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Viral thread highlights the beauty of African architecture

'African Architecture is mostly forgotten and not showcased as it should be.'

 

Tiffanie Drayton

IRL

Published Sep 8, 2019   Updated May 20, 2021, 4:29 am CDT

One man’s Twitter thread featuring African culture has gone super viral–and for all the right reasons.

“I noticed African Architecture isn’t really showcased compared to Asian, European, Middle Eastern and Indian. So here is a thread of African Architectural styles. Starting with Nubian,” Twitter user @1ncognito___ wrote.

The thread showcases 14 architectural styles, spanning across the continent and featuring various structures, including presidential homes, churches, and futurist buildings. The homes featured are from various countries, including Ghana, Nigeria, Madagascar, Somalia, and Ethiopia.

The thread has gone super viral, racking up more than 400,000 likes and 140,000 retweets.

“They look like they’re straight from a fantasy novel oh my god they’re so beautiful,” one Twitter user commented.

Others contributed to the thread by posting more pictures of impressive architectural styles, some dating back to ancient Africa.

“Sudani pyramids of Meroe,” one user shared.

https://twitter.com/MominOsman1/status/1167809508850241537

Kevin (@1ncognito___), the user who created the original thread, is both surprised and excited by its reception. He started collecting pictures of different African architectural styles to share with friends and family but posted them to Twitter after deciding they deserved a wider audience.

“I was surprised by how viral the thread went but I was also really happy,” he told the Daily Dot via Twitter DM. “Both people with African heritage and people of non-African heritage appreciated it.”

Kevin had a very hard time compiling the images, which are seldom featured in mainstream spaces. He told the Daily Dot that African culture, including its architecture, is often overlooked and underappreciated. He fears these architectural traditions may be lost and that African countries will lose their own architectural identities without intervention.

“Today in Africa, African Architecture is mostly forgotten and not showcased as it should be,” he said. “Instead generic concrete or glass and steel buildings are getting more and more prominent.”

While some newer African buildings have been designed with traditional styles in mind, European styles have become popular in many countries on the continent as a result of colonialism. By highlighting Africa’s architectural beauty, Kevin hopes more people will take interest in African styles and that the continent’s governments will draw inspiration from the motherland when designing and building in the future in order to preserve African culture.

“I’d like African governments to focus on constructing buildings in African Architectural style,” he said. “African styles should be known worldwide and appreciated.”

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*First Published: Sep 8, 2019, 1:42 pm CDT