france africa tiktok


‘Africa was never hers,’: West Africans roast France on TikTok after coup in Niger, declare colonization ‘over’

The trend is spreading across the app.


Marlon Ettinger


Posted on Aug 3, 2023

A week after Nigerien president Mohamed Bazoum was overthrown by a military junta led by the captain of his presidential guard, Abdourahamane Tiani, French-speaking West African TikTokers are declaring that “colonization is over” using a viral sound.

One TikTok, posted by the user @aicha_m4, shows an image of Tiani over a caption announcing all French forces, including its ambassador, should leave the country in three days.

“France has lost Africa,” sings a singer over a high-energy electronica afrobeat track. “It’s over, it’s over, it’s over, colonization.”

Bazoum was seen as a key ally to the French and U.S. governments before his overthrow.

Another TikTok posted by the user @princehd35 using the same sounds shows Burkina Faso’s coup leader Ibrahim Traoré shaking hands with Russian president Vladimr Putin at the July 27-28 Russia-Africa summit with the French caption: “Only my country Chad remains, we’ll get there god willing.”

@princehd35 il reste que mon pays le Tchad 🇷🇴#tchad #afrique #fyp #viraltiktok ♬ son original – Mali_Africa

Some Africans view Russia as a counterweight to Western power in the region. 

On the Niger coup, Russia’s presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov called for “the reestablishment of order in the country as quickly as possible,” and for “restraint by all parties.” 

Chad’s former president Idriss Déby was killed in fighting against rebels from the Front for Transition and Concord (FACT) in the North of the country in 2021. His son, Mahamat Déby Itno, became de-facto leader of the country after his death.

Déby Itno recently met with the junta in the Nigerien capital Niamey to ask the coup government to step down, reported the BBC.

Niger is part of the Sahel, a strip of land running across the top half of the continent below North Africa. It contains large chunks of Niger and Mali, which had its own series of coups in recent years, and the northern tip of Burkina Faso, whose government was overthrown in 2022.  

Because the previous leaders of these countries were widely seen as puppets of France, some supporters of the coup governments in West Africa view the new leadership of three countries as part of an anti-French bloc, drawing on the tradition of leaders like Thomas Sankara, the Pan-Africanist, Marxist revolutionary who led Burkina Faso until his assassination in 1987. 


♬ son original – Mali_Africa

In a video by user @konfe76, the song played over images of Sankara mixed in with images of Assimi Goïta, who became the leader of Mali after a coup in May 2021, Traoré, and leaders of the Nigerien coup.

Under another video, the user @kamel.nait.smail commented that “she [France] didn’t lose anything, Africa was never hers.”

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*First Published: Aug 3, 2023, 4:59 pm CDT