you master all its intricacies. I document myself a lot. So every time I have to translate something new, I do an intensive research to make sure I’m giving a top notch translation.
Keep yourself updated through a lot of reading and practice.
You also assist artists to achieve and develop their work and you connect them with other professionals. Share with us your highlights.
Well, I easily make contact with people. I’m very sociable and it helps me to create new connections every time I travel, and I travel a lot. Once I’m back, I sit and start brainstorming about how I can put two and two together. Like I previously said, sharing ideas and thoughts with others is very enriching, this is how you understand someone’s needs and how you can contribute to make it happen.
This is how I connected Clet with the French film festival, France Odeon I work with for example. He told me that he wanted to do something new with his art, like a cartoon. On the other side, Francesco Martinotti, the festival’s director told me he wanted to make an animated jingleto screen before every movie during the festival, something artistic. So I naturally connected them and a great collaboration was born.
The process was almost the same when I brought together Anna Gargarian, founder of HAYP Pop Up Gallery in Yerevan, Armenia and Noumeda Carbone, French-Italian artist, or when I put together Clay with the Black History Month Florence project. And right now I’m currently doing a collaboration with the artist Barthélémy Toguo for the upcoming auction at Piasa “Contemporary Art from Africa and the Diaspora: Origins and Trajectories” on April 20.
Fun question! Janine if you were to be a city which city would you be and why?
I would definitely say Johannesburg. I’ve never been there, but it has always fascinated me, and I recently had a dream where I was there. The subculture and creativity in Joburg amazes me and attracts me.
I read a lot about and follow some creative South Africans on Instagram, like the Mukheli’s brothers, the talented Zanele Muholi I had the chance to meet in Florence, or one of my favourite designer Laduma that I met first in London then Florence. I find them very inspiring and cutting edge in their vision of creativity on the continent. I would definitely like to travel there very soon, to experience a swenkas” competition and connect with the creative community.
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Meet one savvy woman entrepreneur who has turned her passion for the kitchen into a business through the perfect blend of hard work, creativity and talent. In Cameroon, Eleanor Limunga Antiero is making a name for herself in the area of baking, cake decoration and pastries for weddings, birthdays, baptisms and corporate events. Eleanor proves that cooking can be as lucrative as any “white collar job”.
She discovered her love for baking and cake design during one of her recent visits to a Nigerian cake shop where she was attracted by aesthetic presentation of the goods. She decided to enrol in their training program and has since launched her cake and pastries business which has gained grounds into hearts of many clients and corporate institutions in Cameroon
SLA contributing writer Marriane Enow Tabi asked her how she turned her passion into a business which has won many hearts and pulled many customers in the country and what her advice would be to other young ladies who wish to take up the lead but are scared of failing.
How did Eleanor’s Cake and Pastries start?
I had a passion for baking since my high school days. However the idea of developing this passion into a business venture came up when I visited Nigeria in 2013.
I visited a cake shop and saw how their products were showcased so beautifully. I made detailed findings on the institution and enrolled in a training program with them for three weeks and that was it.
I love my kitchen and I have never wanted to work in an office. Besides it is very lucrative.
What advice can you give to young girls who have such skills but prefer just going for the office jobs because they are scared of failing?
First of all, anything that has to do with culinary art is lucrative. White collar jobs are good ,but it is good to be self-employed. You become your own boss. You can even start up a small enterprise and make more profits.
Remember this is the work of your hands and you can hardly run out of cash. Even if you wake up in the middle of the night to take an order, you are sure of making money from it. It’s way too profitable but at the end of the day, one must have a passion for it. You can only handle challenges if passion is involved.
Young girls must dare and not fear. If you are scared, you might fail. So you need to love what you do.
Did you face any hurdles at the onset?
Yes I did. It was not very easy to satisfy and keep clients. But I was willing to push to get results.
Okay Eleanor it’s that time of the year again, with many weddings and celebration around the corner. What does this mean for business?
Well, it’s a peak season for us. I have many orders coming in on daily basis. So I’m running around trying to put in my best for upcoming events.
How do you handle that? Do you work alone’?
Oh, I have a great team. I have five bakers, five boys for decoration and 15 caterers. Every worker has a specification and area of duty but I do the finishing in all domains.
It is widely believed that science is an all “male affair”. In fact, a walk through the science departments of most colleges or universities in Cameroon could convince you that girls don’t exist.
This is because girls are stereotypically considered weak in sciences. But in recent times, many young girls are challenging the myth about girls and science and doing it so well. 25-year-old Ettamba Agborndip, a medical doctor and fellow of the Moremi Initiative for Women’s Leadership in Africa, is one such lady challenging such stereotypes.
Dr Ettamba has been practicing now for 14 months since her excellent results from the Medical school at Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Buea, Cameroon. She told me in a late night WhatsApp chat that, “anyone can excel in the sciences regardless of their gender”.
Ettamba’s vision is to inspire women and young girls to make informed health decisions by educating them about the common pathologies affecting our communities.
What is the greatest feat of being a doctor?
A lot of personal time is consumed depending on the kind of patients you have in the wards.
Sometimes, I end up spending 24 hours in the hospital because I have an unstable patient and I cannot be at peace at home.
Did you encounter any challenge during the pursuit in becoming a doctor?
The whole process of becoming a doctor is a challenge.
From the long hours in class, to late hospital hours and sometimes gruesome ward rounds, to having to miss out on family events. But so far, I don’t have any regrets about being a doctor.
How did it feel when you received your medical degree?
It was an emotional day for me. I was happy to have conquered those 7 years, the look of pride and fulfillment on my parent’s face was priceless, and I was happy to have made my teacher’s proud.
Nsang Dilong is Cameroon’s rising screen star. In this exclusive chat, she shares tips on starting an acting career, ways to improve an acting career and talks on the Cameroon film industry.
“Always try to perfect your craft daily either by reading books on acting, watching other actors and also practicing. It takes constant hard work and determination.” Nsang Dilong says.
Nsang is a beautiful young lady who is earning her right as one of Cameroon’s rising TV stars in the acting industry. She’s had the luxury of acting in many Cameroonian movies and series like Whispers, Tchanga and Inoma, Separate Lives, Rumble and Expression. She has also acted in a handful of Nigerian movies.
Outside from her acting career, Nsang is a model and philanthropist. Her humanitarian works revolve around making sure more orphans and vulnerable kids go to school. It is proof of the impact and healing she brings to most Cameroonian local communities.
Here, the Tchanga and Inoma actress spoke on how she navigated her path into the industry and challenges she faces as young actress. Nsang also offered advice to other young persons who wish to take up acting as a career.
On how she navigated her path into the film industry;
“Well I cannot say I have fully navigated my way around the film industry. I am still in the process. It takes constant hard work and determination.
Always try to perfect your craft daily either by reading books on acting, watching other actors and also practice.”
On what the Cameroon film industry is like;
“The Cameroon film industry is growing in great strides, very great strides. Many people didn’t believe in it, but we are taking up the challenge as young women and it’s really evolving, considering the fact that our movies are now internationally recognised.”
Her advice on starting an acting career
– I will tell every person, especially young girls, who wish to take up acting as a career to get an education first.
– Be sure you have the passion and talent for acting. When passion meets hard work, success is sure.
– Don’t expect to be movie-stars overnight. Patience and consistency are key elements in this industry.
– If you can afford it, go to film schools, attend film festivals and workshops as much as you can. Read books, there are a lot of good acting books out there. Get them and read.
-A great deal of learning also happens on the field. By field I mean when you are acting. Accept criticisms, read and learn on how to rise above mistakes.
Kah Walla is one of Cameroon’s most successful female entrepreneurs.When she started her consulting firm 20 years ago, she says she never stopped to consider how unusual, and challenging, it would be for a woman in her 20s to begin a business in Cameroon. Despite being a woman and facing the hurdles of the Cameroonian tax system at the time, Kah successfully established her consulting firm. Her company; Strategies is now across the world, serving both domestic and international clients, and draws in an average annual revenue of $500,000. Kah’s consulting firm, which makes over 90 percent of its turnover outside Cameroon. It offers services in leadership, strategy and organisational development to multi-national firms and development organisations.
Kah’s business reach and outstanding impact throughout Africa, Europe, and the US, has given her recognition and many awards. In 2008, she was recognised by the World Bank as one of the seven women entrepreneurs working to improve the African business environment. Today, Kah says now is the best time for entrepreneurs, especially women, to start a business in Cameroon. This, given that Cameroonian laws now grant women new rights, such as travelling without male companions, opening bank accounts and registering businesses on their own, without their husbands’ consent. This is something which didn’t exist before.
In the following excerpt, Kah shares more tips on starting a business in Cameroon.
Do research: Know the country’s laws and what the people need
Any entrepreneur willing to start up any business in Cameroon has to do some professional homework regarding the country’s business and tax laws, including general marketing analyses. You also need to know what the people really need in a bid to understand if your business project will be people-friendly.
Cameroon’s business law is harmonized under the OHADA treaty like other countries in West and Central Africa, and is at face value gender neutral. But there are customary laws and traditional practices which sometimes disadvantage women in business dealings. So knowing the laws is a salient point to consider before starting out.
Put down your plan on paper
The next step in starting businesses at any level is creating a plan. You must create some kind of plan before going into business. Putting something down on paper will remind you of your objective and goals. Then you can continually develop this plan, but make sure to always have one from the get-go. At some point –even after you’ve started a business, return, rearrange things, and reflect. Just put your plan together first!
Be proficient in the country’s two languages.
Cameroon is a bilingual country with English and French as its two official languages. Any young entrepreneur who wants to succeed should know how to manoeuvre between English and French.
Get the right information, meet and create the right network
“Meeting and creating the right network is very important. There are many businesses that have not seen the light of day simply because they didn’t get the right information. Connect with people who have different strengths but are like-minded in their entrepreneurship and development interests. Being a business owner or entrepreneur can sometimes get lonely, particularly in the start-up phase.
The government of Cameroon has been striving to assist entrepreneurs in setting up and running their own businesses in Cameroon through the One-Stop Pilot Centre. The Centre is one of out of the many other investing paltforms in Cameroon. These centres unite all administrative services for creating a business –including taxation, insurance, treasury and customer service. There are places where people can find out what documents they need to prepare and fees they need to pay in establishing their businesses. Any person willing to start up a business should go to these places to get the right information. These centres have eased the process of creating businesses in Cameroon, which now is supposed to take between three to five days.”
Have the right mind-set
There are certain basic mind-sets which are critical to becoming the ultimate entrepreneur. They include:
Everything is possible,
We are connected,
100 percent accountability,
Attitude of gratitude,
Live to give, and
The time is now.
All challenges have solutions
“All challenges and problems have solutions, and in order to be successful, one has to be innovative and creative. Successful business women must remember that everything is possible. When I started out in my 20s, I didn’t realize that the markets would be a challenge for me. But what I had was the will and desire to make it and to start my business venture. With that alone and my passion, I think I have been extremely successful in my life.
Summarily, I will advise entrepreneurs to create businesses that provide what Cameroonians need and to welcome any challenges as added motivation for innovation. The keys to success are sticking to a plan, being creative, remaining optimistic and doing one’s homework. The Cameroonian government has made starting a business faster and easier here. So the time to start-up is now!”