South Africa: at "Comic Con Africa", the fashion of "cosplay" wins video game fans

In South Africa, the "Comic Con", the largest event for fans of superheroes, video games and heroic fantasy closes its doors this Monday evening. It was held all weekend in Johannesburg for its fourth edition in the country. Video game competitions take place there, especially on Fifa or Counter Strike, board game tournaments. But another unofficial contest is held in the aisles of the festival: that of best cosplay.

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A "cosplayer" at "Comic Con Africa" in Johannesburg, September 23, 2023. AFP - LUCA SOLA

By: RFI Follow


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With our correspondent in Johannesburg, Romain Chanson

Cosplay is disguise that imitates fictional characters. This practice is growing in South Africa. It's not just children or young adults who dress up, parents too. This father is disguised as Stoïck the brute, a character inspired by the animated films Dragons. "This is a first for me," he says.

But what does it take to get into cosplay? "A child!" the father replies. "He can't dress up without me!" the son replies. "I spend one of the best days with my son. It's great to see that, especially in this country, when I was young it didn't exist, "says the dad.

A growing practice

The practice of cosplay has been gaining momentum since "Comic Con" was launched in South Africa in 2018. Some cosplayers are professionals, paid to promote a franchise, like Cashmere Tart. "We didn't have many gatherings in South Africa and the comic book community is recent, but it's growing, and very quickly!


Money can be a hindrance to this very expensive hobby. Some cosplayers interpret several characters and therefore make multiple disguises like My Shell Cosplay. "It's very expensive, yes. I dare not tell you how much my costumes cost," she smiles. This year, among the trends, we find cosplays of Barbie, One Piece, and Oppenheimer, three blockbusters released in recent months.

See alsoSouth Africa: the great boom of e-sport

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  • South Africa
  • Society
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