Of course, the French-speaking comedians know how to communicate with a very diverse audience, not only because of the diversity of the country, but also to connect with those elsewhere in Africa and those who have emigrated.
If, in theory, the use of French would seem to facilitate access to a very wide and supranational audience of spectators, in practice it may prove a tricky trap, as Mamane explained: “While addressing the same message, I cannot express it in the same way with everyone.” The repertoire must be adapted and the texts of theater, radio and television sketches are revised to adapt them to the individual audience. For example, the musical component is crucial in Africa, whereas it is less important in Europe.
Then there is a very delicate problem for the professional comedy artists to solve: fair compensation for their work. At one time, they were invited to social events, such as weddings, to perform in front of a festive, and perhaps a little distracted, audience. Their performances were not paid in cash but in kind: a sack of rice for the family or beers for a few friends. Gohou explains it: “Today, however, the humorist intends to survive thanks to his art” and is no longer content with a meager tip. “Unfortunately, it remains difficult financially,” added the comedian. So, many choose to move to Europe to gain fame and subsequent economic success.
Another factor that drives artists to emigrate is the scarcity of theaters to perform live in African countries. This often pushes them to use the locations of the Centres Culturels Français, present in French-speaking capital, for their performances.