Created through the merging of British and French colonies, both English and French are official languages in Cameroon, although French predominates. A period of authoritarian rule under President Ahmadou Ahidjo followed Cameroonian independence in 1961. Since 1982, Cameroon politics has been dominated by President Paul Biya and the Cameroon People's Democratic Movement party.
Cameroonian literature was spearheaded by the anti-colonial works of Ferdinand Léopold Oyono, Francis Bebey, and Mongo Beti. Beti's sharply satirical approach to Cameroon's post-colonial history can be seen in works like The Story of the Madman. Contemporary writers include Simon Njami, Patrice Kayo, and Léonora Miano. Calixthe Beyala's works, some of which have been translated to English, have won acclaim. In 1996 she was awarded the Grand Prix du Roman by the prestigious Académie Française.
Jean Paul Ngassa was one of Cameroon's first filmmakers; his documentary Aventure en France (1962) documented the lives of Cameroonian students living in France. More recently, Les Saignantes by Cameroonian director Jean Pierre Bekolo is a futuristic film that indirectly criticises the corruption of Africa's ruling elite. Jean-Marie Teno has also explored the issue of government corruption in his 1996 film Clando. Josephine Bertrand is the preeminent Cameroonian female filmmaker who directed the 2002 film Fanta.
Cameroon is also widely known for its distinctive music, including makossa and bikutsi. Acclaimed Cameroonian saxophonist Manu Dibango, best known for his 1972 single 'Soul Makossa', melded different musical traditions to create a distinctive jazz style. The music of Anne-Marie Nzié, a Cameroonian singer has helped to popularise bikutsi throughout the country.