An author from Cameroon
writing in French
[Return to French Page originale en français]
Marie-Claire-Eléonore-Débochère Matip was born in 1938 in Eséka, in Cameroon, the daughter of a local tribal leader. She came from a large family - her father had about fifty children from different mothers, which mainly spoke Bassa. She was initially educated at home by a tutor, then she went to the communal school in Esé. When she was thirteen she went to the girls' "Collège moderne" in Douala. It was at this time that she wrote Ngonda . In 1956 she won a prize in a competition organised by the magazine Elle and Air France, which enabled her to go to France for the first time. The following year she went back there. She returned to the Cameroon where she was responsible for setting up "les beaux samedis", a radio programme targeted at Cameroon's youth which she also presented. In 1958 she studied for her "bac" at the lycée Leclerc in Yaoundé. She then took some units in the Arts and Theology faculties at the University of Montpellier, before enrolling at the Sorbonne to study philosophy, psychology and sociology and where she submitted her doctorate on "some aspects of the roles of the African woman". She has five children aged between 19 and 29 (in 1992), among them the singers and musicians Esta and Princess Erika. She has lived for many years in Paris with her husband and family (1992).
Ngonda . Paris: Bibliothèque du Jeune Africain, 1958. (50p.) Childhood autobiography.
Ngonda, which means "young girl" in the author's maternal language, is one of the first texts written in French by an African woman to be published. While still only an adolescent, Marie-Claire Matip describes, in chronological fashion, the important events in her life which she sets out in a succession of short chapters.
The University of Western Australia/French
Created: 25 December 1995
Modified: 14 September 1996
Archived: 10 May 2013