DYNAMIC AFRICA

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.


Dynamic Africa is a diverse multimedia platform, which curates global ideas, memes, attitudes and other phenomena that shape popular culture, with both a local and global African perspective.




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Posts tagged "north africa"

The Year Algeria Made Football & World Cup History.

It’s been 32 years since the Algerian national football team caused what some have named one of the ‘biggest upsets' in World Cup history by defeating then European champions West Germany. It's also been 32 years since Algeria was sabotaged in what The Guardian calls “one of sport’s most blatant cases of match-fixing.”

Qualifying for the first time ever, Algeria’s presence at the World Cup hosted in Spain that year was already an historic feat. The African team had been placed in a group that included Austria, Chile, and West Germany who they were scheduled to play against first.

On that June day in 1982, the North African novices faced reigning European champions West Germany. Many predicted a thrashing by the Germans who in turn didn’t shy away from making boastful statements about the game that lay ahead. One German player boldly declared before the match, “we will dedicate our seventh goal to our wives, and the eighth to our dogs”, openly mocking their Algerian opponents. Even the then West German manager, Jupp Derwall, reportedly said that if the Algerians won, he would “jump on the first train back to Munich.” Algeria defender Chaabane Merzekane recalled that one of the West German players said that he would play the match with a cigar in his mouth.

Well, if Derwall had any sense of foresight, he would’ve booked a one-way ticket back to Munich immediately. Better yet, if Derwall had only done his homework on the Algerian team, he may have refrained from making such a statement. Negligence on Derwall’s part would later mean that West Germany would be in for a great surprise. It was only after the match that Derwall admitted that he was given a footage of the Algerian players in action, as is customary, but did not show it to his team as they would have mocked him had he done so. Why? Simply because the Germans, whether out of racism or ignorance, did not think the Algerians to be worthy opponents.

In 1982, most of Algeria’s national football team was comprised of players who had been teammates for years as Algerian law at the time prohibited players from leaving the country before the age of 28, something that stemmed from the FLN’s role in Algeria’s history of independence and its influence on the country’s football team. All of the players had been based at home, as a result of this law, making their bond of the field exceptionally strong and fluid. Several former FLN players were part of the coaching staff in 1982, including Abdelhamid Zouba and the co-manager Rachid Mekloufi, and the spirit of Algerian pride that had been established by these players who left France to play for Algeria was present in the team. 1982 was also the 20th anniversary of Algeria’s independence. 

Algeria had successfully beaten Nigeria to be present at the 1982 World Cup and during their first ever match at this tournament, the determination and humility of the Fennec Foxes, as well as their skill, of course, would see them through to a 2-1 victory against West Germany. This victory made Algeria the first African team to defeat a European opponent at the World Cup. Their next match against Austria saw the tides turn as they lost 2-0, but against Chile, they regained their form and won that match leaving them with four points from their three games (back when it was two points for a win).

Now, their fate of progressing became dependent on West Germany failing to beat Austria the next day. But both the Germans and Austrians both knew that if Germany beat Austria 1-0, it would result in both teams progressing to the next round at Algeria’s expense. Thus, both teams conspired to achieve this result - a distasteful case of match-fixing that forever changed the world of football. After Germany’s Horst Hrubesch put his team in the lead at the 10th minute, both the Germans and Austrians basically did nothing for the next 80 minutes. No attempts at goal, just an hour and 20 minutes of kicking the ball around.

As The Guardian points out, “the game was no longer a contest, it was a conspiracy.”

Both the Austrian and West German teams were scorned by the public. Algerian fans in the crowd burned peseta notes to show their suspicions of corruption. Spaniards in attendance waved hankerchiefs throughout the second half in a traditional display of disdain. The following day, Spanish newspapers denounced the actions of both teams and there was outrage in West Germany and Austria too.

German commentator Eberhard Stanjek, working for German channel ARD, almost sobbed during the match and said: “What is happening here is disgraceful and has nothing to do with football. You can say what you like, but not every end justifies the means.” His fellow Austrian commentator suggested viewers turn off their TVs and he refused to speak for the last half-hour. Former West German international Willi Schulz branded the German players “gangsters”.

But these ‘gangsters’ remained unapologetic through the criticism, backlash and protesting. When German fans gathered at the team hotel to protest, the players responded by throwing water bombs at them from their balconies.

The head of the Austrian delegation, Hans Tschak, made this extraordinary racist comments about the Algerian team: “Naturally today’s game was played tactically. But if 10,000 ‘sons of the desert’ here in the stadium want to trigger a scandal because of this it just goes to show that they have too few schools. Some sheikh comes out of an oasis, is allowed to get a sniff of World Cup air after 300 years and thinks he’s entitled to open his gob.”

Not ones to stoop down to the level of their European opponents, the Fennec Foxes remained publicly unphased by these comments. As Merzekane recalls, “We weren’t angry, we were cool,” he says. “To see two big powers debasing themselves in order to eliminate us was a tribute to Algeria. They progressed with dishonour, we went out with our heads held high.”

All over the world, people called on FIFA to punish the Europeans or stage a replay, but in the end all that was done by them was to rule that from then onwards the last pair of games in every group would be played simultaneously. Algeria had come to the World Cup and made history in more ways than one. They had left an “indelible mark on football history.”

(sources: 1 | 2 | 3)

More African World Cup History Made As Algeria Defeat South Korea 4-2.

Just when we though things couldn’t get better for Africa at the World Cup, Algeria played a phenomenal game against South Korea scoring a total of four goals - the most scored by any African team in one match at the World Cup ever.

Algeria have qualified four times for the World Cup, in 1982, 1986, 2010 and of course, 2014. During their World Cup debut in 1982, they caused  “one of the great World Cup upsets on the first day of the tournament with a 2–1 victory over reigning European Champions West Germany.” This was also the last victory Algeria saw at the World Cup, until today.

South Korea did put up a good fight scoring two goals in the second half after being down 3-0 at half time. South Korea’s worst loss in World Cup history was in 1954 where Hungary beat them 9-0.

Algeria only need one more point to qualify for the next round.

They face Russia on Thursday.

#TBT Dynamic Africa History Post: Who Was Huda Sha’arawi?

Considered to be one of the central figures in early 20th century feminism in Egypt, Huda Sha’arawi (pictured: center) was born into a wealthy family in Minya, Egypt, in 1879. She was the daughter of Muhammad Sultan, the first president of the Egyptian Representative Council.

Throughout her childhood and early adulthood, Sha’awari was raised in a harem, largely secluded from the outside world. At the thirteen, she was married to her cousin Ali Pasha Sha`arawi who she eventually separated from for seven years after he refused to leave his concubine, as per their marriage arrangement. During her separation from him, Sha’awari extended her formal education. From a young age, she was tutored in a variety of subjects and spoke French, Turkish, and Arabic. 

A pioneer and activist, Sha’awari was involved in many philanthropic projects throughout her life beginning with the establishing of the first philanthropic society run by Egyptian women, in 1908, that offered services for poor women and children. She argued that women-run social service projects were important for two reasons. First, by engaging in such projects, women would widen their horizons, acquire practical knowledge and direct their focus outward. Second, informed largely by her harem upbringing, such projects would challenge the view that women existed solely for men’s pleasure and were constantly in need of protection and guardianship by men. However, despite holding this progressive view of women’s rights at the time, Shaarawi saw the problems of the poor as issues to be resolved through charitable activities of the rich, particularly through donations to education programs. Holding a somewhat romanticized view of poor women’s lives, she viewed them as passive recipients of social services, not to be consulted about priorities or goals. The rich, in turn, were the “guardians and protectors of the nation.”

As a young woman, Sha’awari displayed defiant acts of independence. Once such incident involved her entering a department store in Alexandria to buy her own clothes instead of having them brought to her abode in her harem. In 1909, she also helped to organize Mubarrat Muhammad Ali, a women’s social service organization and the Union of Educated Egyptian Women in 1914, the year in which she traveled to Europe for the first time. Sha’awari helped lead the first women’s street demonstration during the Egyptian Revolution of 1919, and was elected president of the Wafdist Women’s Central Committee.

In 1910, she opened a school for girls focused on academics, rather than teaching practical skills like midwifery which was common at the time. Four years later, she founded the Intellectual Association of Egyptian Women. But it was her founding of the Egyptian Feminist Union (EFU) in 1923 that Sha’awari is often most remembered for. The EFU consisted of upper and middle class Egyptian women, and at its height had about 250 members. The EFU focused on various issues, particularly women’s suffrage, increased education for women, and changes in the Personal Status laws. While the EFU accomplished few of its goals, it is widely credited with setting the stage for later feminist victories. She remained an active member of the EFU throughout her life and the organization remains active to this day.
Part of Shaarawi’s motivation for founding the EFU was her desire to send a delegation of Egyptian women to the 9th Congress of the International Women’s Suffrage Alliance in Rome, in May 1923. In a speech at this conference, Shaarawi advanced her conception of Egyptian feminism. She argued, first, that women in ancient Egypt had equal status to men, and only under foreign domination had women lost those rights. Second, she argued that Islam also granted women equal rights to men, but that the Koran had been misinterpreted by those in power. Shaarawi and the EFU maintained their ties with the International Women’s Suffrage Alliance for several years. However, in the 1930s, increasingly influenced by the nationalist movement in Palestine, Shaarawi and her colleagues began to define nationalism in pan-Arab, rather than Egyptian, terms. In addition, they became increasingly suspicious of Western feminists, and began to cast their feminist struggle in pan-Arab terms as well. Eventually, they broke their ties to the Suffrage Alliance. In 1945, Shaarawi and the EFU played a major role in founding the All Arab Feminist Union.
Upon her return from the Rome conference in 1923, and following the death of her husband that same year, Sha’arawi performed an act that will forever be remembered as a major moment in her life: she removed her veil in public at a Cairo train station. Her decision to unveil was part of a greater movement of women and was influenced by French born Egyptian feminist, Eugénie Le Brun, but it contrasted with some feminist thinkers like Malak Hifni Nasif. In fact, some say that Sha’arawi’s removal her veil, although bold at the time, has become an exaggerated part of her life as removal of the veil was never on the EFU’s list of priorities.
Sha’arawi passed away in 1947. Much of her life was penned in her memoir The Harem Years.
(sources: 1 | 2 | 3)
Maya Angelou in Africa: The Egypt and Ghana years.
In the 1950s, Maya Angelou moved to New York where she later met and began a romantic relationship with South African anti-apartheid activist Vusumzi L. Make. The two soon moved to Cairo, Egypt, in 1961 along with Angelou’s son Guy Johnson. Angelou and Make lived together in Cairo for a short time where Angelou served as the editor of the English language weekly publication The Arab Observer.
After separating from Make in 1962, Angelou and her son moved to Accra, Ghana, where Angelou joined many other African-American expatriates living in the country. There, whilst her son attended college and later recovered from an automobile accident, she served as an instructor and assistant administrator at the University of Ghana’s School of Music and Drama, worked as feature editor for The African Review and wrote for The Ghanaian Times and the Ghanaian Broadcasting Company.
During Malcolm X’s 1964 visit to Ghana, the two met in the country’s capital city (pictured) and began corresponding. That same year, Angelou relocated back to the United States with the intention of assisting Malcolm X build his new Organization of Afro-American Unity, however, Malcolm X would be assassinated a few months after her arrival in the US.
Her book All God’s Children Need Traveling Shoes (1986): Explores Angelou’s experiences living in Ghana with her son from 1962 to 1965.

Maya Angelou in Africa: The Egypt and Ghana years.

In the 1950s, Maya Angelou moved to New York where she later met and began a romantic relationship with South African anti-apartheid activist Vusumzi L. Make. The two soon moved to Cairo, Egypt, in 1961 along with Angelou’s son Guy Johnson. Angelou and Make lived together in Cairo for a short time where Angelou served as the editor of the English language weekly publication The Arab Observer.

After separating from Make in 1962, Angelou and her son moved to Accra, Ghana, where Angelou joined many other African-American expatriates living in the country. There, whilst her son attended college and later recovered from an automobile accident, she served as an instructor and assistant administrator at the University of Ghana’s School of Music and Drama, worked as feature editor for The African Review and wrote for The Ghanaian Times and the Ghanaian Broadcasting Company.

During Malcolm X’s 1964 visit to Ghana, the two met in the country’s capital city (pictured) and began corresponding. That same year, Angelou relocated back to the United States with the intention of assisting Malcolm X build his new Organization of Afro-American Unity, however, Malcolm X would be assassinated a few months after her arrival in the US.

Her book All God’s Children Need Traveling Shoes (1986): Explores Angelou’s experiences living in Ghana with her son from 1962 to 1965.

HASSAN HAJJAJ ‘KESH ANGELS’ SERIES - BARBIE DOLL EDITION.

Because Moroccan visual artist Hassan Hajjaj knows we can’t get enough of his dynamic ‘Kesh Angels' series, he revisited and re-made the project using Barbie dolls, along with other brands and icons of Western culture that are not only recognizable worldwide, but have also come to shape global popular culture.

The London-based artist does, however, extend this narrative on post-colonialism and the impacts of globalisation by retaining certain aesthetic elements of both Arab and Moroccan culture in the manner of dress he’s chosen for the dolls, and attitudes these women (albeit plastic ones) convey.

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)

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.

MORNING SONG: OUM TARAGALTE - SOUL OF MOROCCO.

A great song (of which I have zero understanding of, sadly) recently sent to me by a follower on twitter. 

Beautiful video! 

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All Africa, All the time.

"Jomaa Meter" Set Up by Tunisian Group to Track Leader’s Performance.

In a similar fashion to Egypt’s “Morsi Meter" that tracked the performance of Mohammed Morsi’s short-lived presidency, the founders of the Morsi meter have helped Tunisian organization "I Watch set-up up a “Jomaa Meter" to evaluate the progress and promises of their leader Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa.

The founders of the Jomaa meter hope this initiative will help foster a greater sense and culture of accountability in Tunisian politics.

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All Africa, All the time.

Some of the stylish men photographed by Moroccan visual artist Hassan Hajjaj for his ‘My Rock Stars’ series.

The series highlights some of his personal inspirations in these eclectic and vibrant frames influenced by iconic African photobooth photographers and his North African heritage.

Aside from photographing his subjects and uniquely decorating each photograph, Hajjaj often dresses them up in clothes made by him and works with them to capture their individual personalities.

Some of the faces shown here are Nigerian musician Keziah Jones, Algerian singer Rachid Taha, British-Nigerian rapper Afrikan Boy, British fashion designerJoe Casely-Hayford, OBE, Moroccan musician Hassan Hakmoun and American singer Jose James.

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All Africa, All the time.

Pic of the day: Journalists around the world are uniting for the release of Al Jazeera journalists arrested in Egypt under the hashtag:  #FREEAJSTAFF 

In Photos: The Mourning “Mothers of Tunisia”

During times of conflict, it is often said that those who suffer most are those not directly involved in the fighting or the initiating of the violence. 

Through the recent years of political instability and violence in Tunisia, people from all walks of life have been on the receiving end of insurmountable tragedies. These women photographed by Sophia Baraket represent a part of the population that have been directly affected by the country’s dire straits. From war to the wrecked ships, martyrdom to migration, all the women pictured are strewn together by the similar tragedies they’ve suffered involving their children.

These are the faces of loss, suffering and seemingly neverending pain. These are the mourning “Mothers of Tunisia”.

  • Khemissa Oueslati is the mother of Mohamed, a policeman who was shot dead at age 23 while inspecting a vehicle at a checkpoint. Had he lived, Mohamed would have married his fiancee later this year.
  • Faouzia Zorgui is the mother of Walid, who died in a detention cell in a neighbourhood police station. The police claimed he died from a “cannabis overdose”. Faouzia filed a claim against the police, and says she is being pressured by the same people she claims beat Walid to death.
  • The death of Chokri Belaid was the first major political assassination since the Tunisian uprising. Chokri was shot dead early in the morning of February 6 last year. His stepmother had raised him since he was three years old.
  • Jeanette Errhima is the mother of Wassim. He called his mother on March 28, 2011 to tell her he planned to take a boat to the island of Lampedusa, in Italy. After being told that Wassim had died, Jeanette spent 12 days at the hospital after attempting to burn herself to death.
  • Friends and neighbours of Jeannette whose sons have also tried to make it to Europe. Most believe their sons have started new lives in Italy, though many haven’t heard from their sons since they left.
  • Rebha’s son was only 18 years old when he left the house and boarded a boat. She swears having seen him on TV, but has not received any news in the past three years.
  • Chelbia Zayeni has lost two sons since 2011. Khaled was shot dead when he was 18 years old during an anti-police demonstration in January 2011. His brother Mohamed el-Hedi died near where his brother was shot, in a police van after clashes between angry youngsters and security forces.
  • Nabiha is the mother of Wajdi, who told his parents he found a job in Libya. Two months after his departure, he called to inform them he was joining the Jabhat al-Nusra armed group in Syria to fight against Bashar al-Assad. Wajdi was killed and buried in Aleppo on January 2, 2014.

The Egyptian Mona Lisa

I never get bored of people playing around with DaVinci’s, especially when non-Western artists provide their own take on the ever-mysterious painting that is the Mona Lisa.

Here, Egyptian illustrator FaTma WaGdi places herself wearing a hijab in her digital rendition of this 16th century portrait, poking fun at the expressionless original subject.

In filmmaker Karim Zoubir’s documentary for Al Jazeera’s Witness segment, we meet Casablanca-based divorced single mother and camerawoman Khadija. Although her family do not approve of Khadija’s profession as a wedding videographer as it keeps her away ‘til very later hours at night, she is the main breadwinner amongst them (she lives her parents, her brothers and her sister).

The realities of Khadija’s everyday life and unconventional profession, given the context of her environment, are so well captured in this near-50 minute peek inside of her world. From interactions with her closest friends and family, to potential clients and business partners.