Ringnwi Charles Funteh: Determined Efforts, Resultant Strides!
At only 23, he has risen from an “ordinary” instrumentalist to a celebrated producer and owner of a music training centre.
Ringnwi Charles Funteh is the Chief Executive Officer of Hilltop Music Academy, Bamenda. The musician, instrumentalist, composer and producer, went professional in 2012. With determined effort, focus and sense of purpose, Ringnwi has gradually edged his way to the top of Cameroon’s music training and production. “We train on-campus, at home and online on all musical instruments - piano, guitar, drum set, percussions and singing. There are also courses on song writing and stage performance. In collaboration with the Ministry Of Arts And Culture, we also train students during summer holidays. This is our contribution to building the nation,” says the 2016 GCE Advanced Level holder from GBHS Bamenda. He plans to release his first songs “in the near future.”
Born on December 12, 1997 in Nkwen, Bamenda, the indigene of Nwa in Donga-Mantung Division of the North West Region, was introduced to music in 2009 by Desebuin Felix of Hope Baptist Church, Ndamukong Street, Bamenda. He later became one of the church’s instrumentalists. But it was Tefu Roland Mbole, a “very dynamic musician,” who became Charles’ mentor in 2010. He went professional in 2012 and started playing for Tefu Roland. “We would go on tours and hold concerts out of town,” he recalls.
The turning point for Ringnwi came after he joined Highest Praise International, HiPI, a gospel music band. “HiPI offered me the opportunity to study and practise music together with its founder, Daddy Bob,” he remembers with gratitude. “Music has healing power engraved beneath the melodies and harmony. It is my desire to see healthy stakeholders who carry on with their jobs happily,” says Ringnwi.
Who has so far played for The Flames Gospel Choir, The Worship Centre and Voice of Praise Choir. As well as artistes like Flavy Praise, Serge Kubi and Daddy Bob… “A man is only successful if he has a successor,” his mentor, Tefu Roland would say. Taking the cue, Funteh decided to pass on his skills to the young after noticing that many youth idled around. “Even those who had interest in doing music had no one to train them,” Ringnwi remembers. Thus, the setting up of Hilltop Music Academy. Ringnwi Charles Funteh and Chapitre Cinq are currently working on Benzolo Pichichi’s upcoming album.