Patrice Nganang in conversation with Marcello Flores
Classical music, arcades, frescoes and internal gardens. This is the scenario in which you are inserted as soon as you step your foot into the Conservatorio in Mantova. Equilibrium is also the key word it comes into mind when observing the building in which the event took place. However, it seemed necessary to change this definition upon entering the conference hall. In fact, darkness was the atmosphere that was surrounding the audience.
The darkness was broken by the light of the stage on which Patrice Nganang gave a reading in French from his second book, When the Plums Are Ripe, with the sounds of war in the background. This was followed the sound of people whispering to indicate the pain of the African French Colonialism in Cameroon. As soon as he put on his glasses, the atmosphere transformed into a regular stage once and upon placing his hand down on the table, all the background noise stopped and a stimulating debate on African history began.
"This is a history that subtracts the African point of view," affirms the author. Nganang wanted to talk about African history from an African point of view. In spite of this this, he did not stop himself from analyzing some negative aspects that he considers characteristic of Cameroonian society including the impossibility for many writers to express their talent and thoughts without the risk of being severely punished. This is due to the fact that writing is often related to politics, a delicate topic in an authoritarian society.
The conference closed with a dream that Nganang shared with the audience: he hopes to see more women in the African political system: "we have 53 countries in Africa and if half of them were ruled by women, the current political and social African situation would be different."