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Culture and Safety in Africa

Njé Mo Jé

Name of Artwork
Njé Mo Jé, 2007

Location and Accessibility
New Bell, Nkololoun, Dernier poteau

Level of Significance
Monumental installation

About the Artwork
Nje Mo Yé is a monument by Koko Komégné, a Cameroonian artist widely regarded as the “father of Douala’s artists”. It is a 5 meters tall sculpture with a wingspan of 2.5 meters, made of red painted steel tubes with a diameter of 12 cm. The work graphically depicts a man and a woman holding hands and standing on three legs. With this artwork, Komégné aims to convey a message about the values of the family and the importance of the stability in the union of the couple. The name of the artwork, Njé Mo Yé, contrasts with the figurative representation: in Duala language, it means “What’s that?”, as a criticism of the patchwork families, typical of the contemporary generation, and the consequent loss of the family ties that characterized the original Cameroonian tradition. The work was inaugurated during SUD 2007 in the district where the artist has lived and observed the contemporary society for over 20 years. It belongs to the Municipality of Douala, which in 2013, after a car accident that damaged the artwork, financed its restoration.

About the location
The artwork is located on a traffic island in the middle of the crossroad “Dernier Poteau” which literally means “last light pole” to indicate the point where, until the eighties, the darkness began. This crossroad belongs to the Nkololoun neighborhood, which in Duala language means “hill of anger”. Nowadays, Dernier Poteau is not anymore an isolated area, but a widely recognized landmark signing the end of the New Bell district and the beginning of the industrial zone of Douala.