Senegal's Mendy almost quit football during year with no club    EgyptAir, Ghana sign MoU to establish national Ghanaian airline    UAE gets Israeli visa exemptions, a first for Arab world    BREAKING: Egypt's central bank dismisses CIB head Hisham Ezz El-Arab over 'serious violations'    Heavy rain, lightning and thunder hit parts of Egypt Thursday    BREAKING: CAF postpone Zamalek-Raja semi-final return leg, keep date for final unchanged    Egypt call up five foreign-based players, including Arsenal's Eneny, for Togo games    Egyptian authorities foil attempt to smuggle three artefacts from Alexandria port    Egypt's health minister calls for adherence to Covid-19 measures in anticipation of rise in infections    New fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh dims hopes before Washington talks    Egypt reports 178 new coronavirus cases, 13 fatalities on Wednesday    In Photos: Visitors observe biannual sun alignment at Ramses II Temple in Abu Simbel    Lebanon begins consultations to pick new prime minister    'EU wants successful outcomes' of GERD negotiations: European ambassador to Egypt    Release of trailer for film Mafkoud: On the fate of those who went missing during the Lebanese civil war    Candidates poised for election marathon    Surviving the economic damage    Egypt's Sisi attends graduation ceremony of armed forces cadets at the Military Academy    Egyptian insurance companies' premiums 9.6% up in five months    Egypt's President Sisi names new head of anti-corruption watchdog    Egypt's offers 18 bln pounds T-bills on Sunday    EgyptAir offering discounts for some international flights    Egypt records 212 new coronavirus cases, 14 deaths on Saturday    Egypt to require PCR coronavirus tests for airport travelers    Egypt sends 125 tonnes of glass by sea to Beirut    Legend Messi officially wants to leave Barcelona, hands transfer request    Global smartphone sales drop 20% in Q2, yet Apple's iPhone sales steady    Sisi: Egypt keen on establishing development projects with Iraq, Jordan    Egyptian megastar Amr Diab releases new hit music video    Making of Harry Potter will be available for fans at new park in Tokyo    Egypt's Senate elections official results to be announced Wednesday    Netflix Egypt is bringing megastar Amr Diab back with a new original    Egypt reopens Rafah border crossing for first time since April    Egypt's senate elections 2020 trending on social media in few days    African Champions League final will be played on Oct. 16-17, CAF says    No room to delay Egyptian Premier League games – EFA's board member    The Facebook Preacher's Search for Fame, and Egypt's Economy    Egypt calls on UNSC to address oil spill risks off Yemen coast    Egypt economically strong in face of COVID-19, reforms ongoing: International Cooperation Minister    Arafa Holding reports $144,000 COVID-19-related losses in April    Egypt's efforts in Libya to activate free will of Libyan people: Al-Sisi    Hyksos campaigns were internal takeover, not foreign invaders: study    COVID-19 affects Egypt sporting clubs    COVID-19 will soon turn to seasonal like swine flu: Presidential Health Advisor    ‘Egypt's Support' coalition convenes to discuss its Senate election list    Robbery attempt leads to discovery of Ptolemaic monuments in Qena    Flouting international guidance, Ethiopia unilaterally starts filling its Nile dam    Zaha speaks out after online racial abuse    

Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.

African national teams' nicknames: expression of identities
Published in Daily News Egypt on 07 - 04 - 2019

The CAF Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) will be held from 22 June to 20 July and will include 24 teams for the first time in the history of the championship.
Five Arab teams will participate in AFCON 2019, and three teams will make their debut: Madagascar, Mauritania, and Burundi.
African football teams have always had unusual nicknames, and this has become a tradition in the continent. Most of the teams are nicknamed after animals as they represent life, strength, and courage.
Some nicknames were made by the fans which are usually related to the colours of their flags or natural phenomena in the country.
Italian Rafael Pauli, researcher at the International Sports Center in Switzerland, said that the nicknames of teams are an expression of national unity and are another way of bringing people together. Football has played an important role in freedom and independence in African countries and has given them their own identities over the history.
Egypt “Pharaohs”
This nickname is basically related to the ancient Egyptians. Pharaohs were those kings in old Egypt who made great achievements, like building the Pyramids which are one of the world's wonders.
The team also carries the name of “Prostraters”, since players usually celebrate their victory with prostration. This was clear during the previous AFCON editions in 2006, 2008, and 2010.
South Africa “Bafana Bafana”
In the Zulu language "Bafana" means “Boys”. When the South Africa joined the FIFA after the toppling of the racist apartheid regime, officials of football in South Africa started looking for a nickname for their football team. A journalist named Pero Meselco suggested the nickname as a reflection of youth. At first, football officials were not excited since the name does not represent strong brave men, however quickly the nickname was loved by football fans and spread among them, becoming the team's official nickname very quickly.
Nigeria “Green Eagles”
The nickname is inspired from the eagles which Nigeria is famous for. Moreover, the main colour in the country's flag is green. The team is also known for speed, accuracy, and strength, similarly to the eagle.
Cote d'Ivoire “Elephants”
Elephants were the most prevalent animals in Cote d'Ivoire in the past. If reflects giganticness and strength.
Cameroon “The Indomitable Lions”
This nickname was inspired from the most famous animal in Cameroon. Lions are brave, strong, and fast. They are leaders, which is the same with the Cameroonian team.
“Untamed Lions” was one of the oldest titles in Africa, suggested back in 1972 by the Minister of Sports at Cameroon after the team was unable to qualify to the AFCON of the same year. At that time, the President of the country made drastic changes to the sector of football, and in one of the meetings with a public figure, the nickname was chosen, and “untamed” was added to distinguish the team from the rest of the teams.
Senegal "Lions of Teranga"
In the old Senegalese language “Wolof”, Teranga means hospitality, but like the Senegalese people say, it goes beyond mere hospitality. Teranga is not just a title, but a reflection of the nature of the Senegalese people who receive their guests with open arms, and allow them to enter their homes, meet their family members, and talk about their lives, religion, culture, and their own personal ideas.
Morocco “Atlas Lions”
This name came from the Atlantic mountains passing through Morocco.
Tunisia “Carthage Eagles”
Carthage is the cradle of the Tunisian civilization and the capital of the ancient Phoenician state. The nickname was chosen to suit their strength and speed while referring to the civilization of Carthage.
Algeria “Desert Fighters”
The Algerian national team has several nicknames: Desert Foxes, Desert Fighters, and The Greens. The desert fox lives in North Africa and some parts of the Arabian Peninsula in Saudi Arabia. It is distinct for its large ears.
Mauritania "Almoravid"
Mauritania was qualified for the first time for AFCON in its history. The Mauritanian national team is nicknamed “Almoravid”, referring to Almoravid dynasty which was an imperial Berber Muslim dynasty emerged in the 5th and 6th AH in the Islamic Maghreb region.
Guinea "National Elephants"
The Guinean team is known as “Syli nationale” in the local language, which means "National Elephants". In their culture, the elephant is a symbol of strength and unity.
Kenya "Harambee Stars"
The team is nicknamed “Harambee Stars”. In old times, stars were considered a good omen and a way to drive out bad people.
Rafael Pauli says that some teams have taken nicknames inspired by celestial bodies out of the belief that this would eliminate bad luck and bad omens. Such nicknames are not famous, especially names of stars or such, unlike the names related to animals or colours.
Angola "sable antelopes"
Angola's national team was nicknamed "sable antelopes" as they are the prevalent animals in the tropical jungles across Angola.
Benin "The Squirrels"
Benin was nicknamed "The Squirrels" which often live on trees. They are the prevalent animals across Benin.

Clic here to read the story from its source.