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DZALEU +, I speak Ekang

The importance of language: Interview with the Cameroonian singer Assako

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The importance of language: Interview with the Cameroonian singer Assako. Our languages ​​are “our wealth” for the Cameroonian singer Assako.

Minsili ZANGA: Child, did you speak Ekang language at home?

ASSAKO: Child, I mastered French because it is the language that my parents (Mom Yambassa and Dad Bulu) spoke to us. We had Ewondo neighbors, so I also understood that language without really speaking it.

Minsili ZANGA : And in the village, how was it?

ASSAKO: On my mother’s side, even in the village, people spoke French. Only my grandmother spoke in Yambassa. On my father’s side in the village near Ebolowa, people’s judgment was severe. They did not understand that we speak to them in French and not in Bulu.

Minsili ZANGA : Yet today, you sing in several languages ​​including those of the country. How did you manage to finally express yourself in your language?

ASSAKO: I remember that outside, especially on the Ekang side, as soon as I gave my name, I was systematically asked what kind of clan I was. Then, in the world of cabarets, seeing my colleagues speak the language led me to question myself. I decided to learn. It was difficult at first because I did not have a base, but with the will I arrived there. I continue to learn.

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Assako (Cameroonian singer) by JL Hess

Minsili ZANGA : How important is language to you?

ASSAKO: When you do not speak your language, at a certain moment you feel a lack, as if your identity was incomplete. For me, singing in language has been a choice and a fight. When we reclaim our languages, we reappropriate our true identity. We better apprehend the world with its referents. Knowing one’s language also helps to put an end to artificial barriers. For example, one can really exchange deeply with those of the village, and see the extent of their knowledge. It’s enriching.

Minsili ZANGA : What would you say to young people on this subject?

ASSAKO: My message to young people is to return to our languages, our wealth. They must know that our languages ​​are not “patois”, they are part of our identity. © Dzaleu.com

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