Publications du Prince Kum'a Ndumbe III

On 6 July 2011, Prince Kum’a Ndumbe III celebrated his 40 years of international publishing since his first publication, the short story “Le monster” which was published by Jeune Afrique on 6 July 1971. Up until today with his most recent books like "50 Ans déjà ! Quand cessera enfin votre indépendance-là ???" or "Africa is Calling - African-Americans Stand Up for Africa", he has not failed in fulfilling the mission he had set for himself at the early age of 24: Contribute to the decolonisation of the production and dissemination of knowledge about Africa, both in African and in European countries. Already in 1962 in St. Galles in Switzerland, during his first visit to Europe, he writes his first book: a compilation of poems in Duala language. Paradoxically, it is the German language that imposes itself on him while studying in Lyon, France, where he writes his first four theater plays in the language of Goethe and Schiller. But already then, even his writings in German are deeply African in the sense that he consciously claims the re-writing of the falsified historiography and the rehabilitation of Africa’s dignity. And these writings are disturbing to German editors in the 1970s. An African writing in German? “Lumumba II.” and “Ach Kamerun” will not be published in Germany until 2005.

His French writings are not less provoking: “Cannibalisme” and “Kafra-Biatanga” are followed by “Nouvelles interdites”, “Hitler voulais l’Afrique” and “Dialogue en noir et blanc” (with Jean-Yves Loude). But his books are distributed and read only in Europe and the US, but nowhere to be found in Cameroon! Since 1979, Prince Kum’a Ndumbe III has never again sent a manuscript to a French editor.

As President of the Cameroonian Writers’ Association (APEC), Prince Kum’a Ndumbe III dares asking President Ahidjo to lift the fierce censorship laws on books. Not waiting long for the authorities to respond, he creates a publishing house in 1985: Editions AfricAvenir. His book “L’Afrique relève le défi” sells 5.000 copies. He becomes an editor without meaning to. The aim is clear: Publish without censorship and give direct access to local population to what Cameroonian and African writers have to say. Speak out without having to go through a European or US editor and provoke debates directly and on the spot.

In 1993, AfricAvenir is turned into a foundation with the aim of sustaining these efforts. In 2003, Prince Kum’a Ndumbe III creates Exchange & Dialogue, a German publishing house with the aim of telling Germans, as well as Austrians and Swiss, what their own institutions do not want them to know about Africa – and this in German, without translation. Even today, his 13 German books still seem to disturb, but they are bought and read.

In 2009, another big step is taken with the publication in Duala, French and Ewondo of the epic Cameroonian tale “Masomandala”. Publishing in African languages remains the challenge of the future – the near future!

Looking back, it has been 40 years of continuous rebellion against the dominant neocolonial order and for the upliftment and renaissance of the African continent and its peoples.

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La Fondation AfricAvenir International est une Organisation Internationale non gouvernementale à but non lucratif basée à Douala au Cameroun et dont l’objectif est d’œuvrer pour la Renaissance africaine, le Développement endogène, la Coopération internationale et la Paix durable. Fondée en 1986 par son promoteur le Prince et Professeur Kum’a Ndumbe III.

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