On very rare occasions do we see celebrities tell this much about themselves. However, with the slot “WEDNESDAY CRUSH,” Tonda magazine helps you connect with your favorite stars. Today we bring to you an exclusive interview with Stephanie Tum, an actor and a producer. This is what she had to say.

Any challenging moment in your life so far. if yes, how has it impacted your career and life as a mother.

● I have had lots of challenging moments in my life and I still do have lots of challenging moments in my life. It is part of the process and the journey and that is what leads to growth. It brings out the force you never knew you have and prepares you to be able to face any battle or tough situations you may encounter throughout your journey in life.
So it only made me the strong , hard working and determined woman that I am and because of my kids and the highs and lows of my life I have more empathy towards people and I take life simple and always find something to laugh about.
I just never back down no matter what. I am a very optimistic person.

– What are some of your intentions as a contributor to the growth of our movie/entertainment industry.

● My intention is to change the narrative. Discover new talents in all sectors in Filmmaking and give them a chance. We have so many talents who have not been given a chance to showcase their talents and we keep using the same faces who are not even bankable yet. We are a growing industry and to build super talented bankable stars we have to explore every talent we have. The diamond might just be that unexplored talent.
I will also like to use my movies to take the Cameroon film industry to a global level were the talents and filmmakers in my projects can be recognised and they can be exported internationally to work with the best in Africa and why not the world.

– Saving Mbango, by far the greatest movie this 2019. How do you plan on beating that record come 2020 or further.


● I am in no hurry to produce the next movie to beat Saving Mbango.
It’s a process. And once you understand that you will follow the process and not rush because I am not in competition with anyone .
I will focus on the marketing and distribution of Saving Mbango, exhaust all means out there to get the movie to the targeted audience step by step and make money.
Probably I will take a few courses in filmmaking work on my art, while focusing on my kids and planning for the next big movie by Embi Productions. No pressure!

– What do you have as key tips for upcoming or aspiring movie producers?

● First, you getting into movie production shouldn’t be for hype just to call yourself a movie Producer.
The business in Filmmaking should be your core focus because before anything else you are an investor/a business person. You have to have a business plan and strategy to make back the money you are investing in your movie.
Be fair and honest.
Know that it is very hard and you will have to make lots of sacrifices and fall out with lots of people during that process because movie production is no jokes especially dealing with different personalities from different backgrounds on thesame set for weeks. It can easily get feisty . But the end reward when you have your final product will make the journey all worth it.
So be resilient and stay focused. Keep your eyes on the prize.

– How do you plan on making “saving Mbango” or upcoming works a representation of Cameroon’s creativity in the international milieu?

● First from the story, script, originality, and quality of the movie Saving Mbango, you can see the movie is in its own league. The movie is top notch and fully represents Cameroon culture in all its simplicity.
This is my nitch and it’s the kind of movies I am interested in making. Movies that take you through a rollercoaster of emotions, have great storylines, that anyone can relate to even the lay man in the streets and movies that represents us Cameroonians as we are to the world.

Also mapping out strategic plans and networking with the right people for marketing and distribution so Saving Mbango and movies I produce gets the exposure it deserves and expose us to the world.

– Netflix is the new go-to for premium content and also a gateway into the international content space. Any upcoming works from Embi production towards this platform?

● Ofcourse we are hoping Saving Mbango gets to be on Netflix.
This is our maiden Production and even as good as it is, it has also been a learning process for Embi Productions and we can only grow bigger from here , do more quality movies and target Netflix so we can complete on a world platform with the best of the best.

– What are some of the key skills you acquired or have acquired as a producer?

● This has been my most humbling experience so far and one of the things I have learned through this process is never to take anything personal, do my best and leave the rest to God and also I have greatly improved in my people management skills, and also financial management skills.

– What Inspire you the most? Your personal life, your environment, the people, or their stories?

● My personal life has inspired me the most.
I have been through one hell of a journey.
One day maybe I will get to write a book God willing and I hope my story will inspire a young girl or woman out there.

– If you could change one thing in the Cameroon movie industry, what would it be and why?

● I think I say this all the time, it will be the mental slavery of “belonging” and ” fomo” CFI people and to a large extent the entire entertainment industry have.
But I will speak specifically about the movie industry.
Most of them are not self sufficient, hence they feel the need to constantly feed off negativity or ignite negativity because most of them are hungry and thirsty literally. I just have to be brutally honest. They don’t have side hustles that can sustain them to be able to be themselves without depending on their so called colleagues who have a little change and they can’t stand their ground and have their own voice. Their loyalty ends where their benefits end.
Until this changes, the industry will always be what is it and people will keep turning in circles.

– What’s your take on the role of networking in project management and dissemination in Cameroon?

● I think it’s very important especially to get the message and information across to the right audience and also to get the right connections and contacts you need for any project you are working on especially for us, Entertainers.
I speak for myself as a Filmmaker and how much importance it is to my project and campaign promotions with the movie Saving Mbango and how much positive impact it has on the project/movie.

– Any confession, secret or valuable advice for young entrepreneurs, especially women in Cameroon?

● Let nobody ever fool you that it is easy.
It is hard, there are days you will cry yourself to sleep , there are days you will smile to sleep with hope for a better tomorrow.
Social media is not real life.
People only show you their highlights or borrowed life styles.
Be happy with your life take one step at a time and trust the process but above all believe in God and His timing because when it’s your time , it is yours.

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