Each ethnic group in Ivory Coast has its own musical genre, with the majority exhibiting extensive vocal polyphony. Additionally, talking drums are widespread, particularly among the Appolo, and polyrhythms, another African feature, are found across Ivory Coast, but are particularly prevalent in the southwest.
The Ivory Coast’s popular music genres include zoblazo, zouglou, and Coupé-Décalé. Several Ivorian artists have achieved worldwide recognition, including Magic Système, Alpha Blondy, Meiway, Dobet Gnahore, Tiken Dja Fakoly, and Christina Goh.
Several important African sports events have taken place in the nation, the most recent being the 2013 African Basketball Championship. Previously, the country hosted the 1984 Africa Cup of Nations, where its national football team placed sixth, and the 1985 African Basketball Championship, when its national basketball team won the gold medal.
Ivory Coast won a silver medal in the men’s 400-meter relay at the 1984 Summer Olympics, competing under the name “Côte d’Ivoire.”
Association football is the most popular sport in Ivory Coast. The national football squad has competed in three World Cups: in 2006 in Germany, in 2010 in South Africa, and in 2014 in Brazil. The women’s football squad competed in Canada’s 2015 Women’s World Cup. Didier Drogba, Yaya Touré, and Gervinho are all famous Ivory Coast players. Rugby union is also popular, with the national side qualifying for the 1995 Rugby World Cup in South Africa. Additionally, Ivory Coast has won two Africa Cups, the first in 1992 and the second in 2015.
Ivory Coast’s traditional cuisine is quite similar to that of neighboring nations in West Africa, with a heavy emphasis on grains and tubers. Cassava and plantains play an important role in Ivorian cuisine. Maize balls are made using a kind of corn paste called aitiu, and peanuts are used in a variety of cuisines. Attiéké is a popular side dish in Ivory Coast made with grated cassava. It is similar to couscous but prepared with vegetables. Alloco is a popular street dish consisting of ripe bananas cooked in palm oil and seasoned with steamed onions and chile, which may be eaten alone or with grilled fish. Chicken is widely eaten and has a distinct taste in this area owing to its lean, low-fat bulk. Tuna, sardines, shrimp, and bonito, a fish related to tuna, are all examples of seafood. Mafé is a popular meal made with beef and peanut sauce.
Slow-cooked stews made with a variety of ingredients are another popular dish in Ivory Coast. Kedjenou is a meal made with slow-cooked chicken and vegetables in a sealed pot with little or no additional liquid, which concentrates the flavors of the chicken and vegetables and tenderizes the meat. It is often cooked in a ceramic jar called a canary, either over a low heat or in an oven. Bangui is a traditional palm wine from the region.
Ivorians have a distinctive kind of tiny, open-air restaurant called a maquis. Typically, a maquis consists of braised chicken and fish with onions and tomatoes, eaten with attiéké or kedjenou.