Abidjan, a city in the Ivory Coast, is nicknamed “the pearl of the lagoons”, as it sits on a series of lakes. To highlight the city’s beauty, a Congolese globetrotter recently launched a Facebook page called “J’aime Abidjan” (I love Abidjan, in French) on which people are invited to contribute photos and videos explaining why they love the city.
Filip Kabeya adores exploring the hidden treasures of Abidjan and sharing snapshots and colourful portraits of what he discovers. This Congolese entrepreneur, who describes himself as pan-Africanist, spends most of his time in this Ivorian city, which, he says, has captured his heart.
On March 3, he launched the Facebook page J’aime Abidjan. The concept is simple: he invites followers to submit videos or photos explaining why they love the Abidjan.
"I say to Ivorians: other Africans must be jealous because you definitely have one of the prettiest cities in Africa!”
I am from the Democratic Republic of Congo and I adore travelling to different countries in Africa. As a visitor to Abidjan, I always say to myself, “What a beautiful city!”
But the people around me seem to have forgotten the beauty of their city. They don’t look at it in the same way. I say to them, other Africans must be jealous because you definitely have one of the prettiest cities in Africa!
I created this page to rally the love for this city. I made it so that people will post pretty, Instagram-like photos of the city and others will have fun guessing where the photos were taken. Sometimes, I post photos of Abidjan and I get messages from Ivorians who ask me where they can see the place in the photograph because they don’t recognise it!
On the Facebook page "J'aime Abidjan", Filip sometimes posts photos of different places he sees and asks followers to guess where the place is located. Tweet translated from French: “Walk into babi from time to time and see art on the walls and doors.. That’s also the beauty of babi.”"I launched a mini web-series inviting people to explain why they love Abidjan in 60 seconds”
Recently, I launched a little web series. In these 60-second videos, Ivorians explain why they love this city. For example, in one, I interview Andy Costa, who is an activist who promotes using bicycles as a sustainable form of transportation in Africa. He did say that there weren’t enough bike paths in the city. But that’s the message he wanted to share.
Another one of the videos features Loseni Traoré, a young mechanic who comes from a relatively modest family. He lives in the Abobo neighbourhood, where many young people end up joining gangs [Editor’s note: especially the so-called “microbes”, violent gangs of young people who have been ruling Abidjan for the past few years]. Many people were telling Traoré that he should leave this city and this neighbourhood. But he decided to roll up his sleeves and stay because he loves this city and wants to participate in its development in his own way.
"I want Ivorians to make it their own"
I’m really excited by the results we’ve been getting. In barely a month, we already have 11,000 followers. Now that we’ve introduced the concept, the idea is to get people to send in their photos, selfies or videos and explain why they love Abidjan. I want Ivorians to make it their own.
Do you want to take part in the “J’aime Abidjan" project? You can contact Filip through the J'aime Abidjan Facebook page by clicking on the image below. You can also reach him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you live in Kinshasa? Filip launched a similar page for the Congolese capital. To check it out, follow this link.