Press Office

Wednesday 24 Sep 2014

Press Release

World Service launches Africa Kicks 2010

On Friday 12 November BBC World Service is launching Africa Kicks 2010, a one-day exhibition at its Bush House headquarters and an online photo-gallery on the BBC World Service website, celebrating a great year of African football.

The pictures, taken by BBC World Service journalists and audiences across the continent in the run-up to the World Cup, have been chosen by Ivory Coast and Chelsea footballers, Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou.

Africa Kicks 2010 is an exhibition of photographs, celebrating a great year for African football as covered by BBC World Service in multimedia programming in both the run-up to and during the World Cup in South Africa.

It includes images from the Africa Kicks project, during which the BBC's multilingual team of journalists toured five countries of West Africa, uncovering untold stories about the region which is home to some of the world's best footballers – and taking pictures of the people, the places and experiences. The collection also features photography contributed by the BBC's audiences across Africa.

Didier Drogba, voted BBC African Footballer of the Year 2009, and Salomon Kalou were approached by BBC World Service to handpick their choice of the most vibrant and telling images from this vast collection of photography. The resulting collection is now presented to online audiences around the world, as well as for one day in a special exhibition at Bush House in London.

As they went through the pictures, Drogba and Kalou thought back to the unforgettable summer of football and considered what it meant for Africa.

Drogba said: "The best image for football in Africa was the World Cup because it was the first one in Africa, and we were all waiting for this moment to happen. I think, to see people being together and sharing the same passion, it was amazing! One of the greatest moments."

Looking at an image depicting one of the most dramatic moments for African football – the Ghana-Uruguay game – Drogba said: "When Ghana was playing, I was landing in America for my holiday and I was listening to the game on the way to the place I was supposed to stay and – sad!" Kalou, who was watching the game in Abidjan, added that he left before the game's penalty shoot-out climax.

Another image was chosen by Kalou because it reminded him of the dust on the road to his home-town, Oumé. Among pictures chosen by Drogba was that of the village of Niaprahio, where his parents come from: "I have been there many times when I was young. For the people from Niaprahio, it is more than football. It is not often that one of the kids is coming from there and make it and have the chance to be at the place where I am now."

The footballers also singled out pictures showing the passions that football evokes. Commenting on one such photo, Drogba said that it showed just "how far people can go. How crazy some fans might be."

Sport, and football, in particular, occupy a special place in BBC World Service's multimedia, multilingual offer to audiences across Africa. In 2010, BBC World Service brought audiences coverage of the 27th Africa Cup of Nations in Angola and was in South Africa for the World Cup to broadcast live commentary, in English and Swahili, on FM relays across the continent, of all the African teams' games throughout the tournament.

The BBC's commentary team in South Africa was joined by three sports journalists from across the continent – Arjun Vidyarthi, a sports editor with Radio Africa in Kenya; Malik Jones, a journalist at Gambia Radio and TV Service; and Stanley Katsande, Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation commentator and analyst.

Recently, BBC World Service further expanded this offer with commentary of English Premier League games in Hausa, Portuguese, Somali, as well as extending its existing Swahili football programming.

Commenting on a picture from DR Congo village, of a makeshift billboard in front of a stadium, displaying results from football leagues around the world, Drogba said: "Now [that] you have the chance to watch or listen to all Premier League games on the continent, it makes us a little bit more like superstars. So, when we go back there, they are proud of us, of what we are doing. It is crazy."

Farayi Mungazi, BBC World Service sports presenter, dubbed "the BBC's voice of African sport", says: "The Africa Kicks 2010 exhibition will give people an amazing glimpse into the entire world of what football represents to millions of people in Africa, all the joys and dramas it creates.

"At the same time, it reflects the ways in which football is part of an ordinary day in ordinary lives of very different people, united by their love of the game. We are looking forward to sharing these unique images with guests at Bush House – and with millions of people in Africa and across the world who will see them online."

Notes to Editors

The BBC attracts a global audience of 241 million people to its international news services including BBC World Service and the BBC World News television channel.

BBC World Service is an international multimedia broadcaster delivering 32 language and regional services, including: Albanian, Arabic, Azeri, Bengali, Burmese, Cantonese, English, English for Africa, English for the Caribbean, French for Africa, Hausa, Hindi, Indonesian, Kinyarwanda/Kirundi, Kyrgyz, Macedonian, Mandarin, Nepali, Pashto, Persian, Portuguese for Africa, Portuguese for Brazil, Russian, Serbian, Sinhala, Somali, Spanish for Latin America, Swahili, Tamil, Turkish, Ukrainian, Urdu, Uzbek, and Vietnamese. It uses multiple platforms to reach its weekly audience of 180 million globally, including shortwave, AM, FM, digital satellite and cable channels.

Its news sites, which received 7.1 million weekly visitors in September 2010, include audio and video content and offer opportunities to join the global debate. It has around 2,000 partner radio stations which take BBC content, and numerous partnerships supplying content to mobile phones and other wireless handheld devices.

For more information, visit

For a weekly alert about BBC World Service programmes, sign up for the BBC World Agenda e-guide at

BBC World Service International Publicity

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