It is about time that Cameroon be placed on the world stage. This year I was blessed to travel back to Cameroon after 9 years. I was amazed, beyond my expectations, about the entrepreneurial movement amongst the youths and young adults in Cameroon. It was such a humbling experience.
Living abroad, we tend to tune into the false notion propulsed by the media that there is little hope for youth in Africa due to lack of resources. I am glad that I took time off to travel home to experience it and see it for myself. I met young Cameroonian engineers, fashion-preneurs, stylists, lawyers, naturalists, photographers, media personalities and consultants, who either worked full time and ran their business on the side or who were full time CEOs of their company. It was fascinating to see their determination to motivate other youth in being proactive rather than dependent.
I must admit, I had my stereotypes of Cameroonians. However, those that graced my path while in Cameroon I would describe as PASSIONATE and DRIVEN! Despite electricity and water shortages, inconsistent telecommunication and internet connectivity as well as difficult access to capital from financial institutions, people are pushing forth with the idea or dream they have in mind. It is very inspiring to see how supportive they are of one another. I was pleased to see how Cameroonians take advantage of the social media to promote their businesses. It is creative and innovative. The world knows us for our soccer team and some famous musicians such as Manu Dibango. Cameroon is a very vibrant country, abundant in natural resources, filled with an ambitious youth – a lot to watch out for.
This year I was proud to see a Cameroonian; Acha Leke, a Partner at Mckinsey, featured in an article titled “The 10 Youngest Powerful Men in Africa”. I read another article titled “30 Promising Young Entrepreneurs in Africa 2014” and was very elated to learn that Arthur Zang: founder of Cardio Pad, and Christian Ngan: CEO of Madlyn Cazalis were Cameroonians. There are many others such as Churchill Mambe Nange: CEO of Njorku.com, Kibonen Nfi: CEO of Kibonen NY, Celine Fotso: CEO of JeWanda Magazine, Olivia Mukam: CEO of Harambe Cameroon and Ivy Ben Mun: CEO of Creative and Moving Blog. I was indeed proud and inspired to read about their achievements. To crown it all, the author of the previous article, wrote a feature earlier this year, titled “10 Female Tech Founders to Watch in Africa”. It was no surprise that the first lady that graced this article was Rebecca Enonchong, founder of AppsTech.
Eloli, a fashion brand managed by 3 sisters has been nominated for two awards for Best Fashion Designer and Best Accessories Designer in their first year. Their bags and clothes are pure perfection and it’s no surprise the artist Numerica is a fan. You can find them online at www.shopeloli.com and look out for their store opening soon in Yaounde. Follow them on Facebook (www.facebook.com/elolidesign), Twitter (www.twitter.com/eloliworld), Instagram (www.instagram.com/eloliworld)
Raoul Biniga: a young Cameroonian entrepreneur passionate about computing is among the country’s rising young leaders. As Ceo of CAWAD Sarl (Cameroon Web Agency & Development), he is also engaged in other business ventures as well as philanthropic activities. This young visionary has his eyes set on digitising the entire African continent and ploughs forward towards this goal with his faith as his compass.
Cameroonians indeed are leaving their mark in various fields and it is my hope that this trend will continue to grow in this New Year. In our diversities, may we come together to raise the Cameroonian flag high.
By Julia Mukete