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Biography of Guillaume OYONO -MBIA

Cameroon > Literature : Guillaume OYONO -MBIA

Guillaume OYONO -MBIA
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Biography :

Guillaume Oyono-Mbia born in 1939, is a Cameroonian dramatist.

African dramatist and short-story writer, one of bilingual Cameroon's few writers to achieve success both in French and in English.  From a peasant family, he studied in England (Keele) and has been working for the Ministry of Culture and Information since 1972. He has exploited his knowledge of rural life in south Cameroon to excellent comic effect in a trilogy of plays with the common theme of marriage. His first comedy, Trois prétendants un mari (1964), was awarded the Ahmadou Ahidjo Literary Prize in 1970. The second, Jusqu'à nouvel avis (1970), was originally written in English and performed at the Edinburgh Festival, while the third, Notre fille ne se mariera pas, a radio play, won the Inter-African Theatre Competition organized by Radio France International in 1971. In addition, he has published three volumes of ‘village chronicles’, Les Chroniques de Mvoutessi (1972), also in comic vein, and a further comedy, Le Train spécial de son Excellence (1979). Oyono-Mbia claims that his aim is to entertain rather than teach, and his skilful use of a wide range of comic effects brings out all the ironic potential of the confrontation between traditional village ways and the westernized urban life-style. But his work is also an effective weapon against pomposity, pretentiousness, and the manipulation of others in either culture, and an invitation to youth and women to do battle for rights traditionally denied them.

Last update : 07/10/2007

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