The launching of this year’s edition coincided was commemorated by thrilling performances from musicians and theatre companies from all over the globe.
The 11th edition of the African Theàtre Festival for Children and Young People, FATEJ was launched over the weekend at the French Institute in Yaoundé. The launching of this year’s edition coincided with the celebration of the 20th anniversary of FATEJ and the 35th anniversary of Theàtre Du Chocolat, making this year’s edition a very special one. Since 2004, the African Theatre Festival for Children and Young People and Theàtre Du Chocolat has partnered with the International Association of theatre for children and young people, ASSITEJ to ensure that African theatres understand how to manage the art. The African Theatre Festival for Children and young people FATEJ is a biennial festival that was created in 1996 and has as objective to create a platform for African theatre companies to interact.
This year’s festival is termed Inclusivity and will run from the 11-18 of November 2016. Activities will hold in three different towns. Yaoundé, Soa and Mfou and will encompass theatre activities of all sorts. And even though the children are included in this year’s event, they are just to be part of the audience as it is the youths that will perform for them.
The opening ceremony was graced with the presence of guest from America, Asia and Europe who came to lend their support to the African theatre companies which are here to participate at the Festival. The theatre companies which came from outside the continent included, Teatre Tre from Sweden, Ueli Bischel from Switzerland and “Treteaux De Haute Alsace” from France and those that came from around Africa included Theatre Claire from Burkina Faso Teatro Galagalazul from Mozambique, Rwanda and Kininso Concept Production from Nigeria just to mention a few.
The venue for the launching was inspired by the fact that it was at the French Institute that the first theatre act was performed on July 4, 1981, so it was for them to reflect on how far they have come and how far they still have to go, said Mr Etundi Zeyang, Artistic director. Thrilling performances came from Cameroon’s Theàtre Du Chocolat entitled ‘’Abole’’ a short play and Barbara Clemance, Cameroonian Bikutsi artist based in Europe that kept the audience clapping and cheering for most parts of the evening.