Lionel Manga explores the place of music in the social and cultural space of ‘this here country’ – a world of ambient, chronic poverty and the land of Manu Dibango.
Night has taken over from day where the Wouri river makes its way out to sea. Thick miasma travels the streets, stinking in the heat. The city’s going beery-eyed: joy and bitters, if you can believe it. It’s back to normal – sort of – but February lingers on the col- lective mind: Douala’s latest crisis. From the first wave of complaint, to the arrival of men-in-arms deployed against unarmed civilians and the president’s televised hoo- hah (the country is in thrall to witches, he cried), there’s more than enough to discuss over fish and plantains at Sero, the place you go these days if you crave such things and for a view of the whackiest building around, a ‘palace’ allegedly (good god…) erected by an esoterica-obsessed Egyptolo- gist named Dika Akwa nya Bona Mbella.