It might be hard to imagine launching acting, modeling and singing careers, becoming a familiar face with some of the entertainment industry’s hottest names and maintaining status as a full-time student all at once but Cameroonian native Reprudencia Sonkey has done just that and shows no sign of stopping there.
Reprudencia Sonkey has been featured as one of Maxim’s “Hometown Hotties,” and has appeared in music videos for Quincy Jones’ “Soul Bossa Nostra” featuring Ludacris among others, Baby Bash’s “Fantasy Girl,” N*E*R*D’s “Hot-n-Fun,” featuring Nelly Furtado, and Jeremih’s “Down on Me” featuring 50 Cent. Through all her experiences she shows an uncompromising determination that has taken her on the fast-track to realizing her dreams.
“I was featured in 2010 in Maxim’s “Hometown Hotties” [section], says Sonkey. “It was a great experience for me [and] it was a great break through for me, it paved the way for more gigs like hosting parties from Hollywood to D.C.”
Although LA-based Reprudencia lives a high-profile lifestyle filled with hosting parties, coming in contact with celebrities and taking dips in her pool, she comes from modest roots. Three years ago, Sonkey left her homeland of Cameroon for the United States with no previous contacts in LA to pursue her dream of being an actress and to start a new chapter in her life.
“I loved my life back home but I always felt that urge of wanting to do something different and I knew I could do that in the United States, said Sonkey. “I don’t think Cameroon was ready for what I had to offer…I knew I had to branch out.”
Sonkey sees her heritage as one of her selling points and her curly, voluminous black hair as her trademark.
“I market myself as an African,” says Sonkey. “I embrace the fact that I am from Cameroon and it works to my advantage. There are not a lot of Cameroonians out here in the same field of work as me so I believe what makes me different is what also grants me the opportunity to be a step ahead.”
While in many ways Sonkey has experienced the advantages that come with what many see as a unique and exotic background, she has also been met with some difficulties that some native-born Americans entering the industry don’t encounter.
“It’s hard to find movies [and] shows…that will want someone with an accent,” she says. “I still have my thick African accent [and] as much as it works for me it still fails me. When they need an African-American they need one, except it is not a speaking role.”
While she has intended on being an actress, because of the industries competitively, Sonkey also works as a model, hoping it will eventually open the door to her big break.
“I am such an actress and, trust me, a good one,” says Sonkey. “Acting is what I really want to do but modeling came in easier than acting for me not because it was easier but because it is so difficult to get into acting but I haven’t given up on my big break.”
In the downtime to her pursuit of her dream to be a famous actress, she is focusing on other projects. Sonkey says she is currently working on the Maxim Halloween movie, on designing a line of shoes, and preparing her first single, “Rodeo Drive,” which should be released soon and whose success will determine her next goals.
“It was my first time recording and I loved it,” says Sonkey. “Depending on the success of ‘Rodeo Drive’ I will focus more on my music, acting, and living out my passion for fashion.”
Having appeared on a satirical reality show called “Who Wants to Be on a Reality Show” in which contestants do embarrassing, and often sexually-oriented acts as part of an audition to be on a fake reality show, Reprudencia shoots back at those who look down on the hyper-sexualized image she’s created for herself.
“There is no law that says you can’t be sexy and smart,” she says. “Being that I am from Africa, the images of how I portray myself are not really typical of an African girl, right? But wait, ask yourself what is the difference between me having a bathing suit picture in a magazine or lingerie [and] a regular girl [having] bikini picture…on her Facebook page for everyone to see and that makes it OK? The difference is I am making money off of it and she isn’t.”
Playboy bunny or girl next door, whatever the manner Sonkey chooses to portray herself in, her determination will continue turn heads as she climbs her way to stardom.
On Facebook: Reprudencia Sonkey