Cameroon’s capital Yaoundé was the place to be for urban music fans and art lovers. The La Zone festival which is produced by the Douala art Festival (Domaf) was aimed to be a smaller yet intense version of the annual Douala event.
The festival was also highly influenced by the Abidjan Market for Performing Arts (MASA) a cultural platform for promoting African performing arts.
"It is the first time that we replicate the experience of the Massa zone outside of Abidjan, so it is good that it takes place in Yaoundé the capital on a busy avenue, which is a lively spot", the La Zone PR manager, Bonas Fotio, exclaimed proudly.
On Saturday and Sunday (September 23-24), everyone passing by the busy avenue Kennedy in Yaoundé was captivated by the drum beat and the murals.
Street art works like a piece by Guy Kouekam et Keulion on the facade of the French cultural institute in Yaoundé were eye-catching.
Clothes of the future
In addition to visual arts and music, street fashion was the other highlight of the event. The theme of this first edition of the La Zone festival was: tomorrow is yesterday. 3 fashion designers joined forces to imagine what fashion could look like by the mid-21st century.
"We went with the flow of the DOMAF festival theme which is tomorrow is yesterday, Kris Ka, a fashion designer says. So, we designed garments trying to figure out what clothing in 2050 could look like."
"We work with everything, from wood, to aluminium, or kitchen utensils, BRISTEL says. We call it upcycling. You’ll wonder why upcycle: because clothes or objects that were created do not have the right to die".
Clad in flashy colours and with unusual attires, models were essential parts of the project. They were on the same page that the designers, to them: the designer leaves a mark in his creations and they should not be bound to die.
"Anything anyone creates should not be forgotten because it bears the image of its creator, Junior Sikombe argues. He let his spirit work, so we have to promote his work, that’s it."
Consequently, nothing is lost here everything can be transformed from clothes, to shoes, fabric or even objects.
If the future was on everyone’s mind it is because the La Zone by Domaf festival organizers were inspired by the UN’s sustainable development goals and paired up with civil society actors when setting up the event.
Over the week-end, the public loafed around the Kennedy avenue discovering music genres, traditional Cameroonian dances and participating in workshops.