The Slow Integration of Sustainability into Contemporary Theatre and Performance Practices in Cameroon


  • Kenneth T. Nsah
  • Lisette N. Malung
  • Noella M. Ngunyam


The Cameroonian theatre landscape, both Anglophone and Francophone, is not left untouched by current concerns and discourses about climate change, ecological degradation, and particularly environmental/natural sustainability. In this article, we will examine the emerging inclusion of sustainability in theatre and performances in Cameroon. Specifically, we will discuss the ways in which choices of costumes, makeup, stage props, and occasionally thematics reflect and seek to promote the sustainable management of Nature. Methodologically, we will employ data gathered from five current theatre troupes in Cameroon, interviews conducted with some theatre directors and practitioners, and the personal experiences of (some) co-authors who are also theatre practitioners. We will begin by discussing some unsustainable practices that characterised much of previous Cameroonian theatrical performances and then proceed to present the evolution of the situation, especially as demonstrated in the choices and deployment of costumes, makeup, stage props, and thematics in a selection of theatre performances and theatre scripts. In this way, we hope to highlight the contribution of Cameroonian theatre towards ensuring a just and sustainable planet Earth for all.


Kenneth T. Nsah

Kenneth T. Nsah (whose pen name is Nsah Mala) is a playwright, actor, poet, writer, children’s author, language teacher, translator, communicator-journalist, and literary scholar who writes and publishes mainly in English and French. His research interests include post­colonial ecocriticism, postcolonial studies, decolonial and indigenous studies, sustainability studies, conservation and environmental humanities, medical humanities, Anglophone and Francophone African literatures, migration studies, theatre and drama studies, the climate-environment-migration nexus, Congo Basin, climate-environmental communication, youth climate activism, oral literatures, and creative writing. Nsah holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from Aarhus University (Denmark).

Lisette N. Malung

Lisette N. Malung is a writer, actress, director and producer for theatre and cinema. Lisette is also co-founder and president of the Visionary Theatre Troupe-VTT. She has written ten plays and five short stories, and her films and plays have been screened or performed in Cameroon and Egypt. She has won prizes from the Cameroonian Ministry of Arts and Culture, Goethe-Institut Kamerun, and Red Feather Awards. Lisette has collaborated with UNICEF and an Indian-based Power Transmission Line company called KALPATARU. She currently works as a tour guide at the National Museum of Cameroon in Yaoundé. Lisette holds a Master degree in Performing Arts and Cinematography from the University of Yaoundé 1 (Cameroon) where she is currently a PhD student in the same field.

Noella M. Ngunyam

Noella M. Ngunyam is a theatre actress, scriptwriter, filmmaker, spoken-word artist, commun­ications professional and podcaster. She performs with the Cameroon National Theatre and also works as Communications Assistant at the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF), one of the oldest conservation NGOs in Africa, where she contributes to building brand awareness and thought leadership goals through media engagement and also ensures organisational visibility. Noella holds a BA degree in Performing Arts and Cinematography from the University of Yaoundé 1, and has performed in numerous plays in Cameroon. Noella’s interests lie mostly in women and girls’ empowerment and the role of film as a medium for sustainable development in Africa.


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T. Nsah, K., N. Malung, L., & M. Ngunyam, N. (2022). The Slow Integration of Sustainability into Contemporary Theatre and Performance Practices in Cameroon. Peripeti, 19(37), 58–71. Hentet fra