BORN IN CAMEROON to dynamic christian parents originating from Bafia (Central Province) Anita spent a great part of her life in England. Before relocating to England in her late teens she went to Saker Baptist College an all girls’ boarding school where a Christian education was of the utmost importance. Her first vocal influence was her mom.
During her years at Saker music and daily devotions were an integral part of boarding school life. At home her parents were strong pastoral influences who laid the foundation for a personal relationship with Christ.
Anita’s musical foundation was elevated to new heights in Walsall England when she sang alto with Re:mission one of England’s best gospel choirs. With Re;Mission she traveled to many cities in the UK and even took part in the BBC’s “Songs of Praise”. Re:Mission boasts 4 albums with a number of nominations and awards for Best British Gospel Music.
With Remission, she has shared the stage with gospel giants such as The Winans, Donny McClurkin, Graham Kendrick and Fred Hammond. Anita has since relocated to California USA where she is now a wife and mother of two. She sings at churches, weddings and other events.
Tell us a little about your family.
I am a wife and mother of two children: a 10 year old boy and a 6 year old girl. I have been married to my husband for 12 years this year and the Lord has been good to us and blessed our marriage and family.
Where are you from originally?
I am originally from Cameroon but I describe myself as a true citizen of the world. My paternal grandmother was Nigerian from the Ibo tribe and my maternal grandmother was half Portuguese and half Sao Tome & Principe (an African Island). My two grandfathers were Cameroonian from Bafia in the Central province, an hour or so away from Yaounde, the capital City. I grew up in Yaounde, moved to England in my late teens and move to America when I got married.
Who are your role models in the Gospel music world?
I would have to say Cece and Bebe Winans first and foremost but I have numerous musical influences including Fred Hammond, The Winans, Yolanda Adams, Remission, Fred Reliford, Tarralyn Ramsey etc. Outside of the gospel music world, my biggest influence is India Arie.
When you’re not working, what are your favorite things to do?
Those who know me will tell you that I am always working on something between my career as a Human Resources Manager and my career as a gospel artist. My favorite thing to do though is to travel with my family.
Can you tell us something about you that people would never guess?
I am actually very shy.
Tell us, how did you get started in the music business?
I used to sing with a British group called Remission and this gave me the opportunity to be involved in the recording of the group’s album.
Was this what you dreamt for when growing up?
Far from it, I was never comfortable being the center of attention in the way that you are as a singer. I also never thought about singing at a professional level even though I grew up in church and sang from childhood. You know as Africans, we are not raised to think of singing as a serious profession so I sang for fun and to praise the Lord in church.
How do you describe your music?
I do not like to label my music because I approach my music from a couple of perspectives. Firstly, I sing to honor the giver of the gift (God) and secondly, I sing because I enjoy making music and I want to retain the freedom to create any type of music that picks my fancy. But based on what I have recorded so far, I would say Christian Afrojazz and some clean love songs. The lyrics I write can sometimes be quite poetic.
How and where do you get your inspiration from?
I am sure every songwriter would agree that inspiration comes from life in general. I also get inspired by other songwriters and singers. As a gospel singer, there is a spiritual dimension to this; I believe that the Lord leads me in putting out messages that are meant for the people he has called me to reach. He therefore anoints me accordingly...
For the Complete Interview, Get The MAR/APR 2010 Issue of ADUNAGOW Magazine.