One of the most amazing things happening in Africa now is that youths are taking up responsibilities to provide solutions to their problems instead of blaming government. Angele Messa is one of such youths. With remarkable positivity and leadership, she leads one of Africa’s largest online education portal, Kamerbigbang.com, an online business she founded to provide solutions to youth unemployment and other issues. She is today one of the top 10 Positive African women (#10PAW) we celebrate on women’s day.
Let’s meet her.
1-Tell us a bit more about yourself.
Angele is the Founder of Kamerbigbang.com, an online business with headquarters in Cameroon. She is dedicated to mentoring and equipping youths with practical skills needed to facilitate youth inclusion into the job market or transform them into job creators. Sub Saharan Africa has the greatest youthful population and most of them are underemployed. This unemployment is cause for illegal migration and violent extremism to which we’ve lost many family members. Angele believes everybody is born intelligent but many people need assistance to develop their full potential. Angele through Kamerbigbang.com seeks to bring youths to the spotlight by connecting them to entrepreneurs and opportunities. With a goal to change the African youth unemployment narrative, she serves by creating a platform for the young people to tap into the power of technology to create jobs for the continent.
2-Which other plans did you have before you decided to create Kamer Big Bang?
I’ve always been passionate about Diplomacy and International Relations and I always saw myself at the African Union or United Nations General Secretariat, and I was on the right track to getting there when somewhere along the road I fell in love with mentoring and teaching. This caused me to re-orientate my projects while not giving up on the older dreams. But I found the need to do something I really like, which is intellectually stimulating and challenging at the same time.
3-What motivated you to create Kamer big bang?
It all started by giving pieces of advices to family, friends and helping them make career or academic choices without taking myself serious. Strange enough, every time I gave out a piece of advice, the results were often positive. There came a time when strangers will call me saying a friend or family member gave them my number to ask one or two questions about an important academic or career choice they were about to make. In 2011, I registered for a competitive Entrance Examination into one of Cameroon’s higher institutes of learning. Out of 3000 candidates that we were, only 120 were finally selected. Several friends of mine didn’t make it but I bet you these were very smart guys with other skills and competences. I began to figure out how these youths, like thousand other Cameroonians or African youths could just forget about the Public service and its matricule stuffs to concentrate on selling out whatever skills or competences they could have to make a living out of it. This gave birth to the first version of kamerbigbang.com.
4-How has your journey been?
The journey has been tough but I would say I am enjoying every part of it. The challenges were there, and are still there but we’re solution givers and we transform those obstacles into opportunities. We’ve suffered from inefficient planning, inability to find team members who share and understand our vision, lack of funds just to name a few but we’ve often worked out solutions. In some instances, we’ve even thought of giving up, but the passion we have for what we do, is greater than any obstacle.
5-Which are your two major challenges?
I would say building a strong team who understand and share in our vision and the incapacity to raise funds for development and research have been our major challenges so far.
6-Which is your biggest success story?
The beginning of 2017 saw our biggest success story. We were able to secure 3 great contracts to test our new learning methods of télé education in 3 schools in Dakar, Senegal. This has been one of the most challenging and yet most gratifying success story since we started in 2016. It’s also a new perspective for our learning model.
7-What are you currently working on?
Currently, we’re working on developing the next phase of the project given that the first phase is close to end. This next phase consists of building a télé education online platform to make available secondary school learning material for revision online. This is going to have a direct impact on academic success and skills acquisition. This will give access to learning material to children who study and work, refugees and most especially young girls who drop out of school during the year either because of unwanted pregnancies or many other reasons.
8-How do you see your company in the next five years?
The impact of our present activities could only be felt enough within the next 10 years. By that time, academic failure would be reduced by half in Cameroonian secondary schools as more students who pass their term examinations with better grades and under employment rate would reduce by 30% thanks to the activities of kamerbigbang.com
9-What are your hobbies or what else do you love doing when you are not working on Kamer Big bang?
I am passionate about creative writing and social media. During my free time, I enjoy writing stories (most often works of fiction). I am sure would be publishing some books any time soon. I also like spending time on social media reading and replying to posts because that’s where my main target audience is found.
10-Your African dream
At kamerbigbang.com, we strongly believe in Nelson Mandela when he says: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”. It’s in this light that we want to build Africa’s largest online educational portal, a portal which will give hope to the African child and make him or her limitless. We believe this will reduce poverty, illegal migration; violent extremism and spur economic growth and gender parity.