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Nuvi Gana: Meet the icon leading Cameroon’s fashion renaissance

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By Daniel D.

In Cameroon’s fashion landscape, one name stands out – Nuvi Gana, the visionary behind Nuvi Creative and the African Heritage Fashion Week and Awards.

With a passion for fashion and a desire to uplift his country, Nuvi has not only achieved fame and success but has also made a significant impact on the lives of many.

Nuvi Gana established Nuvi Creative in 2007 following his studies in fashion and design.

This fashion house has not only brought him fame and fortune, but it has also improved the lives of many young Cameroonians who are delving into the profession.

After touring global fashion events and exhibitions, he realized that Cameroon was lagging behind in the fashion arena.

Established brands lacked exposure to effective product promotion, while aspiring designers lacked platforms to showcase their talent.

Nuvi Gana, a successful figure in the fashion and design industry, thought about ways to spotlight his country’s fashion brands as well as give back to his country.

This passion pushed him to create the African Heritage Fashion Week and Awards, a yearly event where aspiring designers, student designers, and established designers may present their creations to a global audience.

The second edition of the event took place in Buea from April 17 to 20, 2024.

More than just a fashion event, it celebrates the shared culture of Africa and unites designers in showcasing their skills.

Nuvi told MMI the idea behind the concept is to introduce Cameroon to a wider audience and to close the gap in fashion and design between Cameroon and other nations.

“Due to the shortage of means for upcoming designers to showcase their work, or due to a platform for designers that already have a brand to meet with marketers like fashion buyers and media, we were lacking that position in Cameroon,” he said.

“Then it comes to mind that I have been out there visiting different fashion platforms and different fashion seminars; why can I not bring it to Cameroon? And why not make it an African thing?”

For this reason, fashion designers from all throughout Africa were invited to the second edition.

Nuvi Gana basking in the elegance of one of his designs
Client showcases one of Nuvi Gana’s creative designs

For four days, the event featured a variety of activities, including designer get-togethers, exhibitions by student designers, Sanja and Toghu cultural nights, and, at the end, an award ceremony.

Links to the coastal regions and cultural grasslands are established by the Sanja and the Toghu Night.

These activities not only showcased the diversity of African fashion but also celebrated Cameroon’s rich cultural heritage.

Battling Against Second-hand Goods

Nuvi highlighted the challenges faced by Cameroon’s fashion industry, including the preference for second-hand goods over locally made products

“When our own country accepts second-hand goods more than those made in Cameroon, it becomes another problem,” he said.

He stated that this is among the causes of his membership in the Cameroon English Designers Association. This is a result of the association’s goal of getting the government to enact legislation requiring residents to wear only clothes made in Cameroon.

“This has made me bring this event so that we can unite Cameroon and make Cameroonians understand that wearing Cameroon one hundred percent is not only making people rich but also the economy,” said Nuvi Gana.
 

Prioritizing Cultural Heritage

Showcasing Cameroon’s rich cultural heritage is at the center of Nuvi’s drive.

He believes people without a culture are people without an identity.

“As a fashion designer, any of your work has your identity. It is like a trademark. That is why I define fashion as a lifestyle and a culture. It is our own identity,” he said.

He is not working alone to achieve this. Many fashion designers in the country share his dream, reason why they turned out in their numbers at the African Heritage Fashion Week to showcase their own fashion designs.

Fashion designers from Buea, Maroua, Douala, Yaounde, and Bamenda turned out at the show to showcase clothing, footwear and hairstyles made entirely of African materials.

Among them was Yaounde-based fashion designer Herve Nguvi, who presented a selection of items fashioned from animal pelts, leaves, and fruit skins.

He said his designs were inspired by a desire to break free from colonial influence and celebrate Africa’s unique identity.

Similarly, Yaounde-based designer, Cora, created a line of raffia-based clothing. She said that every detail of the exquisite designs was authentically African.

The same was true of Hamza Fakil from the North Region, whose designs depicted the culture of the North.

Ernest Nwoh, another fashion designer fondly called “Toghu Boss,” displayed a variety of elegant gowns that represented the culture of Cameroon’s grassfield Region.

Touching Lives With Fashion

Nuvi says he intended to give back to mankind in addition to making money, when he founded his design brand in 2007.

Through the Nuvi Creative School of Fashion and Design, he has empowered dozens of young people some of who are now in charge of their own businesses.

The majority of these trainees come from Cameroon’s Anglophone Regions, which have been ravaged by armed conflict.

“The school is a platform I use to assist others. 80 percent of students who have graduated are from the regions affected by the Anglophone Crisis. The trainees come under my scholarship because I always make sure that every year I need to support five or six girls. To train them for free and give them sewing machines,” he told MMI.

The motivation, he said, was “just the love of humanity. I know what we are going through”.

Before he became a successful fashion designer, he stated that it was a terrific challenge. His humanitarian act was mostly motivated by the difficulties he encountered getting into the trade, and it is his goal that no one else goes through the same ordeal.

Among Nuvi’s success stories is Nde Vanista, a 25-year-old who now runs Vani-Star Fashion and Design based in Bamenda.

Nde Vanista, trainee of Nuvi Gana’s Nuvi Creative School of Fashion and Design

Thanks to Nuvi Creative, she was able to showcase her work during the second edition of AHF Week and Award, shortly after she graduated last year.

Vanista told MMI that Nuvi had given her something that she would always remember.

She studied at the Nuvi Creative School of Fashion and Design in Buea on a cost-free basis, obtaining ample skills from which she now makes a living.

ALSO READ: Bamenda Fashion Designers Shine At African Heritage Fashion Week

The Man Nuvi Gana

He is an ambitious individual who crafts innovative, trend-forward garments for an array of styles.

He possesses a deep understanding of the fashion industry, with
strong technical skills and an eye for fine detail.

Creator of high-quality pieces, utilizing a comprehensive planning process to guide garment construction.

He hails from Bali Nyonga, in the North West Region of Cameroon. In the years 2001–2004, he studied at Freeman’s Fashion and Art School in Douala, Cameroon, and obtained a diploma in fashion design.

Later in 2007, he enrolled in Samba Dio Fashion School in Senegal, where he studied for two years and left with a Higher National Diploma (HND) in Fashion Design.

He possesses great experience in fashion design, as has been designing since 2007 to date.

Nuvi has featured in many fashion events in and out of Cameroon. Among these are: the Mondial Beauty Parade in 2007 in Bamenda; FIAFA (Fredash International Annual Fashion Avenue Cameroon) in 2015; and Men’s Fashion Week Nigeria in 2016.

He has also won several awards, including the Runway Best Designer for the Mondial Beauty Parade in 2007; the Best Designer for the Ebony Project in 2011; Male Fashion Designer of the Year in International Runway Achievers and the Recognition Awards, Ireland, in 2017.

Nuvi has mentored junior designers, fostering a supportive work environment that encourages creativity and innovation.

He has also conducted market research to identify emerging trends, guiding the development of new collections accordingly.

©Mimi Mefo Info

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Afrique

Pourquoi le SG par intérim du Senat a été chassé de son poste ?

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Bernard Wongolo est accusé par la commission d’enquête parlementaire piloté par le vice président du sénat Aboubakary Abdoulaye, de détournement de deniers publics. Il n’assure plus l’intérim du secrétariat général de la chambre haute du parlement, et plusieurs de ses proches ont été garde-à-vue.

La commission d’enquête parlementaire dirigée par le vice-président du sénat Aboubakary Abdoulaye et par ailleurs le Lamido de Rey Bouba vient d’épingler l’ex gouverneur de région Bernard Wongolo. La commission accuse le secrétaire général d’un détournement de deniers publics issu des fonds propres du Senat et d’un montant de plus de 2 milliards de Fcfa.

Si les détails de ce détournement présumé n’ont pas été donnés, l’on apprend que les bureaux de monsieur Wongolo ont été scellés et plusieurs de ses proches collaborateurs ont été placés en garde-à-vue à Yaoundé.

Né en 1954 à Yokadouma dans la Boumba et Ngoko, Bernard Wongolo, le secrétaire général adjoint du Senat, assurait l’intérim du titulaire Michel Meva Meboutou, indisponible depuis plusieurs mois pour cause de maladie.

Prévu par la Constitution camerounaise de 1996, le Sénat représente les collectivités territoriales dé- centralisées, à savoir les communes et les régions. Il a pour mission, comme l’Assemblée nationale, d’adopter les lois, d’apporter des amendements ou de rejeter des textes soumis à son examen. Mais ce n’est qu’en 2013 que les premiers sénateurs ont été élus. Calculette en main c’est un montant cumulé de 167 milliards de FCFA que cette institution a coûté au contribuable camerounais en 9 ans d’existence. De quoi relancer les débats sur son utilité, certains la considérant comme une institution budgétivore. Le Sénat continue de susciter de vifs débats sur son utilité, certains le considérent comme une institution budgétivore de plus. Le Dr Cyriaque Esseba n’hésitait pas à déclarer, au moment de la mise sur pied du Senat, que « le Sénat est considéré comme une simple doublure coûteuse sans enjeu politique réel et les sénatoriales comme une modalité de divertissement ». Une image qui n’a pas beaucoup changé, dix ans après, du fait surtout de sa faible influence sur le vote des lois.

Jeanne Ndome

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Afrique

Cameroonians in Bahrain Stranded as Passport Renewal Stalls

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Manama, Bahrain Hundreds of Cameroonian citizens residing in Bahrain are facing an agonising wait for passport renewals, leaving many in a precarious situation. The delays stem from the inability of the Cameroonian embassy in Saudi Arabia to send a team for biometric data collection, a crucial step in the renewal process. In December, MMI reported the challenges they were facing regarding the exorbitant cost of passports. But it appears, the situation has just gotten worse.

In a heartfelt message to the MMI Team, an anonymous Cameroonian currently residing in Bahrain expressed grief and disappointment over the ongoing challenges faced by the Cameroonian community in obtaining passport renewals.

Since the last visit by representatives from the Cameroonian embassy in Saudi Arabia, there has been no subsequent visit despite numerous pleas and messages sent to the embassy. The representatives, who are responsible for biometric data collection necessary for passport renewals, have not returned to Bahrain, leaving many Cameroonians in limbo.

“Cameroonians are here in their hundreds, living illegally and without jobs just because their passports are expired and their companies can’t renew their visas,” the anonymous resident explained. “Many others cannot travel due to this issue.”

According to a letter sent by the Cameroon Association in Bahrain (CAMBAH) in March, a team was scheduled to visit Bahrain for passport services. However, technical difficulties, specifically a faulty bio-data collection machine, have thwarted those plans.

The situation has caused significant frustration and hardship for Cameroonians in Bahrain. Many have reportedly paid for passport renewals online months ago but remain in limbo. Expired passports prevent them from working legally, traveling, or even residing in Bahrain without penalty.

“They keep on promising and failing,” lamented a Cameroonian resident. “Now most of us are stranded due to passport issues.”

While CAMBAH acknowledges the challenges and expresses appreciation for patience, the ongoing delays have left many feeling helpless. The letter from March offered no concrete timeline for when the technical issues would be resolved or when a team would visit Bahrain.

“We understand the importance of having access to passport renewal services and the frustration that these delays may cause,” the letter reads, “but please be assured that both the Passport Committee and the team in Saudi Arabia are working tirelessly to resolve these issues as quickly as possible.”

However, for many Cameroonians, “as soon as possible” isn’t soon enough. “I paid for my passport renewal in December,” said another resident, Aissatou (name changed to protect privacy). “I can’t work without a valid passport, and now my visa is expiring too. I don’t know what I’m going to do.”

As of today, May 29th, there have been no further updates from the embassy or CAMBAH.

This ongoing story will be updated as new information becomes available.

Mimi Mefo Info

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Afrique

Robert Kona fait appel après la suspension du congrès du PCRN.

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Après la suspension du congrès du PCRN à Maroua, chef-lieu de la région de l’Extrême Nord du Cameroun, le co-fondateur du PCRN a introduit deux requêtes auprès de la cour d’appel de l’Extrême Nord en date du 22 mai 2024.

L’homme de Guidiguis, à travers ses avocats, a d’abord fait appel de l’ordonnance du juge des référés qui suspendait, le 21 mai dernier, le congrès du Parti camerounais pour la Réconciliation nationale. Suite au contentieux en cours depuis novembre 2023 devant le Tribunal de première instance de Kaélé dans le Mayo Kani qui n’était pas clos, le Tribunal de première instance de Maroua à dès lors de la réalisation que de tels travaux ne pourraient pas se tenir pour la sécurité de tous.

À la veille d’une année électorale, le PCRN n’est pas toujours en position d’entente. Robert Kona, cofondateur du parti, cherche à contrer son ami Cabral. Il est tout de même à noter que faisant suite à l’annulation des résolutions du congrès ordinaire de Guidiguis du 11 mai 2019 par Kona, au cours duquel Cabral Libii avait été porté à la tête de cette formation politique.

Une requête aux fins des défenses à exécution a été déposée à la Cour d’appel de l’Extrême-Nord par les avocats de Robert Kona. « Le certificat d’appel est une des pièces à joindre à la requête aux fins de défenses à exécution et ce, à peine d’irrecevabilité de celle-ci. La notification du certificat de dépôt à la partie adverse (dans un délai de cinq jours) et le pouvoir d’ordre suspendent immédiatement l’exécution, même commencée, de la décision attaquée, jusqu’à l’intervention de l’arrêt de la juridiction saisie », analyse Me Paul David Liegheu, avocat au Barreau du Cameroun. Pour la suite de la procédure, une nouvelle audience est programmée le 6 juin prochain pour l’audition des arguments de chaque partie.

En attendant qu’une décision soit rendue par la Cour d’appel de l’Extrême-Nord, Robert Kona peut organisateur son congrès. « A ses risques et périls cependant, puisque le tribunal peut lui donner tort plus tard. Il aura donc organisé un congrès qui pourrait finalement s’avérer illégal et que le camp d’en-face pourra à son tour attaquer », prévient-il. Par ailleurs, il devrait à nouveau que le co-fondateur du PCRN respecte la procédure en matière de réunion publique, en déclarant l’organisation dudit congrès auprès de l’autorité administrative. A ce propos, contactée à plusieurs reprises par CT, l’équipe du co-fondateur du PCRN n’a pas souhaité s’exprimer pour l’instant sur la suite de sa démarche, indique Me Paul David Liegheu.

Mimi Mefo Info

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