World Cup Edition: The Winning Jersey!

Whether or not you are a "football" enthusiast who is ready to prioritize the World Cup games over your work like some of our friends from Europe, Latin America, or Africa, we believe that there are ways for anyone to enjoy the World Cup, one of the biggest fiestas in the world. One way to get ready for the matches is to check out the teams' official jerseys! From the African continent, five countries have qualified; Algeria, Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, and Nigeria.

Before looking closely at their jerseys, let's cover fun facts about the World Cup related to jersey design. First who designs those jerseys? Out of all 32 teams, Nike sponsors 10 teams followed by adidas and Puma which sponsors 9 teams and 8 teams respectively (and the remaining teams are sponsored by smaller brands which sponsors one team each). As for the African teams, Puma beats the other two big brands: Puma sponsors four qualified teams except the Nigerian team, which is sponsored by adidas. Puma is majority-owned by the fashion/lifestyle brand conglomerate, Kering whose portfolio includes Gucci and Saint Laurent, so maybe we can expect their teams' jerseys to be uniquely-designed and stylish! So let's take a look at the home jerseys of the five qualified African teams.

Algeria: 3 Appearances, 0 Titles, #22 in the FIFA ranking 

Algerian team home jersey. Source:  Footy Headlines .

Algerian team home jersey. Source: Footy Headlines.

Cameroon: 6 Appearances, 0 Titles, #56 in the FIFA ranking

Cameroonian team home jersey. Source:  Footy Headlines .

Cameroonian team home jersey. Source: Footy Headlines.

Cote d'Ivoire: 2 Appearances, 0 Titles, #23 in the FIFA ranking

Cote d'Ivorian home jersey. Source: Footy Headlines.

Cote d'Ivorian home jersey. Source: Footy Headlines.

Ghana: 2 Appearances, 0 Titles, #37 in the FIFA ranking

Ghanian team home jersey. Source:  Footy Headlines .

Ghanian team home jersey. Source: Footy Headlines.

Nigeria: 4 Appearances, 0 Titles, #44 in the FIFA ranking

Nigerian team home jersey. Source:  Footy Headlines .

Nigerian team home jersey. Source: Footy Headlines.

The Cameroonian jersey stands out because of the prints and the use of bright colors like green and yellow. We also like how they used red to accentuate the neck and shoulder lines. We feel that the Nigerian jersey is least unique. While the use of green can remind us of their national flag, the overall design lacks a strong and memorable visual appeal. Out of two white home jerseys, we think that the Ghanian jersey design has a bold message while the Algerian jersey looks too simple. The print on the Ghanian jersey is a fun element, but the prints could have been used in a different way.

The author's personal favorite is the Cote d'Ivorian jersey. The jersey has the best combination of being bold and having subtle and detailed designs, which also echoes to Maki & Mpho's design philosophy. This bold yellow color will surely stand out on the green of the football pitch. At the same time, details like the subtle prints on the shoulders and the front patch in the shape of the country are the key elements that empower both players and the fans. 

Unfortunately, none of the African qualifiers have won a title yet, but let's see how far the African teams go this year!! Maki & Mpho will equally be supporting all the teams from the African continent (regardless of your jersey designs)!

Tell us which one is your favorite!


Messenger Cloth feat. Kanga from East Africa

We all know that messaging apps are hot, but how about a cloth that delivers a message? In the African context, textiles have various roles including a role as a medium to deliver a message. A kanga cloth is one example that delivers a message rather explicitly. The kanga is a type of textile popular in East Africa, especially in Kenya and Tanzania. It is a rectangular-shaped cotton cloth that is about the size of a beach towel, and is usually worn by women (but sometimes men). As the Alis explain at Swahili Language and Culture, "[a]lthough the kanga design might differ slightly, a typical kanga in East Africa consists of a wider border (Swahili: pindo), the central motif (Swahili: mji), and the writing (Swahili: ujumbe or jina)."  A typical kanga looks like the one in the photo below. 

The writing is the unique and distinctive part of kanga. Usually written in Swahili, the writing can be common Swahili proverbs, but many are messages that the kanga wearers want to send. The role of the kanga cloth may be something similar to the one of greeting cards or graphic T-shirts. The message can be about love, encouragement, caution, or simply form of a self-expression. The message can also be educational or political. The kanga below has an inscription in Kiswahili written in the Roman script: SINA SIRI NINA JIBU - " I have no secrets but I have an answer". This particular kanga carries a political message and was commissioned by a politician seeking election in Kenya.

Kanga. Source:  British Museum .

Kanga. Source: British Museum.

We also think that the central motif plays an important role in delivering a message. It is often true that images are much stronger and effective than words when delivering a message, and images can also facilitate verbal communication. Visual information directly connects to people's feelings, and it can trigger responses and inspiration. 

At Maki & Mpho, we believe in creating unique and unforgettable designs that inspire people. And our designs can be the first step to explore the unique taste of African designs and to discover more about the unseen Africa.