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See How Kreative Kwame is Advancing Creativity in Cameroon in Today’s Doing Life With…

Written by on November 11, 2023

Doing Life With… is a BellaNaija Features series that showcases how people live, work, travel, journalling, care for their families and… everything in between. We are documenting the lives of all people and ensuring everyone is well-represented at BN through storytelling.

Last week, we had a conversation with Elozonam. Did you miss it? Read it here.

Today, we are doing life with Kreative Kwame, a Cameronian creative, documentary photographer and director whose works have been exhibited in places like Paris and Geneva through the United Nations and Amnesty International. He has directed several short films and music videos and is the founder of ALAKIND, a photography startup through which stories are amplified, and co-founder of We’re All Liquid (WAL), a fundraising initiative for creatives. Dig in!

Hey, Kwame. How’s it going? 

Hello, BellaNaija. I am eating eru right now, and I am living healthily. I am also feeling optimistic.

About life?

About everything, actually.

Love it for you! Tell us about yourself and what part of your growing up that influenced who you are today

I’ve always been intrigued by the human thought process – what makes us think, laugh, and love – and how communication plays a part in everything. I also know I can tell stories that evoke emotions and create memories. The thirst to understand how still images convey a story is why I began taking photos with my iPhone 7, before transitioning to moving pictures also known as film.

I think it properly started in 2019 when I was searching for tips like “how to edit moody photos” on YouTube. Studying Journalism and Mass Communication heightened this interest with the few advertising and PR classes we had. During my time in university, my friend Yves Zogo and I hosted a successful radio show. This experience allowed us to work on our first 360 ad campaign which included an OOH billboard advertisement just outside the campus – the first of its kind for a school program. As I continued to develop my passion for storytelling, I ventured into spoken word poetry and even curated Spoken Word/Creative Events in my hometown of Buea. This became my first job after school. Additionally, I managed marketing and PR for the same establishment, IYA. These experiences, I believe, shaped me into who I am.

We’re All Liquid art exhibition

Interesting. You’re a photographer, director, and founder of two initiatives. Tell us about wearing these many hats

It’s like a body of water that flows into a little fountain. I enjoy the swim – the creative process and the reaction. They’re usually intertwined. Through ALAKIND, we aim to create or identify possible amplifiable stories through crafted campaigns, be it commercials, creative or art direction, documentaries, music videos and other forms of visual branding. Through We’re All Liquid (WAL), we challenge ourselves to identify important causes and connect art to them through awareness, fundraising and creative exchanges or events. It’s all creative work.

What impact have these initiatives made so far? 

Through our first art exhibition, we raised funds and awareness to provide clean water for 700+ school children in ironically one of the wettest places on earth, Debundscha, Cameroon. My dear friend Eva and I always wanted to have an art exhibition for my work for the first time in Cameroon but we knew we wanted to attach a good cause to it. We collaborated with brilliant artists like William Bakiamo, Alide Ymele and more and we remain grateful to LiveBuild NL for believing in us. 

We also launched the WAL Photo Prize during the APWAL Fine Art Festival in Buea, supporting the winner with XAF 100,000 to encourage more fine art photographers. Through Alakind, we continue to accompany startups such as Nkwa App, Fripped and some amazing artists in their journey. Teamwork is very important because I work with a lot of young people whom I believe have a lot to offer and are learning at a rapid rate. 

You describe yourself as an experimental storyteller, what does that mean?

I am always learning and evolving through practice, trying new ways and mediums to communicate my ideas.

What are some amazing projects you’ve worked on? 

The WAL exhibition is still so dear to me not only for the vision and execution but for also expanding my art knowledge and serving as co-curator. We had our first international collaboration, partnering with Artivist and EARTH Water by sending artworks from Cameroonian artists to be showcased in the Netherlands. I’m also very happy to have worked on a documentary exposing the rate of diabetes in rural areas in Cameroon which was shared by the World Diabetes Foundation. We also worked on a water documentary showing the efforts to connect villages and provide them with potable water.

Being a creative comes with challenges, can you share some of them with us?

As nice as swimming in this body of water is, it isn’t without its storms. Finding like-minded people who would like to execute certain projects is not easy. Finding high-grade equipment is even harder. We need a proper rental service that can provide high-end production equipment so our visual quality can compete at an international level. We are doing our best with the bare minimum.

I’m rooting for you, Kwame. What’s a typical day in your life like?

Days change as projects approach. I do enjoy my space and alone time so I’m usually home when much isn’t going on, and I like to travel when I can. Wake, pray, work, sleep, eat Kati Kati or Okonghobong, in between. I enjoy YouTube video essays and tutorials. I am always trying to learn something new, even if it has nothing to do with my current field. 

Hold on, are you always eating?

Haha, not every time, of course.

I’m just kidding. Mention three things in your everyday life that get you excited or make you happy 

The promise of a new project, the connections we can make through it, the financial gains and the process it involves. Also, remembering I’m doing my best when things are not how they should be excites me. The future of where I see all this leading to excites me.

I really love that. Let’s say you have a special power to change the world through art, how would you use it?

By finding more people who share the love for art and empowering them to impact their communities.

That’s thoughtful. Three fun facts about Cameroon everyone must know about? 

We have the richest culinary experience in the world. Good food everywhere. With so many tribes, there’s also a melange of culture. From Eru, to Ndole, to Achu and others. We speak English and Pidgin English. You wise nor? We are a very proud people. We will tear our government to pieces for bad governance but will annihilate someone from outside who insults us or our people, haha.

Hahaha. Three words that best describe you? 

Direct. Ambitious. Funny.


Many thanks to Kwame for having this conversation with us and answering our questions so swiftly. Do you love this content, have any feedback for us, want to be a BellaNaija Features contributor or want to be featured on Doing Life With…? We’d love to hear from you. Shoot us an email: features@bellanaija.com

Join us on Saturday for the next episode!

The post See How Kreative Kwame is Advancing Creativity in Cameroon in Today’s Doing Life With… appeared first on BellaNaija – Showcasing Africa to the world. Read today!.

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