WRITING COLOUR PIECE / “Football makes me forget the Boko Haram attacks for a few hours” - Le Monde
- Josiane Kouagheu (Cameroon)
Published in Le Monde Afrique, Kouagheu is the first African to reach the final in the Best Colour Piece category, with a crude painting of the harsh reality from the north of Cameroon. Since 2014, the terrorist group Boko Haram has been multiplying attacks there, killing residents, kidnapping children and adults, looting homes, burning houses. Millions of people have abandoned their homes in Cameroon, Nigeria, Chad and Niger because of these incursions. The 2022 African Cup of Nations, the biggest sporting event in Africa, was organized in Cameroon from January 9 to February 6, 2022. During this competition, the author wanted to see how these men, women and children, living in this part of the country that continues to suffer from Boko Haram attacks, were living the football competition. In the villages, he met men who travelled for miles, crossing empty towns, braving their fear, to go and see the matches of the Indomitable Lions, the national soccer team of Cameroon. He followed the game with them, recounting their joy when Cameroon scored goals. Their frustration when the opponent took the ball. He also told the story of the African Cup from the villages, where there is no electricity, where there is no television: those who leave their herds, travel dozens of kilometers to go see the game. Or those who follow the competition on the radio.