Did You Know: Benin?

Located in western Africa between Nigeria and Togo, present day Benin was the site of Dahomey, a West African kingdom that rose to prominence in about 1600 and over the next two and half centuries became a regional power, largely based on its slave trade. Coastal areas of Dahomey began to be controlled by the French in the second half of the 19th century; the entire kingdom was conquered by 1894. The country’s National anthem, ‘L’ Aube Nouvelle is sang in French and means the dawn of a new day

  1. People of Benin are referred to as Beninos or Beninese.
  2. Official language is French although almost half of the population speaks Fon n Yoruba
  3. Got independence from France in Aug 1 1960
  4. Official currency-CFA franc.
  5. Capital of Benin is known for three names i.e Porto Novo, Adjatche and Hogbonou while the largest city is Cotonou.
  6. Most popular National sport is soccer
  7. They believe that photography steals a piece of their soul so for the respect to their beliefs it’s good to ask before taking pics of them.
  8. Their flag was officially raised on independence to replace French flag. It has three colours; Red, representing their ancestor’s courage, Green to symbolize hope for renewal and Yellow to denote the country’s richest treasures.
  9. The climate is Tropical: humid hot weather throughout the year so the place is mostly flat but there are sprinkling of a few hills and mountains
  10. It relies mostly on foreign exchange from export of cotton. 
  11. Cotton is used in fashion. Quality of fabrics is vibrant and colourful
  12. Angelique Kidjo-the Grammy Award winning African singer who popularized African music in Europe and USA is the poster-child of Benin music known for her hit songs like ‘Batonga’ ‘Wewe’ and ‘Lombo’.