The two words Cameroon and Powerlifting do not seem like they should belong in the same sentence. Cameroon situated in Central Africa does however have a vibrant powerlifting community, and one active participant is Wilfred Kebenghe.
He may not be very tall but he is one strong package. We talk to him here in this short interview about his powerlifting career but also about Powerlifting in Cameroon…
Phil Burgess: What powerlifting/weightlifting titles do you hold?
Wilfred Kebenghe: In 2007, I was the very first champion of the Cameroon Powerlifting Federation with a body weight of 75kg, I achieved a Squat 250kg Bench press 120kg then Deadlift 250kg.
In 2008, I came third, and then in 2009 I was the champion with a body weight of 75 kg, Squat 285kg , Bench press 130kg and Deadlift 265kg.
In 2010, I was in Nigeria (it’s a neighboring country) for a sports program where I was the best in my body weight class in Olympic Weightlifting at 77 kg with 135kg snatch and 172kg Clean and jerk.
I went back again in 2011 and re-confirmed my title so presently i’m the champion.
Phil Burgess: What is you best ever Squat, Bench Press and Deadlift?
Wilfred Kebenghe: At a body weight of 82 kg I have achieved:
- Squat 305kg ,
- Bench press 145kg
- Deadlift 295kg
Phil Burgess: How popular is Powerlifting in Cameroon?
Wilfred Kebenghe: The sport is very popular here in the sense that you see people here even in the gato ( this is a place for the poorest people) practicing Power-lifting.
Phil Burgess: What should be done to improve its popularity?
Wilfred Kebenghe: I think, in order to improve the popularity, that the government should put some money into the sport.
They should first help sponsor the sport and then the federations and gyms will help Powerlifting to grow.
It is quite likely to happen because the government know that they need to improve the conditions for young talented sport men and women in Cameroon.
Phil Burgess: What do you do as a job?
Wilfred Kebenghe: I am a Security agent , bodyguard and personal trainer.
Phil Burgess: Where do you live, and what are the places to see and things a tourist would do?
Wilfred Kebenghe: I live in Douala the economic capital of Cameroon, it has just over 2 million inhabitants, and is the largest city in the country.
For nature lovers and sun worshippers, head on to Douala. Here you will definitely enjoy the sights that Mount Cameroon offers to its visitors as well as walking through its footpaths.
You will also find the Cameroon Artisan Market here where you can buy your souvenirs and trinkets that the locals made, or you can head on to the Museum of Douala where you can see superb authentic African arts.
Phil Burgess: What are your gym facilities like and where do you train?
Wilfred Kebenghe: Our gym facilities here are not very well equipped but we do manage with what we have. Presently I train at Africam Negro Gym
it’s based Douala city.
Phil Burgess: Finally, do you think Strongman events would prove to be popular in Cameroon?
I believe Strongman events would prove to be very popular in Cameroon.