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I See Enormous Potentials, Talents In Cameroon – Stella Damasus 

Interviewed By Bernard Manyo

Nigerian actress, Stella Damasus, recently visited Cameroon to negotiate partnerships that would develop the Cameroon movie sector which she observes, has a lot of talents that could be exploited. In the interview that follows, the movie star, singer, presenter and now a producer and founder of Stella Damasus Arts Foundation, advises Cameroonians interested in acting or making movies never to give up. Read on:

Who is Stella Damasus?

Stella Damasus is a Nigerian actress, a Christian with two kids. I am also a singer, presenter and now a producer and founder of Stella Damasus Arts Foundation.

How long have you been in the movie industry?

I have been in the movie industry for the last 16 years and I will want to say I have been very fortunate to be that long and still be relevant. It’s really been 16 wonderful years and I am really grateful.

What do you do to make your fans always wanting to watch you?

I am real. I try to make things real even when I play other roles. I always strive to make things natural as possible. I think that’s what distinguishes me. Its true I play a lot of emotional roles and that is what makes my character different.

What brings you to Cameroon?

First of all, I have come to see what Cameroon looks like. I have been told that the country looks very much like mine and that we share almost the same culture. This is something I really want to experience. Also, I want to come and see what the movie industry looks like. We have a lot of fans here and I will want to come and thank them for their support.

That’s also important for me. I know the movie sector is not very developed like what we have in Nigeria but it can be better. We are seeing how it will be possible to establish partnerships and help build the industry. We think we can help in our own way starting very small even with trainings then providing other expertise to the Cameroonian film setup. We intend to help introduce Cameroonian talents into the world and make them bigger.

I also see opportunities for tourism here. It’s very exciting and we can talk of Cameroon as a very fresh country and it is good. I am also here to work with Splash Network. I have gone through their website and noticed that they are doing a lot in the movie industry and, especially the fight against diseases such as cancer. A lot of people die of cancer and they are unaware of the signs, symptoms and how you can prevent it.

I believe in Splash’s project in that area and we think we can also help in the awareness. I also intend to raise awareness about another disease called lupus which kills a lot of people in Africa these days. The disease affects mostly Africans and Caribbeans. Those are some of the things we are looking at. We can begin by organising workshops, just starting small.

What idea do you have of the Cameroonian movie industry?

I have seen a few things here and there. I see a lot of talent; there is enormous potential here in Cameroon. I have watched a few clips on You Tube and I see intelligent people who can drive the industry forward and good places that, if exploited, will contribute enormously to the advancement of the sector.

What makes you think you are the one to come and change things here?

I really do not think I am the one. Like I said, I am here to see how to change things in my own small way. That is why I thought of starting small, not making big plans that you may not attain at the end of the day. It might just be the right moment and when we start; who knows what might happen. For now, we do not seem to have much happening here, that is why we are just trying to make things improve.

What message to those involved in the movie industry in Cameroon?

The message is simple; never give up. There is a lot to show here and continuous work could just be the key. They should also think about forging partnerships with those already ahead. There is nothing bad in doing so.

I think that, maybe, there is a good strategy to enable things get off the ground here. I am looking at a way of creating synergies between those countries already advanced in the movie industry like Nigeria and Ghana, with others like Cameroon, so, we can face challenge from South Africa. It’s unbelievable what those people are able to do even around us. 

Any last word?

My final word is for those in the movie industry here and the authorities for them to form a good partnership because, without this, things cannot go fast and the industry will continue to remain behind.

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