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Women's stand-up breaking barriers in Africa

Germaine ololo is a renowned Congolese comedian.   -  
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Republic of the Congo

Germaine Ololo is a renowned Congolese comedian. Whenever on stage she raises awareness one joke at a time. Be it a scene on forced marriage, violence against women or on the complicated situation of widows in society, there is no taboo issue for her.

The comedian who is a mentor to younger counterparts, welcomes them every week at the headquarters of the Fief which can be translated as the international festival of Women's speech. Together, the women prepare workshops and shows but they also discuss ways to promote women's empowerment in the field of art and culture.

"That's what art is all about, enrich the ordinary language to get a message across, I think that public speaking today, whether it's telling tales, being a slam poet or a stand UP comedian, all these forms of art must be tools to try to educate," Ololo says.

Stand up is a popular a theatrical form of comic monologue. On the continent, the number of women comedian keeps increasing by the day.

Many African stars have become sources of inspirations for young women. Ivorian comedian Prissy la degammeuse was in Pointe Noire for the second edition of the Stand up au feminin festival [Editor's Note: Women Stand Up festival] (Mar. 8-Mar. 10).

"I am so happy, to be totally honest, I am still moved. I was able to get on stage today and even talk a bit to Prissy," one spectator says.

Comedian Alex Cadi explains why she loves stand up: "I like [it] because through it, I can share my thouthts, my vision."

The 2024 International Women's day theme, 'Invest in women: Accelerate progress”, has been largely welcomed by Congolese civil society group who call for a greater support for initiatives led by actresses in the field culture with the aim to contribute to women’s empowerment.

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