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Welcome to the MBOA BD Festival, the showcase of the 9th art in Cameroon

After part 1 in Douala, the MBOA BD Festival’s caravan arrives in Yaoundé for the second part of the show. The event that is held under the theme “Comics and education”, opened in the economic city last week and will run in Yaoundé from 6th to 9th December 2017. That makes a total of 8 days of celebration centered on Cameroon’s comics and its professions.

The 9th art that also refers to comics has always been sidelined prior to other arts like literature, cinema and music, but thanks to the perseverance and efforts of its early practitioners, it became an essential educational tool by the 1980s. Cameroon just like the rest of the world joined the trend and started producing comics’ masterpieces which constituted 40% of HIV/AIDS sensitization campaigns as well as youth leadership and road safety campaigns between 1990 and 2005.

It is in the same vein that the MBOA BD Festival saw the light of the day seven years ago so as to celebrate, display and vulgarize that art that was still to effectively take off in the country. The festival that turns to its 8th edition this year is an occasion for comics both professionals and amateurs to exhibit their work and share their experience with the public that highly expected in this part 2 in Yaoundé as this year’s event has essential link with pedagogical tool. ”After 8 years, it is important for us to come back on the role of comics and the relationship between comics and education… It is worth noting that comics is a significant channel in terms of pedagogy and education. Moreover, we suggested the authors to explain how they apprehend the thematic of education in their works”. Explained Yannick Deubou Sikoue, the general delegate of the MBOA BD Festival.

As far as the festival’s missions are concerned, it appears as a space where comics authors, other professionals (editors, printers and institutions) and the public meet and share on what they have in common; as a platform for the promotion of the 9th art giving the country’s comics productions the visibility that will contribute in accelerating the process of building a real and effective comics industry in Cameroon where collaborative artists will be able to deliver quality works in order to serve the needs of the demanding public and a stage where debate is raised about comics and its various areas such as graphics, video games, cartoons and cinema.

Besides, various activities are going to take place during the festival here in Yaoundé. Among them exhibitions at the International Handicraft Centre; conferences (at the French Institute and IFCPA-Ekounou) on the themes: “Comics: the perfect educational tool, case study of Mulatako of Reine Dibussi” and “The teaching of graphic and digital arts in Cameroon”; training workshops on storytelling, scenario, frame practice on Photoshop, school-based interventions, book dedications (Android Night, Mulatako, Oups…) and film projections including the newly released film Minga et la Cuillère cassée of Claye Edou.

Just like in most festival, challenges and competitions are not left out as the MBOA BD Festival 2017 will give the award of the digital comics that aimed at rewarding works for the innovation, effective usage of digital tool, storytelling quality and graphics. The festival has also launched the “Cosplay challenge” that consists in disguising and assuming the role of a fictitious character at the end of which the best challenger will be awarded for the originality of the costume, acting and the link with the festival’s theme.

The MBOA BD Festival is initiative firstly organized in 2010 thanks to the joined efforts of CollectifA3 and Trait Noir association who all form a group of professional and passionate cartoonists.

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Colbie Medjom

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