THE MANY FACES OF LUCIE MEMBA BOS.
In an industry where foundations are still being built, she has already established herself as a passionate and hardworking actress, producer and entrepreneur.That’s how we have all come to know and love Lucie Memba Bos.
Penjo Baba had posted some pictures of Lucie on Facebook with a brief introduction of who she was. My initial reaction was the same reaction I had when I first saw Lupita Nyong’o on MTV shuga. Lucie possessed that same world class, world dominating presence. I was so excited, excited to find out more about this actress. So when the time came to kickstart YW Coverstar in 2011, Lucie was one of the first celebrities I contacted for an exclusive interview. She was gracious, friendly and very cooperative. We went as far as creating the cover for the interview but you know what they say, you’re ready only when you’re ready. Fast forward to 2018…guess we’re finally ready.
Lucie Memba Bos hails from Nchang, in the Western Province. Growing up in Bafoussam(still in the Western Province), the actress always knew she wanted to be great. At an early age of seven, she trained and performed as a contemporary, traditional and classic dancer. While in secondary school, Lucie wanted to do more so she took part in music and also joined the gymnastics team. Being so good at it, Lucie was chosen to represent her school at the regional championship and she won. She was then chosen to represent the Western region at the national championship where she came fifth. With that under her belt, Lucie went ahead to represent the Western region at the Miss Cameroon pageant.
Straight out of school, Lucie moved to Douala for work. She worked with Guinness in the marketing department. After a while, Lucie was appointed the brand ambassador for Guinness, working alongside Michael Power during the brand’s campaigns. It was a beautiful job that involved travelling and advertising which Lucie truly enjoyed. But after many years of working with Guinness, the actress realised that she missed that feeling she felt on that set.
‘What set?’ I asked
“Back in secondary school, I was invited on a movie set. It was meant to be a fun dayout. While there, watching the actors, directors and rest of the movie crew do their jobs so passionately, I instantly caught the acting bug. There and then, I just knew I had to be on set, in movies, performing and entertaining.”
ACTRESS LIFE…PRODUCER LIFE.
Lucie left Guinness and immediately dived into training as an actress and going for auditions. It quickly paid off and the actress booked her first gig.Paradise‘Paradise’ was a romantic series directed by Ousmane Stephane. Lucie played the lead role, a dynamic lawyer whose teenage lover came back after 10 years to win her back. Then came ‘Paradise’ the movie, which gave the actresss the opportunity to produce as well as act. She co-produced with Ousmane Stephane.
“The experience as an actress and producer for the movie was very enriching. Being able to carry out two tasks was very empowering and kept me on my toes.”
When I asked why she decided to get into producing, Lucie graciously explained
“The vision as a producer came about when I quickly realised there weren’t much roles out there for the talented actors we have in Cameroon. So I wanted to create roles for others and myself as well. I also wanted to create roles I was comfortable with.”
Then came 2009, Lucie started shooting Season 2 and 3 of Paradise. Filming while being heavily pregnant caught the eyes of Cameroonian film producer, Agbor Gilbert, who happened to be on set.
“When I was on set for Paradise 2 and 3, Agbor Gilbert also happened to be on set. He was very impressed with my acting and also for the fact that I was willing to put in the work while heavily pregnant.
He offered her a role in his upcoming movie, Pink Poison. The movie was directed by Neba Lawrence. The actress worked alongside Jim Iyke, Solange Ojong and Stephanie Tum.
Pink Poison was Lucie’s first Anglophone/ English movie, making her the first bilingual actress in Cameroon, acting both in French and English.
“That movie changed my life. Many doors opened for me, thanks to Agbor Gilbert.”
After Pink Poison, Agbor Gilbert went ahead and casted Lucie in another movie ‘Far,’ directed by Nollywood director Ikechukwu Onyeka. Far was an international experience for the actress as she acted alongside Nollywood actress Dakore Egbuson-Akande, Haitian actress Merlisa Determined, Sharon Ojong and Kinta Eyong.
Lucie said W.AK.A was an experience she will never forget and one of her most challenging roles till date. When she got the call from Francoise Ellong in 2013, the actress was really excited not only because of the role but also because of the international exposure that the movie could bring. It was a Franco-Camerounaise production.
“Playing a prostitute is one of my best roles till date. Understanding that the role was out of my comfort zone, I had to really challenge myself to bring out the best of the character.”
It was the Film Director’s first movie in Cameroon.
While also in Cameroon to shoot his first movie, another movie director who also got in contact with Lucie was Thomas N’Gijol. The actor/comedian/director was shooting the movie ‘Fastlife’ and the actress was asked to play his sister in the movie.
“It was the most professional production I had ever been on since I started. It was very big and so elaborate. The set opened my eyes to so many things and it was then I realised we have to change the way we do things if we are to grow as a movie industry.”
With a handful of movies and a wide range of experience, It was time for the actress to expand her movie domination. She launched her Production House called LMB Production. Through her production house, the actress released the movie ‘Ntah Napi,’ a co-production with Buea Film Academy. It tells the story of a young girl given away to a Chief as a gift, only for the chief to later realise that the little girl was his daughter. It highlights the Ntah Napi practice of the Bamoun people of Cameroon. A practice where little girls(called Ntah Napi) are married off as gifts or debt settlement. A thought provoking movie which is even more relevant in today’s society especially with the rise of the MeToo movement.
Still under her production house, Lucie co-produced and acted in the first Cameroonian war movie ‘La Patrie D’Abord,’ as a wife of a soldier. The movie was a tribute to all the forces in Cameroon fighting against Boko Haram and terrorism.
With hardwork comes awards and Lucie has definitely bagged some prestigious awards since embarking on her movie career. Her movie ‘Ntah Napi’ received two awards at the prestigious Ecrans Noirs Film Festival. She and her crew took home Best Cameroonian Movie and Best Lead Actress Awards. She also got the award for Best French Lead Actress for the movie Paradise, at the Cameroon Movies Merit Awards(CMMA).
‘La Patrie D’Abord’ received a nomination for Best Actress at the Trophee Francophone Du Cinema. Though she didn’t win, the actress was so proud of herself considering it was a foreign award show and she was nominated alongside famous actresses from France and Africa.
LA FEE LUCIE.
Growing from strength to strength as an actress, producer and even a comedian, it was time for Lucie to expand again. This time she decided to tap into her fashion side and that’s how the birth of La Fee Lucie came about.
“La Fee Lucie is a fashion Afrochic boutique, a mixture of urban and African style. It came about because I noticed people were fascinated with my style. Whenever I post on social media, ladies were curious to know where I got my stuff, especially my African print outfits and where to get them. With that in mind, I decided to open a boutique where ladies could come in and buy ready-to-wear African prints, for all occasions.”
STUDIO PYGMALION AND ACTOR FACTORY.
After the international nomination, Lucie quickly realised that she needed more exposure and experience. With that in mind, she enrolled for a Winter actor’s training course with two popular training schools in France, Studio Pygmalion and Actor Factory. It was a very courageous decision for the actress to make because not only was she going there at the heart of Winter but she was also leaving her kids behind. That was a very hard decision to make as a mother but seeing the bigger picture, Lucie knew it was a little price to pay.
“Leaving my kids for one and the half months, managing my household from over there was really difficult for me. I left my warm country and braved the winter everyday just to get to school and back. All these were very difficult. But knowing what I wanted to achieve and the plans I had for the future, encouraged me and kept me going.”
What also encouraged the mother of three, was the many African actors from Morocco, Libya, Tunisia and many more. They had also sacrificed a lot just to be there. She was so proud of all the actors who were there with determined spirits to take African cinema to whole new heights.
“When I got there, I had a goal. I wanted to work a lot on myself, I wanted to discover the limitations I had as an actress. At the end of it, they said I had improved on my confidence. They encouraged me to always bring professionalism and confidence to every set.”
These results really boosted her and ever since she got back, the actress has been working really hard, looking for ways to expand and implement all what she’s learnt. Lucie is currently working on an upcoming full LMB production, with filming starting in 2019.
Whether being a mum, fitness enthusiast, actress, producer or entrepreneur, the striking thing about Lucie Memba Bos’ story that will stay with me, is her unfailing determination to make it in whatever she puts her mind into. That is one guaranteed recipe for success.
2017 : DEFYING THE 6TH de Neba Lawrence
2016 : LA PATRIE D’ABORD !!! De Thierry Ntamack
2014 : LE BLANC D’EYENGA 2 de Thierry Ntamack
2014: NTAH NAPI d’Ousmane Stéphane et Sergio Marcellos
2014: PARADIS… Quand le destin s’en mêle d’Ousmane Stéphane et Sergio Marcellos
2013: FAST LIFE de Thomas Ngijol
2013: FAR de Ikechwukwu Onyeka
2013: PINK POISON de Neba Lawrence
2013: W.A.K.A de Françoise Ellong
2011 : FIRST COUNTRY de Neba Lawrence
2011: ET SI C’ETAIT VOUS de Ousmane Stéphane
2010: LA MALADIE DU SOMMEIL : film Fiction Allemand d’Ulrich Köhler
2010: MISSION SECRETE: d’Hugues Ongoto
2009: SWEET HOME de Ghislain Amougou
2009: Passion. Com de Serge Kendjo
2008: Série PARADIS d’Ousmane Stéphane
2008: Série LE MONDE DE LOÏC, de Raphaël Matouke
2008: VIRUS SQUAD Ako Kenneth
2001: LE SUCCESSEUR d’Ousmane Stéphane
1999: TEMOIN A SEDUIRE d’Ousmane Stéphane