Massinissa Akandouch
Massinissa Akandouch.jpg
Akandouch in 2020
Massinissa n Dadi Akandouch Aouattah Bouyfruri

(2001-11-08) 8 November 2001 (age 20)
Al-Hoceima, Rif, Morocco
Other namesMassinissa of the Rif
  • Morocco
  • Spain
  • United Kingdom
OccupationActivist · political leader
Known forParticipant of the Hirak Rif Movement · climate change activism
  • Asmaa Aouattah [es] (mother)
RelativesSalima Ziani (cousin)

Massinissa Akandouch (born Massinissa n Dadi Akandouch Aouattah Bouyfruri, Tamazight pronunciation: /mæsɪˈnɪsə/ and Neo-Tifinagh: ⵎⴰⵙⵙⵉⵏⵉⵙⵙⴰ, also known as Massinissa; born 8 November 2001) is a Moroccan-born Riffian indigenous human rights and climate activist.[1] He is known for his defense of the rights, freedom, cultural and historical heritage of the Amazigh tribes of North Africa.[2][3][4]

Early life

Massinissa was born in Al-Hoceima, Rif, Morocco and later immigrated to Mataró, Catalonia, Spain where he grew up with his family. He is the son of famous Riffian singer-songwriter Abdelhak Akandouch, founder of the band Twattoun [ar],[5] and the Riffian author and activist Asmaa Aouattah [es].[3] Akandouch started his journey as an activist as a child, joining conferences, protests and campaigns that his family organized to promote Amazigh identity, culture and language, feminism, social rights and the independence of Catalonia.[6][3]

Like his father, Massinissa loved arts, and as a child began acting, singing, and music classes. He has starred in various music and art shows in his hometown Mataró. Massinissa and the Akandouch–Aouattah family were featured on the Catalan national TV channel TV3, when Massinissa was only an early teenager, on the show Amb ulls de nen to document the family's lifestyle and tell Massinissa's story.[7]

He is of Riffian descent and holds dual citizenship of Morocco, the United Kingdom, and Spain.[citation needed]


Family activism

Akandouch's mother, Asmaa Aouattah, in 2020.
Akandouch's mother, Asmaa Aouattah, in 2020.
From an interview with El País

“When I was young I didn't want to be Amazigh, nor Riffian. I was ashamed. I straightened my hair with keratin and bleached my skin. Thanks to the Hirak Rif Movement I realized what an honor it is to be who I am and to come from where I come from”.

— Massinissa Akandouch, Barcelona, July 2021[1]

Massinissa grew up in an activist family. His mother was a civil rights leader in the Rif region in the 80s and suffered repression and persecution from the Moroccan authorities. His father, also an activist, wrote and sang popular songs in Riffian, talking about the repression in the region and Riffian leaders like Abd el-Krim. His parents, experiences with racism, social discrimination, and immigrant background, caused activism to be a major part of Massinissa's life since he was born.[8]

Animal rights activism

In 2018, when he was 17 years old,[3] he became involved with the Meat the Victims movement in Europe, exposed allegedly inhumane and illegal conditions of animals at factory farms in Catalonia and rescued animals from those facilities.[9][10][11]

In late 2019, due to public backlash, media, and political attacks, Akandouch wasn't publicly seen doing any animal rights activism anymore and appeared to switch his focus in promoting his culture (Amazigh identity) and various other social causes.[12]

Climate activism

In 2019, Akandouch joined Fridays for Future's Climate Strike in Barcelona as an extension to his activism and joined the 2019 "International Rebellion" actions by Extinction Rebellion in London, Barcelona, and Madrid.

He was invited to the first Catalan Climate Action Summit in Barcelona organized by the Government of Catalonia and attended the COP25 Conference in Madrid organized by the United Nations (other figures like climate activist Greta Thunberg and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also attended the COP25 in Madrid).[13]

See also


  1. ^ a b "La persistente lucha del pueblo 'amazigh' por no caer en el olvido". El País. 29 July 2021.
  2. ^ ""Je suis prof", el nou repte de França". Diari de Barcelona. Diari de Barcelona.
  3. ^ a b c d "Massin, el chaval de 17 años que aterra a los ganaderos catalanes". Crónica Global.
  4. ^ ""Entidades juveniles acercan la justicia global a los jóvenes "". La Vanguardia. Grupo Godó.
  5. ^ ""I think the desperation pushes us to create, to sing, to get the best out of us"". Fundación ACM. Fundación ACM.
  6. ^ "Massin Akandouch, activismo, desobediencia y 'likes' — Deriva".
  7. ^ Escola. La vida social [School. Social life]. Amb ulls de nen (in Catalan). TV3. March 20, 2014.
  9. ^ Benito, Mariam (September 15, 2019). "Terrorismo vegano: "Comer carne es fascista"". La Razón.
  10. ^ "Los 14 conejos 'liberados' de Gurb... y la moda de los turistas veganos que asaltan granjas en Cataluña". ELMUNDO. September 12, 2019.
  11. ^ "Asalto a las granjas". La Vanguardia. July 21, 2019.
  12. ^ "conoce el joven musulman animalista que tiene aterrorizados a los ganaderos españoles".
  13. ^ "COP25: Greta Thunberg Arrives In Madrid". Forbes. Retrieved Dec 6, 2019.