Cote d’Ivoire, Abidjan, portrait of smiling black girl in front of container classroom
(c) Art in All of Us /Anthony Asael (a Corbis photographer)
Didier, time to qualify for another World Cup?
Cote d’Ivoire, Abidjan, black boy jumping in the air
(c) Art in All of Us /Anthony Asael (a Corbis photographer)
Michael Jackson in Cote d’Ivoire, Gabon + Senegal
Throughout his life, Michael Jackson made quite a few trips to the continent, performing in Tunisia, gladhanding with dictator Omar Bongo in Gabon and finding any opportunity to hug President Nelson Mandela (wouldn’t you?). Okayafrica is celebrating the King of Pop’s birthday by collecting and analyzing some of the images of MJ in Africa - from his first trip as a sixteen year old in 1974 to his more controversial 1992 “African tour.”
Woro Woro in Abidjan, Kente Boys, 2013
Brand: Loza Maléombho New York
Designer: Loza Maléombho
S/S 2014 Lookbook
Collage by Massogona Sylla
Massogona Sylla is a young Parisian from Cote d’Ivoire. Passionate, playful and modern, Massogona has always been attracted to the art world. Even as a child she frequented museums, raved about the paintings and was interested in all forms of art whether classic or street. Growing up, she fed this passion by trying to create her own art: first as a model, then on the other side of the camera as a photographer. Her influences include Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso, David Lachapelle, Jean-Paul Goude and Jean-Michel Basquiat.
Touchin’ Body - J.Martins ft. DJ Arafat. Its a Naija-Ivory Coast combo. Sick beat. I hear this song a lot these days.
Lagune Ébrié, Kente Boys, 2013
Agnibilécro-Kangah, a chief of the Anyi, Ivory Coast circa 1920. The seated ruler wears a Bondoukou style cloth, much prized by collectors now. More info here.
Coupé-Décalé is a type of popular dance music originating from Côte d’Ivoire and the Ivorian diaspora in Paris, France. Drawing heavily from Zouglou, Zouk, Coupé-Décalé is a very percussive style featuring African samples, deep bass, and repetitive, minimalist arrangements
While Coupé-Décalé is known as Côte d’Ivoire’s definitive pop music, it actually began in Paris, created by a group of Ivorian DJs at the Atlantis, an African nightclub in northeast Paris. These Djs, known as the ‘Jet Set’ became popular for their flamboyant style, often showing up at the club with large amounts of cash which they would hand out to audiences on the dance floor. Their aesthetic defined the early sounds of Coupé Décalé, apparent in the genre’s name. In Nouchi (Ivorian slang) Couper means to cheat and decaler means to run away, so Coupé-Décalé basically means to cheat somebody and run away. The ‘somebody’ cheated is generally interpreted to mean France or the West/Europe, finding parallels to the idea of “The Man” in American culture. Especially in the beginning, the songs often celebrated those who had used guile to ‘make it’ abroad. The genre’s first hit, “Sagacité” was pioneered by the late Stephane Doukouré (a.k.a. “Douk-Saga”), a member of the ‘Jet Set’, during the post-2002 militaro-political crisis in Côte d’Ivoire. The hit became a success in African clubs in Paris and spread quickly among djs in Côte d’Ivoire. According to Siddhartha Mitter of Afropop, “[Coupé-Décalé ] has become very popular at a time of conflict; in fact, Ivorian music has really for the first time taken over dance floors all over Africa at exactly the same time that Ivory Coast, the country, has been going through this protracted political and military crisis, with debilitating social and economic effects”. Although arising from this time of political turmoil, Coupé-Décalé lyrically addresses topics such as relationships, earning money and maintaining a good mood or ‘bonne ambiance’. Much of its lyrics refer to specific dance moves, often referencing current events such as the avian flu dance or Guantanamo (with hand movements imitating hands raised in chains). These global themes could have helped to make Coupé-Décalé so deeply popular across a politically divided Côte d’Ivoire and spread its influence so far across Africa and the diaspora. Increasingly non-Ivorian artists, particularly in the Congo, are beginning to play and incorporate the musical style. Notably among these artists are Congolese Djouna “Big One” Mumbafu and French/Malian rapper Mokobe with “Bisous” feat. Dj Lewis and “On Est Ensemble” feat. Molare. Even outside of African and its diaspora, there has been a growing interest in coupé décalé. In February 2009 Akwaaba Music released an Ivorian and Ghanaian compilation, one of the first legal worldwide releases of coupé décalé, highlighting some of the recent coupé décalé released in Côte d’Ivoire. The compilation features music by DJ Menza, DJ Bonano, DJ Mix 1er & Eloh DJ and Kedjevara.
Teeyah - Ou Je Veux
IVORIAN HERO: Murielle Ahoure of Côte d’Ivoire celebrates winning second place in the women’s 100m final on Monday. Picture: REUTERS
Ivorian sprinter chasing second medal, in 200m
MOSCOW — Côte d’Ivoire’s Murielle Ahoure made history on Monday in becoming the first African woman sprinter to win a medal in the history of the World Athletics Championships in the 100m.
The 25-year-old — the daughter of Gen Mathias Doue, a former chief of staff of the Ivorian army until he was sacked in 2004 by former president Laurent Gbagbo — is keen to add another chapter of history by becoming the first African woman to win a medal in the 200m.
Those heats begin on Thursday, with the final on Friday.
Ahoure, who reached both the 100m and 200m finals at the 2012 Olympics in London, showed in relegating defending world champion Carmelita Jeter into third place in the 100m that she has the mental strength to cope with major finals. Even before the final, her status in Côte d’Ivoire was assuming big proportions, rivalling that of the national football team and their iconic striker, Didier Drogba.
"Am I as well known as the national football team? Yes I am. They (the people) call me the ‘female Drogba’ in terms of being a sporting star … not much pressure there then!" laughed the engaging law graduate.
"When I won world indoor silver in Istanbul last year I returned to Côte d’Ivoire and I couldn’t believe my eyes as there was a huge crowd to greet me at the airport. It was crazy!"
Ahoure has remained very much an Ivorian despite a bohemian lifestyle from an early age which saw her sent to France aged three and then on to the US, where she was educated.
Indeed, one of her ambitions is to be a role model to other African athletes and to stop them from moving abroad and accepting payment to change nationality and run for other, usually rich, countries such as Qatar.
"This medal was for the Côte d’Ivoire, no other country," said Ahoure, who has five siblings.
"I think it is sad so many African athletes feel it is necessary to move abroad and run for other countries.
"At the same time I understand as they have to make a living and an athlete’s life is a precarious one. One lives with the ever-present fear of injury, which can end your career."
While Ahoure is grateful to the US for having provided her with an education, and with her future career assured as a lawyer, she said she wants her exploits on the track to persuade other Africans to follow her example.
"I hope that I can serve to be an inspiration to other African athletes and inspire other young Africans to take up athletics," Ahoure said.
"The pride I feel when I put on the national team vest is huge and I repay their faith in me by putting the Côte d’Ivoire on the athletics map. This too could be the reward for other African athletes," she said.
Didier Drogba playing for his current club team Galatasaray FC vs Arsenal FC (Emirates Cup 2013) scoring two goals. Cote d’Ivoire coach Sabri Lamouchi put him up on the line-up for a friendly fixture against Mexico, scheduled for Aug. 14 at the Metlife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ.