Art and design inspiration from around the world – CreativeRoots

Inspired by - Africa

The Kings of Africa photographed by Daniel Laine

Posted by rod - 25.05.2009

king1 joseph langanfin benin The Kings of Africa photographed by Daniel Laine

Joseph Langanfin -Benin

king2 oniofife nigeria The Kings of Africa photographed by Daniel Laine

Oni (King) of Ife – Nigeria

king3 ngie kamga joseph fonofbandjun cameroun The Kings of Africa photographed by Daniel Laine

Ngie Kamga Joseph – Fon of Bandjun – Cameroon

king4 halidou sali lamido of bibemi The Kings of Africa photographed by Daniel Laine

Halidou Sali – Lamido of Bibemi – Cameroon

king5 oseadeeyo addo dankwa iii kingofakropong akuapem The Kings of Africa photographed by Daniel Laine

Oseadeeyo Addo Dankwa III – King of Akropong – Akuapem – Ghana

king6 abubaka sidiq sultanofsokoto nigeria The Kings of Africa photographed by Daniel Laine

Abubaka Sidiq – Sultan of Sokoto – Nigeria

king7 hapi iv king of bana cameroun The Kings of Africa photographed by Daniel Laine

Hapi – VI – King of Bana – Cameroon

king8 nyimi kok mabiintosh iii drcongo The Kings of Africa photographed by Daniel Laine

Nyimi Kok Mmabiintosh III – King of Kuba – D. R. Congo

king9 igwe kenneth nnaji onyemaeke orizu iii The Kings of Africa photographed by Daniel Laine

Igwe Kenneth Nnaji Onyemaeke Orizu III – Obie Of Nnewi – Nigeria

king10isienwenro james iyoha inneh nigeria The Kings of Africa photographed by Daniel Laine

Isienwenro James Iyoha Inneh – Ekegbian of Benin – Nigeria

king12 agboli agbo dedjlani benin The Kings of Africa photographed by Daniel Laine

Agboli-Agbo Dedjlani – King of Abomey – Benin

king13 goodwill zwelethini king of zulu The Kings of Africa photographed by Daniel Laine

goodwill Zwelethini – King of Zulu – South Africa

king14 el hadji mamadou kabir usman The Kings of Africa photographed by Daniel Laine

el Hadji Mamadou Kabir Usman – Emir of Katsina – Nigeria

king16 bouba abdoulaye cameroun The Kings of Africa photographed by Daniel Laine

Bouba Abdoulaye – Sultan of Rey-Bouba – Cameroon

king17 aliyu mustapha nigeria The Kings of Africa photographed by Daniel Laine

Aliyu Mustapha – Lamido of Adamawa – Nigeria

king18 oba joseph adekola ogunoye nigeria The Kings of Africa photographed by Daniel Laine

Oba Joseph Adekola Ogunoye – Olowo of Owo – Nigeria

Between the years of 1988 and 1991, French photographer Daniel Laine spent about 12 months on the African continent tracking down and photographing figures of royalty, and leaders of kingdoms.  During this time he managed to photograph 70 monarchs and descendants of the great African dynasties with his work on this series.

Have a look at more photos of african people or designs in our archive.

via Design you can trust. Photos found via Lifelounge

Finished here? Then have a look at these.

32 Comments (add yours?)
  • From: Mike
  • Jun 21, 2009

i love the collection you have here. Although, some of these rulers are no longer in “power”. It’ll be nice to this updated and with more pictures. Good job though.

  • From: Rod
  • Jun 22, 2009

I’ll have a look if I can find some more pictures.

  • From: t bags
  • Jul 22, 2009

i’m pretty sure that if i was black, i would sell everything i own, buy lots of gold jewelry, and move to west africa.

Hi Rod, Fantastic pictures. :) Fascinating to see how other kings have dressed in different countries in Africa. May be to throw people off, it might be funny to add Prince Charles in the pictures. ;)
All the best.

  • From: Hans Dirkse
  • Sep 11, 2009

Beautiful pictures indeed.
But also shameful ripping of someone else’s site!

What a stunning and creative theme. With some background information this would make a great book.

  • From: voice of reason
  • Sep 13, 2009

Wow… people really still question why Africa is so fucked up? Can they do anything? Why build a time machine when you can go back 8000 years to that crap-hole and see how we lived like monkeys, and do it today. Good Luck Africa… are going to need it!

  • Sep 24, 2009


  • From: Cyclonus
  • Sep 25, 2009

Great pics but it would of been nice if you added James Ealr Jones from Coming to America.

  • From: Terry Stone
  • Oct 01, 2009

I would love to know more about the process you used. Did the “kings” select the poses and the items to be photographed? How willing were they? (Were all of them still alive – some look dead!) Did you have any restrictions on what could be used as props, ie I notice an absence of guns.

Tell us more, please.


  • From: spaceface
  • Oct 01, 2009

I second Terry Stone’s request. I’d love to know more about “behind the photographs”.

Just pretty pictures won’t do!

  • From: Rod
  • Oct 01, 2009

If you read the describing text, these photos where taken by Daniel Lainé. His book is available on and contains more pretty pictures. CreativeRoots don’t do case studies.

  • From: Eric
  • Oct 06, 2009

Nice collection and an interesting idea to capture. I could swear I saw goodwill (goodwill Zwelethini – King of Zulu – South Africa) on the cover of a 70′s soul album! (LOL)

  • From: petechef
  • Oct 08, 2009

now a picture forms…no wonder Africa has so much crap to contend with!!!

  • From: koco
  • Jan 28, 2010

pure beautiful!

I like this collection of cultural representation.
Another nice addition would be to place some of the western world next to these, and see some similarities.

i thought that the kings used to put a crown on the head. i mean a golden crown. but what im seen is not that , so were goes all gold of africa , and the kings shouldnt dress with fine cloths . hell what is that?

  • From: Roerich
  • Jul 02, 2010

Interesanta ar fi o CARTE despre acesti regi africani

[...] then thought back to Daniel Laine’s African Kings series. It is old work now (completed in 1988/91) but I am still impressed by the access Laine [...]

  • From: De Carr Beauty
  • Sep 19, 2010

These photos by Daniel Lainé are amazing. The images are definitely worth a thousand words. It’s nice to see they have become catalyst for so many remarks… even the unintelligent ones. Thanks for rematerializing such interesting work CreativeRoots!

  • From: Major
  • Oct 02, 2010

Thank you for reminding me of where i inherited my appreciation for colors.
Long live the kings of Africa!

[...] же прекрасные африканские короли, кто не видел. Россия представлена, разумеется, в [...]

  • From: sidiq
  • Nov 10, 2010

kok nma sma orangnya muirip samasidiq temank

This is excellent. Just bought the book which apparently is now out of print last week! Great to see imagery on African royalty! Thank you for sharing!

  • From: lloyshae
  • Dec 13, 2010

the pictures are great! i recommend you to take pictures of the queen or princes:]

  • From: rank
  • Jan 02, 2011


These are great pictures. but as my friend said we need to recognize the existence of queens in our locality.

  • From: Cmamma
  • Apr 27, 2011

I have a friend (seriously) on Face Book who just commented today about being frustrated with all the media coverage of the”Royal Wedding”. He expressed that there would never be this much coverage of an African wedding and goes on to it being a racist thing. What are our thoughts on this and why won’t they cover an African wedding as such? Just curious to hear some other thoughts on the subject.

  • From: giuseppe
  • Jan 22, 2012

photographies sont belles et montrent toute leur majesté

  • From: JOHN MENS
  • Feb 18, 2013

I am triiled about your Photography it really shows the great Culture of African people

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