We can’t even deny it, 2016 has been an utter shitstorm and filled with WTF moments. Like most, we are now just counting down till we can get rid of this useless year. Where do we even begin with the continuous bad news?

Some of favourite acting and music icons died (why Prince whyyyy??? RIP Papa Wemba).

Wars, plane crashes, terrorism and scandal ruled the news more than ever.

‘No money, mo problems’ continued to be the theme tune for Africa’s biggest economies: South Africa and Nigeria as well as other countries battered by financial crisis.

Zuma stayed.

Buhari did nothing.

Taylor Swift stayed.

Brexit happened.

And then Trump won…. still in after-shock about that one.

Sometimes it feels like we’d have been better off if we’d simply skipped from 2015 to 2017… But then you wouldn’t get to see the 20 reasons 2016 was (just about) worth it:


Beyonce dropped Lemonade 

Her personal life, marriage, Jay Z’s cheating ways, her miscarriage and the search for ‘Becky With the Good Hair’.

#FingersInTheBootyAssBitch trended worldwide

Amber Rose exposed Kanye West’s sexual ‘deviances’ with the biggest Twitter beef of the year (until Kanye beefed Taylor Swift).

Usain Bolt won gold again

The man ruled Rio.

Mark Zuckerberg touched down in sub-Saharan Africa for the first time

His visit to Lagos and Nairobi cemented Africa’s tech future. His love of jollof rice cemented his place in our hearts.

The best football goalkeeper goal EVER happened

Did this bicycle kick make 2016 worth living? Probably.

Chimamanda showed you can be hot and clever

Chimamanda challenged beauty (and geek) stereotypes by being the face of No7.

West Africa’s first international art fair launched

ART X Lagos brought (even more) glamour to Nigeria.

Ciara went viral dancing the Kukere

Welcome to Lagos.

Leicester City won the Premiership

Can Mahrez do no wrong?

Michelle Obama ruled. Period.

Michelle Obama was the most successful presidential candidate even though she wasn’t in the race.

Justice was served (in Africa)

It was the first time an African dictator held accountable in Africa by Africans (Chad’s ex-ruler Hissene Habre – a nasty individual – was convicted of crimes against humanity and sentenced to life in prison at a landmark trial in Senegal.)

The former Chadian dictator Hissene Habre © SEYLLOU/AFP/Getty
#ThisFlag stayed safe

#ThisFlag showed that peaceful protest is live and well in Zimbabwe. (Yes, we know Mugabe is running again in 2018 but still).

Wayde van Niekerk broke a record despite being coached by a granny

Yes, this isn’t made up.

Ghana showed the world how to do an election

Peaceful transition of power? Check.

African Twitter got sillier and sillier

People made an art of taking the piss out of politicians.

And American media outlets…

Africa's first ever electric Grand Prix happened

The FIA Formula E Championship Marrakesh ePrix © LAT Photographic/Formula E
Africans made the Grammys list

Big up to Wizkid, Kah-Lo, Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Kristian Bezuidenhout (he plays the harpsichord).

Nairobi's slums got cleaner

Young people living in Dandora, a well known slum, are working together to clean it up.

Kenya hosts world’s first albino beauty pageant

Black beauties all around.

Contestants prepare backstage during a pageant hosted by the Albinism Society of Kenya in Nairobi on October 21, 2016. © TONY KARUMBA/AFP/Getty
The African passport was announced

Borders are so last year.

Goodbye 2016!