Africa's 2012 news quiz

End of year quiz

It's been a momentous year for Africa - from the destruction of shrines in Mali's city of Timbuktu to the sentencing of Liberia's former President Charles Taylor to 50 years at his war crimes trial. But what do you remember about the quirkier stories? Test your knowledge in our 2012 quiz.

Islamist militants destroying a shrine in Timbuktu - July 2012 (AFP)

1.) Multiple Choice Question

What came in for rationing this year in Togo?

  1. Condoms
    Condoms being handed out in West Africa (AFP)
  2. Rice
    Bowls of rice pictured in West Africa (AFP)
  3. Sex
    A Togolese footballer kissing the country's flag (AFP)

2.) Multiple Choice Question

What is the nickname of the indicted rebel commander who is alleged to be behind a mutiny in Democratic Republic of Congo?

M23 rebels in eastern Democratich Republic of Congo - 2012 (AFP)
  1. The Spear
  2. The Terminator
  3. Tarzan

3.) Multiple Choice Question

Which head of state threatened lazy workers with these words: "You either do your work or leave or go to jail"?

  1. Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe
    Robert Mugabe (Reuters)
  2. South Sudan's Salva Kiir
    Salva Kiir (AFP)
  3. The Gambia's Yahya Jammeh
    Yahya Jammeh (BBC)

4.) Multiple Choice Question

Which country adopted its old flag after its leader died?

Flags at the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopoia (AFP)
  1. Malawi
  2. Ethiopia
  3. Libya

5.) Multiple Choice Question

Who fractured their arm in a prison cell where "if one person wanted to move, everyone had to move at the same time"?

  1. British pilot David Simpson, jailed in Central African Republic
  2. BBC music presenter Petroc Trelawny, jailed in Zimbabwe
  3. Swedish journalist Johan Persson, jailed in Ethiopia

6.) Multiple Choice Question

Which banker-turned-politician was the target of an alleged poison plot?

  1. Liberia's leader Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf
    Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf (AFP)
  2. Nigeria's Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
    Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (AFP)
  3. Benin's President Thomas Boni Yayi
    Thomas Boni Yayi (AFP)

7.) Missing Word Question

Synchronised * * held in Zimbabwe's Bulawayo

  1. toilet flush
  2. bungee jump
  3. swim event

8.) Multiple Choice Question

Which filial story is NOT true?

  1. President Francoise Bozize of Central African Republic ordered the detention of his son over an unpaid hotel bill
  2. Equatorial Guinean President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo ordered his son's arrest over money-laundering allegations
  3. Liberian leader Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf suspended her son as central bank deputy governor for failing to declare his assets

9.) Multiple Choice Question

Which official said: "You don't look a gift horse in the mouth"?

  1. Swaziland's government spokesman, defending King Mswati III's luxury jet
    King Mswati III (AFP)
  2. Kenya's speaker, defending the cost of MPs' new $3,000 chairs
    Chairs in Kenya's newly refurbished parliament (BBC)
  3. Nigeria's government spokesman on the fate of a rejected $15m bribe
    A man counting dollar bills (Reuters)

10.) Multiple Choice Question

Which Catholic long-time leader said: "I have died many times - that's where I have beaten Christ. Christ died once and resurrected once"?

  1. Cameroon's Paul Biya
    Paul Biya (AFP)
  2. Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe
    Robert Mugabe (AFP)
  3. Equatorial Guinea's Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo
    Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo (AFP)

11.) Multiple Choice Question

Which of these was NOT a headline this year?

Hippos swimming in Africa (Archive shot - BBC)
  1. "Escaped hippo evades Cape Town authorities"
  2. "South Africa: Fibreglass hippo dehorned by thief"
  3. "Nigeria floods bring crocodiles and hippos into homes"
  4. "South African hippo dies before pool rescue"

12.) Multiple Choice Question

Who cooked up meals for fans during the Africa Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea?

A football fan in Equatorial Guinea during the Africa Nations Cup 2012 (AFP)
  1. Clotilde Drogba, mother of the Ivorian football striker
  2. Constancia Mangue, Equatorial Guinea's first lady
  3. Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, son of Equatorial Guinea's president


  1. Women in Togo went on a week's sex strike organised by an opposition coalition calling for political reforms and for President Faure Gnassingbe, whose family has held power for decades, to stand down.
  2. Bosco Ntaganda, linked to DR Congo's M23 rebel group, is known as "The Terminator". The mayor of Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, is called "Tarzan" and "The Spear" is the title of a vandalised painting which depicted South Africa's President Jacob Zuma with his genitals exposed.
  3. President Jammeh promised in January to "wipe out almost 82% of those in the workforce in the next five years" unless Gambians changed their attitude. President Mugabe caused upset later in the year when he called Jamaican men lazy, drunken marijuana smokers.
  4. Malawian MPs voted to restore the national flag of a rising sun scrapped by the late President Bingu wa Mutharika, who had changed it to a full sun to reflect what he said was Malawi's move from a developing to a developed nation. Libya adopted the pre-Gaddafi, green, red and black flag in 2011.
  5. Petroc Trelawny was detained in Zimbabwe for six days for violating immigration rules in June. David Simpson spent nearly five months in prison in CAR after he reported discovering bodies in remote bushland. Johan Persson and his colleague Martin Schibbye had been sentenced to 11 years in jail for supporting rebels in Ethioipia; they were freed after spending more than a year in captivity.
  6. In October, three people were alleged to have plotted to poison Benin's head of state Thomas Boni Yayi - the suspects included one of his nieces and his personal doctor.
  7. Many residents of Zimbabwe's second city simultaneously flushed their toilets in September, as part of an official attempt to prevent blocked sewage pipes.
  8. An arrest warrant for Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, who also serves as Equatorial Guinea's agricultural minister, was issued by a French judge over allegations of money-laundering. Kevin Bozize ran up a $15,000 bill in Bangui and Charles Sirleaf was among 46 officials suspended for not making the disclosure to anti-corruption officials.
  9. It was Swaziland's spokesman who said the DC-9 twin-engine aircraft was a gift to the king from "anonymous sponsors". Kenya's parliamentary speaker defended the parliament's refurbishment, saying: "The changes we are making are going to input positively in governance." The $15m bribe, paid by ex-Nigerian governor James Ibori now jailed in the UK, remains in the Central Bank of Nigeria.
  10. President Mugabe, in power since 1980, made the comment on his 88th birthday, making light of media reports about being ill. Cameroon's Paul Biya, known as the "lion man" celebrated 30 years in power this year. President Nguema is Africa's longest-serving leader, taking power in 1979.
  11. It was a fibreglass rhino that had its horn cut off during a burglary at a game reserve lodge in South Africa.
  12. Didier Drogba's mother set up a makeshift kitchen in Equatorial Guinea's capital Malabo, serving up chicken and fish with rice, plantains and spicy sauces for fans of the Elephants. Though Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue generously gave the host team $1m for beating Libya in the opening match of the tournament.

Your Score

0 - 4 : Going hungry

5 - 8 : A little bland

9 - 12 : Hot and spicey

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