Othni: A Laboratory for Oratorical and Theater Skills in Yaoundé


A unique training center in the heart of Yaoundé, Cameroon, is inspiring a new generation of orators and theater practitioners. Othni, the brainchild of Cameroonian playwright Martin Ambara, is a hub for experimentation and innovation in the art of oratory and theater.

Training for All Ages and Social Strata

Othni offers programs for all ages and social strata. The Young Theater Laboratory is a free training program for children aged 6 to 13. This program, held every Saturday from 11am to 1pm, teaches the art of oratory and stage postures. Othni also offers training in acting, reading and writing, sound, light and video editing, as well as conferences on visual art. The center collaborates with local experts, including Yvon Ngassam, Tally Mbock, and Alioum Moussa, and also holds meetings with renowned artists like Show Azazou.

Innovative Approach to Theater

Othni is more than a cultural center; it is a place of experimentation and innovation for theater. The center develops new kinds of theatrical art in writing, shorthand and acting. The training sessions at Othni have brought together theater practitioners from France, Germany, and England with local practitioners for exchange of ideas.

Funding from Accès-Culture

The center has been self-financed since its inception in 2011. However, this year, Othni received funding from the Accès-Culture program of the French Institutes in Paris and Yaoundé. The center has launched at least five training sessions on acting, providing opportunities for exchange between international and local practitioners. The collaboration between Othni and international practitioners has enabled the development of new and innovative forms of theater.

Othni is a valuable addition to Cameroon’s culture, providing training and opportunities for artistic expression. The center’s innovative approach to theater, collaboration with local experts and international practitioners, and desire to train people of all ages and social strata, makes it a valuable resource for the community.