African-based news, lifestyle & popular culture platform that brings you stories and information concerning Africa and the African diaspora. Set up in 2010, Dynamic Africa is a rich content-driven creative space with a Pan-African outlook established as an expressive platform for African experiences, African culture and African stories.

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Posts tagged "cote d'ivoire"

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.

#TBTAfrica: Pablo Picasso, Cubism and African Art.

Although he never set foot in Africa, Picasso drew a lot of his inspiration from West and Central African art. Although in the Western world he is portrayed as one of the fathers of cubism, it must be noted that without his exposure to traditional art works from West and Central Africa, he may never have arrived at such a point in his artistic career, leading him to become one of the most noted artists of all time in the Western world.

Picasso’s ‘African period' is said to have began from 1906 to 1909, during a time when, as a result of colonialism and French expansion into West and Central Africa, often stolen works from these regions of Africa were brought back to be displayed in museums throughout Paris. Picasso’s interest was sparked by fellow artist Henri Mastisse who showed him a mask from the Dan people of Liberia and Ivory Coast (see above).

Throughout the course of his life, the artist assembled a vast collection of statues and masks from various parts of the continent. His collection amassed over 100 different works.

Picasso’s private collection can now be found in museums in Paris such as the Louvre, Musée Quai Branly and the Musée Picasso, as well as in the private collections of members of Picasso’s family. [x]

As far as can I know, no efforts have been made to return any of these pieces of artwork to their country of origin.

Picasso also denied any evidence of African influences in his artwork. [x]

Mauritanian filmmaker Abderrahmane Sissako and French-Ivorian director Phillippe Lacôte make official 2014 Cannes Film Festival selections.

Sissako’s fifth film Timbuktu and Lacôte’s first Run have both been selected for screening at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

Timbuktu is a tragic tale based on the recent true story of two lovers who, because they were not officially married, faced the tragic consequences of Sharia law and were executed by stoning for their crime.

Lacôte’s Run, staring the intensely handsome Isaach de Bankole,is a fast-paced drama who’s protagonist, for which the film is named after, is as his name suggests - a runner. But what is he running from? From so much, from everything it seems, most of all, from the assassination of his country’s prime minister - a crime he is guilty of committing.

Omar El Zohairy, a student at the High Cinema Institute, Academy of Arts in Egypt, had his film The Aftermath of the Inauguration of the Public Toilet at Kilometer 375 selected for the Cinéfondation section which focuses on films made by students at film schools.

The 67th annual Cannes Film Festival is due to take place from 14 to 25 May 2014.

(top photo by Arnaud Contreras)

WISHLIST ITEM: Loza Maléombho’s ‘Maracana’ Sandals.

If money were no option, any one (or all) of these gladiator-style sandals by Brazilian-born Ivorian designer Loza Maléombho would be mine. The sandals, amde out of plastic and rubber, are all handmade in the Ivory Coast where Maléombho is partially based.

Shop them here.

Today’s style inspiration: Louis Philippe de Gagoue.

Hailing from both Cameroon and Cote D’Ivoire, the self-described eclectic fashion stylist, blogger and personal shopper is currently based in Morocco after half a decade living in neighbouring Tunisia.

With a style all his own, there’s a sense of vintage cool, classic sartorialism and modern vibrancy in almost everything he wears. From Congolese sapeurs to traditional North African garments, there’s always a strong African influence in de Gagoue’s visual aesthetic.

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All Africa, All the time.

NEW MUSIC: Magic System ft Chawki - Magic in the Air.

Ivorian sensation Magic System team up with Moroccan singer Ahmed Chawki in this football-like anthem super catchy Francophone dance tune.

Just in time for Brasil 2014? Perhaps.

French photojournalist Olivier Martel has travelled the world capturing images of women across the globe from all walks of life. Here are some of his pictures of women from around the African continent including Tunisia, Ethiopia, Senegal and the Ivory Coast. Most of these photographs are taken from the book Femmes Eternelles.

Click photos for captions.

AUGUST: Celebrating African Women

August 7th, 2013, marks the 53rd independence day of Cote D’Ivoire from France. The West African nation became a French colony in 1893, after treaties between the kings of Grand Bassam and France had been signed between 1843-1844 leading to the expansion of French control over the area. However, Europeans had been present on that part of the continent since the days of the transatlantic slave trade, with Portuguese explorers arriving in 1482.

Prior to European colonialism, the region that is modern-day Cote D’Ivoire was home to various empires and kingdoms such as the 17th century-founded kingdom of Gyaaman established by the Abon who were an Akan group, the Muslim Kong Empire established by the Juula in the 18th century, the Baoulé, Senuofo and Bouna kingdoms, and the Ghana, Songhai and Sudanic empires that extended into the area during their reigns in West Africa.

French rule in the area was not met without resistance. To many, the treaties signed with Grand Bassam leaders meant little, if anything, and Madinka forces, mostly from Gambia, fought a long war with the French in the 1890s. The Baoulé and other eastern groups continued opposing French colonial influence using guerrilla warfare until 1917, and it wasn’t until 1918 that local forces were defeated by the French. Samori Ture, leader and founder of the Wassoulou Empire, is a legendary figure known for his continuous resistance against France’s colonial presence in West Africa and fought against French forces from 1882 until his capture in 1898.

In 1960, Cote D’Ivoire gained independence under President Felix Houphouet-Boigny who held power until his death in 1993.


A child sleeps near stoves used to dry fish in Vridi-Zimbabwe, a poor area in Abidjan, Ivory Coast on Aug. 5, 2013.

[Credit : Thierry Gouegnon/Reuters]

Black and white portraits taken by Togolese photographer Cornélius Augustt Yao Azaglo.

These photographs of elderly people were taken between 1950-75 of people living in Korhogo, a village in northern Ivory Coast.

Black and white portraits taken by Togolese photographer Cornélius Augustt Yao Azaglo.

These photographs of elderly people were taken between 1950-75 of people living in Korhogo, a village in northern Ivory Coast.

Photo by Daniel Attouma Amicchia

Untitled, 1950

Cote d’Ivoire

©Collection Sindika Dokolo - Revue Noire

SPORTS: Nigeria vs Kenya, and Cote D’Ivoire vs Gambie.


I’ll be live-tweeting both games at @dynamicafrica on twitter.

Football Rebels is a television documentary series that chronicles the lives of inspiring football stars who’ve used their fame and influence to draw attention to human rights issues. 

The first episode looks at how Ivorian player Didier Drogba helped his national team qualify for the 2006 world cup, and then challenged President Gbagbo to end the civil war in his country.