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All about Nkanya Nkwai

We met this maestro of the movie industry during the 20th edition of the Ecrans Noirs Film Festival which was held from 15-23 July 2016 in Yaounde. In an exclusive interview granted us, the member of the jury of the "Afrique centrale+ longs métrages Camerounais", gave us interesting and mouth-watering information about him. Welcome to the world of Nkanya.


Nkanya Nkwai (Copyright)

  How did you get in to the movie industry?

Growing up as a child, it was never  my dream of becoming a movie actor as i had biggger plans for myself but things however in 2008 while i was in Limbe.
 It came more as an epiphany and curiosity as i had little  or no knowledge on filmmaking in general. I  can never forget my first audition as it was not the best, because things did not go according to plan. The Director of the film however gave me a chance as he saw me like somebody who had great potential but who had to work hard to get to the top.  He gave me a role in the movie and this marked the beginning of my career in the film industry. I have acted in about 20 movies so far winning awards such as Best Actor and Nightfall won the Best Feature film in the 2014 edition of the Ecrans Noirs Film Festival.

You are an actor, director, producer and technician? What accounts for this success?

I will start by saying that i an not a technician(laughter). At least not  for the moment and i do not think i will be one any time soon. Being in the movie industry has not been a bed of roses. There were times when things were so tough but i never let go and i think it contributed largerly to my success and i am very proud of it . Very few Cameroonian filmmakers have attained this level of success and we hope for a brighter future for the Cameroonian film industry. I know you might be wondering how someone can act and direct movies at the same time but i must say it is not difficult and it all depends on how you plan yourself.

 According to you, why is the Cameroonian film industry not taking off ?

 In my opinion i do not think the Cameroonian film industry is still behind. We might not be on the top but we are making efforts to get there. We have Cameroon movies like Ninah’s Dowry, W.A.K.A, Clando (the one by J.M Teno), Beleh, Alma, Damaru, Obsession that have travelled across the globe and screened in  countries where the movie industry is taken seriously and which have important film festivals  such as FESPACO in Burkina Faso and many others. So it looks like success to me do you think? If a movie is well made it will get attention in most places.

How can the film industry be ameliorated in your own opinion ?

As i earlier on said things are not that bad but we need to work extra hard to get our industry to compete with others like Nollywood, Bollywood and  why not Hollywood. It is not an easy task but i beleive we can make it and we can start by; more creative in terms of script writing and the various themes explored. I will also commend your initiative as it is a good thing that media men are more and more interested in what we do especially CRTV which has been promoting our works. This is because if CRTV buys Cameroonian movies, filmmakers will make dividences from investments thus enabling actors  to be have more renumerations, and also become popular in their own country.  Our art and culture keep dying  while foreign films are being projected  and it makes filmmakers not to enjoy the fruit of their labour. I’m sorry I can’t continue, this makes me cry. Why can CRTV not understand this?

 What can you tell us on your social and also your hobbies?

(Laughter) I knew we will come to this question but Nkanya is single and though i work a lot i will love to get married someday. And when i do i will have more time for my family as i will not travel that much again. I am a busy person as i said and when i have time i like to relax and have fun with loved ones. I especially enjoy watching golf and football and when i have the opportunity especially on weekends i engaged in some friendly matches.


 If you had the opportunity to tell your fans something today what will it be?

I will tell them i love them and thanks for the support and confidence as they make me feel special.


Maimounatou Bourzaka