Top 5 Most Popular Sports in Africa

The term sport is the very common language for almost every human being around the globe. May be sports are the most common fiber of human life. But not necessarily all kind of sports have to be popular for every country or continent. Each and every country just like individuals has their own choice of popular sports. Some of these sports may even not played in other countries.Undoubtedly same is the case for Africa. In my post, am only interested with those most popular sports in Africa. As we already know that sport is a national passion in Africa and for the African people. They are avid followers of ‘European football’ that covers every game from uniquely English Premier League, Bundesliga, La Liga, Serie A and French League.There are a bunch of different sports played in Africa. No doubt Africa is blessed with all sports weather with exception of winter games that are preserve of snow blessed regions, but African Cup of Nations tournament, which always being held in suitable season for the Africans is one of the major sporting attractions together with All Africa games.

Africa has championship-designed golf courses across the continent with Mauritius, South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya having some of the best golfing courses. Together, proudly hold the record in hosting many premier golf events.In East Africa for example, marathons attract thousands of runners from all over the world. And almost people from almost all the other continents exactly know about Africa football stars like Didier Drogba, George Weah, the first and only African footballer to win World’s best football player.In this article, I will try to figure out some of these sports which are currently considerably their prior choice in Africa. Here the term most popular sports in Africa is only meaning those games which are in fact the most watched or most played sports in African countries that currently stand at 54.So, let’s find out, which one is the most popular sport in Africa?

1. Soccer

The first national soccer team of Africa’s was formed in 1926. The two teams were Kenya and Uganda being ready for the Gossage cup. And finally Egypt Soccer team made their first appearance in the World Cup finals in 1934.The national team of Egypt is commonly known as the Pharaohs in Africa. Now they are several African teams that have succeeded in World Cups since then. African teams are also gaining success on the international circuit.

2. Basketball


Basketball is a sport that is loved by a lot of young African boys and girls. For example when I visited Tanzanian commercial capital few years back, almost all estates have a basket-baller and it was not a surprise when Hasheem Thabeet, a Kenyan educated Tanzanian professional basketball player joined the NBA Development League few years back.In Uganda, after football, there is no game that attracts fans like Basketball.Travel to any African city and you’ll see plenty of youngsters donning NBA stars emblazoned hoods, t-shirts, sweat shirts, vests etc. Many public and private schools have basketball training facilities to help young basketball players polish their skills. Some companies like MTN Uganda even organize basketball clinics where professional basketball players train youngsters in the art of playing this famous game.


Running is a sport that a lot of youngsters actively take part in. For example, a Kenyan friend told me that no school sport is complete without the athletics event.Aside from football, running is a sport with the fiercest competition in the East African country that is famous for world beating athletes.There are a lot of people who take part in this sport and many of them hope to make it to the Olympics, but only few ever get the chance to be picked to represent their country at the Olympics or Common Wealth Games.

4. Rugby Union

African Rugby Union well known teams include Springboks of South Africa. Each year they compete with Australia and New Zealand in the Tri-Nations Series.The battle between the three is also prominent as part of the Mandela Challenge Plate.South Africa will be at the competing at the 2015 Rugby World Cup in which 20 teams will travel to England. Also representing Africa will be Namibia.

5. Cricket

The outside World probably sometimes think cricket is not one of the most popular sport in Africa outside South Africa and its fellow Test cricket competitor Zimbabwe. As they have conquered the victory trophy most dominantly for most of the times. But the fact is, it is only the 5th in this list of most played sports in Africa.Africans are playing cricket more than at any other time. Undoubtedly this sport will always be in the popular sport list in Africa.Cricketers in countries like Kenya, Uganda, Zambia usually play cricket at picnics, parks, beaches even at barbeques as I saw last year in Entebbe Uganda by a group of Indians.The African cricket teams like South Africa and Zimbabwe are some of the world’s top-ranking teams.



Written by How Africa

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