Best of 2016

The Best African Memes of 2016

Laugh with us into 2017 with our best African memes of 2016.

You know your social media timelines and meme folders on your smartphones aren't complete until you come across some African memes.


It's still mind blowing to think about how quick young Africans turn trending topics and current events around to make our stomachs hurt in laughter.

This was very difficult list to narrow down—but take a look at our favorite African memes of 2016 below.

Keep up with Okayafrica's 2016 'Best Ofs' here.

The #BidoungChallenge:

This hashtag became a thing when a photo capturing Pierre Ismael Bidoung Mpkatt, Cameroon's sports minister, did the absolute most when he greeted President Paul Biya went viral.

Put Some Respeck on Ghana Jollof:

Birdman never saw the end of it when he rolled through the Breakfast Club and demanded they put respeck on his name. Here's Dulo's hilarious take on the exchange.

Desiigner's 'Panda' by Your Nigerian Dad:

A perfect example of what African parents hear when they listen to Desiigner.

#IfAfricaWasASchool:

Probably one of the funniest hashtags on African Twitter, #IfAfricaWasASchool gave us a witty perspective on the complex dynamics of the continent.

This Clip That We Finally Found the Original Movie To:

A video posted by hoodclips (@hoodclips) on

Nollywood star Chinedu Ikedieze (aka Aki) performs an emotional scene in the film, Intelligent Students. The weeping with a machete in tow is all for his alcoholic father who stole the money he was saving up to take an exam with his brother (see the full scene here). But because of the internet, his weeping symbolizes so many other moments, including the one above.

When you speak English in the House:

A video posted by edd3yo (@edd3yo) on

I would argue that Edd3yo is one of the most underrated comedians on social media. This skit shows just that as he portrays the quintessential Ghanaian father so accurately.

The Jake Meme:

A photo of a studious child from the Asempanaye village in Ghana broke the internet this year—but the virality (yes, I'm sure that's not a real word too) of the image shows us how much we get caught up in the laughs without looking at the big picture. The photo was taken by Carlos Cortes, a videographer and photographer who followed Chicago-based Ghanaian artist, Solomon Adufah, to Ghana last summer, where he mentored and taught art to the children of that village. Adufah seized the attention and began a campaign to raise funds to continue to do his good work, and to support their dreams of continuing school.

Igwe 2Pac Returns:

Nollywood will always continue to be wild with their take (and attempts) on African American culture. Igwe 2Pac resurfaced this year—and reassured us that he's alive and well in Akukuland. See the first part of the 2012 film here, and peep a remix of his 'snitching' song featuring his friend, Snoopy Dogg.

President-Elect Nana Akufo-Addo and the Elves:

This came to be after Nana Akufo-Addo defeated incumbent John Mahama in Ghana's elections. Just watch.

Evil Kermit as an African Aunty:

Of course when pop culture icon, Kermit the Frog, goes viral, Africans put their own spin on it—featuring the nosey and pressure-building African aunty.

Ghanaian Gospel Music Video Parody:

Closing out this list is a meme video you may have missed. This is probably one of the most underrated memes of the year and it is too funny (and needs to be longer! We're looking at you, Ebabykobby!)

Interview

Adekunle Gold Is Living His Best Life

We speak to the Nigerian star about how marriage and fatherhood have led him to find both newfound happiness and newfound freedom as an artist.

''I'm having the time of my life,'' says Adekunle Gold over a Zoom call while seated in his office in Lagos. ''I'm making songs that are so true to my current energy, my current vibe.'' When I got on the call with the 34-year-old artist on a Wednesday afternoon, the first thing I noticed was his hair tied up in little braids, the second was his wide smile. As we speak, the crooner laughs multiple times but it's his aura that shines through the computer screen, it lets you know better than his words that he's truly having the time of life.

Born Adekunle Kosoko, the popular Nigerian singer got married barely two years ago to fellow artist Simi. Last year, the power couple welcomed their first child. As we talk, Gold points to his journey as a father and a husband as some of the biggest inspirations at the moment not just as far as music goes but as his perspective in life and how he now approaches things.

''My [artistry] has changed a lot because being a father and being a husband has made me grow a lot and more.'' Adekunle Gold tells OkayAfrica. ''It has made me understand life a lot more too. I'm feeling more responsible for people. You know, now I have a kid to raise and I have a wife to support, to be a real man and husband and father for.'' He credits this journey with both his newfound happiness and a newfound freedom as an artist.

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