Although his songs appeal in the first place to the Chadian public, Croquemort is one of the few artists in Chad who are connected to an international network and able to reach a wider audience.
Today he is an important slam artist. In 2013 he organized the first edition of the annual festival ‘N’Djam s’enflamme en Slam’, which takes place in N’Djaména. The first festival was organized with some minor funding from the Department of Culture and the French embassy in Chad. Each year again it is quite difficult work to secure funding and also the organizational talents to make the festival work. But Croquemort does not give up and, if necessary, invests his own small resources in the festival (to know more about the festival, read the report of the 2016 edition). Working in collaboration with other slammers from all over Africa, he is creating a network to increase the audience for protest music and slam poetry at both a national and an international level. His most recent action in this regard was the creation of a committee to organize the ‘Coupe d’Afrique Slam Poésie’ (he hopes to hold the first competition in 2017).
He has also received many international awards and is often invited to events and debates both in Africa and in Europe. Many of the earlier awards were for his writing activity, a passion he nurtured even before he discovered slam poetry. For Croquemort, writing is a primary form of expression, a necessary part of life, an essential tool to share feelings and foster participation.
And it is with his writings that he achieved his first recognition in 2004 as a nominated finalist in the Prix du Jeune Écrivain Francophone de Toulouse. From that moment on, he achieved much recognition for his short stories. In 2006 he was awarded the Grand Prix Alain Décaux de la Francophonie for his short story L’ermite et le Christ (available at this link).
Other recognitions came in 2008 (1st regional prize in the Grand Prix Universitaire de la Nouvelle du Crous in Lille) and 2010 (1st prize in the Concours littéraire international de Camaroés – Yaoundé/Lyon), making him an important voice of the Francophonie.
The discovery of slam poetry opened a new artistic phase for Croquemort—his writing took on an even more powerful and political voice, and an international scene began to open up for him as a representative Francophone artist.
In 2012 he was invited to the Forum mondial de la francophonie et de la langue française in Québec and to the Forum mondial des emplois verts at Niamey. In 2014 in Ivory Coast and in Chad he was awarded the Prize for Digital Innovation from TIGO for his innovative experience in using new technologies in social activities.
In August 2016, he was nominated amongst the finalists of Francophonie 35>35, winning the prize Jeune personnalité francophone de l’année for his entrepreneurial project Dawa m-health (read the full post ‘Android Youth’, which concerns the Francophonie 35>35 competition and some reflections on the role of the Internet in opportunities for young people).
Photo: Sjoerd Sijsma