“The week I spent in Cape Town was very educational. I have learned how to present documentaries in a way that could be compelling to an audience. I knew nothing about narrative documentaries before. Now I am so happy I can film and edit my own documentary," Yvonne Leina Chi, of Cameroon, remarked to TMP.
Chi is an experienced journalist with a special concern for women's issues in her country. She was one of five hand-selected journalists invited to Cape Town to explore opportunities in documentary storytelling in the 2011 Africa Film Project, sponsored by a grant from The Media Project.
Chi has worked as a magazine editor for two years, and as a TV presenter and reporter for 4 and a half years. She is currently the 2010 Voices Of Our Future Correspondent for Cameroon.
TMP: Why did you become a journalist, Yvonne?
YVONNE: From childhood, I had this immense love for stories, reading, writing and telling them. That led me to join the journalism club in my secondary school and when I completed high school there was nothing else I had interest in studying in university apart from journalism. It has always been my dream to use journalism to shed light in the lives of the hopeless.”
TMP: You have just finished the intensive, week-long workshop in short documentaries. Did it meet your expectations?
YVONNE: It was quite a challenge for me to shoot and edit a documentary. Honestly, I found it really tough working for 12 hours on Thursday but I later realized the whole experience made me to learn so much than I could ever imagine in a short while.”
TMP: How will you be putting into practice the filmmaking skills you learned in the workshop in the coming year?
YVONNE: I intend to tell the story of a 23-year-old pregnant woman going through difficult times as she copes with her pregnancy in a rural area. The difficulties include lack of hospitals, roads, and traditional birth attendants. The situation has led to an increase in the rate of maternal mortality in Cameroon especially in rural areas. I plan to do a short documentary to explain the reasons for this increase in maternal mortality in this age of medical advancement.”