Black Excellence: 5 Influential Africans In Spain

by Duke Magazine

Africans in Spain can be described as Afro-Spaniards who are made up of an estimated 2.4% of the population in Spain; second largest minority after the Hispanic-American population. This Afro-Spaniard population constitutes immigrants from Sub-Sahara and Sahara Africa countries like Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, Senegal, Angola and Cameroon, Morocco, Algeria, Western Sahara and, Tunisia.

However, the influence and contributions of these Africa descents in Spain cannot be undermined as they are indeed a maestro in their respective crafts.

Ignacio Garriga

Influential Afro-Spaniard

Ignacio Garriga Vaz de Concicao is a renowned Spanish professor of dentistry before having a foray into politics. Born in 1987 to a Catalan father and Equatoguinean mother, Garriga is identified as the  first notable elected Black politician within Vox. Often referred to as “Black Catalan of Vox,” he is the leader of Vox in Barcelona.

The 33-year-old politician currently sits as the member of the Congress of Deputies, the seat he occupies since 2019.

Emilio Buale

Influential Afro-Spaniard

Ludwig Emilio Buale Coka Spanish actor, popular for his role as Baharat in the sci-fi horror movie “The Platform” (2019). Born in 1972 to Equatoguinean parents, he was a member of the National Classical Theater Company of Spain for a couple of years appearing in many of stage productions such as “La entretenida”, “Amar después de la muerte”, “Los chicos de la banda” and “Yonquis y Yanquis”.

Buale’s eloquence as a polyglot (fluent in Spanish, English, French, and Bube) has enabled him to star in different films, short films, television series.

Bisila Bokoko

Influential Afro-Spaniard

Bisila África Bokoko Toichoa is a Spanish-born American business mogul and philanthropist. Born in 1974 with Equatoguinean root, Bisila is the founder and CEO of BBES, a New York-based business development agency that represents, promotes and markets brands internationally.

Having had a stint as a legal assistant and as the Executive Director of the Spain-US Chamber of Commerce (2005-2012), she launched Bisila Wines, an international wine brand made in Spain.

In her bid of giving back to her world, Bisila founded BBALP (Bisila Bokoko African Literacy Project), a nonprofit organization with the headquarters in New York City. BBALP is committed to promoting literacy across the continent through the opening of libraries. 

The 46-year-old businesswoman sits as an advisory board member of United Nations EMPRETEC Women Programs fostering entrepreneurship skills among women in Latin America, Africa and the Middle East.

Luc André Diouf

Influential Afro-Spaniard

Luc André Diouf Dioh is a Spanish politician who dubs as a trade unionist and syndicalist. Born in 1965 to Senegalese parents, Diouf was raised Roman Catholic and most of his community was Christian. Having received a bachelors in economics from Cheikh Anta Diop University in Senegal, Diouf sought for a greener pasture to Lyon and then Gran Canaria at where he was homeless for 42 days and had to sleep on the beach. 

Acquiring his Spanish citizenship in 2001, Diouf has actively participated in politics, at where he was elected to the 13th Congress of Deputies in 2019. 

The 56-year-old parliamentarian is a polyglot fluent in Spanish, French, Wolof, and Serer languages.

Elvira Dyangani Ose

Influential Afro-Spaniard

Elvira Dyangani Ose is a Spanish born art curator. She is the director of The Showroom gallery, London. Born in 1974 to Equatoguinean parents, Elvira is highly enthused with art works and began creating pop-up exhibitions. She holds a bachelors in Art History from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. The fascination of curating art prompted Elvira is further her academic pursuit by obtaining her Master of Advanced Studies degree in Theory and History of Architecture from the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (Barcelona) and a Master of Arts in History of Art and Visual Studies from Cornell University. Dyangani Ose also obtained her P.h.D. in History of Art and Visual Studies from Cornell University.

The 46-year-old curator has lectured on modern and contemporary African art and has been responsible for many international arts and museum projects.

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