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Republic of Benin Africa Porto-Novo 10,160,556 inhabitants 112,622 sq km 90.22 inhabitants/sq km Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XOF) population evolution

Famous people from Benin

Here is a list of famous people from Benin. Curious if anybody from Benin made it our most famous people in the world list? Read the aformentioned article in order to find out.

Djimon Hounsou


Djimon Gaston Hounsou is a Beninese-born American actor and model. As an actor, Hounsou has been nominated for two Academy Awards.

Angélique Kidjo

African popular Artist

Angélique Kpasseloko Hinto Hounsinou Kandjo Manta Zogbin Kidjo, commonly known as Angélique Kidjo, is a Grammy Award–winning Beninoise singer-songwriter and activist, noted for her diverse musical influences and creative music videos. Time Magazine has called her "Africa's premier diva". The BBC has included Kidjo in its list of the African continent's 50 most iconic figures. The Guardian has listed her as one of their Top 100 Most Inspiring Women in the World and Kidjo is the first woman to be listed among "The 40 Most Powerful Celebrities In Africa" by Forbes Magazine. The Daily Telegraph in London describes her as "The undisputed queen of African music" during the 2012 Olympic Games River Of Music Festival. In March 2013 NPR, National Public Radio in America, calls her "Africa's greatest living diva". She is an occasional contributor to the New York Times. On June 6, 2013, Angelique was elected vice-president of CISAC. Her musical influences include the Afropop, Caribbean zouk, Congolese rumba, jazz, gospel, and Latin styles; as well as her childhood idols Bella Bellow, James Brown, Nina Simone, Aretha Franklin, Jimi Hendrix, Miriam Makeba and Carlos Santana. She has recorded George Gershwin's "Summertime", Jimi Hendrix's "Voodoo Child" and The Rolling Stones' "Gimme Shelter", and has collaborated with Dave Matthews and the Dave Matthews Band, Kelly Price, Alicia Keys, Branford Marsalis, Robbie Nevil, Peter Gabriel, Bono, Carlos Santana, John Legend, Herbie Hancock, Josh Groban and Cassandra Wilson. Kidjo's hits include the songs "Agolo", "We We", "Adouma", "Wombo Lombo", "Afirika", "Batonga", and her version of "Malaika".

Yayi Boni


Thomas Yayi Boni is a Beninese banker and politician who has been President of Benin since 6 April 2006. He took office after winning the March 2006 presidential election and was re-elected to a second term in March 2011. He also served as the Chairperson of the African Union from 29 January 2012 to 27 January 2013.

Hubert Maga


Coutoucou Hubert Maga was a politician from Dahomey. He arose on a political scene where one's power was dictated by what region in Dahomey they lived. Born a peasant in 1916, Maga served as a schoolmaster from 1936 to 1945, during which time he gradually gained considerable influence among the uneducated. He was elected to Dahomey's territorial assembly in 1947 and founded the Northern Ethnical Group, later renamed the Dahomey Democratic Rally. In 1951, Maga was elected to the French National Assembly, where he served in various positions, including premier from 1959 to 1960. When Dahomey gained its independence from France on August 11, 1960, Maga was appointed to the presidency, and was officially elected to that post on December 11. During Maga's term of office, Dahomey's economy collapsed; there was little foreign investment and unemployment rose. In response, he launched a four-year plan in January 1962, the basis of which was to increase agricultural production by forcing the nation's youths to work on the land. Maga also faced a national crisis of unity, culminating in a failed assassination plot against him in May 1961 led by the main opposition leader, Justin Ahomadegbé-Tomêtin. Ahomadegbé-Tomêtin was jailed, and by the time of his release in November 1962, a single-party state had been established and the opposition press had been restricted. In 1963, convicted murderer Christophe Bokhiri was released from prison, prompting riots around the country, but the focus of the rioting soon shifted toward Maga's problems as president. The riots became so serious that the Chief of Staff of the Dahomeyan Army, Christophe Soglo, took control of the country in October to prevent a civil war. After forcing Maga to resign, Soglo gave him, Ahomadégbé-Tomêtin, and vice president Sourou Migan Apithy, the titles of Minister of State.

Lionel Loueke


Lionel Loueke is a guitarist born in the west African country of Benin. He moved to Ivory Coast in 1990 to study at the National Institute of Art. He attended the American School of Modern Music in Paris, France from 1994-1998. In 1999, Loueke was awarded a scholarship to Berklee College of Music, where he earned a degree in Jazz Performance in 2000.

Mathieu Kérékou


Mathieu Kérékou, was President of Benin from 1972 to 1991 and again from 1996 to 2006. After seizing power in a military coup, he ruled the country for 17 years, for most of that time under an officially Marxist-Leninist ideology, before he was stripped of his powers by the National Conference of 1990. He was defeated in the 1991 presidential election, but was returned to the presidency in the 1996 election and controversially re-elected in 2001.

Isabelle Yacoubou

Olympic Basketball Player

Isabelle Yacoubou is a French of Bénin origin professional basketball player. She plays for France women's national basketball team. She has competed in the 2012 Summer Olympics where France won the silver medal. She is 1.95 m tall. She plays for Turkish Champion Fenerbahçe.


Blues Artist

Aituaje Iruobe, who is mostly known as WAJE which is the acronym for “Words aren’t just enough” is a Nigerian singer whose vocal range covers three octaves. The lady behind the remake of P-Square’s “Omoge Mi” and the female voice in the duo’s 2008 hit track “Do Me”, Banky W "Thief my Kele", M.I "One Naira"

Coffi Codjia


Coffi Codjia is a Beninese football referee. An international referee since 1994, Codjia was a referee at the FIFA World Cup in 2002 and 2006, the FIFA Confederations Cup in 1999 and 2003 and the African Cup of Nations in 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, in which he was the referee for the final, and 2010 Codjia was one of the 38 preselected referees for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, but did not make the final list of 30. Coffi Codjia refereed the Algeria v Egypt match in the 2010 African Cup of Nations. A total of three red cards were handed out to Algerian players. After the game, CAF decided to ban Coffi for failing to give out a red card for Algerian goalkeeper Faouzi Chaouchi, when he head-butted the referee. Chaouchi was furious with Coffi's call for an Egyptian penalty kick which was badly executed by the Egyptian player that made him confront the referee and appeared to head butt him. Coffi showed Chaouchi only a yellow card for his behavior. However, Chaouchi eventually was sent off near the end of the match for his second yellow card. This incident and the subsequent suspension is likely part of the reason he was not included in the list of officials for the 2010 World Cup.

Bernardin Gantin


Bernardin Gantin was a prominent Beninese cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Metropolitan Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cotonou and then at the Vatican in the service of the Holy See as President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and then as Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for Bishops. Ultimately, he served as Dean of the Sacred College of Cardinals, a post his French consecrator as a bishop once held and the same position Joseph Ratzinger had after Gantin and before his election as Pope Benedict XVI. He was the highest ranking Catholic to come from Africa since ancient times, when some Popes were believed to have come from there. He enjoyed a close relationship with Pope John XXIII, Popes Paul VI and John Paul I, and most especially, with Pope John Paul II and his fellow curial cardinal and future Pope, Joseph Ratzinger. Like many senior African prelates of his era, he was relatively conservative, but was esteemed by both his native land and for his work in Rome. He is a possible candidate for canonization, and his tomb in Ouidah, which is frequently visited, was visited personally by Pope Benedict during the Papal Visit to Benin. In May of 2013, Vatican officials inaugurated a Chair about "Socializing Policy in Africa" bearing his name at the Pontifical Lateran University.

Sourou-Migan Apithy


Sourou-Migan Marcellin Joseph Apithy was a Beninese political figure most active when his country was known as Dahomey. He arose on a political scene where one's power was dictated by what region in Dahomey they lived. Apithy studied at Bordeaux in a Lycée or secondary school. After he completed his studies there, he was accepted at the public Political Science School in Paris where he took courses in commercial studies. He later worked at a French company in Western Africa as an expert accountant. Before his country acquired its independence, beginning 1945, he was part of Dahomey's Constitutive Assembly and was re-elected for a number of terms. When Hubert Maga nominated him to that function, he was also the prime minister of Dahomey from 1957 to 1958. By 1960, he had become vice president of the Republic. He served as the president of Benin between 25 January 1964 and 27 November 1965, when he was overthrown by Christophe Soglo after infighting among the members of the government. After this event he fled to Paris for the first time but he returned to Cotonou after the 1970 coup, when he became a member of the Presidential Triumvirate during the early 1970s. Following the 1972 coup, he was put under arrest alongside Justin Ahomadegbé-Tomêtin and Maga, and was not released until 1981.

Oumar Tchomogo

Soccer Forward

Oumar Tchomogo is a Beninese footballer who plays as a forward for Rhône-Alpes Honneur Regional Ligue side Union Montilienne Sportive Football.

Emile Derlin Zinsou


Emile Derlin Zinsou is a Beninese political figure who was the President of Dahomey from 17 July 1968 until 10 December 1969, supported by the military regime that took power in 1967. Zinsou also served in the French senate from 1955 to 1958. He was previously Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1962 to 1963 and again from 1965 to 1967. He is said to have opposed the one-party Marxist policies of Mathieu Kérékou, who ruled Benin from 1972 to 1990. Zinsou was present at the signing of the treaty that formed the African Union on 12 July 2000 in Togo. He was born in Ouidah.

Marc Aillet


Marc Marie Max Aillet is the current bishop of Bayonne since his episcopal installation on 30 November 2008. He had previously served as vicar general of the diocese of Fréjus-Toulon. Aillet was born in 1957 in Parakou, Benin. He studied classics in Paris. He entered the Medicine faculty for a year before entering the major seminary in Genoa. He was ordained a priest on 3 July 1982 for the diocese of Genoa by Cardinal Giuseppe Siri. He was a student at the University of Friburg,where he completed a licence in moral theology with a thesis entitled: "Lire la Bible avec saint Thomas – Le passage de la "lettera" à la "res" dans la Somme Théologique". He returned to France where he was incardinated in the diocese of Fréjus-Toulon where he worked as a chaplain at the college of Saint-Raphaël. He served as a professor of moral theology in the major seminary of Toulon from 1985-1992. After this he was responsible for the formation of priestly students in the diocese of Blois. He served as parish priest of Saint-Raphaël from 1998–2002 and since 2001 he served as an episcopal vicar and from 2002 vicar general of the diocese of Fréjus-Toulon. He was elected Cathederal canon in 2003.

Pascal Koupaki


Pascal Irénée Koupaki is a Beninese politician who served as Prime Minister of Benin from May 2011 to August 2013. Koupaki worked as an official at the Central Bank of West African States and the International Monetary Fund, and he was Director of the Cabinet of the Prime Minister from 1996 to 1998. Under President Yayi Boni, Koupaki was Minister of Finance from 2006 to 2007 and then Minister of State for the Exploration, Development, and Evaluation of Public Policy from 2007 to 2011.

Djiman Koukou

Soccer Midfielder

Djiman Waidi Koukou is a Beninese footballer who currently plays as a midfielder for French Ligue 2 side Chamois Niortais.

Adrien Houngbédji


Adrien Houngbédji is a Beninese politician and the leader of the Democratic Renewal Party, one of Benin's main political parties. He was President of the National Assembly of Benin from 1991 to 1995, Prime Minister of Benin from 1996 to 1998, and President of the National Assembly for a second time from 1999 to 2003. He has stood as a candidate in every presidential election since 1991.

Samuel Oshoffa


Samuel Bilehou Joseph Oshoffa was the founder of the Celestial Church of Christ after reportedly resurrecting people from the dead. He founded the church in 1947 after being lost for three months near Porto-Novo in Benin. The church now has its main offices in Nigeria. Five percent, or 400,000, of the 8,000,000 people of Benin are Celestial Christians. Oshoffa was reported to have had 34 wives and 150 children when he died in 1985 although some say these figures are high.

Yannick Aguemon

Soccer Midfielder

Yannick Aguemon is a French football player who currently plays for French club Vannes in Championnat National. He plays as either a striker or a winger. Aguemon made his professional debut for Toulouse on 31 August 2011 in a Coupe de la Ligue match against Nice.

Damien Chrysostome

Soccer Defender

Damien Koffi Anderson Chrysostome is a Beninese international footballer.

Jean-Marc Adjovi-Bocco

Soccer Defender

Jean-Marc Adjovi-Bocco is a former Beninese football player. Bocco captained the Benin national football team, until he retired from international football in the summer of 1997. He is famous in Scotland for his time with Hibernian, where fans knew him as Jimmy Boco. Jimmy Adjovi-Boco, Bernard Lama, Patrick Vieira & Saer Seck founded Diambars, a worldwide project that aims to turn children's passion for football into an educational driving force.

Serge Nyuiadzi


Serge Komla Nyuiadzi is a Togolese footballer who currently plays as a winger and forward for Lithuanian side ┼Żalgiris Vilnius.

Nouhoum Kobéna

Soccer Midfielder

Nouihoum Kobenan is a Beninese international football player who currently plays in for Kotkan Työväen Palloilijat in Finland.

Justin Ahomadégbé-Tomêtin


Justin Ahomadegbé-Tomêtin was a Beninese politician most active when his country was known as Dahomey. He arose on a political scene where one's power was dictated by what region in Dahomey they lived. He served as president of the National Assembly of Dahomey from April 1959 to November 1960 and as prime minister of Benin from 1964 to 1965. Ahomadégbé became President as part of a system that rotated the office between three leading political figures: Ahomadégbé, Hubert Maga, and Sourou-Migan Apithy. Maga peacefully handed power to Ahomadégbé on May 7, 1972. On October 26, 1972, he was overthrown in a coup d'état led by Mathieu Kérékou. All three remained under house arrest until 1981.

Romuald Hazoumè


Romuald Hazoumè is an artist from the Republic of Bénin, best known for his work La Bouche du Roi, a reworking of the 1789 image of the slave ship Brookes. La Bouche du Roi was widely exhibited in the United Kingdom as part of the centenary remembrance of the Slave Trade Act 1807 by Parliament. Hazoumè is also known for his mask series. He started this phase of his art in the mid-1980s. These masks, made from discarded gasoline canisters, resemble those used in traditional African culture and ceremonies. In explaining these works, Hazoumè has said: “I send back to the West that which belongs to them, that is to say, the refuse of consumer society that invades us every day.” Hazoumè is among the artists represented in The Contemporary African Art Collection of Jean Pigozzi.

Mohamed Chikoto


Mohamed Francisco Chikoto is a Nigerien football player, who currently plays for Tunisian club AS Marsa.

Jean Pliya


Jean Pliya is a playwright and short story writer from Benin.

Anicet Adjamossi

Soccer Midfielder

Anicet Kayodé Adjamossi is a Beninese football player who is currently playing for Mogas 90 FC.

Jocelyn Ahouéya

Soccer Midfielder

Jocelyn Ahouéya is a Beninese footballer. He currently plays for AS Beauvais Oise.

Nouréini Tidjani-Serpos


Born the 15 January 1946 in Porto-Novo, Nouréini Tidjani-Serpos studied literature in France and obtained a PhD and a the subject from the University of Lille III. As well as being fluent in several African languages, he speaks English and French and reads Spanish fluently. N. Tidjani-Serpos is married and the father of two sons and two daughters.

Daniel Gbaguidi

Soccer Forward

Daniel Gbaguidi is a Beninese international football player. Currently, he plays in the Championnat de France amateur for FC Mulhouse.

Sidoine Oussou

Soccer Forward

Sidoine Oussou is a Beninese soccer player.

Olympe Bhely-Quenum


Olympe Bhêly-Quénum is a Beninese writer, journalist and magazine editor. Born in Ouidah, Benin, Bhêly-Quénum had his primary education in Benin from 1938 to 1944, after which he traveled throughout his native country, Nigeria, his maternal grandmother's country, and Ghana, where he learned English. In 1948 he went to France and undertook his secondary studies at the College Littré, in Avranches, Normandy. He worked as a teacher and trained as a diplomat, before turning to journalism. He was Editor-in-Chief and then Director of an African magazine entitled La Vie Africaine until 1964. He subsequently joined UNESCO in Paris. He is the author of several works of fiction published in French. He won the Grand prix littéraire d'Afrique noire for Le Chant du lac in 1966. His first novel Un Piège Sans Fin was translated into English as Snares Without End and has been called "an un-put-downable tragedy".

Alphonse Alley


Alphonse Amadou Alley was a Beninese army officer and political figure. He was most active when his country was known as Dahomey. He was born in Bassila, central Dahomey, and enrolled in schools in Togo, Cote d'Ivoire, and Senegal before enlisting in the French army in 1950. He saw combat in Indochina from 1950 to 1953, in Morocco from 1955 to 1956, and in Algeria from 1959 to 1961. After the coup in 1965, President Christophe Soglo promoted Alley Chief of Staff of the Army. Young army officer Maurice Kouandété was appointed Alley's chef de cabinet in 1967. Kouandété launched another coup against Soglo on December 17, but he was forced to hand power to Alley two days later. His administration oversaw the creation of a new constitution and a presidential election, Dahomey's first since 1964. The results were annulled because of a boycott that prevented almost three-quarters of the country from voting. Alley lost popularity with the suggestion that the military should retreat back to the barracks, and was eventually reduced to a mouthpiece for Kouandété. On July 17, 1968, Alley was forced to hand power to Emile Zinsou, a veteran politician. Alley's retirement was marked by a series of discharges from the military, trials, and prison sentences. At one trial, Zinsou's conduct sparked another coup led by Kouandété. On October 26, 1972, Mathieu Kérékou seized power in a coup. He ended Alley's military career, as well as that of every other senior officer, and named Alley commissioner of the National Oil Wells, a role with very little responsibiity. Kérékou accused Alley of plotting against him on February 28, 1973, and sentenced the latter to 20 years in prison. He died on March 28, 1987.

Mohamed Aoudou

Soccer Forward

Mohamed Aoudou is a Beninese international footballer who plays for Moroccan side COD Meknès, as a striker.

Christophe Soglo


Christophe Soglo was a Beninese military officer and political leader and one of the most important figures in Benin's period of political instability and frequent, though usually bloodless, coups during the 1960s.

Yosif Ayuba

Football player

Yosif Ayuba is a Beninese footballer of Swedish decent who plays as a defender and midfielder. He is a free agent and his latest club was Djurgårdens IF.

Arnaud Séka

Football player

Sylvestre Arnaud Séka is a Beninese football player who currently plays in Benin for Tonnerre d'Abomey FC.

Wassiou Oladipupo


Wassiou Okalawom Oladipupo is a Beninese footballer who currently plays for Soleil FC.

Dinalo Adigo


Dinalo Christiano Adigo is a former Beninese football player who works now as Head Coach by FC Schönberg 95.

Seidath Konabe Tchomogo

Soccer Midfielder

Séïdath Konabe Tchomogo is a Beninese midfielder who plays for Panthères FC. Tchomogo was part of the Beninese 2004 African Nations Cup team. He also played at the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship in the Netherlands.

Frédéric Dohou


Frédéric Dohou is a political figure from Benin. He holds a PhD in Development Economics and he held several ministerial posts under the chairmanship of Mathieu Kérékou. Founder of the University of Science and Technology of Benin, it is currently the chairman of the board of the Network of Universities of Science and Technology of the Countries of Africa south of the Sahara.

Paulin Soumanou Vieyra

Film Director

Paulin Soumanou Vieyra was a Beninese/Senegalese film director and historian. As he lived in Senegal after age ten, he is more associated to that nation. In 1955 in Paris he shot the first Francophone African film, Afrique sur Seine. He did other important things for film in Africa, such as founding the "Fédération panafricaine des cinéastes" in 1969. In 1961 he married poet Myriam Warner of Guadeloupe. One of his sisters is Justine Vieyra, born in Parakou. In 1971 he was a member of the jury at the 7th Moscow International Film Festival. Two years later, he was a member of the jury at the 8th Moscow International Film Festival. In 1985 he was a member of the jury at the 14th Moscow International Film Festival.

Luc Gnacadja


Luc-Marie Constant Gnacadja is a Beninese politician and an architect. Under President Mathieu Kérékou, he was Minister of the Environment, Housing, and Urban Planning from June 1999 to February 2005. Gnacadja was the candidate of the Envol movement in the March 2006 presidential election, receiving 11th place and 0.68% of the vote. Gnacadja was awarded the Green Award 2002 by the World Bank in March 2003. In September 2007, Gnacadja was appointed as Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, after he was endorsed by the Bureau of the Conference of the Parties of the UNCCD. In applying for the position, Gnacadja was said to have been backed by Beninese President Yayi Boni.

Georges Adéagbo


Georges Adéagbo is a Beninese sculptor known for his work with found objects. A native of Cotonou, Adéagbo studied law in Abidjan before moving to France to continue his studies. He returned to Benin in 1971 upon the death of his father, and began creating installations and environments in isolation from family and society. By the early 1990s he had begun to receive recognition, culminating in the reception of the Prize of Honor at the Venice Biennale in 1999. Adéagbo gathers the material for his art wherever he travels. Adéagbo lives and works in Cotonou. Some of his works are in The Contemporary African Art Collection of Jean Pigozzi.

Zomahoun Idossou Rufin


Zomahoun Idossou Rufin, popularly known as Zomahon, is a Beninese foreign personality in Japan. He is currently the Ambassador of the Republic of Benin to Japan. Zomahoun was born in Dassa-Zoumé, Dahomey. He attended National University of Benin and Beijing Language and Culture University in Beijing, China. Since 1996, he has been a student at Sophia University in Tokyo, where he is completing a Ph.D. in sociology. He can speak Yoruba, Fon, French, English, Mandarin and Japanese. In 1998, Zomahoun was "discovered" by a TBS executive and became a cast member of Koko ga hen da yo, nihonjin. In a pool of 100 foreigners voicing their displeasure about certain aspects of Japanese society, he was usually picked due to his hyperactive Japanese speech, causing him to trip over his words and prompting the celebrity panel to yell "Speak slowly!" at him. He was one of the show's leading stars until its end in 2002. With the help of host Takeshi Kitano, Zomahoun built four schools in Benin, two of which are named after Kitano. Additionally, he won a People's Honor Award in Benin in 2002.

Oscar Olou

Soccer Midfielder

Oscar Olou is a Beninese international footballer who plays for French club Romorantin as a midfielder.

Moussa Latoundji


Moussa Latoundji is a Beninese footballer.

Mathieu Adeniyi

Soccer Midfielder

Mathieu Adeniyi is a Beninense football player who plays for OC Cesson in France.

Jean Sagbo


Jean Gregoire Sagbo is a Benin-born Russian real estate agent and politician. His position is councilor of Novozavidovo. Sagbo is the first Russian of African descent, or Afro-Russian, to have been elected in the Russian Federation. He has been referred to as "Russia's Obama". Sagbo immigrated to the USSR in 1982 to study economics in Moscow. He married a woman from Novozavidovo, a town of approximately 10,000 people located 100 km north of Moscow, and moved there in 1989. He has two children. During his first year in Novozavidovo, Tver Oblast his then-4 year old son Maxim was spat upon. Sagbo confronted the spitter and eventually other onlookers supported Sagbo. Racial attacks have taken place numerous times in Russia, 49 times in Moscow in one year according to an advocacy group. Sagbo speaks in French-African accented Russian. About 10 years prior to his first election, he organized a volunteer effort for an annual garbage collection day. He also planted flowers and cleaned streets in front of his home without pay. As a councilor, Sagbo collected donations to turn dilapidated lots between buildings into parks. Sagbo was elected in 2010. He has expressed annoyance at being referred to as "Russia's Obama" because the two are both merely black. The position of councilor is unpaid.

Moudachirou Amadou


Moudachirou Amadou is a Beninese footballer who plays for TSV Bernhausen.

Junior Salomon

Soccer Defender

Salomon Junior is a Beninese football player who currently plays ASEC Abidjan.

Christian Akande Kotchoni

Soccer Forward

Christian Akande Kotchoni is a Beninese international football player who currently plays for Requins de l'Atlantique FC.

Félicien Singbo

Soccer Defender

Félicien Houenou Singbo is a Beninois football player who plays for the Benin national football team. In 2003, he received a French passport.

Salomon Wisdom


Michel Wisdom Salomon Aka is a Beninese international football player.

Calixte Dakpogan


Calixte Dakpogan is a Beninese sculptor known for his installations as well as his masks made out of diverse and original found materials. A native of Pahou, he currently lives and works in Porto Novo. Much of his work is inspired by his Voudon heritage. Many of his masks are part of The Contemporary African Art Collection of Jean Pigozzi and are exhibited in major group shows in museums around the world.

Achille Rouga

Football player

Rachid Achille Rouga is a Beninese international footballer who plays for Avrankou Omnisport FC.

Florent Couao-Zotti


Florent Couao-Zotti is a writer of comics, plays, and short stories, who lives in Cotonou, Benin. He is fond of employing the short-story as a form. He is also editor of several satirical magazines and a cultural columnist.

Barthélemy Adoukonou


Barthélemy Adoukonou is Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Culture since his appointment by Pope Benedict XVI on 3 December 2009. He was previously Secretary-General both of the Conférence Épiscopale Régionale de l'Afrique de l'Ouest Francophone and of the Association of Episcopal Conferences of Anglophone West Africa, and was a consultor of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. As well as the languages of the two West African international conferences, he speaks Italian and German. Adoukonou was born in Abomey, Benin in 1942. He was ordained priest on 16 December 1966. After teaching in the St Jranne d'Arc minor seminary of Ouidah, and being chaplain and teacher at the Aufiais College in Cotonou, and assistant parish priest of St Francis of Assisi at Bohicon, Abomey, he spent 1971 to 1977 continuing his studies in religious sociology in Paris, and then of theology at the University of Ratisbonne, where he earned his doctorate. He was meant to present his dissertation to the current Pope in June 1977, but Ratzinger suddenly asked him to hurry up and finish it earlier so he could move the presentation forward to March 77. Between 1977 and 1984 he was rector of the Minor Seminary of St. Paul at Djimi, Abomey, Missionary Professor at the University of West Africa in Abidjan and professor of methodology of research in human and social sciences at the University of the State of Abomey-Calavi and at the Major Seminary of Saint Gall in Ouidah, Benin. From 1988 to 1999 he was Rector of the Benin Propaedeutic Seminary at Missérété, Porto Novo.

Mathieu Gnanligo

Olympic Track and field Athlete

Mathieu Gnanligo is a Beninese sprinter who specializes in the 400 metres. His personal best time is 45.88 seconds, achieved in the heats of the 2008 African Championships in Addis Ababa. He won a bronze medal at the 2007 All-African Games and finished seventh at the 2008 African Championships. He also competed at the 2007 World Championships and the 2008 Olympic Games without reaching the final round.

Antoine Idji Kolawolé


Antoine Idji Kolawolé is a Beninese politician. He was the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Benin from 1998 to 2003 and the President of the National Assembly from 2003 to 2007. Under President Mathieu Kérékou, Kolawolé served as Minister of Foreign Affairs from May 1998 to May 2003, when he resigned. In the March 2003 parliamentary election, his party, the African Movement for Development and Progress, participated in the Presidential Movement, which supported Kérékou, and Kolawolé was elected as President of the National Assembly on April 25, 2003. Kolawolé holds the position of First Vice-President of MADEP, and in September 2005 he was designated as the party's presidential candidate for the March 2006 presidential election. In the election, he took fifth place with 3.25% of the vote in the first round. He was re-elected to the National Assembly in the March 2007 parliamentary election as part of the Alliance for a Dynamic Democracy. Mathurin Nago was elected by the National Assembly to succeed Kolawolé as its President on May 3, 2007.

Wilfried Tevoedjre


Wilfried Tevoedjre is a Beninese swimmer specializing in freestyle. He competed in the 50 m event at the 2012 Summer Olympics and in the 50m event at the 2013 World Aquatics Championships.

Jacob Nel Gnahoui

Olympic Judo Athlete

Jacob Gnahoui is a Beninese judoka.

Abdoulaye Ouzérou

Soccer Forward

Abdoulaye Ouzérou is a Beninese international football player who currently plays for Buffles du Borgou FC.

Sophie Ducasse


Sophie Ducasse is a model, actress and television presenter.

Rogatien Biaou


Rogatien Biaou is a Beninese politician and diplomat. Biaou was the Foreign Minister of Benin from June 12, 2003 to February 16, 2006. He was fired after President Mathieu Kérékou discovered Biaou's sale of land surrounding the Embassy of Benin in Washington to a U.S. company in 2002 was corrupt.

Shafiq Chitou

Professional Boxer

Shafiq Chitou is a Beninese boxer. He qualified to compete in boxing at the 2012 Summer Olympics, but funding woes are a concern for him. He currently works as a house painter. Chitou lost to Félix Verdejo in the first round of the Men's lightweight event.

Didier Chabi


Didier Chabi is an actor, cinematographer, screenwriter, and a film director, producer and editor.

David Djigla


David Djigla is a Beninese soccer player.

Basile Adjou Moumouni


Basile Adjou Moumouni is a Beninese physician. He was active in his native country when the west Africa country of Republic of Benin was called Dahomey. Spending almost his entire adult life outside his native country, he worked for the World Health Organization in Brazzaville. In the 1968 presidential election, he won with over 80 percent of the vote. This decision was annulled, however, by incumbent President Alphonse Alley because organised demonstrations prohibited almost three-quarters of the electorate from casting their ballots.

Tony Toklomety

Soccer Defender

Tony Toklomety is a Beninese football player who plays for Enyimba International F.C..

Aziz Balagoun

Soccer Goalkeeper

Aziz Balagoun is a Beninese international footballer. He currently plays in Belgium for K.M.S.K. Deinze.

Nestor Assogba


Nestor Assogba is a retired Beninese Roman Catholic archbishop. He was ordained as a priest on December 21, 1957 and appointed Bishop of Parakou on April 10, 1976. He was ordained on July 25 of that year. He served as Archbishop of Parakou from October 16, 1997 until October 29, 1999 when he was appointed Archbishop of Cotonou. He served in Cotonou for 5 and a half years before retiring from service on March 5, 2005.

Koffi Kôkô


Koffi Kôkô is a dancer, choreographer and an actor.

Valère Amoussou


Valère Amoussou is a Beninese football player who, is currently playing for AS Porto-Novo.

Benoît Sinzogan


Benoît Sinzogan is a Beninese military officer and politician, best known for leading his country's gendarmerie in the late 1960s. He was a member of the Fon ethnic group, which dominated the Beninese army from 1965 to 1967. After Maurice Kouandété usurped the presidency on December 17, Sinzogan was placed under house arrest until December 19. That day, Sinzogan was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs, his first political post, which he held until July 1968. He was a member of the Military Directorate, which ruled Dahomey from 1969-1970. Academic Samuel Decalo described the man as "too timid to mount a coup" during the 1960s and 1970s, being "one of Dahomey's few senior officers not to attempt to."

Odile Ahouanwanou

Olympic Track and field Athlete

Odile Ahouanwanou is a track and field athlete.

Rodrigue Akpakoun


Rodrigue Akpakoun is a former Beninese football player.

Gloria Koussihouede


Gloria Koussihouede, occasionally listed in results as "M. Koussihouede", is an Olympic swimmer from Benin. She swam at the 2004 and 2008 Olympics.

Patrice Djokoué

Soccer Midfielder

Patrice Djokoue is a Beninese international football player who currently plays in Benin for Requins.

Sosthène Soglo

Football player

Sosthène Soglo is a Beninese football player who currently plays in Benin for Energie Sports FC.

Safradine Traoré

Soccer Forward

Safradine Traoré is a Beninese international football player who currently plays for Buffles FC.

Justin Savi


Justin Savi, is a professional boxer from Benin who goes by the nickname of "Le Malin". His professional record includes 24 fights: 24 wins. He lives in Cotonou, Benin. On April 16, 2010, he won the first ever WBC silver world title against French boxer Cyril Thomas who quit after 7 rounds.

Bio Aï Traoré

Soccer Defender

Bio Aï Traoré is a Beninese international football player who currently plays in Benin for Panthères FC.

Gnonnas Pedro

Musical Artist

Gnonnan Sossou Pierre Kouassivi, known by the stage name Gnonnas Pedro was a singer and musician from Lokossa, Benin. He is perhaps best known as the lead singer of Africando between 1995 and his death in 2004, but had been well known in his home country of Benin and beyond since the 1960s. Pedro led his own bands Pedro y Sus Panchos, later reforming as Gnonnas Pedro and his Dadjes Band, before joining the long-lived Orchestre Poly-rythmo de Cotonou. As a singer, songwriter, instrumentalist, and dancer, Pedro embraced many styles of music including highlife and juju. Pedro is credited with updating the traditional Agbadja style of his home region, creating Modern Agbadja. He sang in many different languages, including Minad, Adja, Yoruba, French, English, and Spanish. Pedro produced the song Feso Jaiye, which became a hit and was performed by many bands at the 2nd All-Africa Games in 1973. Sekouba Bambino described him as follows: Gnonnas Pedro died August 12, 2004, age 61 of prostate cancer in a hospital of Cotonou, Benin.

Francis Edo-Osagie


Francis Edo Osagie was a notable Nigerian businessman from Benin. He was born into an elite Benin family; his father worked at the forestry department and was also a farmer in Benin. He attended the Baptist primary School in Benin and the Baptist High School, Ibadan for secondary education. After completing his secondary education, he took on a variety of duties, from being a transport clerk, to a sales agent and an accountant. It was while working as an accountant that he noticed the potential of trading in timber, especially the prospective wood resources available in the Southeastern part of the country. He left his job and formed a joint venture with two other partners to explore timber but the venture yielded little as timber prices crashed. After the closure of the venture, he started his own firm, Osagie & Sons. The new venture stayed in the timber business and finally found a successful way of selling timber. The company was advised to explore some areas where Toledo worms seemed to have caused some devastation on some trees. It was discovered that with inspection, and a few work, the core of the trees could be saved. He started exporting large scale timber from the area to Europe and America and was very successful.

Séidou Barazé


Séidou Barazé is a Beninese soccer player.

Saturin Allagbè

Soccer Goalkeeper

Saturin Allagbè is a Beninese soccer player.

Toto Sena Govou

Football player

Toto Sena Govou is a French-Beninese football striker who recently played for the Corgo┼ł Liga club MFK Košice. He made his debut for MFK Košice against FK Senica on 22 April 2011.