Where were you born?
I was born in Douala, the economic capital of Cameroon (Central Africa),
which probably explains my interest in economics.
Who was the most influential person to you whilst growing up?
Definitely, my Mum. She worked so hard and sacrificed so much for myself and
my sisters. It is because of my Mum that we received such great upbringing
and encountered some great opportunities in life. I can't wait to be wildly
successful and pay her back.
Did you have any pets as a child?
We had a dog called Blake back in Cameroon. He was really cool. A few
years ago, one of my sisters had two hamsters called Minstrel and Max.
They were super cute, especially Max!
What School did you go to?
I went to many schools whilst growing up. In Stevenage, I went to Marriotts and the Da Vinci Studio School, both
which I can speak highly of my experience. I also studied one year of AS English at the Thomas Alleyne School,
which I found to be informative and enjoyable.
Who was your best friend?
A very good man named Matthew Townsend. We went to Marriotts School together but never really spoke until a few
years after we both left. We bumped into each at the local Co-Op (where I worked at the time) and realised that we
lived in the same neighbourhood and therefore we started to hang out more. We became exceptionally close in a short
span of time, just like brothers, and did nearly everything together. He was my right-hand man when I campaigned to
become Stevenage's Youth Mayor. He was always with me throughout many pivotal moments of my life.
What was your favourite subject in School?
I enjoyed every subject in School. If I can narrow it down then it would probably be between Maths, English,
History, PE, French and Science.
What was your favourite sport?
The beautiful game and my first love...FOOTBALL! It was such a joy to play for the School team, representing the
institution, our classmates and teachers, often performing well and competing at high school levels.
Is there a Teacher that you remember for any good/bad reasons?
So many great teachers have marked my life. Just to name a few from Marriotts such as Miss Linsell (English), Miss
Pope (History) and Mr Williams (PE). From Dr Vinci, I would like to mention Mrs Lorraine Jackson (Chemistry/Mentor)
and Mr Asiri Bandera (Maths). These are just a few that stood out to me and looking back I feel so grateful for
their expertise and patience.
What did you like most about School?
The whole experience was fun like seeing your friends everyday, learning new things, playing football, lunchtimes,
going on trips etc. It was a really beautiful and special part of my life.
What did you least like about School?
I didn't like seeing kids being bullied. Having been bullied myself before, I always spoke against it, defended the
bullied victims and chastised the bully.
What sort of after School/out of School clubs did you attend?
Mainly sports, especially football, but later poetry, chess and engineering, often attending fairs and open days to
What would people you know find surprising about you as a teen?
I had really bad teeth! But being a kid, I really didn't care. I am trying to get back that level of
self-confidence and freedom.
What is your Occupation?
I'm currently a business owner, involved in several different ventures
which include food, health (TripleMeals), music, entertainment through
my social enterprise and have an independent record label, For The People
What was your first job?
Paper boy and I absolutely loved it! I would wake up early to get the job
done before school and head there with a spring in my step!
What was your worst job?
I did some cleaning jobs that weren't always fun for obvious reasons.
How long have you been living in Stevenage for?
Since 2009. Mine and my family's lives changed dramatically after coming here, which is why out of all places on
earth (and other than my birthplace in Cameroon), I genuinely consider Stevenage to be my hometown.
What do you like most about Stevenage?
There's so much I love about Stevenage. I've left a few times for different reasons but literally always come back.
Personally, there's just something about this town. Of all things, I like the peace that's here. I've walked
through Stevenage at all hours of the night and never feared for my life. The same can't be said about some other
areas I've lived in. After some thought though, the best thing about Stevenage is, without a doubt, it's people.
I've met the loveliest people in and through Stevenage, people who have shaped my life, influenced my character,
beliefs and mindset. I've met people who have challenged me to be better and shocked me by their generosity,
courage and love. Indeed, Stevenage truly is a special place.
If there was something you would like to improve about Stevenage then what would that be?
The town is doing really well. The biggest issue was the town centre, which did look a bit outdated. Thankfully,
it is now in the process of regeneration. The best thing I can suggest is for all of us to support this as much as
possible as at the end of the day we will all benefit from this.
Lesser known facts about Yvan
What is your most memorable travel experience?
Leaving Cameroon to come to the UK. My life has never been the same since.
What is the funniest thing that's ever happened to you?
I used to love suits as a toddler and would often dress myself with the
clothes on back-to-front (by accident obviously)!
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
Becoming a Christian and walking that path because it's had the biggest
influence on my worldview and behaviour. It's a continuous journey and I'm
constantly humbled, challenged and pruned but it's a worthwhile process
which I hope everyone can experience.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I love to read, go on walks and attend web-learning classes to expand my
knowledge and skills. I'm currently learning how to master Microsoft Excel
via LinkedIn Learning. After that, I intend to tackle coding and computer