Africa is now

‘African design is reshaping the world’s cultural stage and sport shows us how.’

Design Indaba alum, renowned creative director and founder of Mami Wata Surf, Peet Pienaar’s latest creation is Afrosport – a new book that explores the visual culture of African sports. 

Afrosport shines a light on Africa's history and future global influence through the intersecting lenses of sport, photography, design and culture. Its release coincided with the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) which saw host nation Ivory Coast taking home the trophy and South Africa’s Bafana Bafana earning third place.

A follow up to Afrosurf, the first book chronicling surf culture in Africa, this hard-cover, 320-page book contains the work of a vast array of contributors including 25 writers and 40 photographers, and features 32 sports, 130 photos and more than 100 original graphics. Each visual presentation is accompanied by an in-depth analysis of sports on the continent.

Sports surveyed in the monumental book include world favourites like football, basketball and boxing, and lesser-known ones like the BMX scene in Ghana, the DStv Diski Challenge in South Africa, and ram fighting in Nigeria. Football, a major nation-building sport in Africa, stands out as a major feature with entire pages dedicated to the logos of different football clubs which, according to Piernaar ‘serve as a narrative of cultural heritage and collective identity’.

‘Most African national football logos were created after colonial independence when football played a key role in nation-building,’ Pienaar told Dezeen. ‘Although football was a colonial influence, changing logos and colours were important to show change and rally people behind a newly independent nation.’

One example is that of the Orlando Pirates, a famous South African team, and their iconic skull and crossbones logo. Established in 1937 in Orlando East, a suburb of Johannesburg, the Orlando Pirates football club originated from defectors from the local team, Orlando Boys Club, which earned them the nickname of ‘pirates’. The skull and crossbones crest was popularised by a fan, who distributed stickers across the country.

Afrosport includes a foreword by former NBA professional basketball player Joakim Noah, and an exclusive interview with Didier Drogba, all-time top scorer and former captain of the Ivory Coast national team and the first African to score 100 goals in the British Premier League, achieved while playing at Chelsea.

Profits from the sales of Afrosport will go to African youth surf therapy organisations Waves for Change and Surfers Not Street Children.

Afrosport is available for pre-order online, with shipping expected to take place in March 2024. Order your copy here


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20Q: Peet Pienaar