5 most popular African countries that do not exist

Aerial view of Wakanda in Black Panther

New Marvel film Black Panther has stolen the show with its record-breaking sales, great storyline, star-studded cast and effective change of narrative about Africa through fiction.

Months ahead of its premiere, British Airways was called out for describing Black Panther star Lupita Nyong’o as a citizen of the fictional African kingdom of Wakanda which was portrayed positively in the film.

The airline’s in-flight magazine High Life published a photo collage of celebrities they believe will make 2018’s best-dressed list and the Oscar winner from Kenya was misrepresented.

Little did the world know that Wakanda will become the most wanted place for people of African descent who were hit by the Wakanda fever after watching the movie. The so-called third-world country that is technologically advanced is ruled by King T’Challa, also known as Black Panther.

But, before Wakanda, there were many African countries that do not exist but made their way into movies, speeches and households. Here are five popular fictional nations that are definitely not real.


In the 1998 film Coming to America, Eddie Murphy played the role of Akeem Joffer, the crown prince of the fictional African nation of Zamunda, who comes to the United States in the hopes of finding a woman he can marry.

He found his wife alright and they returned to Zamunda for the grand royal wedding.


This inexistent African country became popular after U.S. President Donald Trump mentioned it in 2017 during a meeting with African leaders in New York. “Nambia’s health system is increasingly self-sufficient,” he said.

This created a week-long buzz on social media making the country popular.


This African kingdom featured in the 2001 South African comedy movie Mr Bones by Leon Schuster, starring Leon Schuster.


This North African country was ruled by the protagonist in the 2012 film The Dictator. Baron Cohen played the role of Admiral General Aladeen, the dictator of the fictional Republic of Wadiya who threatens to bomb Israel with his nuclear weapons, surrounds himself with female bodyguards, sponsors al-Qaeda (specially giving shelter to Osama Bin Laden after “they killed his double one year ago”), and changes every word in the dictionary to “Aladeen”.


Africa is not a country but maybe it should be as the leaders have been debating the idea of pooling resources to serve as a compact unit for development. Many people outside the continent have made reference to Africa as a country while others do not even know that there are 54 countries in Africa.

This article by Ismail Akwei was first published on face2faceafrica.com

Published by Ismail Akwei

Ismail Akwei is an international journalist, digital media and communications professional, editor, writer, arts, culture and tourism advocate, human rights activist, pan-Africanist, tech enthusiast and history buff. He has worked with multinational media companies across Africa and has over a decade’s experience in journalism.

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