Manu Dibango and Francis Bebey are two of the greatest musical exports from Cameroon but both became famous in France and not in their native Cameroon. The lack of a vibrant and imaginative PR agency to take Cameroonian music to a global audience was the main problem. ModeMaison PR that recently celebrated its first anniversary in Douala the economic capital of Cameroon appears to have answered that perennial problem. Stanley Enow aka “bayangi boy” best known for his hit single “hein pere” shot to national and international prominence with the assistance of the innovative branding and promotion ideas by ModeMaison PR. The agency has also worked with other uprising musical stars including CIANA, Daddyblack, Nabil, Jovi, Reniss and Magasco.
London based Cameroonian Fashionista /music lover Ms Cynthia Tabe now in her thirties says she created ModeMaison PR because she is “passionate about promoting/encouraging/building people”.
Ms Tabe has managed to take her clients to a global market with the effective use of social media including facebook, twitter and LinkedIn. Her twitter account has a massive 17 thousand tweets with 1929 followers!
ModeMaison PR also promotes designers and films. The agency is presently promoting VIRI, a new eagerly awaited movie produced by Nkanya Nwai.
Francis Ngwa has been speaking to Ms Cynthia Tabe shortly after her branding agency anniversary celebrations.
Q Based in London with most of your acts and clients in Cameroon, how do you work with them?
The virtual world and technology have indeed facilitated my job! Nonetheless, I do have an office with an assistant in Cameroon. Therefore, every client relationship starts with a visit/meeting with my assistant Karen before the partnership is signed and sealed.
Q. In real terms, how will you say your PR work has benefited your clients?
We brand them, we build them and then we buzz them which enables them to gain visibility and notoriety. It also gives their image a professional edge. A one man band in their industry does not go very far so with us pushing them, the benefits become clear.
Q. What have been the main problems you have faced in your first year of operations?
The main problem is money (or the lack of it) in a baby industry like ours with few investors and brands not making much money. Give it a few years and this will become a distant memory.
Q Until the arrival of ModeMaison PR, Cameroonian musicians/artists apparently knew little about PR and selling themselves as a business. How do you think you have changed things in just one year?
Cameroonians love to see before they accept or believe and having worked with Nabil, Stanley Enow and Ciana –it has been an eye opener for them.
Q What are your long term goals?
My long term goal is to completely change the perception and mentality in Cameroon showbiz through our collaboration. I will like to see brands within this sector setting aside a budget for PR, marketing and image branding. I will also like to see record labels/music houses in this sector calling us and discussing about how to work promote new artists before they release their songs on the market. We need to make the industry more professional and get our artists on the international market.