Monday, 9 April 2018

Celebrating, Promoting and Consuming Our Own: Meet Cameroonian Actress And Upcoming Producer Stephanie Tum.

Stephanie Tum is a Cameroonian actress and upcoming producer, from the North West Region of Cameroon, who has starred in five (05) different quality movies.

She is a holder of a Master degree in Management, and a mother of two healthy boys(she had three but lost one some years back). We continue to remember her in our prayers, for strength and Grace to overcome.

As a kid, the bold, beautiful and confident Stephanie Tum aka 'Stephygraph' loved performing in school plays and everything entertainment. So growing up and watching Nigerian movies especially, made her fall deeply in love with acting, as she began dreaming of herself as an actress, and as part of the industry in the creative process of film making as well.
The gorgeous looking sister made her debut on our screens in 2005, during her high school days, in the movie 'The Giant Broom", produced by Che Oliver, one of her school teachers, who offered her a minor role.

From 2005 - 2013, Stephygraph featured in two other movies as a part time actress.
Her breakthrough in the industry came in 2012 in the movie 'Pink Poison' featuring Africa's bad boy, Nigerian born Jim Iyke, Tito Valery, Solange Ojong, Legendary actor Ottia Vitalise, and a host of other A-list actors, produced by Agbor Gilbert Ebot and directed by Neba Lawrence.
In 2013, she casted in the movie 'Viri', produced by one of Cameroon's most  decorated actor/producer Nkanya Nkwai

Stephanie picked up a job in an Oil/Gas company, where she worked for seven years taking time on and off the scene from time to time. 

Within that period, she had her kids, and  finally decided to take a break from work, and focus on her acting career and family.
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She made a full time comeback in the industry in July 2017, and grabbed a Lead role as Laurine in Soli Egbe's much talked about movie 'Shrill'.
She also features in the upcoming movie 'Little Cindy', to be Premiered in Buea and Kumba come May 2018, produced by G-Class and SABUC Movies.

According to the actress, the biggest challenge she personally faced in her acting career was her inconsistency in the industry, which  was due to her very demanding job and her family, which was, is and will always be her priority. 

About the overall challenge in the industry, Stephygraph said: 
"We lack platforms/distributors to showcase our movies so Cameroonians can easily have access to them. And lack of sponsors to support the industry.Other than that, I am good."
Stephanie Tum is not stopping at the level of the scene(actress) she is also working on becoming a film maker.
She has set up a production company called Embi Productions, and is at the pre-production stage of the project. She is working slowly but surely to the peak point, and says she is in no rush, because she is using patience to get the BEST she needs to get there.



On the many critics from the public and her upcoming projects, she had this to say:
"I love my Cameroon people cus they know how to give tough love and always keep you on the edge. They are not all negative as some people make it seem. Cause the truth is, it's only something you truly care about that you will want to see it grow. And that is much needed because we need that to push us to work harder and grow into their high expectations. "
"On the other hand it will be great if they supported us and cheered our efforts as we climb that ladder to reach where they expect us to be, because we are doing our utmost best with the little resources and finance we have to push what we are so passionate about infront and put the Cameroon film Industry on the map. And we will get there by God's grace , hardwork and persistence."
"All I can say is 'I have great projects for 2018' as I am stepping into the shoe of a Producer. So you will see the projects unfolding eventually."
In an era, when Cameroonians are frowning at the inaccessibility of home made movies, grumbling that movies are produced only for International festivals, Stephygraph thinks Sponsors and good distribution channels can give golden rays of hope to this disturbing situation, and bring home made movies right to the doorsteps of the community.
"Home made movies have greatly improved in quality ( stories, scripts , image and sound quality etc?)
We have great and talented people in the movie industry and we can clearly see that in our movies now. That is an indisputable fact. If we have 'sponsors, a good distribution and marketing network' set in place for the industry then we are good."

According to her, the rough edges producers face in the industry can be made smooth, if the movies they produce are well distributed and marketed.
"Our biggest problem is marketing and distribution,
because even when the producers struggle with their hard earned money to produce these movies we still come back to this problem. If we can start solving this problem then it will really be a breakthrough for the industry."
The delectable Stephanie is a very positive person, who appreciates people and things the way they are. She is social, VERY FRIENDLY, humble, soft and always gives a listening ear and a crying shoulder when need be, reason why many look up to her as a Role Model.
The Cameroonian Film Industry which is a jungle of the good, the bad and the ugly, where bromance and sismance are rare experiences, everyone is Stephanie's booh, and she believes in love, and has this words for haters:
"I don't have haters cause for me that word does not reflect how I perceive things. I am a very positive person and I always try to focus on seeing the positive in every one and every situation and try to understand where they are coming from to understand their mindset and the reasons they do or say the things they say.
At the end of the day God got Us All."
With the all the pressures in the industry, we questioned how Stephanie Tum has been coping with her career and family, and she said:
"I try my best to balance both but my family is my priority always.".

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