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Capturing The Energy of Africa in a Kit

Words:

Edd Norval
February 20, 2018

Africa is a dynamic continent. It's full of rich colours, diverse cultures and a tangible energy that permeates all aspects of society. Football has long been Africa's sport of choice and this year, the club's kits are faithfully reflecting their home country's energy.

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Earlier this month, when the new Nike Nigeria kit was revealed for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, the internet fell in love with it. Everyone from football fans to designers were talking about the kit and there is no doubt that it has won the Super Eagles a legion of new fans.


The country is energetic and stylish, brave and bold - empowered by a rapidly growing tourism sector and economy. Those vibes have transcended the country's fans and playing style and been encapsulated by their kit - ready to be seen on the stage of the world's largest sporting event.

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Inspired by the classic 1994 kit, don't be fooled into thinking that the country are getting dewy eyed and reminiscent - the only direction they are looking is forward. Retro style has been on-trend for a while now, but despite the cult appeal of classic sportswear and football kits, it hasn't really bled through into a successful jersey until now.


The kits themselves were hits on launch, but the training gear helped to bolster the package beyond the footballing world. Emblazoned with the word Naija, meaning the will to look forward and to celebrate the vibrancy of Nigeria's culture, they feature audacious designs and patterns that jump from the fabric.


Nigeria has a very young football team, with most players under the age of 25. This youthful exuberance was prominent in their qualifiers and, off-the-pitch, was embodied by their fans in both the country and their diaspora worldwide. There were drums, trumpets and lots of dancing. It'll look even better done in these kits.

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Although not in the World Cup, the Cameroon kit, made by Puma, also focuses on movement and energy. The players of both teams have often been associated with having a contagious rhythm that gives them admirers from all over the sporting world. Puma have always made audacious kits for Cameroon, it's to be expected - but this years is the bravest in a long time.


It says a lot that big brands are brave enough to experiment with bolder styles in their football kits, but it says more about the teams of Africa that their kits require such vibrancy to be a true-to-life reflection of the country they represent.


Music features heavily in both country's cultures and we can expect Nigeria's fans to be amongst the most impressive at the World Cup in Russia. If the cold weather doesn't manage to hinder their displays, this could be a tournament to remember. Even if the on-field show lets us down, it'll certainly be dazzling to watch.

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