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5 African soccer logos that “inform a story of identification”


Afrosport is a brand new guide by Peet Pienaar that explores the visible tradition of African sports activities. Right here, the designer selects 5 soccer logos from the guide and explains their position in celebrating unity and independence.

Unveiled alongside the thirty fourth version of the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) soccer match, which is presently underway in Ivory Coast, Afrosport was created by Piennar and his surf model Mami Wata Surf.

The guide explores the historical past of African sport and its affect on the world by the lens of design.

It options a mixture of graphics and pictures alongside in-depth evaluation, together with a foreword by former NBA skilled basketball participant Joakim Noah and an unique interview with Ivorian footballer Didier Drogba.

Interspersing the guide are whole pages devoted to the logos of various soccer golf equipment from throughout the continent, which in keeping with Pienaar function narratives of cultural heritage and collective identification.

Cover of AFROSPORT by Mami Wata
Afrosport (above) explores soccer logos together with that of the Kaizer Chiefs (prime picture)

“Most African nationwide soccer logos had been created after colonial independence when soccer performed a key position in nation-building,” he stated.

“Though soccer was a colonial affect, altering logos and hues had been essential to indicate change and rally individuals behind a newly unbiased nation.”

These historic influences nonetheless persist in logos to at the present time, in keeping with Piennar.

“Even with neoliberalism, the rise of the person soccer star and nation-building taking a again seat, the design historical past of soccer in Africa remains to be closely related to celebrating independence and unity between nations,” he stated.

“African soccer logos inform a story of identification,” he defined. “They group you as a group and assist you to paint the brand on your own home, automobile and face with out worrying about copyright or ideas like ‘It is not them and us. You’re a part of the group.'”

Learn on for 5 influential soccer logos from the African continent:


Spread from AFROSPORT by Mami Wata showing Ghana Football Association 

Ghana Soccer Affiliation 

In 1957, Ghanaian hockey participant and designer Theodosia Okoh designed the Ghanaian flag, which later influenced not simply the brand of the Ghana Soccer Affiliation however the flags of many countries throughout Africa.

“Theodosia Okoh’s flag design for one of many first African nations to grow to be unbiased from colonial rule, Ghana, set the tone for different nations to comply with,” Pienaar stated.

“As a hockey participant, Theodosia Okoh is an instance of the combination of design into sports activities tradition and nation-building.”

Okoh selected the colors featured within the flag to convey numerous themes related to Africa and its diaspora. Crimson serves as an emblem of the blood shed by those that fought for independence and inexperienced for the considerable tropical vegetation that may be discovered throughout Africa.

Yellow signifies the continent’s wealthy mineral sources, and the distinguished black star embodies African emancipation and unity within the face of colonialism.

“Her design alternative of colors, pink, inexperienced, yellow and a black star, grew to become essentially the most identified design set for a lot of African nations and liberation organisations linked to Africa internationally,” Pienaar stated.


Book spread exploring the logo of the Orlando Pirates

Orlando Pirates

The Orlando Pirates soccer membership was based in 1937 in Orlando East – a group on the outskirts of Johannesburg in South Africa – by defectors from the native soccer group Orlando Boys Membership.

The membership’s identify was born after their former coach decried them as pirates, whereas the distinctive skull-and-bones crest was popularised by a fan, who produced and distributed stickers that gained widespread reputation amongst supporters all through South Africa.

The membership’s iconography can be embodied by followers, who cross their forearms over their chest to imitate the brand.

Based on Pienaar, the Orlando Pirates emblem highlights the spirit and playfulness of African design and sport.

“Orland Pirates took a reputation that was purported to be an insult as their pleasure,” he defined. We see this angle of constructing enjoyable to have an extended historical past in soccer, particularly in South Africa.”

“Diski is an instance of a South African model of soccer that isn’t a lot about scoring targets however extra about making your self well-known as you humiliate your opponent with showboating, aptitude and ability,” he added, referencing a particular model of soccer developed by South African gamers.

“All of it displays this playfulness and outperforming your opponent with a humorous reflection of ability.”


Spread from AFROSPORT by Mami Wata exploring Kaizer Chiefs logo

Kaizer Chiefs

The Kaizer Chiefs emblem was born within the Nineteen Seventies, the height of apartheid in South Africa. Throughout that interval, a number of of the nation’s distinguished sports activities figures relocated to america in quest of alternatives.

Amongst them was soccer participant Kaizer Motaung, who moved to the USA for 3 years earlier than returning to play for the Atlanta Chiefs.

After returning to South Africa, he based Kaizer Chiefs FC – named after himself and his former membership, with a emblem that took inspiration from the Atlanta Chiefs emblem however options distinct colors.

“In what can be thought of copyright infringement by the West, Motaung is indicating his path and displaying recognition,” Pienaar defined.

“Chiefs have since grow to be one essentially the most profitable golf equipment in Africa.”


Logo of Esperance Sportive de Tunis next to image of fans

Esperance Sportive de Tunis

The emblem of soccer group Espérance Sportive de Tunis may be traced again to the membership’s origins throughout the Bab Souika neighbourhood of Tunisia’s capital Tunis.

The membership derives its identify from Café Esperance, a distinguished cafe within the native neighbourhood, the place soccer fans collect to look at video games and drink espresso.

The soccer membership represents a broader custom inside North Africa, the place along with serving as social hubs, cafes have a convention of renting out their premises for the registration of sporting associations.

“With a powerful Muslim affect in North Africa, individuals unfamiliar with Muslim tradition and soccer may not realise the hyperlink between cafes and soccer,” Pienaar continued

“Many soccer logos in Africa don’t purely come from a advertising perspective however mirror an trustworthy, built-in interplay between tradition and design.”


Spread from AFROSPORT by Mami Wata exploring JS Kabylie logo

JS Kabylie

“Kabylie is certainly one of a handful of African golf equipment that don’t solely symbolize a metropolis,” Pienaar stated. “The membership additionally represents an ethnic identification.”

Though primarily based within the metropolis of Tizi Ouzou, the membership additionally represents the Kabyle individuals of Algeria, a department of the indigenous Amazigh inhabitants of North Africa.

The Tifinagh alphabet, which is used to put in writing a number of Amazigh languages, was chosen over the extra widespread Latin script sometimes featured in soccer logos. It was used to put in writing the membership’s acronym, JSK, prominently positioned on the centre of the brand.

Additionally featured within the emblem is the Amazigh image yaz, which embodies the “free man” and signifies the emancipation of humanity from all constraints.

The pictures is by Kgomotso Neto Tleane and Rogan Ward.



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