African culture, art and clothes has becoming a fascinated trend in Europe. We are seeing wax, Ashanti and Dashiki everywhere. But what about African languages? Is the fashion trend lead to a boost in learning African Languages? Let’s focus on France and Belgium which gather the biggest Lingalaphone community in Europe.
Is there data about African and Afropeans people in France?
It’s pretty hard to get accurate data of the population demographic in France.
Africans in France. For a long time France has refused to produce data about its population. It’s against its core value “assimilation culture”. Indeed, statistics based on ethnic origin are prohibited in France.
However, with recent demand and voice up of the Black community in France, creation of own media like Nofi Group: Negro News,Anofip, NegusJournal andNegronews or JeuneAfrique gave a better visibility to the community.
According to various sources and Huffington Post, there are between 3 to 5 millions Africans and Afropeans in France which rank France with the highest proportion of African descent in Europe – UK ranks number 2 – and 3 worldwide after the US and Brazil.
As I mentioned on the introduction African clothes has become a trend in Europe. It started in the US when signer like Chris Brown or Béyoncé started to wear African print clothes.
‘African wax prints’ or ‘tribal’ are known is that the fabrics are usually neither made in Africa nor designed by Africans. They are actually European-made textiles certain African countries have embraced and made their own.
Is Lingala the new English in France?
The Congolese rap sensation Maitre Gims made one of the most popular hit in France with “Zappés comme jamais” reproducing Congolese “Sapologie” dandy fashion style and ambience. His Lyrics are intersecting with a chorus in Lingala- the most spoken language in Central Africa – to mix rumba guitar riffs on urban beatings or to tell his daily life with the gaze of a young Congolese immigrant in France.
Congolese artists and musicians has made the Congolese culture popular in France over the years. Thus,Lingala has become a trend but the language is not enough popular outside European Francophones countries to become a major language yet.