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To Be a Man

Steve Mekoudja (2018)

Art and Creative Direction: Steve Mekoudja. Camera: Lea Bethke & Sali Fayssal. Edited by: Nafoore Qâa & Isma & Poliana Baumgarten. Color Grading: Sali Fayssal. Set Photographer/Camera Assistent: Katrin Krautgasser & Stéphane Kamwa. Styling: Steve Mekoudja & FUFU & Ama Frimpong. Additional voices: Prosby. Production: Coeur Noir Prod & Mintou IV Marcel Manfred. Guitar: Wandji Tchamdeu Osee Abdias. Piano: Nkede Paul Nkede

You enter this world and spirits sing:

《This is a man》

A man

Your new name on your head like horns

A new name in which you find yourself trapped

A new name imposing Faces on you

Rugged Faces

Violent Faces

Arrogant Faces

You enter this world searching for who you are

You don’t know what being a man truly means

You are so flamboyant

You dance so well

And your smile is reminiscent of the beauty of a flower’s budding

But they say:

“Swallow your emotions, Hide those tears, play football

Above all, never wear pink

Don’t dare to cry

You are a man

And men are made of iron

Men are made of stone”

Yes, you are a man. But when you step forward, your chest is on the edge

of an explosion

And when your heart wants to speak, your head will answer that you are

not a woman.

This is about being who you are

This is a poem for all those men hiding themselves behind a face

Those men who silence their tears

Men that we do not see

We do not hear

This is a poem for me

For you

For you and me

This is a poem for our humanity




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