Ms Limbi Blessing Tata, a Botanist working for the Cameroon Program of US Charity, Trees for the Future, has won the 2013 Television Trust for the Environment (TVE) award.
She won the award following her melo-documentary drama titled “Bring Back Ibo Coco”. The locally produced film highlights the negative effects of chemical fertilizers, bush burning, and the use of other chemicals on the soil. It goes ahead to attribute the disappearance of Colocasia esculenta (locally called ibo coco) from South West Cameroon to environmental degradation.
Bring Back Ibo Coco, a one-minute acted in Pidgin with English sub-titling was produced by a team of young talents “with a concern for the future of our planet.” It was entered into the Biodiversity International Award for Agriculture and Forest Biodiversity category.
Bring Back Ibo Coco competed with an Irish film Bee Friendly. At the end of voting on 19th December 2013, Bring Back Ibo Coco emerged victorious with a total of 2600 views on YouTube against 1600 views for its Irish (UK) rival. Other winners come from Bolivia, Colombia, Mauritius, Nepal, Peru and Slovakia.
Bring Back Ibo Coco was conceived and presented by Limbi Blessing Tata, a Botanist working with ERuDeF and also a pioneer batch of the Institute of Biodiversity and Non-profit Studies IBiNS, Buea. It was produced and directed by John Bunyui Njabi, a teacher, Musician and Environmental crusader at G.B.H.S. Muea, Buea.
Speaking about the award, Ms Limbi said it was such an honour for her to be the winner of this prestigious award. “I received the news of my award with a lot of joy. To think that out of over 500 film entries from 75 countries my film won, makes me so proud and helps me to understand that as young Cameroonians, we have a lot to offer the world”. The 30-year old used the opportunity to call on Researchers to put hands on deck to bring back the much cherished staple, ibo coco.
The TVE biomovies 2013 competition in its fourth successful edition invited aspiring and established film-makers worldwide to submit film proposals in either Arabic, French, Russian, Spanish or English.
On Friday October 25th, after a record 565 film proposals from 75 countries that entered the competition, 14 finalists’ films were selected to go into production and to go live on YouTube for a two months voting period to find the ultimate 2013 winners by 19th December 2013.
Finalists came, from Bolivia, Cameroon, Canada, Colombia, France, Mauritius, Nepal, Peru, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, the USA and the UK. It was up to the global public to choose the winning films. With every view on YouTube notching up one vote, the winners were to be the most watched films on the TVE biomovies website: with one victor to be chosen in each of the seven categories.
UNEP, the UN Environment Programme screened all 14 films on 11th November 2013 at the last UN Climate Conference (COP 19) in Warsaw, Poland.
By Regina Fonjia Leke