By Etienne Mainimo Mengnjo
“Finding myself in the film industry was a miracle. Acting to me was a hidden talent and I know God put it in me for a reason and I find every joy doing it.”
These are the words of Laura Nahbila Fokenyang during an exclusive interview granted to The Post in Yaounde. Her passionate way of filling the gaps on set and perfectly interpreting her role is, definitely, what is paving her way to the top.
Call her Laura Nahbila Fokenyang but, in the film industry, her colleagues and fans know here as ‘Laura Zion’. Born in Bali Nyonga, Northwest Region of Cameroon, Laura Zion says what keeps her motivated in acting is the passion.
Motivation and encouragement from family members and friends, alongside their supportive altitude, she says, have kept going. “Filmmakers that I have come across have also motivated me and I am so grateful.”
“Being on set is one of my best moments. While on set, I am always very confident as if I have been acting for my whole life. I see myself as the characters I’m interpreting and that is why I hit my marks, I don’t go out of focus,” explained Laura Zion.
Not only has she made her mark, but has featured in more than ten films. Some of them include The Life, Pretty Liars, Children of the Wind, Afrokons, Mother in-Law vise Daughter in-Law, My Oxygen as well as La Restoration.
For her stay in the industry and, despite her great strive in contributing her little quota to the growth of the Cameroon Film Industry, Laura Zion believes that, when it comes to the right character, Cameroon is yet to have the right character that can be able to connect the industry to do good business.
“However, when it comes to the intellectual resources we do, and also cultural resources in terms of stories and the rest, we do have them. Unfortunately, there is still a lot that needs to be done when it comes to working with the mindsets that can be able to be directed towards business,” she said.
According to her, a good numbers of filmmakers seem to be hunting fame and not really doing the business and not really focusing in the business which will be giving them the money to power the industry.
“Market situation is really a big problem. We have a dormant market when it comes to the Cameroon film market. People need to consume our films but on the other hand, Cameroonians focus and give a lot of attention to foreign films and at the end of the day,” she added.
To get out of this problem, Laura Zion thinks Cameroonian filmmakers need to take themselves out from the unnecessary search of fame and rather work hard. In addition, Cameroonian filmmakers need team work, they need to collaborate, they need to stop making noise more than the work and they need to stop backbiting. Filmmakers needs to make the Government to take them serious and the only way they can do this, is by uniting.
“We want to see local films given priority in all the sectors and we want to see the Government also being able to empower or encourage multinational companies to invest in the film industry, certainly through the modification of policies,” she said.
Laura Nahbila Fokenyang holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Management of Enterprises from the University of YaoundE II, Soa.