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 "ivory coast"

Cocoa Farmers in Ivory Coast Taste Chocolate for the First Time.

Despite the Ivory Coast being the largest exporter of cocoa in the world, many of the farmers who cultivate the cocoa beans that are the main ingredient in one of the world’s best loved treats, chocolate, rarely see the fruit of their labor. The industry is also marred by child labour.

As the narrator so aptly puts it, the cocoa is a mutli-billion dollar industry that divides the world into two groups  - the gluttons and the beggars.

Whilst large corporations like Nestle and Cadbury benefit greatly from this trade, those who sit at the bottom of the totem pole are the exploited farmers who are the victims of unfair trade and labour policies. And, as this video demonstrates, some of the farmers have never had the opportunity to taste the end product that their crops are used for.

Further viewing: “The Dark Side of Chocolate”.

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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.

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.

The LaurenceAirline Spring/Summer 2014 Lookbook is here.

Heavily influenced by creative director, founder and designer Laurence Chauvin-Buthaud’s travels between France and Cote D’Ivoire, we once again see the menswear designer incorporate a mixture of subtle but classic motifs and designs from both of her geographical influences. The looks are simple but highly dynamic presenting both casual and formal aesthetics.

See the entire lookbook.

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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.

The nominations are in for BBC’s African Footballer of the Year competition for 2013. 

This year’s five players all hail from West Africa and represent four African countries, namely Gabon, Nigeria, Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast. No surprise there considering how well West African teams did at this year’s Africa Cup of Nations, with Nigeria taking the title and Burkina Faso coming in second place. 

List of the nominated candidates, their nationality, and their club teams:

  • Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang - Gabon and Borussia Dortmund
  • Victor Moses - Nigeria and Liverpool (on loan from Chelsea)
  • John Mikel Obi - Nigeria and Chelsea
  • Jonathan Pitroipa - Burkina Faso and Rennes
  • Yaya Toure - Ivory Coast and Manchester City

Who would you vote for?

Large acrylic and mixed media illustrations on canvas, the work of Ivorian painter Aboudia (born Abdoulaye Diarrassouba) reveals the haunting destruction experienced in his country during the post-election violence in 2010 that occurred in Abidjan following the disputed Ivorian presidential election results, known as The Battle for Abidjan, resulting in the Second Ivorian Civil War.

During the 2010 violence in the country’s capital, Aboudia was trapped in his studio for 10 days and took to the canvas to express his feelings and the happenings at the time.

October: Highlighting African Art & African Artists

MORNING SONG: Dobet Gnahoré - Palea

One of my favourite songs by the Ivorian songstress Dhobet Gnahoré, with help from an incredible vocalist, whose name I cannot seem to find anywhere, singing in Arabic as she sings in Bété. The song is taken from her album Na Afriki was also featured on this mix.

WOMEN’S MONTH SPORTS: Ivorian sprinter Muriel Ahoure came in second, behind Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, in the women’s 100m race at the IAAF Championships securing Ivory Coast’s first and only medal so far in the tournament.
ETA: Finishing with a time of 10.93, Ahoure is the first African woman to win a World Championships medal in the blue-ribbon event.
Watch the race here.
AUGUST: Celebrating African Women

WOMEN’S MONTH SPORTS: Ivorian sprinter Muriel Ahoure came in second, behind Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, in the women’s 100m race at the IAAF Championships securing Ivory Coast’s first and only medal so far in the tournament.

ETA: Finishing with a time of 10.93, Ahoure is the first African woman to win a World Championships medal in the blue-ribbon event.

Watch the race here.

AUGUST: Celebrating African Women

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 Mozambique, Libya, Senegal and the Ivory Coast.

Click photos for captions.

AUGUST: Celebrating African Women