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Yaounde on its way to becoming a singing city!

Choirs from all over the world, spiritual vibrations, folkloric, traditional and heritage sounds are on the menu of the festival called "Africa Cantat" which will take place from 1 to 6 August 2023 in Yaounde. As a prelude to this great event, the "Mboa Youth Choir" served us a flavour on Sunday January 22 in Yaounde.

The former presidential palace, now a national museum, is one of the temples of culture in the Cameroonian capital. It is in one of its rooms that the association "Amis du Chœur Madrigal du Cameroun", organizer of the Africa Cantat festival, decided to offer this private concert with a hundred people, among which, the diplomatic world, the media and the cultural world.

On the symbolism of clothing

The "Toghu", traditional ceremonial dress of the north-west, which seems to carry the national pride is the clothing, and also the coating of these 32 young people, girls and boys, supervised by the conductor Jean-Alexis Bakond, who already has to his credit an experience with the children's choir "The Piccoli" who accompany Koppo in the song "Evening in the village" of the album Ebotan. In 2022, the graduate in basic private law took a course in choral conducting in Lyon. In the midst of his choristers, with a smile revealing generous dimples, Jean-Alexis reveals the beauty of the authentic clothing of this Africa in miniature.

Presentation of the collection of traditional Cameroonian songs

The "Mboa Youth Choir" delivers songs from the national heritage. The most enchanting is the cult song of Jengu, the traditional religion of the Sawa people, where the movements of the paddles recall the ancestral strength of the water people. It is also an invocation to the deities. The magic happens thanks to the vocal chords of this young choir, created in 2019 by the Association des Amis du Chœur Madrigal. Aged between 16 and 26 and coming from all the cultural spheres of Cameroon, it is not surprising to hear nursery rhymes, melodies and even tales in Fufuldé, Bakoko, Ewondo, Bulu or Mendunba languages. In this multicultural and multiethnic Cameroon, there is above all the representation of a plural Africa, that of the Peulhs and Fangs among others, and that of other migratory layers of ancient Egypt.

The audience was won over

When ambassadors from Western countries (United States, European Union, Belgium, Italy, Spain...) enjoy a private A Capella concert on a Sunday afternoon, everything suggests that the Mboa Youth Choir has finally seduced. In one hour and fifteen minutes, the applause, the congratulations and especially the encouragements allow us to say that the month of August will be immense in emotions, thanks to the 1000 choristers expected for the Africa Cantat festival in Yaoundé. We can't wait!

Dania Ebongue

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