Chantal Biya: The First Lady of Cameroon

| December 28, 2011 | 15 Comments

Chantal Biya of Cameroon
By Adeola Fadumiye (December 19, 2011)

If you are yet to hear of the Banane, then you read about it first on Afrikan Goddess Online. Meet Chantal Biya, Cameroon’s First Lady, and her show-stopping hairstyles. She is popularly known for her flashy hair-dos and flamboyant wardrobes, but at Afrikan Goddess, we will be introducing you to the heart and soul behind Chantal Biya.

Chantal Biya was born in Dimako, Cameroon in 1971. Her father, Georges Vigouroux, was a French expatriate, and her mother, Rosette Ndongo Mengolo, was a Miss Doumé pageant winner. Her teenage years were spent in Yaounde, and she later married Cameroon’s President Paul Biya in 1994 after the death of his first wife.

Flamboyantly adored and all, Chantal Biya is passionate about alleviating the suffering that rises from poverty and disease, specifically HIV/AIDS. She founded African Synergy to provide education, health treatment centers, subsidized antiretroviral drugs and better care during blood transfusion to patients. Her effort is building unity in the fight against HIV/AIDS, a unity we all know is much needed in Africa. In 2009, she led a team of Africa’s First Ladies to the African First Ladies Health Summit held in Los Angeles. The event was co-sponsored by African Synergy. The focus of the summit was maternal health, girls’ education and HIV/AIDS related issues throughout Africa.

Under Chantal Biya’s vision and leadership, African Synergy continues to synergize the HIV/AIDS efforts of first ladies both in Africa and other continents with the work of scientists and HIV/AIDS agencies.

The reputation of her hair and fashion styles sure precedes her, but her focus and passion to alleviate the suffering of the poor and destitute is much to talk about. In response to issues of rural and urban poverty in Cameroon, she launched The Chantal Biya Foundation to provide care for mothers and children, the elderly and for families. The foundation bridges the gap between the people and much needed social services.

It is well established that no one outshines Chantal Biya; she is the talk of the media, and several internet sites and blogs are asking “Who is Chantal Biya?” From her meeting with the pope to sharing laughs with Carla-Bruni Sarkozy, the beautiful French first lady, Chantal Biya takes the stage and runs with it. She is definitely leveraging her popular style, passion and skills to create and walk her own stage in the international arena. She is obviously a woman who owns and enjoys her space. There is no backing down for her, whether in fashion, hairdos or in speaking up and against HIV/AIDS. In Cameroon, The Grand Prix Chantal Biya is a professional road bicycle racing stage named after her and sponsored by the Fédération Camerounaise de Cyclisme/Ateba Koungou.

Her fiery style is yet to be disputed, and at Afrikan Goddess Online, she is Africa’s flaming first lady. So, what is the Banane? It is Chantal Biya’s signature hairstyle reserved for formal occasions; it is her trademark blow-dried big red hairdo.

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AdeOla Fadumiye

AdeOla Fadumiye is a writer, who loves dancing, traveling, reading, cooking, exercising, the outdoors and sports. She is also an adventurer at heart. Her greatest desires are to see women live a life of purpose, and to help bring justice to the poor and oppressed. As editorial assistant at Afrikan Goddess Magazine, AdeOla loves having the opportunity to further stand for the cause of the African woman. She currently resides in Burnsville, MN. Her newest venture includes her freelance writing business called JostWrite; she is also working on a book and blogging at http://jostwrite.blogspot.com/

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Category: Featured, Who Are Africa's First Ladies?

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  1. Scott Tucker | July 1, 2014
  1. Eyenga Marthe says:

    Cameroon’s first Lady Mrs. Chantal Biya is a great Lady, compassionate, committed, very caring and sensitive to the conditions of destitute. Her humanitarian works have been appreciated by many across the world who have joined her in the fight to provide those suffering with a better living every day. She has worked a lot to improve mother and child health and in the fight against HIV, training to Cameroon top scientists.

    • AG Magazine AG Magazine says:

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts Eyenga. I’m glad to know that she is touching the lives of many through her position as first lady.

  2. Biloa Manga says:

    NO matter where the First Lady Chantal Biya came from, no matter what her past could be it is of no interest today because she is a great Lady and President Paul Biya being a man of vision saw that grandeur in her and that is what led him in his choice. She has worked a lot and continues to work very hard to help the destitute and change their lives. She has undertaken several humanitarian actions which did not go unnoticed.

    • William says:

      Delirious Cameroonians, can’t we read a good article and reply to it without lavishing this devil with undeserved praises? “And president Paul biya being a man of vision” oh, how pathetic!? What vision does he have? Ruling the country for over 30 years and all we have are promises? Let me ask you this, who, if not a tyrant or dictator, reigns in a “Democratic ” country of a population of over 20 million pple for 30 years plus? No need to answer. Just let chantal bask in the spotlight while she can; I think she’s just part of the rotten monarchy. Oh yes! She’s the wife!

  3. Biloa Manga says:

    First Lady Chantal Biya will live to be remembered through her actions. She did not leave any stone unturned in the fight against poverty and HIV/AIDS and several other domains.

  4. Victoria says:

    An an African…One has to ask why did First Lady Biya need to host the African First Ladies Health Summit in Los Angeles?

  5. Victoria says:

    I have no doubt that First Lady Biya’s charity work deserve applause. I’m not saying First Lady’s charity work is bad. But does all that charity negate the opulence she and her husband, President Biya, surround themselves with while majority of Cameroonians suffer? I think not.

  6. Cyrille Ngouffo says:

    She is just the kind of mother, wife, sister or friend everyone will want to have. She is beautiful and intelligent, committed and very much involved in boosting the efforts of her husband.

  7. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about a. Regards

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  11. Soprano says:

    hm so Cameroon has a so called goddess
    but what type of goddess who in heer adventure does nothing good for her so callled blievers and for thirty years

    SHAME TO YOU

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