Author, scriptwriter, dialogue writer and creator of the TV series C’est La Vie
Marguerite Abouet spent the first 12 years of her life in Abidjan, Ivory Coast before moving to France and eventually studying law. At age 34, while working at a law firm, she created the character Aya de Yopougon. Aya’s story, which evokes “happy memories” from her childhood in the Yopougon district of Abidjan and is illustrated by artist Clément Oubrerie, won the Best Comic Volume award at the 2006 Angoulême International Comics Festival. The six-volume series, titled Aya de Yopougon after its main character, was a hit, selling over 700,000 copies worldwide. Alongside her creation of the comic series, Abouet branched out into television, creating the series C’est La Vie (A+, Canal + Afrique) in 2015. The show aims to raise viewers’ awareness of subjects like mother and child health care. “And it’s also my responsibility, as an author and a woman, to tell stories about women’s problems,” Abouet commented in the interview. This groundbreaking TV series is produced entirely in Africa, with a team of 200 based in Senegal (at Dakarwood Studios). The staff includes screenwriters trained onsite in a series of writing workshops and seven filmmakers selected through a pan-African competition.