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HomeNews‘Semi eba’ Acheke, music, take centre stage as Côte d’Ivoire welcomes Africa...

‘Semi eba’ Acheke, music, take centre stage as Côte d’Ivoire welcomes Africa for AFCON after four decades

It is no more news that the 34th African Cup of Nations (AFCON) is currently being held in the West African country of Côte d’Ivoire, with the host nation running away with a 2-0 over Guinea-Bissau in the opening match on Saturday.

More than two million people are expected to visit Côte d’Ivoire for the tournament from January 13 to February 11. As many things are happening on the pitch, other things are happening away from it, too.

Peoples Gazette observed some lifestyles of the Ivorians, from food to football and others, as they welcomed the continent for the biggest football showpiece in Africa after 40 years.

Welcoming people

Generally, Ivorians are welcoming; this is evident in many places in the country, as they are interested in conversing with others, especially the drivers in commercial vehicles.

However, the downside is that the conversations would not always go smoothly for non-French speakers as French is the official language of the West African country, resulting in a language barrier.


Acheke is a traditional dish in Côte d’Ivoire; it is a meal Nigerians would consider ‘semi eba’ as it is made from fermented cassava that has been granulated.

It is almost the same process as making garri, but the granulated cassava is dried in the sunlight instead of the regular frying process known to most Nigerians.

A prepared Acheke is similar to soaked garri, whose water content has been absorbed, and it is smashed with pepper mash, fried ripened plantain (dodo), sliced onion and tomato, fish and meat.

Fufu and Okra 

The love for fufu and okra does not end in Nigeria, as Ivorians do just as much as the Nigerians, as one can easily find any spot where the meal is sold.

Ivorians love meat, evident in their okra soup served alongside fufu. The soup contains various proteins, including goat meat (chevon), beef, and crab.

Melodic music and dance

Melodic and vibrant sounds are a major theme Africa is known for, and it is not different in the 2023 AFCON host nation, as Ivorians love their music and enjoy dancing to the tune.

Even though little is known about Ivorian music in Nigeria in recent years, the country boasts of melodic music as their counterparts dominating the African music scene.

Football culture

As a country that has produced football legends such as Didier Drogba, Yaya Touré, Laurent Poku and others, one expects the football culture to be great. Ivorians’ love for football was evident ahead of the kickoff on Saturday.

Ivorians in their thousands filled the streets of Abidjan to Ebimpe with so much enthusiasm ahead of the opening game between Côte d’Ivoire and Guinea-Bissau, which the former won 2-0.

An Ivorian football fan who spoke to The Gazette said the enthusiasm for football is not only due to AFCON being hosted in the country, but Ivorains do the same for their local teams.

“Football is like a war here (Côte d’Ivoire). They do not joke with anything football, even down to their local teams, as they are always out to show them support,” he said.