“Hammer Strike”… the anthem that removed “Akwaba” from the hearts of fans

February 14, 2024
“Hammer Strike”... the anthem that removed “Akwaba” from the hearts of fans

FRANCE 24 envoy to Ivory Coast – The 2024 Africa Cup of Nations began on January 11 with its official anthem, “Akwaba” (which means hello in the local language of Ivory Coast), composed by the Ivorian group “Magic System,” but soon another anthem entered the competition line, entitled “Hammer Blow.” Written by a producer named “Tam Sir”, it will fill the hearts of Ivorians and fans in the tournament stadiums.

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It was the perfect recipe for “Akwaaba,” the official tournament anthem African Cup of Nations Football 2024 established in Cote d'Ivoire Since January 11. It was written by Magic System, the largest music group in the country, and featured Nigerian singer, actress and songwriter Yemi Alade, and Egyptian rapper Mohamed Ramadan.

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The atmosphere of excitement and competition was supposed to dominate the stands of the stadiums and the alleys of the five cities hosting the matches (Abidjan, San Pedro, Bouaké, Yamoussoukro, and Korogo).

However, contrary to the desire of the organizing committee and the expectations of the authorities, another anthem imposed itself and flooded the hearts of fans and football enthusiasts in Ivory Coast. It became repeated on every tongue and in all places, whether in stadiums, restaurants, bars, and even during the breaks between the halves of the matches. When President Alassane Ouattara entered the stadium that bears his name in Epimbe, on the outskirts of Abidjan, before the opening ceremony of the continental championship, under the sound of a “hammer blow,” everyone realized that “Akwaba” had left the stands.

However, the Ivorian hospitality remained throughout the competition, and this is beyond dispute.

Today's matches and results for the African Cup of Nations

To return to “Hammer Blow,” it is an anthem whose lyrics are simple (“Côte d’Ivoire welcomes Africa, beware of the warmth and heat,” “We will push forward, with the hammer blow, the hammer blow”) and its movements are easily accessible to the strong and the weak, the old and the small. It is one of six other songs written by 25-year-old producer Tam Sir, with the participation of nine other artists.

Tam Sir told France 24: “I did not do this alone, but with the help of all these artists behind the title ‘Hammer Blow’.” At the beginning of his project, he wanted to use a trumpet to imitate the “Bang Bang” chants of the official fans of the Ivory Coast Elephants (who gathered in the National Committee of Elephant Fans), through a combination of the “Mimouna” dance (rap of Côte d’Ivoire) and the “Biyama” dance (all Technical designations that are difficult to translate into Arabic.

Read alsoNigeria-Ivory Coast, title of the 2024 African Cup of Nations final

As for “Tam Sir,” the credit for the success of his anthem goes to “God,” expressing his extreme pride when he saw his country’s president, Alassane Ouattara, and “even the French ambassador” dancing to the beat of the “hammer blow.” This, he said, is evidence that Ivorian music It can cross borders and become global.

Despite his tremendous success, Tam Sir refuses to say that the song “Hammer Blow” has replaced “Akwaba” and that it has removed him from the African Cup of Nations parades, pointing out that “in reality, it is not an anthem, but rather music that we composed to enjoy in bars and restaurants after Matches.

Whatever the modesty of the young Ivorian artist, the “hammer strike” has become part of the achievements of the “Elephants” team. For example, it contributed to arousing the enthusiasm of local fans during the 16-final match against Senegal in the city of Yamoussoukro, especially between official time and extra time, so that Serge Aurier’s teammates won. In the end, they snatch the pass to the quarter-finals.

The best evidence of this is Sekou Fofana and his teammates celebrating their qualification to the sound of a “hammer blow” in front of the audience. But the Ivorian team must avoid the “blows” of the Nigerian hammer in the final, as they may be among those who are called “Akwaba” on that day.

Alwa Meziani and Romain Weeks are delegates from FRANCE 24 to Ivory Coast

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