From astonishment to wonder all passers-by have the same reactions and formulate almost the same question: “It is really you who made it? “
Cédric Simen, the car designer, is a 27-year-old man with a contagious smile. It is the darling of Cameroonian social networks thanks to its SM 237, a small two-seater car that seems more suited for beaches and not for dusty streets.
“This is the first time I see a car made by a Cameroonian,” surprised the teacher Joseph Koagne admiring the machine in the district of Bafoussam, capital of the region of Western Cameroon. Flying, dashboard, leather seats, the teacher does not hide his admiration that pushes him to take out his smartphone for dozens of photos of this small pickup truck.
“I became a star, he admits, a little overwhelmed by this sudden notoriety. On Facebook, in the streets, they call me, they congratulate me, they kiss me before the eternal photo. Many tell me that they are proud of me. I receive calls from Cameroon, Benin, Ivory Coast, France, Belgium … everywhere! “ Before proceeding in a laugh: ” I just wanted to fulfill my childhood dream to build my own car and drive. “
Cédric Simen buys several cars, reworking them in his own way by modifying the suspension, adjusting the wheels … “I always had something to change,” he smiles. In 2018, he finally feels ready to realize his childhood dream. He saved 2.5 million CFA francs (about 3,800 euros) and will create his own car. In a clip of the Ivorian singer Safarel Obiang, he saw a beach car that pleased him and decided to create one of the same style, “but more beautiful, more resistant and able to ride on sandy and mountainous roads, said -he. I wanted an all-terrain car.