Cameroon: Book Launch - David Noundji Unveils "Bouts d'Histoires"

A 78-page work was presented to a select public of performing arts lovers in Yaounde on September 4, 2021.

David Noundji, a theatre actor, folktale performer and a retired Regional Pedagogic Arts Inspector with the Ministry of Secondary Education, on Saturday September 4, 2021 in Zingui Theatre/ Cultural Centre, Ekoumdoum, Yaounde, launched his first ever published work. After more than 30 years of a theatre career. The 78-page collection of 26 oral stories or folktales, entitled, "Bouts d'Histoires" (Pieces of Stories) is worth at least 3,000 FCFA. It is published by Auteurs Pluriels, Yaounde.

The colourful ceremony held against the background of soft percussions on Mvet, guitar, armpit and standing drums, xylophone, rattle and other traditional musical instruments. David Noundji and Harouna, a visually-impaired artiste, performed a folktale on the endless bickering and rivalry between Present and Past. After centuries of feuding over who is better, the end, the two finally agree to bury the hatchet and work together. The event also saw command performances by François Alima, Jessica, Rosine Nguelle, Race Ngambo, Bertrand.

Admitting that he was lazy in writing, David Noundji commended Francis Beidi, the Chief Executive Officer, CEO of Auteurs Pluriels publishing house for never letting up the pressure on him to publish. Thus, "Bouts d'Histoires" Noundji's first ever published work. The book, comprising 26 folktales, is divided into two parts. The first contains true-to-life stories about people with mental challenges; while the rest are folktales created by the author himself. The themes in the stories include pride, theft and the general representation of life. "Writing an oral story is different from performing it," Noundji pointed out. Adding that it is better when a performer publishes folktales. He said story-telling seeks to entertain and educate (teach moral lessons).

Beidi urged parents to take up their leadership roles by telling their children folktales before they go to bed each night. In order to pass on the history of their people from one generation to another. He said if parents make it a practice in their homes to oblige their children to read folktales or recite folktales to them, the young ones will with time develop the habit of reading - and eventually writing.

David Noundji told Cameroon Tribune that his pioneer story-telling work, which he described as "a caesarean section," will be followed in the next two years by a collection of proverbs. "We will continue holding story-telling camps and eventually expand to story-telling festivals. Zingui Centre will make a statement on this in the coming days. We want to work more with children because they are the future," Noundji, the founder of Zingui Centre, stressed.

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