Country: Ivory Coast (Cote d’Ivoire)
Why We Love Her: Marguerite created the fun vibrant graphic novel – Aya based on her upbringing. It focuses on the 19 year old heroine, Aya, in Abidjan in the late ’70s and then closer to the present day in the follow up books Aya: Love In Yop City and Aya: The Secrets Come Out. We follow Aya’s daily life in Abidjan, which includes politics, meddling relatives, the disco scene and all the adventures of growing up. She wrote Aya show a different side of Africa to outsiders and it has been incredibly successful. The first graphic novel in the series won the 2006 Angoulême International Comics Festival Prize for First Comic Book and has even been made into an animated feature film.
I feel like girls were not really involved in comics, and comics were not really for girls. I hated when I was young to read superheroes. Except for Spider-Man. He was a normal guy — he was having affairs with girls. – Marguerite, Abouet
“As an African person living in France, I don’t want to see how badly the media represents the Ivory Coast. The African people have enough of these very bad, miserable images of Africa that the media will show. Even now people will still say to me, “I’m not going to Africa because I’m really afraid to see all these miserable people.” It’s almost as easy as saying you don’t want to go to the United States because you’re afraid to get a bullet in the head. ” – Marguerite Abouet