Central African Republic Culture and Literature

By | September 24, 2021


The extremely difficult political situation has stopped any kind of artistic expression in this country; to this is added the high percentage of illiteracy. Even the music does not offer original characteristics: popular dance music, a local version of the characteristic style of Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of the Congo) and Brazzaville (Republic of the Congo), is recorded, sold and broadcast on the radio. According to allunitconverters, the structure of the small towns has remained unchanged: the bayas live in small villages of cylindrical huts with a conical roof or, in some cases, with a domed roof. A totally hemispherical type of hut can also be found at the baya, which is accessed via a low entrance surmounted by a long barrel canopy, but these are generally temporary shelters. Bayas are mainly farmers and hunters, but handicrafts are widely practiced in their villages. In the Savannah regions, the Sandé also live in cylindrical-conical huts, where, however, the frequent use of clay plaster betrays the ancient Sudanese ancestry.


The multiple ethnic groups, among which the sandé stand out for their wealth of folklore, preserve an oral, traditional literature, made up of narrative and poetic compositions in which the phrase or verse, strongly rhythmic, is created above all in function of song and dance.. There is a modern oral production which, enhanced by the radio, has seen the narrator Lucien Dambalé assert himself and a new literary genre emerging through the work of modern songwriters. Literature written in the Sango language has counted good poets such as Willybiro Passy, ​​Diki-Kidiri, Bagouma. Slow schooling and the difficulty of assimilating a foreign language hindered the formation of a written literature of French expression before the Second World War. This state of affairs partially changed after World War II. The literature written in French did not come from the militant African works of the 1960s; rich and colorful, it aimed to exalt the values ​​of the indigenous culture. The novel realistically depicted the daily life of villages or cities, reflecting the contrasts between tradition and modernism. In this field the talent of Pierre Bamboté (b.1932) imposed himself, who refused to become the propagandist of the negritude and he turned resolutely towards a future to be built with courage and lucidity. G. Danzi (b. 1952), E. Goyemide (b. 1942) and CR Yavouko (b. 1953) also attracted attention abroad, raising the problems caused by the westernization process of the country. The short stories and short stories, in which Gonéyo-Répago (b. 1952) and P. Sammy-Mackfoy are noted, presented simple and linear plots. JD Penel’s anthology of Central African poets (1983) revealed the talent of 63 authors, including six women. Poetry was generally expressed in an academic form, but it was rich in emotion and with didactic purposes. The best poet was S. Ngouka, who died prematurely. Modest until independence, the theater assumed greater importance in 1966 with the creation of “I Compagni di Teatro”, a company animated by Father Siango. He dealt with generational conflicts, modernism, colonization, the negative aspects of socio-political life. Among the numerous contemporary authors we mention M. Gonéyo-Répago (b.1952), who lives in France and who in 2008 made his debut as a director, E. Goyémidé (Le Dernier Survivant De La Caravane; 1998), Kaīnze, A. Teguedere and FA Ipéko Etomane (b. 1930), who is also a narrator and poet.


Withdrawal of the mission in 2000, a new coup was repressed in 2002 thanks also to the intervention of Libyan troops who acted alongside the government militias. The rebels, however, maintained control of large areas of the north-central of the country until 2003 François Bozizé, leader of the rebels, with a coup d’etat dismissed Patassé and proclaimed himself president. He suspended the 1995 Constitution and, having dissolved the National Assembly, formed a government of national unity with the intention of preparing new elections that took place in 2005 and gave him the victory, recognized by the international community. However, even with Bozizé’s assumption of the office of President, the situation in the north of the country failed to stabilize: the rebels continued to control the border areas with Sudan, Chad and Cameroon and despite the signing of peace (the latest in 2007 and 2011) security in the Central African Republic remained precarious. In 2011 Bozizé was reconfirmed as president with 66% of the votes. In March 2013 the Séléka, a coalition of Islamic rebels took control of Bangui, forcing the president to flee. Despite the presence of the stabilization contingent of the African Union (MISCA), the situation in the country remained unstable: in August 2014, clashes broke out in Bambari between factions of the rebel coalition Séléka. The appointment as interim premier of Mahamat Kamoun, a Muslim, did not satisfy the militias and the UN MINUSCA mission took command of the peacekeeping operation.

Central African Republic Culture