The Journal of Modern African Studies


The Apotheosis of Côte d'lvoire's Nana Houphouët-Boigny

Jeanne Maddox Toungara*

Whether he is called Le Sage (the Wise Man), Le Vieux (the Old Man), or more recently Nana (a Baule term for grandfather), the veneration implied by these words is unequalled by any other leader in West Africa today. It is clear that after over 50 years of political activism, the President of Côte d'Ivoire, Félix Houphouët-Boigny, has brought together a combination of elements that has allowed him to gain and maintain the respect of western leaders, his African counterparts, and until recently, almost every Ivoirian.


* Assistant Professor of History, University of Virginia, Charlottesville.