The story of TataYo

51 years ago I came for 15 days to visit my mother in Gabon by charter DC6 Gabonair.

And by choice and cheerfulness of heart, I stayed there.

My dear mother Madame Villas is buried there since 2013 as well as our son Noé, loved by all and deceased at 24 years old.

The last time I left there was in the last century and for a month, in 1999, to accompany 2 great traditional artists of the Deep Country, including Yvon Minanga Kassa, in 2 French festivals.

This dear Gabon which saw the birth of our 3 children is a sacred and magical land and its inhabitants are always hospitable and welcoming in all its provinces.

In short, a warm country where I have now spent 2/3 of my life.

My professional life as a truck driver has pushed me since 1976 to meet the local cultures so decried, even demonized by the influential imported religions.

Three major events, some of them mystical and confidential, happened:

A night breakdown in 1976 in a village of the Estuary and the meeting of remarkable people such as Papa André, his brother Evariste and their relatives, which led me to be initiated after 3 years of frequenting this milieu so decried by the gossips... in 1979!

Fundamental initiation which immediately pushed me to found a first "association for the agricultural and cultural promotion of the Gabonese village" in 1980 with the late Daniel Odimbossoukou and late Catherine Oneto.

Then creation of rural cooperatives with the late Jean Robert Rengouwa, a very delicate concept that was hardly born despite the total involvement of the above mentioned.

In 1993 and 1994, the initiations of Katy Euillet, mother of our common children, and myself, in other traditional rites of the Middle Ogoué with Mr. Jean Tsanga who later became Motamba (Root of the Earth), made us discover other cultures all as enriching for our ex-Western spirits, in love with an Africa that is humanly and naturally so rich and so diverse

In 1996, the newly created "Association of Friends of the Circus of Ecuador" allowed 22 Gabonese artists to have a 2-year renewable contract in the biggest circus in the world, in the USA: BARNUM & Ringling Circus.

All this led us after 2 other fundamental and founding events, to create the "EBANDO cultural association (nature + culture = future)" which has not ceased since then to help people in difficulty to reintegrate by the traditional ways of the various know-how of GABON.

This has led us to be the "kingpin" association for the Gabonese part of the String Music Festival which lasted 10 days in 2004 at the French Cultural Center which later became the French Institute.

A great success due in large part to the animator Irène Labeyrie and the conductor Toups Bebey.

This year 2022 sees us become an association presided over by an enterprising woman: Audrey Céline Mengue and we are the carriers and directors of the PISCCA project of a 26' documentary on violence against women (MIVOVA Y'ATO : paroles de femmes) financed in part by the French Embassy in Gabon. 

We are at your disposal for any further information,

Tel : +241 77819555 (whatsapp or phone)

Email : email me

Thank you.

The executive secretary and co-founder of the Ebando Association:

Hugues Obiang Poitevin aka TataYo