Yannick Foe, tools of the trade

By Kyle Petersen

Last September, Dubé Juggling Blog featured an interview with a Peruvian street juggler named Guillermo de la Kausa. This week, we’re traveling across the Atlantic to talk to Yannick Foe, a Cameroonian street juggler living in Cote d’Ivoire.

Kyle: How old you are, where you are and how long have you been juggling?

Yannick: I was born October 29, 1987 in Yaounde, Cameroon. I learned juggling in 1999 at a center for street children. I’ve been juggling for almost 12 years.

Kyle: What are your favorite circus skills?

Yannick: I juggle clubs, torches, balls, bouncing balls, diabolo, rings, I ride unicycle, rola bola, and I also eat the fire, a little balance and a little acrobat.

Kyle: Tell me about the organization you have worked with. How have you been involved with them?

Yannick: The organization is called the Centre Saint Nicodemus Home. When I first came there, I was a street child for over 3 years. I was forced to take control of my life by responding as quickly possible. Once I arrived, I had to choose a job. I had passion for juggling since I watched the circus on TV from a young age.

Kyle: You are a native of Cameroon. How did you end up in Cote d’Ivoire?

Yannick: I left Cameroon with the intention going back to Europe. I left Cameroon to Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Nigeria, Niger, Mali, and Algeria but was not able to enter Europe. I finally made my way to Cote d’Ivoire where I now live. In Cote d’Ivoire, I arrived during the bitterly disputed Presidential elections November 26, 2010, which threatened to plunge the country into civil war. After the elections, the military issued a month-long curfew that prevented me from working in the streets.

Well-worn clubs

Kyle: You mentioned that you work as a street juggler. Describe a day typical juggling in the streets.

Yannick: My day starts at 15 hours in the capital Abidjan. I choose an area with a lot of bars or restaurants that attract crowds of people.

I begin by juggling balls and clubs and then torches and I climb the bridge tower on my unicycle to please the crowd. They always scream for more, which brings great joy to many in this troubled country. Through these shows often I get meet clients who ask me to perform at birthday parties and other events.

Kyle: What are your goals as a juggler? What do you hope to accomplish.

Yannick: As an avid juggler, I want to be able to perform on the biggest world stages.

I dream of working in a big top circus and of helping the children of Africa to learn the circus arts. I also want to organize an African juggling festival that will attract the greatest jugglers in the world.

And finally to help my family is in great need because I’m
from a family with 10 children.

Kyle: Yannick, thank you so much for your time.

Below, you can watch a french-language news segment about Yannick and his work.

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