Chantal Biya in Washington, DC (2014)
|Born||Dimako, East Province, Cameroon|
Rosette Ndongo Mengolo
Chantal Biya was born in Dimako, East Province, Cameroon. Her father was French expatriate Georges Vigouroux and her mother, Miss Doumé pageant winner Rosette Ndongo Mengolo. Her mother was elected Mayor of Bangou following the July 2007 municipal elections.
She is well known for her hairstyles. Her signature style is called the banane, and is used for formal occasions. Biya has popularised other styles; collectively, they are known as the Chantal Biya. She is also known because of her exotic wardrobe. Among her favourite designers are high-end Western labels such as Chanel and Dior.
She established the Fondation Chantal Biya in 1994, and hosted the inaugural First Ladies Summit in Yaoundé in 1996; the Jeunesse active pour Chantal Biya is an organ of her husband's Cameroon People's Democratic Movement.
In November 2010, Bertrand Teyou published a book titled La belle de la république bananière : Chantal Biya, de la rue au palais (English: "The belle of the banana republic: Chantal Biya, from the streets to the palace"), tracing Biya's rise from humble origins to become First Lady. He was subsequently given a two-year prison term on charges of "insult to character" and organising an "illegal demonstration" for attempting to hold a public reading. Amnesty International and PEN International’s Writers in Prison Committee both protested his arrest and issued appeals on his behalf; Amnesty International also named him a prisoner of conscience. He was freed in April 2011 when a well wisher agreed to pay his fine in order that he might seek treatment for his worsening health.
- G’nowa (2008).
- F. (2007).
- Morikang (2008).
- 2004 Presidential elections: Paul Biya’s Biography, Republic of Cameroon, archived from the original on 30 September 2007,
Paul BIYA has been married since 23 April 1994 to Chantal BIYA, after the passing away of his first wife on 29 July 1992.
- Lees (2014).
- Andrews-Dyer (2014).
- Nyamnjoh, Durham & Fokwang (2002), p. 113
- Nyamnjoh, Durham & Fokwang (2002), p. 117
- Fondation Chantal BIYA [Chantal Biya Foundation] (in French), Yaoundé, Cameroon: Synergies Africaines contre le SIDA et les Souffrances, archived from the original on 12 June 2015,
Créée en 1994 par Madame Chantal BIYA, Epouse du Président de la République du Cameroun, la Fondation Chantal BIYA est une association humanitaire, apolitique, non confessionnelle et à but non lucratif.
- Ibrahim (2003), p. 17.
- Ngwane (2004), p. 17.
- Teyou (2010).
- Mitchell (2011a).
- "Urgent Action: Cameroonian writer held in harsh conditions" (PDF). Amnesty International. 12 April 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 January 2014.
- Mitchell (2011b).
- Andrews-Dyer, Helena (4 August 2014), "The first lady of Cameroon and her hair have touched down in D.C.", The Washington Post, Reliable Source, archived from the original on 6 December 2015.
- Dorall, Charyl, ed. (2004). Commonwealth Ministers Reference Book 2003. Commonwealth Secretariat.
- F., M. (2007), "Bangou : La mère de Chantal Biya élue maire" [Bangou: Chantal Biya’s mother elected mayor], Quotidien Mutations (in French), Yaoundé, Cameroon: South Media Corporation, archived from the original on 8 February 2012.
- G’nowa, Hermann Oswald (19 April 2008), "L'unique fille de Paul Biya fait ses études primaires en Suisse", Cameroun Online (in French), archived from the original on 26 September 2008.
- Ibrahim, Jibrin (2003), Democratic Transition in Anglophone West Africa (PDF), Monograph, Dakar, Senegal: CODESRIA, ISBN 978-2-86978-122-1, LCCN 2006406193, OCLC 55051309, OL 8986042M, archived (PDF) from the original on 27 September 2007.
- Lees, Kevin A. (2014), "The Story Behind the Hair: Contemporary, Repressive Cameroon", The Huffington Post, OCLC 268958614, archived from the original on 6 July 2015
- Mitchell, Tamsin (2011a), Writers in Prison Committee: Cameroon: Author jailed for insulting President’s wife, London, England: PEN International, archived from the original on 6 December 2015.
- Mitchell, Tamsin (2011b), Writers in Prison Committee: Cameroon: Author Jailed for Insult Released, London, England: PEN International, archived from the original on 15 December 2013,
PEN International welcomes the release of author Bertrand Teyou on 29 April 2011 after almost six months in prison for allegedly insulting the President’s wife in a book he published [in 2010]. . . . Teyou was freed from New Bell prison in Douala on 19 April 2011 after a well‑wisher paid the fine.
- Morikang, Tche Irene (2008), "Cameroon: Revisiting the Extraordinary Life of Chantal Biya", Cameroon Tribune, Cameroon Tribune – via AllAfrica, (Subscription required (, ))
From her birth in Dimako, through her life as an adolescent in [Yaoundé] . . .
- Ngwane, Mwalimu George (2004), "Cameroon's Democratic Process: Vision 2020" (PDF), CODESRIA Bulletin, Dakar, Senegal: Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (3/4), ISSN 0850-8712, OCLC 774525259, archived (PDF) from the original on 5 February 2012.
- Nyamnjoh, Francis B.; Durham, Deborah; Fokwang, Jude D. (2002), "The Domestication of Hair and Modernised Consciousness in Cameroon: A Critique in the Context of Globalisation" (PDF), Identity, Culture and Politics: An Afro‑Asian Dialogue, 3 (2), pp. 98–124, ISSN 0851-2914, OCLC 774633458, archived (PDF) from the original on 21 February 2006.
- Teyou, Bertrand (2010), La belle de la république bananière : Chantal Biya, de la rue au palais [The belle of the banana republic: Chantal Biya, from the streets to the palace] (in French), Douala, Cameroon: Nation libre, LCCN 2011342343, OCLC 707023206, OL 24833906M.