She’s opinionated and controversial. She’s sweet and shy (or so she claims!). She’s like marmite, you either love her or you hate her. Well I do! And today she’ll be the subject of my favourite segment ‘ABY Profile’. The Queen of Cameroonian entertainment spills it all…
ABY: Hi Yvonne, thanks for taking out your time to do this interview with me! You are one funny lady so I’m looking forward to your responses. Tell us about Yvonne – Who was Yvonne growing up?
YEN: I’m Yvonne Ebangha Njang. These are my government names (with some extra ones in between which don’t even matter lol). I’m 30! (Yes I know I look 23 lol) and I was born and raised in Douala and Edéa respectively. Well, growing up I’ll say I was a pretty quiet kid. Yes “quiet” lol. Funny right?? I actually stammer and it was really bad when I was a kid. So I didn’t talk much because kids would always imitate the way I talked. It was embarrassing! I instead read books most of the times, thus making me know a lotta things way ahead of my peers. That’s where I developed my love for writing (yes I write short stories sometimes), movies, showbiz and all.
ABY:I know you like to say you are like Kim Kardashian without the sex tape, LOL! Because you did nothing but yet you are so popular. Hahaha. That can’t be very true. You are a very commendable business lady. What would you describe your job as? What’s your official job title?
YEN: Hahaha!! By the way I did NOT come up with the “Kim Kardashian reference”. Gasha did! She once tweeted about it and people took it from there. “Commendable” though? Awwww thank you. That’s sweet of you. Well i don’t think I wanna label myself with any job title per say. I’ll just say I’m into showbiz and I’m praying and working my butt off to make Cameroonian entertainment (music in particular) a household name especially in the diaspora. And that’s how Kreef comes in.
ABY: Speaking of your business Kreef, at what point did you realise Kreef Entertainment was bringing in enough coins and you could afford to leave your job?
YEN: The funny thing is Kreef wasn’t bringing in anything when I decided to quit nursing school and leave my job. I just felt it in my heart that I was in the wrong field and my passion was showbiz and Kreef. Now we’re getting there and God has been incredible!
ABY: Where do you see Kreef in the near future?
YEN: I see Kreef Entertainment representing Cameroonian artists on platforms like BET, GRAMMYS, MTV, BRIT AWARDS, etc. It looks like a dream but with God, hardwork, perseverance and devotion anything can happen! Ce n’est pas interdire de rêver lol
ABY: You said and I quote, ‘I am not your competition. I’m your goal.’ Would you say you have arrived?
YEN: LOL no I’ve not even started the journey. How will I arrive?
ABY: How would you define success? At what point did you realise, omg I’ve made it?
YEN: I think SUCCESS is how we define our lives. To me I’m already succeeding because for the first time in my life I feel like I have the right people around me. So much support and positive vibes. I just feel like success already! Made it? No I’m still about to make it. Wait for it lol
ABY: What is your drive and motivation?
YEN: My Dad, My Mom, my little sisters and my daughter are my drive and motivation. They make me know everyday they got me 100% and they are the reason I strive for more.
ABY: Family always comes first. I feel you. You must get a lot of male attention. How do you deal with that?
YEN: Lol I used to love the attention though. But right now I’m very focused on business and all I don’t have time for those distractions, you know what I’m saying.
ABY: A lot of your male fans and followers would like to know if they have a chance with you…Is there someone special in your life?
YEN: Hahaha! Yes there is; JESUS! And no, they don’t have a chance with me LMAO. On a serious note, I don’t wanna talk about that. One side of me that I keep very, very private is my dating life. With that said, I’m a very, very, very happy woman right now so that’s all I’ll say on that lol
ABY: Speaking of special people in your life, there have been rumours that you are bisexual and very open about your sexuality?
YEN: Haha!! Yes I heard the rumors a couple of times. I understand why people would feel that way though. You never know if I’m in any relationship. Plus I’m always chilling with the guys, my style of dressing and all seems very bisexual… Then the females I love chilling with look and act “bisexually” too so I get why they would think that. But no I’m neither bisexual nor gay. I’m very straight!!!
ABY: This is a fashion blog and I can’t help but notice your style. It’s very sexy tomboy (am I right?) Who would you say are your fashion icons?
YEN: You are very right. Sexy tomboy, yes. But more on the tomboy side than the sexy side. I don’t see myself as sexy lol. I don’t have any fashion icons. One person I’ll say I always admired their style of dressing was Ciara (Way back in her “Goodies” days). Now she’s gotten sexier which ain’t me at all. Now I love Teyana Taylor‘s fashion sense. I wish she was my bestie lol.
ABY: Don’t we all? Her body looks amazing! Where do often shop?
YEN: Honestly I used to be one of those people who would spend money on popular brands like Zara and Express then I’ll go broke and complain how I need more things. Now I just Google the things i want and I’ll get links of affordable ones and I just order them. Sometimes i don’t even get to remember the online stores lol smh I’m such a mess. I still do those Zara and them but not as often. I just get what I love how it will look on me no matter the cost.
ABY: Has your style evolved as you get older?
YEN: I’m a huge tomboy at heart. I mean I wish I could wear jeans and T-Shirt to my wedding lol honestly. I’m always very comfortable and relaxed when I’m in sweats or jeans and some flats. I love dressing edgy too; like I’m about to get on a stage and perform or something lol.
But now that I’m 30 I’ve been thinking I need to start looking more like a lady. A business lady! So I started wearing dresses and make up. It’s so not me but I’ll be trying lol.
ABY: You are very opinionated and that makes you open to other people’s opinions as well. But recently a few ‘Anonymous’ people made some harsh comments about you and your daughter. Do you think they have a right to their opinion still? Or is that crossing a limit? In fact where do you draw the limit?
YEN: I think everyone has the right to their opinions. They do! Where I draw the line is, do NOT talk about my family! You don’t know them. They didn’t choose the public life, I did. Talk about me. Who talks about someone else’s child? Have you seen my kid? She’s everything!!! Come on lol. Are the “Anonymous” women (yes they are women. Men are not that bitter lol) that pissed about their own kids? And for those who don’t have, are they that miserable? Lol come on. Rumors, lies or whatever just go ahead and make me trend lol just me. Not my kid! Am I making sense? If anyone wanna stay “Anonymous” then it’s clear enough that I’m widely respected and feared so it has to be an “Unknown Source” lol. I love the attention. I wish I could trend that often lol no pun intended. Honestly! Just respect me enough to remain “Anonymous”, keep my family outta it and help me break the internet some more lol.
ABY: Hopefully ‘Anonymous’ will read this haha. Back to Kreef. Are you contractually not allowed to promote some Cameroonian artists because of the relationships you already have with your existing clients?
YEN: Noooo we promote everyone but the artists we have contracts with, we just do a little bit more and get them other media outlets and deals for more exposure for business purposes you know because they are paying for the services. But we promote every artist from Cameroon if we know about them. No discrimination!
ABY: A lot of people insinuate that even though you promote a lot of Camer artists, you are not #TeamJovi because of the constant comparison between Jovi Le Monstre and Stanley Enow. Is this true?YEN: Haha! I get that a lot and I don’t blame them. Funny enough I knew Jovi way before Stanley came into the scene through a mutual friend and he’s one hell of a talent which I have respect for. He’s a genius! I don’t think he sees it like that. Then as Stanley Enow came into the scene, everyone hopped on the “Hein Père” bandwagon too. Not just me lol. The fans started the comparison and animosity which I believe the said artists don’t have time for and all. So why would I have time to pick a side too? It just happened that I’m closer to Stanley now so people would reason it like that. Believe it or not, Jovi is one of the Cameroonian artists that I have nearly all his songs (bought or downloaded) in my phone and Kreef promotes everything from New Bell Music. It’s just the #Team thingy is making people not focus on the important facts. I’m not #Team anyone. I’m #Team237 but just closer to Stanley now. That’s all!
ABY: Even though the Cameroon music industry is picking up now, it has taken us a long time to the recognition we deserve. Where do think we went (are going) wrong? What are the artists not doing right? Are bloggers and journalists not doing their part? Is it the general public’s preference for Naija or Western tunes that is the problem? What is wrong and how can we avoid this moving forward?
YEN: I don’t even think we are still getting the recognition we deserve. There are too many good music coming from Cameroon especially this year but how many are even played in big clubs around Africa, Europe or America. You see what I’m saying? It should start with us, Cameroonians. How many Cameroonians can proudly say they can pay money to attend a Cameroonian artist’s show? How many Cameroonian parties play mostly their own music? How many DJs do? In Cameroon, everyone is picking up and I’m so impressed. I’m actually talking about us in the diaspora. How many? We suck at supporting our people. We need to do better! As for the artists themselves, they actually are trying their best and working their butts off! They have their own setbacks which I ain’t gonna go into it lol but one of them is most Cameroonian artists have not yet mastered the art of show biz. I’m not saying I’m an expert but I’m just saying. Some of these artists are so good and wonder why people don’t take them seriously. People take you the way you present yourself. Showbiz is more of visuals. Everyone believes what you show. It’s “show business” lol. An artist would rather release a song and upload on Soundcloud then let it be. No video, nothing. Ok I understand finance can be a hindrance but it’s all about planning I promise y’all. Then artists don’t interact online till they have a release. No!!! Keep entertaining your fans with your every move, shows (huge or small deal), anything. Keep yourself relevant and when you drop something new it’s gonna be a bonus. Most Camer artists are first and foremost camera shy. They don’t take pictures, they don’t even interact with fans on social media, etc. Come on!!! I don’t know how to address all these setbacks but there are a lot going on. Then the part that annoys me the most is when artists don’t act like they are stars. You don’t have to be Michael Jackson to act like one. Start acting like a star and you’ll get the respect you deserve. It’s all about branding. I’ll not get into that but there are some Cameroonian artists I think other artists should look up to as example; Magasco, Stanley Enow and Jovi.
You’ll hardly see these three on social media commenting and liking whatever that ain’t got nothing to do with them. They’re all about their business. Music and nothing else. You see them online, it’s about new music, video or shows or keeping the fans aware of what’s going on next. It ain’t no hopscotch! It’s show biz. Most of these artists use social media for their leisure time. No! Act like a star and you’ll be treated like one. And mind you that the above 3 are the most respected artists from Cameroon I noticed. Most people say that. It’s because of how they carry themselves on social media, real life and all. You don’t see them around bars drinking and house parties or whatever. Not at all! Except it’s business or for shows. I have to stop talking I’ll take years I promise lol
It has nothing to do with bloggers. Bloggers are trying their best. Sometimes bloggers would even have to beg for pictures or videos from an event to do a blog post about certain artists. Like where is your common sense? Do you know that’s part of getting your name out there? I actually appreciate bloggers that uplift Cameroonian artists and their music. It’s always something positive and encouraging. Those that always look for the negative to post about I have no respect for. They are not bloggers, they are spammers. The Cameroonian entertainment industry is at the growing stage that needs a lotta help, support and encouragement. We don’t need spam. Move over lol
There’s nothing like the general public prefer Naija or Western music. It’s what they constantly listen to so don’t blame them. It should start with us. The DJs, radio houses, TV and all. That’s all.
ABY: You are such a massive supporter of young artists and a lot of them turn to you when they are trying to break into the market. Do you get the same amount of support back from them once and if they make it big?
YEN: Oh yes! Huge example is Stanley Enow. When I knew him he wasn’t this huge. Now he’s really huge but he has not changed! He’s the same Stanley; very humble.
ABY: What is your most annoying habit?
YEN: Lol I preach a lot. I’m always trying to advise people but I don’t advise myself. Sad!
ABY: What is your pet peeve?
YEN: Don’t snore around me. I’ll die!!!!
ABY: What is your guilty pleasure?
YEN: Crime scene investigation shows. I watch the ID Channel round the clock. I’m obsessed it’s unhealthy!
ABY: OMG like me! I’ve watched every CSI show! I even read crime novel. Don’t get me started…Moving on. What’s your secret wish?
YEN: I SERIOUSLY wish I can be a witness to a crime someday. So I can help the cops catch the killer. Like describe the car they drove, their outfit and all. I swear I’m obsessed with forensics!
ABY: Haha I can’t with you. Don’t end up in witness protection! Who is your Camer celebrity crush?
YEN: You remember Guy Manu? I used to have a huge crush on him back in the days of “Sous Prefet”. But now i don’t have any lol.
ABY: What are you really bad at?
YEN: I’m bad at keeping friends lol. I’m good at making them but can’t keep them. The bad thing is I don’t care if I lose them. That’s a bad thing too right? Lol I guess.
ABY: Name 3 people you admire.
YEN: My Dad, my daughter & my mom.
ABY: You are very outspoken and your opinions are unfiltered yet you manage to keep a good part your personal life out of the lime light. How is that?
Many people wonder how too lol. It’s not that hard! Don’t just post about your personal life on social media. Not judging those who do but I’m not. Never! Till whoever pops the question. I ain’t giving nobody shine on my timeline for free lol That’s how I see it!
ABY: The Cameroon music is growing bigger by the minute! Who would you say is Kreef’s biggest completion at the moment? And if not, why is there a lack of competition?
YEN: Kreef’s biggest competition are the Kreef artists; Mic Monsta & Peter Jericho. They are their own competition. They are competing with what they were yesterday for a better tomorrow.
ABY: What do you have to say to people who only jump on the bandwagon after an artist you spotted has made it?
YEN: They are fake and hypocrites. Lol that’s all I’m saying for now. I don’t want no “Anonymous” on my ass today… they can come back after the holidays lol
ABY: Damn I was trying to get you in trouble so bad…hahaha! You take it very personal when people compare and blast Cameroonian artists because their video quality/concept is ‘amateur’ as compared to other Nigerian or even Western artists. Why is that? Is it not true that we grow by aiming for the best?
YEN: It’s true; but I’ll appreciate when someone wanna say something, they’re actually doing something to help make it better. Don’t sit and complain when you’re not helping. You are the problem!
ABY: If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title should be?
YEN: “EBANGHA” lol it sums it all.
ABY: What’s the most ridiculous rumour that you’ve heard about yourself?
YEN: I’ve heard like 300 ridiculous ones though lol. The latest one that got me dead was the bisexual rumor.
ABY: What is the weirdest thing about you?
YEN: I hate when hair touches my neck. I feel violated! Lol I can’t stand any form of hair around my neck. Nope!
ABY: What quote do you live by?
YEN: It is a Bible verse. And i have it tatted on my left arm. It is Hebrew 13:2.
It says: “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers, for some have entertained angels unaware.” Meaning, be kind to everyone, you never know who will be of help to you tomorrow. Something like that lol
ABY: What is the best gift you’ve ever received?
YEN: My daughter.
ABY: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
YEN: I’m actually a shy person. Honestly I am lol.
ABY: LOL go away!
Wasn’t that a fun interview? I swear she’s so sweet and was lovely to talk to. Catch up with Ebangha Njang and hear the latest about Kreef Entertainment on:
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