Cameroon Culture

By | February 17, 2021

Cultural standards of behavior

If one wants to classify Cameroonian society on the basis of cultural behavioral standards, it must be classified as clearly relationship-oriented (ie the personal relationship is very important) and shows a clear trend towards collective behavioral patterns (the “we” is more important than the “I”). Society shows a pronounced power distance (hierarchies are desirable, yes necessary), with moderate to weak avoidance of uncertainty (uncertainty is normal). ” The Cameroonians ” communicate more indirectly and have a more cyclical understanding of time.

Of course, this classification only provides a rough guide. Ultimately, different regional origins, ethnic characteristics, the urban-rural contrast, social position, level of education and the many other characteristics of an individual play a decisive role. And: cultures are constantly changing!

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Traditional culture

Traditional reception group in the NW region

Traditional reception group in the NW region

Given the great diversity, giving a comprehensive overview of the traditional culture of Cameroon is a hopeless undertaking. Each ethnic group has its own cultural practices, mythologies, festivals and rituals that are associated with corresponding objects, dances and chants. If participation in such events is not possible, museums in different cities offer an insight.

Strongholds of the arts and crafts are the cities of Foumban in the west and Maroua in the north, as well as the “Grassfields / -lands” in the north-west region.


Recording a music video in Douala

In Cameroon, music ranks right behind football on the popularity scale. Music was important – is important and will certainly retain its high status in the future. Whether traditional music in the country, the countless church choirs or modern music such as pop, rock, hip-hop or jazz – every form of music enjoys great popularity and the taste in music is broad.

Nevertheless, or perhaps because of that, music is also used as a political and ethnic figurehead.

When Cameroonian musicians go to the barricades together, however, the state knows no mercy.

Cameroonian music stars on the international scene are Manu Dibango, whose pieces tooare or were in great demand with international pop greats, and Richard Bona.

Important Cameroonian singers were / are, for example, Anne-Marie Nzié (1932-2016), K-Tino, Myra Maimoh, Kareyce Fotso or the US Cameroonian Andy Allo.

On March 24, 2020, the Cameroonian jazz musician Manu Dibango (“Papa Groove”) died in a Paris hospital at the age of 86 from a Covid-19 infection. A great musician, whose name has always stood for the exchange of cultures and the concerns of Africa.

The musician and poet Francis Bebey died in 2001. He was well known abroad, but did not live in Cameroon because he was politically opposed by the authorities.


While music is often sung in the national languages, the literature is actually French or English. It is almost exclusively published abroad, partly because most of the relevant writers belong to the political opposition and often live or lived in exile. René Philombe and Mongo Beti, two classics of Cameroonian literature, both died in 2001. Ferdinand Oyono, another great old man in Cameroonian literature, came to terms with the regime and was a member of the government for many years.

Calixthe Beyala was one of the first Cameroonian women writers to make a name for herself internationally. In the meantime, Léonora Miano has joined her. The works of both authors often deal with women’s issues.

Patrice Nganang is an internationally very successful representative of the younger generation of writers, who has received various literary prizes. Likewise Max Lobe, who received the Ahmadou Kourouma Literature Prize in Geneva in 2017 for his latest work.


According to holidaysort, Cameroon is a country located in Central Africa. Cameroonian directors repeatedly make a name for themselves internationally. Jean Marie Teno and Jean-Pierre Bekolo are important representatives of Cameroonian film.

Jean-Pierre Bekolo’s film “Le Président” caused considerable unrest, although it was only shown once at the film festival in Burkina Faso. Another Cameroonian director, Richard Fouofie Djimili, was kidnapped, detained and tortured by the secret service because of a subject related to a film satire.

Visual arts

La Nouvelle Liberté de Sumegne

La Nouvelle Liberté de Sumegne

Painters, sculptors and installation artists come from all regions of Cameroon, but forums in which artists can present their work, exchange ideas with colleagues and perhaps also interest buyers are few and far between.

All the more important are institutions like doual’art, where art and artists are promoted and “brought to the people” with exhibitions and actions.


Cameroonians are proud of their fashion creations. Cameroonian fashion labels are gaining more and more acceptance on the domestic market and in 2020 a breakthrough could also be celebrated internationally: Cameroonian Imane Ayissi was the first fashion designer from sub-Saharan Africa to take part in the Parisian Haute Couture Weeks.

And in Munich, two Cameroonians enrich dirndl fashion with creations made from African fabrics.