By Tata Mbunwe
Cameroonian comedy sensation, and film star, “Richard” has had a swift rise to the top just within years. For those who continue to enjoy his comedies and films, he remains the next big thing to still happen in the nation’s budding entertainment industry.
But beyond the face many see on their screens, very few can attest of knowing the trajectory of Richard. Like most people who have worked themselves to the top, Richard too has a story unique to his destiny. In this piece, MMI peeps into the route of Richard’s rise to fame.
Aside his stage name “Richard”, the 26-year-old was born and named Suh Godisma Fungwa. His rises to fame took the entertainment world in Cameroon by surprise. Since graduating from the University of Buea in 2017
Just five years into the entertainment industry, his exploits have fetched him five awards both locally and internationally. He has continued to be on the spotlight of entertainment, thrilling Cameroonians with original comedy.
Richard according to Cameroonian journalist, comedian and co-host of the program Unfiltered, Kwoh Elonge: “… is raw, intense, unmatched. Scene after scene, line after line, he delivers a searingly award-winning performance, contorting himself through a wringer of emotions”.
The life and career of Godisz Fungwa speaks volumes about his incredible talent. Upholding his mantra, “hard work, patience, consistency and fear God”, Fungwa has been progressively spearing through a difficult Cameroonian entertainment industry as one of the young promising saviors of the sector.
He has acted in several productions, including the multiple award-winning Cameroonian movies, Fisherman’s Diary, and Saving Mbango, alongside featuring in the ongoing TV series Cite Malingo.
He has also acted several comedy skits including Pickpocket, and Richard, all produced by Timeless Picture Entertainment, a production house he co-founded. Fungwa is also trained in film production management and has been the Production Manager of seven Cameroonian movies, including “Fisherman’s Diary”, “A Man for The
Weekend”, “Breach of Trust”, among others.
But reaching these levels in the entertainment industry, he says, has been a struggle between his family and his passion for acting.
Struggle between family & passion
Born on November 13, 1995, in Cameroon’s North West region. Godisz Fungwa is the eldest child in a family of seven. Growing up, he was caught in between pursuing his dream of becoming an actor, and
fulfilling his father wish for him to be a teacher. But Godisz says he had no dream other than acting, despite also being trained in his father’s craft, tailoring.
In secondary school, he had become part of GBHS Bamenda’s Theatre Troupe, and Noble Theater Arts Entertainment, which he co-founded. His parents considered it, at the time, to be a more useful distraction for a teenager. That was until he began skipping classes and putting too much focus on theatre. It then became a cause for concern for his parents.
It was no longer the harmless distraction they thought it would be; it came with all the symptoms of passion; something, which was not in line with what, his father, had dreamed for him—to become a teacher.
To his parents, acting was supposed to be a teenage phase but for him, it had long ballooned into a career, a recurring dream. When Godisz got into the University of Buea, UB, in 2014, it was because he could not get into ENS Bamenda to become a teacher as his dad had planned.
The next tentative option was for him to study English in UB, until his father could save money to ensure that he would eventually get into ENS.
But tragedy struck the family. In 2015, his father died. He had fallen sick and money, which had been saved to follow up Godisz’s eventual admission into ENS, was deferred for treatment. He died and so too was the ENS dream.
Swift Rise To Fame
While studying English at the University of Buea, Fungwa was snaking his way into the entertainment industry. With his family far oﬀ in Bamenda and unable to monitor his every move, he glided easily, opting to build a career in acting.
His first exploit was with New Generation Entertainment, NEGENET, a production house where he worked as a production assistant on sets such as “Breach of Trust” , “Broken marriage” and “A man for the weekend”.
After honing his skills at a workshop during the festival Ecran Noir in 2017, he became a skillful Production Manager, thanks to Cameroonian actor and producer, Nkanya Nkwai, who spotted his talent from afar.
In 2018, he co-founded Timeless Pictures Production house alongside three friends and some of their first productions included: “At First Sight” and “Pickpocket”, which went viral. He also started a comic web series in 2020, in which he bears the name “Richard”, and has been acting as role “Picolo” in an ongoing TV series, Cite Malingo.
Before the much popularity he has now gained through his comedy skits, Godisz’s entertainment breakthrough first came after his performance in the movie “Saving Mbango”, which has fetched him four awards.
He has won four awards as Best Actor in the movie, at the Black Continental Independence Movie Awards in 2020; Festival Ecrans Noir in 2020; Abuja International Film Festival in 2020 and by the New Breed Africa Foundation in 2019. He holds a fifth Best Actor Award from the Daval Comedy Compex for his role in the movie “Pickpocket” in 2019.
His Facebook page had 48,000 followers as of March 4, 2022, while his Timeless Pictures Comedy channel on YouTube had close to 21,000 subscribers.
(C) Mimi Mefo Info