We love our traveling community here at Visiter l’Afrique and love introducing you all to each other even more! Meet Kenneth and let him show you how he gets down in Douala.
So tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Kenneth Fomunung and I fancy myself a global citizen. I’m originally from Yaoundé, Cameroon but have been privileged to have lived all over the world. I moved to the US at the age of 15, so about half my life ago. Professionally, I wear many hats including Founder & CEO of Enrich My Brand, a full-service digital marketing and consulting agency, as well as published multi-genre author of nine books with more to come.
Where are you now and how long have you been there?
I currently reside in Dallas, TX where I’ve been since moving from nearby Houston about a year and a half ago. Prior to moving to Dallas, I’d lived in Houston for 12 of my 15 years in the US.
Planning perfect weekend in Douala, what’s on the agenda?
Friday: I pride myself in being a socialite always eager to explore what the social scene and nightlife have to offer in the city I find myself on any given weekend. As a matter of fact, in my view, each weekend is an opportunity to celebrate life. My Fridays tend to begin with a happy hour to celebrate the end of a productive work week (hopefully). Then, I’m likely to link up with some close friends or partners in crime for a light or heavy dinner and some pregaming at someone’s house or apartment. This will feature sharing whiskey, bourbon, or cognac, good music to set the mood for the upcoming night, and may also feature a few sessions of FIFA (the video game) and some smack talking among pals. Then, in a tipsy state, we’ll venture out in the town, almost always by taking an Uber or a Lyft, or a taxi. Never drink and drive!
Now, if you were to visit Douala on a weekend, I’d highly recommend checking out L’Opiom, an elegant bar/lounge in the neighborhood of Akwa. Actually, there are two locations with the other in the neighborhood of Bonamoussadi but, having checked out both, I prefer the former. It’s a nice establishment featuring comfortable seating outside and inside with nice lounge chairs, a bar, and a billiards (pool tables) section. The vibe here is chill as friends gather and enjoy buckets of cold beer as vibrant Cameroonian, afrobeats and international music plays. I found it to be the perfect pregame spot because it’s a more relaxed atmosphere than most clubs and you can actually carry on audible conversations therein.
Saturday: I don’t consider myself a lazy person but Saturday mornings often start as such for me as I try to sleep in. For me, however, this is a personal struggle as I seem to have so much natural energy within my body I can hardly sleep past 8am on Saturday mornings, even after yet another Friday night of debauchery. Anyway, after I’ve run some errands or handled some chores and/or worked out, thereby giving ample time for my mortal friends to rise (jk), I’ll hit them up to figure out where we shall be day drinking. Saturday afternoon typically involves starting early and hopping around various cool, favorite spots including rooftop bars and, of course, culminates in yet another night out dancing at some other establishment we didn’t visit Friday night. I’ll add that, depending on the city, this would be the day to go sightseeing and visit popular tourist attractions, e.g. museums, galleries, mosques, etc.
In Douala,I would highly recommend checking out Black & White, a dual purpose establishment with one side being an open lounge and the other a casino, which was rather impressive judging solely by the eye test as I didn’t actually gamble. The open lounge serves a variety of local beers, a few foreign choices, and and an assortment of liquors, and has different styles of seating including low sofas and high tables and stools. They also serve shisha or hookah at Black & White, which I did partake of and found quite satisfying. At night, I made L’Olympia my go-to dance club on Saturday night, going twice on back-to-back Saturdays. This reputable nightclub looks and feels like an American or other Western lounge with a posh interior design featuring several lounge seats and sections for patrons to come together and enjoy bottle service. L’Olympia also boasts a nice square dance floor where beautiful, stylish women and men alike can be seen grooving to all genres of music including popular American hits. This club was hands down my favorite nightlife activity during my stay in Douala and I highly recommend it to first-time visitors to Cameroon’s economic capital.
Sunday: Thank God for Sundays! Although I haven’t been as disciplined in recent years, I do try to make it to church on Sunday mornings to start my day. Regardless of whether I do make it to the House of the Lord or not, I’m likely to be found enjoying a nice brunch with family or friends at some nice restaurant starting around 1pm. Naturally, this features the brunch staple drink of choice, the mimosa. Moreover, as an avid sports fan, I’ll be sure to catch a game of American football during brunch if I’m stateside, or a football (soccer) match if I’m anywhere but the US, e.g. in London, UK or Douala, Cameroon. Typically, I’ll stay out just taking in more and more games, sipping on more mimosas, making new friends, flirting and exchanging numbers with beautiful women along the way, and just taking it easy.
Sunday night culminates in a bar or lounge but, unlike the preceding weekend nights, starts and ends much earlier—around midnight—so I can retreat to bed and prepare for the beginning of yet another work week I hope will be even more productive than the last. On Sunday, the aforementioned options remain available to indulge in but, for a different vibe, I recommend checking out the private jazz lounge in Destiny Suites Hotel in Bonamoussadi. As the name suggests, it features live jazz and other genres of music including popular songs by local Cameroonian artists. The ambience here is more chill and, on the night I visited, had an older crowd, which was a nice change of pace. It’s a rooftop lounge with a very fancy interior design with mood lighting befitting of the live jazz scene. A good Sunday spot would also be Black & White where one could watch football (soccer) matches while enjoying some shisha.
Honorable mentions: I’d like to mention two other lounges/nightclubs I would recommend visitors to Douala check out during their stay there, namely Sansa and Palacio. Sansa is a very nice lounge with a spacious dance floor. I befriended the chief club promoter there, a gentleman by the name of Benoit. He’s very friendly and accommodating of Ho’s international patrons. I recall one night when I was dancing and the DJ shouting out my name to the whole club and announcing that I was a special guest from America. I must admit that in all my years partying in the US, that was an experience I’ve never enjoyed in America so that was quite the pleasant surprise and thrill for me. I almost felt like a celebrity.
As for Palacio, I went on a Thursday night and, while it was considerably smaller than the other lounges/bars I’ve mentioned, it nevertheless provided my friends and I with an entertaining night out. This particular night featured an Afritude theme so the women especially looked rather lovely in their modern ankara styles.
Do you get to travel often? If so how?
I used to. About three years ago, in a span of 11 months I may have traveled more than most people probably get to in a lifetime—to the tune of 14 international cities across 13 countries and five continents. My trips included Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Budapest, Cologne, Davos, Dubai, Dusseldorf, Istanbul, London, Malta, Marrakech, Paris, Prague, Shanghai, and Toronto. This was all made possible thanks to a year-long global MBA program in London, which is so well-positioned for easy access to several countries, from North Africa to Europe. I most certainly took advantage of that geography. Since that time, I haven’t traveled nearly as frequently, only managing a few domestic trips (within the US) and my most recent homecoming trip to my birth country of Cameroon, about which I’ve written and published a blog article.
What other african countries have you been to so far and what’s your next destination?
So far, unfortunately I’ll add, I’ve only travelled to Cameroon and Morocco. That said, in the next two years, I plan to travel to many more African countries starting with Nigeria, then hopefully Ghana, Egypt, Senegal, and South Africa. It would be amazing to visit Madagascar so I’d love to add that to my to-travel list.