The City: Abidjan
Tagged “Paris of Africa” from the days of Felix Houphouët-Boigny, Abidjan took some heavy pounding during the 2011 crisis; but the city refused to go under and it has made a quick recovery. Although the city is no longer the official capital of Côte d’Ivoire, it remains the heartbeat of the West African country.
Regarded as the reggae capital of Africa, Abidjan is one of the sleekest party cities in Africa, boasting an energetic nightlife. It is also famous as host of several fashion events.
The Icon: Tébily Didier Yves Drogba
Didier Drogba is one Africa’s finest footballers of his generation. He currently plies his trade with Chelsea FC of London in the English Premiership. Winner of several football honors, Drogba is a devout Catholic and happily married to Diakité Lalla from Mali. The couple have 3 children together.
Following Côte d’Ivoire’s qualification for the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany, Didier’s voice became louder as he appealed to the warring factions in the country civil war to lay down their arms. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) appointed him a Goodwill Ambassador in January 2007. The same year, he founded the Didier Drogba Foundation “to provide financial and material support in both health and education to the African people.”
After initially announcing plans to build one hospital in Abidjan in 2009 with the £3million fees from his Pepsi endorsement, Drogba changed his mind on the realization that one hospital will be too difficult for everyone to reach. In 2013, he announced instead through his foundation that five (5) specialized clinics in children and women health would now be built in Yamoussoukro, San Pedro, Man, Korhogo, and Abidjan.
In 2010, Didier Drogba was listed by Time magazine as one of The 100 Most Influential People in the World, joining the likes of Muhammad Ali and Michael Jordan as one of the few sportsmen to grace the front cover of the magazine.
If you are in Abidjan, do visit the Didier Drogba Foundation at Cocody and make a donation. Or you can make a donation online: http://www.thedidierdrogbafoundation.com/make-donation.html
Did You Know?
- Abidjan ranks second only to Paris as the largest French-speaking city in the world and is the most populated French-speaking city in West Africa.
- Didier Drogba was born in Abidjan on March 11, 1978…
- He was sent to France at the age of 5, but returned to Abidjan after 3 years because he was homesick.
- After launching his football career in France, Drogba played one season with Marseille before English Premiership side, Chelsea FC of London snapped him up for £24million in July 2004.
- Drogba was crowned African Footballer of the Year twice; in 2006 and 2009. He has also won several other individual award, while Chelsea fans voted him the club’s greatest player ever in October 2012.
- He is the all-time leading goal scorer for the Ivorian national team, Les Éléphants which he captained from 2006 to 2014.
- Didier retired from the national team after the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, after making a total appearances of 104 games for Les Éléphants, and scoring 65 goals.
- He has found the net 43 times in the UEFA Champions’ League, making him the most prolific African player in the competition so far – a record he will likely break, since he is still playing for Chelsea at the moment.
- So far, Drogba has won 15 football trophies: 3 with Turkish side Galatasaray S.K. and 12 with Chelsea FC which include, three (3) Barclays Premier League (2004-05, 2005-06 and 2009-10), four (4) FA Cup, and the UEFA Champions’ League 2011-12.
- Drogba left Chelsea in June 2012 and joined Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua. He moved on in January 2013 to Galatasaray S.K of Turkey, and returned to Chelsea FC in July 2014 for another spell.
- In a recent study carried out by Opta for British Eurosport (eurosport.com) Drogba was named the best ever African player in the Premiership. He is the only player on the list with over a 100 goals. Also, his 55 assists so far, is 20 more than the second placed player.
Afro Tourism salutes a true African hero, city icon and living legend, Tébily Didier Yves Drogba! “Well done!”