Africa's 2011 news quiz

End of year quiz

It's been a dramatic year for Africa - demonstrations in Tunisia sparked a series of regional revolutions that eventually saw the end of Muammar Gaddafi's rule. But what do you remember of about the quirkier headlines? Test your knowledge in our annual quiz.

Protesters in Tunisia kissing and hugging soldier during the uprising in 2011 (AFP)

1.) Multiple Choice Question

Who had a row on the micro-blogging site Twitter this year?

  1. Kenyan military spokesman Emmanuel Chirchir with Somali Islamist group al-Shabab about their alleged use of donkeys to transport weapons
    Screengrab from Emmanuel Chirchir's Twitter account
  2. President Jacob Zuma with tweeters complaining about potholes on South Africa's roads
    Screengrab from Jacob Zuma's Twitter page
  3. Rwanda's President Paul Kagame with a journalist who tweeted he was "despotic" and "deluded"
    Screengrab from Paul Kagame's Twitter page

2.) Multiple Choice Question

What initiative has NOT proved controversial this year?

  1. An advert of a woman getting a massage, next to the words: "They say that in Tunisia some people receive heavy-handed treatment."
    A London bus with a banner advertising Tunisia
  2. A house in Nigeria made of plastic bottles, which is feared will push up the demand and price of sand
    A plastic bottle house
  3. A big metal billboard of a bull, the Spanish national symbol, to be erected in the enclave of Melilla bordering Morocco.
    An Osborne bull in Spain

3.) Missing Word Question

* university runs out of paper for exams

  1. Bissau
  2. Sierra Leone
  3. Swazi

4.) Multiple Choice Question

Which defiant African politician said his fate was in God's hands and he was prepared to rule for "one billion years"?

  1. Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi not long before he was ousted by revolutionaries
    Muammar Gaddafi (AFP)
  2. Gambian leader Yahya Jammeh after accusations he had won polls through intimidation
    Yahya Jammeh (AFP)
  3. Ivory Coast's ex-President Laurent Gbagbo when refusing to hand over power earlier this year's during a violent election dispute
    Laurent Gbagbo (AFP)

5.) Multiple Choice Question

Where were opposition leaders sprayed pink for holding an illegal demonstration?

People drenched in a pink liquid (Reuters)
  1. Uganda
  2. Zimbabwe
  3. Cameroon

6.) Multiple Choice Question

Who was fined for breaking a cultural taboo?

  1. One of Swazi King Mswati III's 13 wives for trying to leave the royal palace without permission
    Some of King Mswati's 13 wives (AFP)
  2. Zimbabwean man Sunday Moyo for falling in love with a donkey
    A donkey pictured in Africa (AFP)
  3. Zimbabwe's prime minister for paying a bride price in November
    Morgan Tsvangirai (AFP)

7.) Multiple Choice Question

How were colonial roles reversed this year?

  1. Eritrea offered Italy's controversial former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi refuge after his resignation
    Italian former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi (AFP)
  2. Zimbabwe offered placements to British farming graduates
    A farmer in Zimbabwe (AFP)
  3. Oil-rich Angola offered financial help to cash-strapped Portugal
    Oil platform off Angola (AFP)

8.) Multiple Choice Question

What did Somalia's Islamist group al-Shabab do this year?

Women from al-Shabab carrying weapons in Mogadishu (AFP)
  1. Ban mixed-sex handshakes
  2. Award weapons as prizes to children who won a Ramadan competion
  3. Ban traders from selling samosas
  4. All of the above

9.) Multiple Choice Question

Which former head of state was convicted of possessing illegal drugs this year?

  1. Tunisia's ousted President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali
    Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali (AFP)
  2. Liberia's ex-leader Charles Taylor
    Charles Taylor (AFP)
  3. Guinea's former junta head Captain Moussa Dadis Camara
    Capt Moussa Dadis Camara (AFP)

10.) Multiple Choice Question

Who started their own fashion label this year?

  1. South Africa's former President Nelson Mandela, famous for wearing his colourful "Madiba shirts"
    Nelson Mandela (AFP)
  2. Kenyan MP Gidion Mbuvi, infamous for wearing bling
    Gidion Mbuvi (AFP)
  3. South Africa's firebrand youth leader Julius Malema, who favours wearing military-style berets
    Julius Malema (AFP)

11.) Multiple Choice Question

Whose assets, alleged to include Michael Jackson memorabilia, is the US seeking to seize?

A white rhinestone spandex glove used in the late 1970s by pop star Michael Jackson on display at a preview of Bonhams & Butterfields Legends and Goddesses entertainment memorabilia auction, June 2010 in Los Angeles (AFP)
  1. Simone Gbagbo's - former Ivorian first lady
  2. Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue's - son of Equatorial Guinea's leader
  3. Saif al-Islam Gaddafi's - son of the late Libyan leader

12.) Multiple Choice Question

Which of these was NOT a headline this year?

  1. "Dead man wakes up in South African morgue"
  2. "Malawi row over whether law bans farting"
  3. "Cannabis found in a painting of footballer Didier Drogba"


  1. It was the Rwandan leader who fired back 14 tweets to UK journalist Ian Birrell defending himself for saying UN and human rights groups had no right to criticise him. This year Mr Zuma did set up a pothole hotline after complaints from tweeters; al-Shabab set up a Twitter account and Maj Chirchir regularly tweets about his country's operations in Somalia - and is concerned about donkeys.
  2. Nigeria's first house built from discarded plastic bottles is actually proving a tourist attraction, with hundreds of people - including government officials and traditional leaders - coming to view it. Melilla's intention to put up a bull and the Tunisian tourism campaign have been more provocative.
  3. In August, university students at Sierra Leone's Fourah Bay College were unable to take their final exams because of a lack of paper. Swaziland has faced a cash crisis this year with many of its schools closing down and the University of Swaziland failing to open in time for the new academic year.
  4. Gambia's leader told the BBC: "I will deliver to the Gambian people and if I have to rule this country for one billion years, I will, if Allah says so." He added that critics who accused him of winning last month's elections through intimidation and fraud could "go to hell".
  5. In May, Ugandan police sprayed opposition leaders with a pink liquid to stop them holding a banned rally in the capital, Kampala, two days before Yoweri Museveni was due to be sworn in again as president.
  6. A traditional court in Zimbabwe fined Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai for paying a bride price in November, which can bring bad luck according to Shona culture. He later called off the relationship, saying it had been "hijacked" for political reasons. According to Zimbabwe's state media, a man charged with bestiality in October told a court that a prostitute he had hired had turned into a donkey for which he had developed feelings. In November, a royal official denied reports that King Mswati's 12th wife had been evicted from the palace.
  7. After a meeting with Portugal's leader in November, Angolan President Jose Eduardo Dos Santos said: "We're aware of the difficulties the Portuguese people have faced recently and in such difficult times we must use our trump cards."
  8. All of the above. In the southern town of Jowhar, the Islamists banned men and women from shaking hands. Samosas were banned in the famine-hit Lower Shabelle region because the group said traders were selling rotten meat from cattle that had died which was un-Islamic and a Mogadishu radio station run by al-Shabab awarded an AK-47 rifle and a cash prize to the winners of a Koran-reciting and general knowledge contest.
  9. Mr Ben Ali, who was overthrown in the first of the North African uprisings in January, was sentenced in absentia to 15 years in jail on charges of illegal drug and weapons possession in a one-day trial in Tunis in July. A month earlier, he and his wife were sentenced to 35 years for embezzlement and misuse of state funds.
  10. Nelson Mandela's Aids charity 46664 launched an international fashion label - profits will go to the charity. Mr Mbuvi was thrown out of Kenya's parliament in March for wearing ear studs and sunglasses, and swore to fight for a change in the dress regulations. A South African designer has announced plans to launch next year a label inspired by the ANC youth leader. It will be called Juju - Mr Malema's nickname.
  11. The US government wants to recover assets worth more $70m (£44m) from Mr Obiang, who is known as Teodorin in Equatorial Guinea where he currently serves as minister of agriculture. He is accused of using his ministerial position to plunder his nation's wealth. Court documents suggest the Michael Jackson memorabilia include music industry awards, signed songsheets and pairs of crystal-covered socks.
  12. Drug smugglers tried to hide cannabis worth almost $4,600 (£3,000) in a painting of famous African footballer Emmanuel Adebayor. The wooden framed picture from Togo was seized as it passed through a postal sorting office in the UK.

Your Score

0 - 4 : Awake in the morgue

5 - 8 : Dead man walking

9 - 12 : Alive and kicking

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