2018 has been a boundary-pushing year for African pop culture. This year saw Africa continue to influence some of the most memorable global pop culture moments.
The overwhelming catalyst for this is the sultry and rhythm-intensive genre of West African pop music, popularly known as Afrobeats in Europe and North-America.
Yet, 2018 did not start with another Afrobeats anthem shaking the concrete slabs in Brooklyn, New York. It started in Wakanda, the fictional African superpower created by Marvel Comics as the home of the superhero 'Black Panther'.
In February 2018, cinema halls from Lagos to London were packed as the world watched a black superhero kick ass not as a sidekick but as the leader of a prosperous black nation. Apart from the big bucks, Black Panther made for Marvel Comics, Black Panther brought the often-neglected subgenre of Afro-futurism to the mainstream.
For African-Americans, Black Panther would help them reconnect with their African heritage.
Fela Anikulpao-Kuti once again showed why he is larger than life even after his death. In May 2018, Queen B paid a tribute to the Afrobeat creator when she played a rendition of his classic 'Zombie'.
The Carters were not the only Hip-Hop aristocrats to groove to the compositions of the Abami Eda. Sean 'Puff Daddy' Combs continued his Instagram tributes of rocking out to Fela.
And with that Nigerian connection, Diddy handed Wizkid a Ciroc deal while playing host to African's number one pop juggernaut. Shortly after, he would also welcome the rabble-rousing/funny man Falz to his home.
Earlier in May, Diddy shouted out Falz for his Nigerian interpolation of Donald Glover's viral music video 'This Is America'. Not only did Falz get a co-sign from one of Hip-Hop's godfathers, but he also got global attention from international media outlets as well.
Dance will always be a part of Africa. Afrobeat has been the leading pop genre for a few years but this year the South African dance genre Gqom made international strides.
Rihanna jumped on the trend at the 2018 Grammys by doing the 'gwarra gwarra' dance which was repeated by Donald Glover in This Is America.
By summer, when the World Cup fever gripped an entire planet, the effortlessly cool jersey of the Super Eagles jersey was the talk of the whole world.
Designed by Nike, the entire collection of the Super Eagles jersey was a masterstroke and success for the apparel company. Everyone from Jack the Lad to Brixton to superstars in Hollywood rocked the jersey which paid homage to the golden generation of the Super Eagles from the 90s.
In 2018, negative headlines might have come out of Africa but it wasn't a monopoly. With each passing year, Africa's influence on global pop culture continues to grow which helps paint the continent as a place of promise, influence and talent.