Cameroon made it big two days ago by wining 6 awards out of 19 nominations it had at the just ended Golden Movie Awards in Ghana. This is an evident to show the world that Cameroon film industry is growing and not just growing but growing with the energy of becoming one of the biggest cinema power houses in the continent.
Out of the 3 movies that were nominated in the ceremony, only one film from Cameroon became the order of the day: A Good Time to Divorce directed by Nkanya Nkwai.
A GOOD TIME TO DIVORCE won Best Story, Best Director, Best Drama, Best Overall Movie, Best Actor and Best Arts Director. Seriously, this film should be given its space when it finally comes out in the nation.
Among the three persons that were fortunate enough to return with awards with their names written on them were: Nkanya Nkwai, Alenne Menget and Anurine Nwunembom.
Anurine Nwunembom, a backbone of the cinema industry in Cameroon and one of the most influential personnel’s in the sector, won best arts director, a domain which many in Cameroon consider him the godfather.
Nkanya Nkwai has left marks in the industry and he is still in the crew ship captaining the nation to a better position in the map. A multiple award wining director and actor whose presence is rarely felt but always felt when his name is mention. A tireless and hungry filmmaker for perfection. He won Best Director.
Carrying the crown in Ghana was no other person than the grammarian, Alenne Menget, a standup comedian, actor, producer and CEO of Cameroon’s newly created entertainment television. Menget is one of the few in Cameroon that can soil and lure anyone to any direction when he speaks, because of his good mastery of the queen’s language.
In Ghana, he didn’t go off his shells of speaking. Addressing the hall after wining the Best Actor award in Africa, Menget’s speech raised tears and empathy in the eyes of the audience.
Coming from one of the recently affected villages in the north west region, Pinyin, the African star lamented on the killing of innocent civilians and called for dialogue. A dialogue that many have been on the government kneels for.
Never had an award wining Cameroonian on the stage deliver such a speech about the crisis the way Alenne Menget did. Like Kwame Nkrumah who said the independent of Ghana was worthless if the entire continent was not independent, Alenne called for the stop and usage of guns, not only in Cameroon but in the entire continent. Coupled with the fact that he made the speech in Accra, the capital of black history, the speech reminded historians very much of the African freedom fighter, Kwame Nkrumah
It is still a debate whether Alenne Menget wrote down his speech or was just inspired with the spirit of his Late father, Mr John Menget – when he held the microphone. Here is an excerpt of the speech.
“I come from a country called Cameroon… that country has been one of the most peaceful countries in the world… but like…the Upper Volta, during the days… of our colonial masters, it was divided and brought back together just like Togo and Ghana, but our case… they brought the English part of Cameroon and the French part of Cameroon… for the past two years, the peace has not been there. If today… you call me the best actor…. in Africa, I want to ask only one thing… for all of you to call our leaders to get to a dialogue because we are tired of the blood. This… is… for… peace, this…is… for an idea that I call tonight…every blood matters, the soldier’s blood matter, the civilian blood matter, Africa throw the guns, because we don’t like guns, we don’t create guns so let’s not use guns…this is for peace…in my country”
Alenne from his speech was simply crying for the freedom of filmmakers to be able to use images and tell stories. Even though he didn’t mention the impact filmmakers have in situations like this in countries worldwide, the technique of him not to instead talk on the growth of African cinema but to emphasized on the killing of Africans, especially in his country Cameroon, said it all. His reasons to use such a divergent means could be motivated because of the recent 15 years jail term slam on Tsi Conrad, a filmmaker who was arrested in Bamenda since last year for filming the crisis and was recently given a 15 year jail term. For Alenne, he fears that his professional is becoming a threat to some while an entertainment to others.
It’s still an open speech, watch the full video HERE