NexDim caught up with renown journalist of Douala based TV channel LTM TV for an upclose interview about her career exploits and practical ethics in the noble profession of journalism and mass communication. Her eloquence is what blows me off !
Who is Amy Banda ?
Amy: Amy is an incredible,energetic, and ambitious young woman who laboriously struggles to make each day full of progress and achievement. A three year old practising Journalist at a Douala based private TV station Ltm TV, Amy tries as much as possible to keep her life in order (though one can never say perfection is of this world) so as to make every moment full of life & enthusiasm. Amy is one workaholic that works so hard on her craft and even in tears at times will not stop, I mean never stop nor retire till she completely finishes what she started. Owing her existence to GOD Almighty through the love of her parents, Amy BANDA loves all, loves every human being but ultimately disgrees when tricky ideas find their way into the picture.
Why did you take the bold step to venture into entertainment? It’s daring !
Amy: Journalism is informing the people around and afar of current events in the absolute respect of the professional norms and ethics. This means I am compelled to inform,educate and entertain my audience. Taking into consideration the crisis we face in most African countries today with some people accomplishing their egocentric ideas,I thought that venturinginto the entertainment industry will be the only way of reassuring Africa that tomorrow will be bright with better offers.I first of all cheer them up with funny jokes,entertaining and exciting shows that will make them laugh, forget about yesterday,and try something new for a better tomorrow.
Describe your journey to being a refined broadcaster.
Amy: First of all,I must thank you for the Compliment. From Childhood I had always enjoyed my dad’s seriousness over work and Anne’s eloquence when she presented the eye opener ‘Women and Development’ on the CRTV enlightening women of their rights on certain issues.I took interest in the noble profession and always said to myself,I will be better someday,Just need a chance.Embedded in my blood stream I nurtured the broadcast spirit,while yet watching foreign channels like the CNN and BBC to widen understanding cope and be like my colleagues of these foreign TV Stations.
If they weren’t before,they are joining me in my journey far beyond the sky.To tell you the truth,Mum would have wanted me to become a pilot or a doctor.As for Dad,though I have always been his Queen, I am not so sure about what he would want to do for a living because of his so reserved nature.
Amy,who is your role model in the entertainment Industry?
Amy: Oprah Oprah Oprah and only OPRAH WINFREY. She is such a bloody creative,ingenious personality whose shows are always inspiring. Her passion for ambition sets you on track always.
What are the ethics of a good presenter?
A good presenter must have the major P’s embedded in his/her bloodstream: Passion,personality and Presence. A good presenter must be able to improvise when the Director goes off track and even adlib in certain cases so that there is no dead air. And that doesn’t in any way means a good presenter should say rubblish on air to fill space or prevent dead air. Its awful to have dead air on radio/TV and even worse when one says adamant nonsense just to avoid dead air. A good presenter must be very vigilant because information can come into the studio at the last minute,delivery capacity must not change. If the studio is on fire,your smile and professionalism must always cover the inside mess.
What are the Challenges you face when you are on set?
Amy: I have received phone calls obliging me to step out of the set because of my poor dressing ( I was beautifully dressed in an African outfit exhibiting the colourful and diversified nature of my Culture) . I have received phone calls in the course of News Presentation urging me to stop wearing village,better still Bamenda in quotes hairstyles. I’m cut off on several counts when I am elaborately explaining an issue of concern to the public.If I have to tell you all the Challenges NexDim,we may spend the whole day on that. I must confirms it hurts but makes me bigger and stronger because I’m neither scared nor afraid of taking on new challenges.
What has been the best Moment in your Career?
Amy: The coincidence of the 2009 and 2011 editions of the Unity feast in Cameroon whereby Dad was reporting activities marking the 20th May Celebration live from the Yaounde 20th May Boulevard and I was doing same in Douala live from the UDEAC square. I was invited at Africa 24 on the 21st of May 2011 to talk about my profession and the challenges of pratising properly in the Cameroonian context. You know we look at the pan African channel like the CNN, so I felt like this small girl is actually gearing towards fulfillment.
Have you been a victim of gossip or rumour? How do you cope with such circcumstances?
Amy: Who has not been a victim of ‘Kongossa’ in this world of fame and glamour? Jesus,the only begotten son who gave HIS precious life on Mount calvary was persecuted inspite of all the wonderful things HE did for Mankind,what did they do HIM? Who are those who crucified HIM? U know we live in a world of Jealousy,Ungratefulness,Scorn but thank Goodness,GOD still exists to remove the victims from the dragnets of the devil,because no amount of ‘KONGOSSA’ changes it. LET the ‘Kongosaeurs’ as Emily describes gossips in one of her hit songs continue to talk about their subjects,who on their part,laboriously work for self fulfillment and growth of the country. As the subjects of discussions walk towards progress,the gossips remain on the spot gossiping. Who is the victor? The Gossip? or The Object of Gossip? I leave you to answer that question.
How do you relate with fans who always watch you on TV?
Amy: These fans are human beings like you and I. Aren’t they. There is no way I will spite on them because I appear on TV. No way! I embrace them and give them my ears because,u know we learn each day and sometimes wisdom comes from those usually rejected by a majority.
How do you evaluate the Urban music Industry in Cameroon?
Amy: The lone problem I have with Cameroon’s Urban Music Industry is that it doesn’t give the chance for music to evolve. Cameroon is blessed at all levels,that is why some people say its biggest crime was to have all the resources other countries don’t have, but ironically, it doesn’t exploit this potential for the glory of the nation. Music used to sell Cameroon’s image out of our national frontiers but today anyone hits the gong, drum salutes people in the melody, helas he is an artist, musician….. The bitter thing about this is that,the real artists and musicians are most of the times left in the dark with no one to project them to the limelight.
What do you think can make entertainment to be sustainable?
Amy: Young people like NEXDIMEMPIRE who have got brilliant and innovative ideas for the entertainment industry should be given a chance to excel and bring forth new and innovatives ideas for the Nation’s prosperity. Charlatans should quit before it quits them.
What is your dream?
Amy: I wish I could influence more lives as I grow in the profession.I wish to go back to school to upgrade my knowledge with capacity building training programmes to refurbish my talent. I wish to open a foundation (naming it after my darling mum Mrs BANDA GHOGOMU née FOKEMBAN UTIABOH Elizabeth) someday so I can immortalize my late mum,for the less priviledged like the orphans and abandonned babies.I also hope to have the chance in future to voice out the grievances of women,men and Children in one of my concepts ‘Woman’s World’,with the aim of resolving their plight. I also hope for a chance to introduce new innovative and brilliant entertainment concepts into a spanish website Muntu Media to excite the readers and viewers with burning and fresh News from the Cameroon Film Industry and Nollywood. I look forward to organise a TV reality show that will make the whole difference from previous shows in Cameroon. GOD with me always, I will glorify HIS name more.
I am anxiously eager to make the world a better place for all to live in peace,love and harmony.I don’t know if I’m crazy to carry that task on my shoulder but I know GOD will see me through it because my purpose for living is yet to be accomplished.I always have the culture of saying: ‘Everything well thought of,and worked for,can always be achieved’ signed Amy BANDA, and that is because in my most wildest & bitter past,out of nothing GOD made something of an ordinary me to do extraordinary things that inspire a whole lot of people towards hardwork and sacrifice which are the principal elements of success.I intend by GOD’s grace to maintain this.
What genre of music do you often listen to?
Amy: I listen to Mbagalum and Bottledance of the Mankon People, Makossa of the Douala people, Assiko and even Mangambe at times,of the Bassa people.One of the best things about the musically trained and Refined Jazz is that there is generally something classy for every listener. I like Jazz and Classical Music as well.
Several TV Channels have emerged like Canal 2,STV,Equinoxe TV… How does your channel cope with the stiff competition?
Amy: I strongly believe that Ltm TV is coping despite their limited means to produce many more interesting programmes. We do not doubt our ability because of the age experience other media organs have; We try each day to forge higher heights in the strict respect of ethics,but we need the support of Sponsors ready to accompany us with our dreams to reality land.
What is your advice to those who want to become broadcasters?
Amy: I was talking to Leila KIGHA and Flora JINGLA (all colleagues who kicked off the Ltm TV project before my arrival) hours ago and I said I can now work in trouble zones like Afghanistan, Baghdad because challenges meant to break me, built me and made me the rock. My advice is if you are looking for a name because of the good seed of hardwork you intend to plant, fine.You are on the right track. But if you are calculating on how to become famous and rich,you have missed the avenue, Don’t go any further lest you hit the ice block like the TITANIC vessel. We all know what happened to the vessel.
Are you married?
Amy: Happily married to my darling husband, Youmbi Bruno whose unconditional love and support strengthens me each day to take on the journey of Life.
What is your favourite Cameroonian dish?
Amy: Achu and Yellow soup. We call it one finger round the World.
Do you often read articles on Nexdimempire?
Amy: I guess I just signed a NEXDIM Life reading contract with you guys. You guys are doing a marvellous job I must confess. If you keep the pace,the cultural value and heritage of our traditional wealth will be brought to the spotlight.Thanks.
Amy, we won’t relent . We thank you enormously for your time. Your last words to the Cameroonian public.
Amy: Thanks for having me. It was a pleasure sharing the wonderful and most memorable moments of my life. You know, Life is a big learning experience that offers golden and sour opportunities,it all depends on how we make our way in and out of these opportunities. In all we do,we should Never look back with regrets because Life is never perfect;It rather offers the perfect moment & opportunity to start anew which is right now.