DYNAMIC AFRICA

Set up in 2010, Dynamic Africa is diverse multi-media curated blog with a Pan-African outlook that seeks to create an expressive platform for African experiences, stories and African cultures.



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Algeria Football Team Given A Heroes Welcome Upon Return From Brazil.

In contrast to the reactions shown by officials from the other African countries that competed in this year’s FIFA World Cup, the Algerian national team were given a hero-like welcome upon their return home from Brazil.

Having been one of two African countries to make it to the round of 16, the team achieved victory by being the first African team to score four goals at one match in World Cup history, and also became the first Algerian team to progress beyond the group stage at the World Cup.

Although they were defeated 2-1 by Germany, the support from their fellow Algerians remained strong even after their loss, so much so that the Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal personally greeted and thanked the players as they arrived home. The team has also decided to donate their  prize money to the people of Gaza saying that they needed it more than the team did.

Talk of money amongst the other African teams begun even before kickoff with Cameroon refusing to board their plane over wage disputes.

During the tournament, Ghana’s presence was marred by a bonus money airlifting scandal, Nigeria refused to attend practice over bonus money issues and had to be reassured by the president that they would receive money owed to them, and Cameroon is being investigated following match-fixing claims. Both Cameroon and Ghana’s Presidents have called for investigations into their teams’ performances at the World Cup. Algeria and the Ivory Coast are the only two African countries that were controversy free during this year’s World Cup.

And where Nigeria’s coach Stephen Keshi resigned from his duties as Nigeria’s head coach, despite winning last year’s Africa Cup of Nations (the second man as player and coach to achieve this title), and having gotten the Super Eagles to the last 16 stage of the World Cup, Algeria are keeping Bosnian coach Vahid Halilhodzic.

Keshi’s resignation has not been made formal yet but there are already talks that he might become Bafana Bafana’s new coach.

Despite the controversies surrounding the West African teams, often attributed to the corrupt practices of soccer officials in their countries, this World Cup was monumental for Africa in many ways. From having two teams in the round of 16 for the first time ever, to Asamoah Gyan’s top African player scorer feat.

See footage of the Algerian team’s return parade.

Look at her ♥️. (Ngambe, Cameroon) - @voodart #visiterlafrique #cameroun #cameroon #afrique #africa

My little muse. Cc @Voodart #visiterlafrique #cameroun #cameroon #afrique #africa

Market Time in Cameroon. @voodart #Cameroon #visiterlafrique #cameroun #Market

Still on the road Between Douala & Buea in Cameroon. @voodart #Visiterlafrique #Douala #cameroun #cameroon #africa

Between Douala and Buea Cc @Voodart #Cameroon #Cameroun #Visiterlafrique #Africa

On Africa and the World Cup by Nate Holder.

We all know that Africa is not a country, nor are we a homogenous group of people aligned in culture and interest from Cape to Cairo. So why is that during the World Cup, individual African teams are burdened with being representatives of the entire continent?

One thing that has always caught my attention is how Africa and African football teams are spoken about at the World Cup. It seems as though the last African team left in the tournament somehow carries the hope of not only their nation, but the whole continent of Africa. Headlines such as ‘Ghana – Africa’s Best Hope in Tough World Cup Pool’ and ‘Why do African teams underperform at the World Cup?’ are common and go without questioning if the idea itself makes sense. The idea that African teams are spoken about in very different terms to teams from the rest of the world. Listen closely at how many times commentators and presenters will say things such as, ‘These players are not just representing their country, but are also representing Africa’.

Though Ghana were knocked out of the 2010 World Cup by Uruguay, the fact that they reached the quarterfinals was seen as not only a triumph, but a possible glimpse into the future as Ghana equaled the best result by an African team in World Cup history. Watching Luis Suarez’ handball and sending off, Asamoah Gyan’s subsequent penalty miss and Abreu’s audacious chip to win it was one of the most heartbreaking events in recent World Cup history. It endeared Ghana and in particular Asamoah Gyan, to hearts all over the world; not just African hearts.

In a BBC World Cup preview show some nights ago, Reggie Yates spoke about the history of African sides at the World Cup and about the chances of Ghana escaping the group of death this year. He quoted the African saying, ‘If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together’. But on a continent where approximately 2000-3000 different languages are spoken, not to mention possibly 8000 dialects, the idea of the “African proverb” makes no sense. Africa is not a country. To even think of referring to a saying as a “European” or “South American” proverb is almost unheard of, so why is Africa excluded from this consideration? Lately, in talk of the World Cup, it often seems as though Ghana, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Nigeria and Algeria all get lumped together when the need to explain how they perform and where they come from arises.

Speaking of under-performing, do African teams really underperform?

If we go by appearances in the last 16 stage (that is countries that qualify from their group), we see that Africa is actually the 4th most successful continent over the last 6 World Cups. The 3rd most successful is North America, with 9 appearances in the knockout stages to Africa’s 5 (Asia has 4, while Oceania has 1). When it comes to quarter-final appearances however, Africa beats North America 3:1, with quarter-final appearances by Ghana (2010), Senegal (2002) and Cameroon (1990) to the one appearance by the USA in 2002. So in terms of progression in the tournament, African sides come in 3rd after Europe and South America. South Korea earned Asia’s only spot in the quarter finals of the 2002 World Cup and Oceania’s furthest foray was in the last 16 with Australia in 2006. So do African teams really under achieve? I’ll leave that to you to decide.

Did Germany carry the hopes of Europe when they reached the final of the 2006 World Cup? Do the defending champions Spain go into this years tournament being spoken of as Europe’s best hope of a World Cup? Much has been made of the socio-economic problems that Brazil has, and we have heard over and over again, that failure for Brazil to win the World Cup would be a disaster for its people. Would it be a disaster for the rest of the South American continent? Of course not. Perhaps many Argentinians would relish seeing Brazil knocked out before them. After all, Brazil represents Brazilians. Greece for Greeks. Iran for Iranians. Cameroon for…Africans? Sure many Africans will hope that other African side do well, but I’m sure an Ivorian would much prefer to see Ivory Coast progress rather than supporting the African nation with the best squad, out of a sense of ‘Africanism’?

If Nigeria reach the World Cup final against Brazil on the 13th July, many Africans will be cheering for Nigeria. Maybe, just maybe, there will also be some Africans watching the same game wearing Neymar Jr on their backs.

Read his blog and follow Nate Holder on Twitter.

World Cup 2014 Fan Favourite Posters created by Jon Rogers.

Vancouver designer Jon Rogers created a series of posters depicting the fan favourite player, according to Bleacher Report, from each country participating in this year’s World Cup. Above are the posters of players from the African teams currently playing in Brazil for a chance at football’s most prestigious trophy.

Cameroonian singer Dencia fiercely defends her ‘Whitenicious’ product in BBC interview.

Whether or not giving Dencia and her skin hyper-pigmentation and dark spot reducing product attention is a good thing or not, the media have been giving her the spotlight quite a bit lately.

After reports of her sold-out skin whitening cream surfaced on the internet earlier this year, EBONY were quick to chat to the artist to get her side of the story. Following that, rumours began to fly around stating Dencia could possibly be interviewed by Oprah’s The O Network for an in production documentary titled ‘Light Girls’, following the success of the ‘Dark Girls’ film.

Now here, in a recent interview with the BBC, Dencia visited the Focus on Africa studios to defend her product, address her transitioning skin tone and whether or not self-hate had anything to do with it. In it, she also alludes to the process of relaxing one’s hair as being similar to addressing what she refers to as hyper-pigmentation and others call skin bleaching.

I say, that which we call skin lightening by any other name would still be as terrible.

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All Africa, All the time.

Ouilfreed Meyou - Oussai You Di Go.

So grateful for the small wave of talented Cameroonian artists falling on my radar. Sung in Pidgin, Ouilfreed Meyou’s “Oussai You Di Go” is a heartfelt love song of a man who wants nothing more than for his lover to return to him.

Although it was released in 2013, I’ve only just been put on to this song and aside from my weakness for romantic Pidgin songs, I’m a sucker for the light soukous feel embedded in the melody.

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All Africa, All the time.

New Music: Jade Jana -  Di Gwensa Be.

"Di Gwesna Be" is the debut single and video from Afro-Reggae-Soul-Pop Cameroonian artist Jade Jana.

Hailing from the capital city Yaounde, Jade Jana is a young composer and singer whose love for music was influenced by her artistic maternal grandmother.

Sung in Bassa, “Di Gwensa Be” tells the story of a young woman writing to her ex-lover on their past relationship.

Really great song with a smooth and soulful feel.

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All Africa, All the time.

A great weekend for West African football

Three epic football matches occurred this past weekend with each involving great gains for West African football. 

In a fiery game between Chelsea and Manchester United, Cameroonian striker Samuel Eto’o wow’d fans and rivals alike with his spectacular hat-trick that ensured the Mourinho-led team a solid victory against the Red Devils who were on home turf.

On Sunday, the last games for Group A in the Africa Nations Championship took place in South Africa. Nigeria and Mali were the first teams to progress from the group stages and qualify for the next round in this year’s CHAN tournament.

Hosts Bafana Bafana were chowed by the Super Eagles who scored their first two goals in the first half of the game with a brilliant goal from Ejike Uzoenyi in the 22nd minute, and another goal in the 32nd minute scored by Rabiu Ali after a foul from South Africa’s keeper lead to a penalty kick. Although South Africa managed a goal in the second half, with a third goal from Nigeria already in the net, it was far too little too late for the home squad.

In another West Africa vs Southern Africa showdown, Mali defeated opponents Mozambique 2-1 to advance with Nigeria to the next phase of the tournament.

All CHAN upcoming fixtures can be found here.

Photographs by Cameroonian photographer Joseph Chila.

September: Highlighting African Photographers

Portraits by Cameroonian photographer Samuel Finlak.

September: Highlighting African Photographers