Name: Bee Lola aka Bils
Where did you grow up: Douala, Cameroon
What age were you when you left Africa ( For Africans living outside Africa): 17
Can you speak your native language: Very little, somehow my dad decided we could get by on good morning and counting to ten. However, I do understand especially when folks talking about me. Oh and I know quite a few bad words, enough to keep away the village bullies
What did you eat in the morning: we skipped breakfast at home . Not sure why
What is your best food? There are so many: Roasted Fish and Bobolo/Plantain tapé tape, Poulet DG, Ekwang, Eru
What toys did you have as a child: all my sisters hand me downs and my dad’s old medical equipment. My favorite was probably the auto-shop my mom got when I was 5. I loved Barbies for a while but my sister didn’t quite like sharing those with me
What TV shows did you watch: Tazibi, Kiddies Corner (my sister was on an episode of the show and we would watch the tape over and over, and over!), Barbapapa, Pingu, Clementine, Cosby Show, Different World, Sous Le Soleil, Santa Barbara, Melrose Place. And then when the telenovelas hit: Rosa and Marimar!!!
What did you eat for lunch in school: We used to get sandwiches and beignets at PNEU but when we switched schools we had to take ours and my dad used to make these sandwiches with whole wheat bread which my brother and I absolutely hated. He insists that we needed the fiber and that it would keep us fuller longer but the taste was yuck! Occasionally I used to trade my sandwich for whatever my friends had
What school did you go to: Pry: PNEU Doula and St Louis catholic school
Sec: BHS Buea and St Bede’s College
Boarding school or Day student: Boarding school!!!
Did you have a lesson teacher?: Yup
What is your most memorable TV commercial? This commercial for Moon Tiger which was a mosquito spray. I don’t even remember the actual thing other than that it was in French. Some razz person made a popular version in pidgin which went “moon tiger smelling mop, make mosquito die”
What were your after school activities: I dabbled in piano lessons at some point, then there were tennis lessons too. Given that I can neither play a piano nor tennis, tells you how dedicated I was
Did you ever go to your village: Yes!
What did you hear your mom or dad say all the time: You need to go back to school. You people are eating all my food and dirtying my house ( we all went to boarding school)
Who did you look up to ( Entertainment wise): Whoever my sister looked up to. At some point it was Boyz II Men, then we went through the 3T phase. In my teens, I was all about Aaliyah! I remember exactly where I was when she died, and how I watched all her movies and everything about her funeral. Every time I watch Rock the Boat, I keep thinking why could she just have shot the video in Florida
What did you do on summer vacations: I read. A lot. God forbid you told my dad you were bored. You would end up having to pick a book he approved of, read and provide a book report. So I ended up just finding and reading my own books: anything Pacesetters! Evbu my Love was my favorite one. African Writers Series books, Secret Seven, Famous Five, Babysitters Club and Danielle Steel (in my teens). I also spent at least a week at my Granny’s place with my cousins. Those were fun times.
Have you ever been flogged? If so was it a memorable experience. Question!!! See my dad was more regimented, you knew what actions would get you a flogging eg, curfew was 6pm, you came one minute over 6 and you got your lashes. My sister and I would sometimes agree to stay out late and just take the beatings. My mother was a whole other story. You never knew when or why she would flog you. I remember the day I was leaving for school and she asked if some clothes in the bathroom were mine. And I responded with: they used to be... She aint even let me get that last word out before she introduced her hand to my jaw!!! To this day I am not sure if she slapped me because I disowned my clothes or she thought my grammar was wrong.
Did you ever go to any party? If so what was a memorable party (and name of the party if applicable): Yes! Barons. My mom tricked me into baking for her in exchange for permission. Of course she reneged after I held my end of the deal. I went anyways and we were not on speaking terms for about a week
Did you go to an all girls/ boys school or a mixed school? Mixed!
Who was your first crush: Njang Ako. I even wrote him a letter telling him I loved him, in my own book. I was all of 7!!!
What was Vals day like: Just another day. Well I got a gift once but my principal who was a spirit showed up as I was unboxing and snatched the madness. “Unhealthy relationships” aka dating was not allowed. Had to come up with a lie fast to save my tail mehn
When did you start dating:14 and I swore I was grown and knew what I was getting into. Le sigh