Nathalie Yamb is a 54-year-old activist with a massive social media following in French-speaking Africa. With nearly 540,000 subscribers on Facebook, 290,000 on Twitter, 270,000 on YouTube, and 56,000 on Instagram, Yamb has a wide platform from which to espouse her views. Her sole focus is politics, particularly France’s ongoing presence in Africa.
Yamb’s hashtag #FranceDégage (#GoAwayFrance) has become a rallying cry for those who want France to end its influence on the continent. Her criticism of French interests in Africa and African leaders who are aligned with France is relentless. She has been a long-time opponent of the CFA franc and has accused France of being complicit in conflicts and rebellions on the continent.
Yamb’s activism dates back to the 2000s when she settled in Cameroon after studying political science, journalism, and communication in Germany. Her criticism of France began after the beginning of Guillaume Soro’s rebellion in Côte d’Ivoire in 2002. She accused France of refusing to support President Laurent Gbagbo and encouraging the rebellion.
In October 2019, Yamb’s speech at the first Russia-Africa summit made her a celebrity in anti-imperialist and anti-French circles. Her popularity only grew after she was expelled from the Ivorian state two months later. Yamb has even been banned from staying in France because of her position.
Recently, Yamb has been living in Guinea-Bissau, where a relative of President Umaro Sissoco Embaló invited her. Despite their disagreements, Yamb praised the president’s willingness to listen to her and his interest in development.
Nathalie Yamb is a powerful voice in the fight against France’s presence in Africa. Her massive social media following gives her an influential platform to spread her message, and her relentless activism has made her a celebrity of sorts in anti-French circles.