Yannick Noah wants to be everything: champion, trainer, artist, businessman and traditional leader, from one continent to another. Less simple, he will admit, than writing a biographical line on Wikipedia. Discovered in Cameroon by the African-American Arthur Ashe, the tennis talents of the pre-adolescent will be put at the service of France where Noah will judge his fluctuating recognition. Last French winner of the Roland-Garros tournament, 39 years ago and after 37 years of “Gallic” defeats, he will emphasize that he was considered Cameroonian when success was slow to smile on him…
Is France only a racist Christian nation whose heart would only be offered to trophy snatchers? ? Despite a checkered sports record, Yannick Noah will be crowned “favorite personality of the French” eleven times in an Ifop ranking which, moreover, gives pride of place to Jewish migrant roots (Jean-Jacques Goldman), claimed sub-Saharan (Omar Sy) or even assumed Kabyles (Zinedine Zidane).
Cameroon: why Samuel Eto’o and Yannick Noah are at war
As a sports career does not offer longevity, the young Franco-Cameroonian retiree will invent himself a singer. Whim? He will fill the Stade de France. Cartoonish? The first hit “Saga Africa” seemed far-fetched – both in terms of the lyrics, the accent and the arrangements – and Noah will admit to having been, for a time, “the negro on duty”…
Was his career as an artist going to be as short as that of the athlete? In 2014, several concerts will be canceled for lack of spectators, to the point that we wonder if Yannick was not going to become less famous than his basketball player son Joakim. While Noah father is nowhere to be found, in 2022, in the top 50 of “French favorite personalities”, his media return looks like a farewell to France. In February, the French media revealed his new life as chief of the village of Etoudi, a district of Yaoundé with 5,000 inhabitants. The sportsman-singer is so king that he receives, in July, the constitutional monarch Emmanuel Macron…
Cameroon: Yannick Noah and the case of the real-fake racket
February, July and October: the communication ultimately resembles a three-cushion pool table. This fall, with his album La Marfee, the sexagenarian signs a rather French musical return, if we believe the dates of the hexagonal tour and the title of the opus, which refers to a massif of his maternal Ardennes. As for the resolutely sunny and colorful musical styles, even that of title Back to Africa is part of this Africanity of France, notably distilled in recent years by a “diaspora” that has become variety.
To the searchers for lice on cut dreadlocks, Noah responds with the generous display of his famous happy teeth. His good nature did not save him some controversy, beyond his French commitments which he himself failed to present as “dividing”. In 2005, Paul Biya’s Democratic Rally of the Cameroonian People (RDPC) tried to recover him by presenting him as one of the regime’s supporters. In 2013, his closeness displayed with his double compatriot Dieudonné Mbala Mbala tarnished his smooth image. In recent weeks, the consensual mountebank has revealed a less candid businessman profile, on the occasion of his showdown with Samuel Eto’o, around the termination of the contract between Fecafoot and Le Coq Sportif, a French company whose singer owns a part from capital.