Africa’s Fashion and Design Celebrated in Continent-wide Photographic Competition

Posted by on Feb 29, 2016 in Blog, Wiki Loves Africa | No Comments

Cape Town, 19th February 2016 – During October and November 2015, as part of the continent-wide Wiki Loves Africa Competition, people from across the African continent took photographs that related to the production, sales, uses and display of cultural fashion and adornment in their country and submitted them to Wikipedia’s media repository Wikimedia Commons.

The competition became an unprecedented visual celebration of the universality of fashion and the diversity of traditional and contemporary cultural practices across Africa. WikiAfrica is proud to announce the winners of the Wiki Loves Africa 2015 competition that were selected by an international group of Wikipedians, fashion and photographic professionals.


  • First prize has been awarded to Isaac Kaigi from Kenya who submitted the photo Busy Afternoon.
  • Second prize went to Fashion designer in St Louis in Senegal by Lucas Takerkart (France).
  • Third prize was won by Lady in Yellow, an african head dress in Ghana by Dili Osuhor (Ghana).
  • The Community Prize was won by User: Mus52 for Women in haik at the Port of Algiers, Algeria.

By the close of the competition on the 31st November 2015, 7,453 images were entered by 734 unique contributors from 51 countries around the world. Countries with the largest number of contributions were Tunisia, Côte d’Ivoire, and Cameroon. As with the 2014 contest, there were local teams on the ground.

These local teams operated in Algeria, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Nigeria, Tanzania, Tunisia and Uganda. These country teams, made of volunteer groups, hosted 41 on-the-ground events that related to the contest. We were also pleased to see enthusiastic response and high participation levels from countries such as Ghana, Kenya and Ethiopia that did not have local events in those countries.

The Wiki Loves Africa entries for 2015 were judged by a panel of experts from across the continent and beyond. The panel included Paul Weinberg, Samson Ngumenawe, Oguntimehin A. Ariyo, Jacques Kouao, Siwar Horchani Zarrouk, Yetty Ogunnubi (Yetty D), Fanta Kone, Céline Rabaud, Sylvain Boissel  and Habib M’henni. After a long process, they selected the first three winning pictures.

The Community Prize was selected by the Wikimedia community who judged their favourite photograph from 39 photos that received the highest marks from the judges.

The prizes for the winners are:

  • 1st prize: a Samsung Galaxy Tab S 9 + an Africa-published book + Mystery gifts from the Wikimedia Store + print of the participant winning picture
  • 2nd prize: US$300 Amazon gift + an Africa-published book + Mystery gifts from the Wikimedia Store + print of the 2nd prize picture
  • 3rd prize: US$200 Amazon gift + an Africa-published book + Mystery gifts from the Wikimedia Store + print of the 3rd prize picture
  • Community Prize: US$200 Amazon gift voucher + an Africa-published book + Mystery gifts from the Wikimedia Store + print of the Community Prize

The Wiki Loves Africa Competition invited entries from across the African continent of media – photographs, video or audio – that illustrated a particular theme. All entries were donated to Wikimedia Commons with the intention of being used to illustrate relevant existing articles or as a basis to begin new articles on Wikipedia and other project websites of the Wikimedia Foundation. The images donated are also available for use on the internet and beyond, under the Creative Commons license CC BY SA 4.0.

Under the Cultural Fashion and Adornment theme, the 2015 contest called for photos, videos or audio of the diverse types of fashion from across Africa.  The competition accepted media that showed any representations of cultural dress and fashion; specifically fashion that is defined by local cultural influences and determines cloth, styles, ways of wrapping and hanging, etc. Adornment was also part of the theme, and encouraged the entry of media representing culturally defined jewellery, make-up, hairstyles and headdresses, cloths, scarification and tattoos, and woven materials.

This is the second year of the international Wiki Loves Africa competition that is organised by the Wikimedia community that created Wikipedia, the free online encyclopaedia, and built the free media archive Wikimedia Commons. Wiki Loves Africa 2014 was run through the theme of Cuisine. Wiki Loves Africa was conceived and run by Florence Devouard and Isla Haddow-Flood. It is supported by WikiAfrica, hosted by the Africa Centre and was funded by the Wikimedia Foundation.

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