Hello THJ’ers. Today’s Spotlight is on a Cameroonian blogger who used a pretty cool and innovative way build up her brand and launch her new blog site. Her name is Yefon Kathleen Mainsah, the Creator of I Rep Camer a portal that showcases fashion, lifestyle, culture, travel/tourism and much more focusing primarily on Cameroon and Africa! Yefon created her blog back in 2009 when there were very few female Cameroonian Anglophone bloggers and despite the fact that Cameroon is still lagging behind (big time) in the blogging arena compared to many its neighboring African countries like Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, South Africa and many more, her drive, passion and persistence for blogging and promoting the positive side of Africa has kept her around for over 7 years despite the little support she received from her fellow Cameroonians and no incentives.
As we all know times have changed in the last 7 years since she started I Rep Camer as Social Media has changed how we access and share information online and so have the ways in which bloggers have to hustle to stand out in the crowd where a new blogger pops up every second of the day! But one thing to note is that blogging in Cameroon still has a long way to go in terms of opportunities for Cameroonian bloggers to work with big brands.
In 2015 she decided it was time to take matters into her own hands and take it up a notch with her blog to re-brand I Rep Camer by revamping her blog site with a brand new and more modern design, by switching from a blogspot dot com to a dot com and by changing the I Rep Camer logo was the way to start. Once the new iRepCamer.com site was ready to be launched, Yefon- a lover of all things Made in Cameroon and proudly so, decided that it would be a great idea to do what most bloggers in Cameroon haven’t done to launch a blog site, by having some very talented females (all from Cameroon) be a part of the launching of her new website and emerging as a newly branded I Rep Camer. So what did she do? She created a campaign called “Celebrating Beauty & Talent“ 237 Style where she brought together some very well known local acts such as three female singers, a former Miss Cameroon USA and two models to do a photo shoot all wearing African print and African inspired designs made by Cameroonian designers. Yes… Yefon Reps Camer 100%! Oh and the MUA is also Cameroonian (needed to be clear on that).
The photo shoot was shared so many times on Facebook and other social media platforms and viewed by many on the first day of its release on THEHOTJEM.COM as we were the only site that was given exclusive access to the pictures and to share them on our site and boy did it create a lot of buzz. How many times do you see a blogger, an artist, a model, a former Miss Cameroon, a Make-up artist and fashion designers all in one place for a photo shoot if it isnt at a big fashion or entertainment event? What was the result of this brilliant campaign? It has opened the door to some exciting opportunities that Yefon might not have been exposed to were it not for that campaign! The important take away from this is that Yefon thinks outside of the boxand decided to get her I Rep Camer brands out there using Cameroonian talent!
Brands (companies, entrepreneurs, designers, etc) also need to recognize the value of such branding opportunities. The major issue facing most Cameroonian bloggers is that companies don’t think outside of the box. Why can’t a marketing company or a marketing team in a company or an Ad Agency not think to call a blogger to create and coordinate a campaign like the one Yefon created?
Hopefully, this will inspire other bloggers and people in various sectors who are looking to focus more on branding and promoting their brands so that it gains the recognition it deserves. Again in a country like Cameroon where bloggers and online media is not yet respected or taken seriously, its time to put your foot down and show people that you mean biz and are serious about your brand. Many companies still do not understand the idea of thinking out of the box when it comes to promoting their brands. If there is one thing we need to learn from our fellow neighbors in Nigeria, it should be that they would think of anything to get their products out there and to build their brand! Kudos to Yefon and we cant wait to see what else you have in store for your readers and followers.
Watch the behind the scenes of the photo shoot of “Celebrating Beauty & Talent” video (as seen above and below):
Visit I Rep Camer’s on Facebook.
Photo credit: Christian Sankeur.
Video Credit: Na Mysta Adrenlyne Direct Am
*All photo’s and video provided to THJ courtesy of I Rep Camer*
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