The challenges are even more evident among anglophone actors because we have a smaller audience in Cameroon. There is a need to figure out a way to be more marketable to the francophone market.
Can you introduce yourself.
I am Nsang Dilong, I am an actress, comedian, and a philanthropist. I believe in the power of giving back to society. You don’t have to be wealthy, to see the need to reach out to those that are less fortunate. Just by devoting your time to make someone else’s life easier, is a fulfilling experience.
In 2011 you won Miss West Africa Cameroon. What opportunities did the crown bring?
Winning Miss West Africa Cameroon 2011 was a wonderful opportunity. It provided a platform from which to connect with several non-governmental organizations, which have a similar vision as I do, that of eradicating illiteracy among less privilege kids. We were able to enroll several kids in school and followed up with head teachers to ensure that the kids got the education they deserved. I also mentored some of the kids by visiting them at home and checking their progress report.
The crown also enabled me to work with some orphanages by meeting the kids most pressing needs. I acted as a liaison between donors and made sure donations reached the orphans.
You also participated in Miss Cameroon 2013, nevertheless, you didn’t win the crown. What memory do you keep from the experience?
I get excited each time the miss Cameroon contest comes around because it gives young girls the opportunity to manifest their passion and showcase Cameroon to the word at large. In 2013, though I did not win, I am glad a very deserving winner, Valerie Ayena got the crown. Today, she is doing a great job at representing Cameroon around the world, she has inspired many Cameroonians to pursue their dreams in the modeling industry. She has also worked with some NGO’s, and achieved great results.
Each year COMICA breaks the internet with their events that tarnish the image of our country. How do you think they can fix it?
COMICA is the organizing body of Miss Cameroon, and has given an opportunity to young girls to live their dreams. It has also put Cameroon in the international scene. We can now boast of a representation at the miss world contest thanks to COMICA.
No organization is perfect and of course, COMICA isn’t as well.
I wish we could see more professionalism at the level of the organization. I would love to see more young people with experience get involved in the organization of the contest. I also wish they would emulate standards of well renowned beauty contests.
You are also known as an actress, you played in movies like Whispers, Tchanga and Inoma, Separate lives, Rumble, Expression, A Good Time to Divorce etc. Is it really possible to make a living from acting?
Arts in Cameroon is still evolving. We are faced with several challenges common among growing industries. One of such challenges is the potential to make a living from our profession. The challenges are even more evident among anglophone actors because we have a smaller audience in Cameroon. There is a need to figure out a way to be more marketable to the francophone market.
Because its so hard to depend on our acting, several actors engage in other income earning activities, are business owners, or have side jobs to make ends meet.
Many people have described you as very classy and calm. Your comedy skits show that you are multifaceted, revealing that there is a very funny side to you. Where do you get the inspiration to be so funny?
Father God is my greatest inspiration. From my skits on my youtube, it’s obvious that I use everyday activities, and add little twists, garnish it with a little exaggeration, and try to make it funny. I get inspired by almost anything. When an idea hits me, I will literary pull over by the side of the street to write an idea down, so I don’t forget.
You hosted the latest edition of the Ecrans Noirs film festival. Today, what is the current situation regarding the film industry in Cameroon according to you? What are its development prospects?
Ecrans Noirs is one of the biggest film festivals in sub Saharan Africa. Hosting last years edition gave me the opportunity to participate in recognizing and rewarding film makes and actors that have distinguished themselves through their exceptional work and dedication to the 7th art.
In Cameroon, the film industry is evolving. Though we are not yet where we want to be, we are not where we were 5 years ago. We see improvement in the quality of our work, and the public is more receptive to our movies.
I anticipate that there would be even more improvement in the years to come.
We have very committed and dedicated actors, producers and directors who are willing to put in the work, to carry the banner of our film industry to higher heights.
Do you think the Cameroonian media contributes to the development of the film industry in Cameroon?
Cameroonian media is one of the greatest supporters of the film industry. We are grateful to the TV Stations, bloggers, radio for show casing our work.
What about the role of state institutions?
The states role has grown over the years.
In Buea for instance, the delegate for Arts and culture Mrs. Grace Ewang is always present for film festivals, and movie premiere to support and encourage the industry. Grants are also available to movie makers from the Ministry of Culture.
The minister of Culture Pr. Narcisse Mouelle Kombi makes himself available to support film related project and most times,he is present during events.
If a young person today wants to get into this field in Cameroon, what would you advice them?
First, I would suggest they get an education. After the education, they should make sure they truly are passionate about acting. Getting a mentor, someone who understands the industry would be a helpful resource to getting information on the realities on the ground.
In 2018, what could we expect to see from you?
This is going to be a very busy year for me. I have several projects on the pipeline which I will reveal when the time is right. Just expect to laugh a lot this year.
What message do you have for the Cameroonian youth?
It is important to follow your calling. We each have passions, and desire to fulfil a greater calling.
If we truly believe in something, we must be willing to put in work and effort to make it come to fulfilment. There would be obstacles but, if we keep moving, someday we shall accomplish our goals. Nothing good comes easy indeed.