Cyrill received a creative grant in partnership with the Atelier des Artistes en Exil.

What is your artistic background ?
My artistic experience is relatively modest. I discovered theatre by a fortunate combination of circumstances in 2008, thanks to an enrolment in the Department of Arts and Archaeology at the Faculty of Yaoundé. And since that date, until 2021, I have always combined studies and theatrical practice; I would even say artistic, as I sometimes brush up against fields such as sound management, directing, video editing, music, and computer-assisted paging and even Motion Design. But it's as an actor that I started my artistic life: about 10 shows, at the university, then and especially with the company Emintha. Then in 2015, I really started writing. Along the way, I had the chance to join training workshops given by authors such as Sylvie Dyclo Pomos, Édouard Elvis Bvouma, Kouam Tawa or Éric Delphin Kwegoué. And I have not stopped writing: an adaptation of Père Inconnu by Pabe Mongo (with Landry Nguetsa), a theatrical adaptation of the novel Laafal ils ont dit... by Charles Salé, and participation in scripted works for Calvin Yadia. I have also produced many texts (sometimes non-theatrical) on a solo basis. I hope to be able to share them with as many people as possible one day. I can cite in particular Les Enfants du Péché (Edilivre 2018), Monsieur Paris m'avait dit... (Prix Francophonie Cameroun, 2018), Le Précieux Présent de la Petite Reine (Goethe découverte 2018 and RFI Theatre finalist in 2019), Passé Présent Futur KAMERUN (2019, directed by Jens Neumann), Les Grandes Personnes Mentent Comme je Respire! (2020), Partir ou Pâtir (written during a residency in Limoges and La Rochelle, 2021), Luciole and Love You de Dingue (poems written during a virtual residency, 2021), and finally Lève-toi et Marche. In short, my life for the last decade has been an artistic patchwork, a constant effort to describe and write myself in all forms.

How do you view your profession today ?
How do I look at my profession? This is a rather difficult question for me, I must admit. Is it the way I look at my practice of theatre? Is it the outlook I have on the Cameroonian or French theatrical universe? France, the country in which I have just settled? I will answer in a global way, according to my feelings and my modest experience. I think that the profession of artist, whatever the field, is very complex. Here reigns a good dose of unpredictability. I would not like to use the word luck because it would annihilate the important part that talent and sacrifice play in the emergence of an artistic career. But that said, the profession of artist coexists alongside luck. Beyond talent, it is very often necessary to be in the right place, at the right time, to meet those people that I will call "the openers". Moreover, you can produce, but art being, beyond all theories, a question of sensitivity, it is necessary that your works can find people who are sensitive to them. In a word, I have always had the impression that my profession, that of author for example, taken in its current scope, is a kind of double job. To write and specially to fight every day to find a gap in the middle of a conglomerate of talents.

How do you see yourself in 5 years ? In 10 years ?
Briefly, I would say to win prestigious literary prizes, to publish most of the texts that are dear to me and especially to be able to be read, or better, to play at the IN d'Avignon. This has always been a young author's dream. But in all sincerity, the older I get, the more I realize that all this is just a frill. There are published texts that no one knows, no one reads (we know how much the theatre suffers from editorial misery). My work to be performed in Avignon.
In 5 or 10 years, I don't know if I will still be writing. I just want to empty all the juice of ideas, imagination, and effort out of myself and take a deep breath to peacefully let go of a "duty done", and then we'll see... But what I am sure of is that in a few years I will become a travelling author. I'll go around the cities, meet a lot of people and vocalize my texts for free, in full or in excerpts. And I will let the time dictate the desire, or not, to write my story.


This interview was conducted in 2022
Photography credit : Julie Glassberg