Wassing Wadaï Charles, also known as Charly, is a slam artist from Cameroon, born in the ’90s in a military camp in Koutaba (a village in the Western region of Cameroon).  He was already drawn to music in primary school, singing songs by local artists and artists from the African continent. During his somewhat troubled teenage years, he looked for ways to express himself and started turning his experiences into an artform that was new to him.  He was reciting his original writings in profound and playful ways, without knowing it was called Slam Poetry.

 

Charly slams in French, but also in his local languages: fulfuldé and pidgin. In 2018 he released his first single “Les Larmes D’une Solitute”, and in 2020 he released a mixtape “Slamykallemnt Votre”, produced by the label Zenhome. In his lyrics, Charly speaks about the lost hope of Africa, and the exploitation that happened in the past and is no longer being spoken about. His works include laughter, but also many tears, as he feels Africa weeps a great deal.

 

As a graduate in Educational Sciences from the University of Yaounde 1, he used his skills to become a text writer and project manager of oral arts for the cultural organisation Entre2vers. Today, he is very active in the social justice movement in Cameroon through Dynamique Mondiale des Jeunes For All.  He is one of the leaders of the Ongola Slam Café (now known as 237 Words), and the co-founder of the Accros’Art company and the Encre d’Afrique project.

 

As a live performer, Charly has participated in many events in Yaounde and festivals in the Southern Region, such as finalist in the Spoken World Project at The Goethe Institute, finalist in Guinness Made of Black and Special Jury prize at Sciences Slam Cameroon to name a few. He has also collaborated with the singer Nelly-O at Yafe in 2014 and with singer Rass Ngamo,  bassist Aime Mama and many others.