Dacoumba Diop

At 23, he is a popular and outspoken young Griot rapper

and percussionist who has performed extensively 

throughout Senegal, West Africa and Sweden.  He is an

independent artist and musician now residing in

Sweden and performs with the National Ballet of





Abdoulaye Ndiaye Thiossane

Abdoulaye has spent his life painting, singing, and telling

the stories, struggles, joys and history of his people. One

of the most renowned Senegalese visual artists of the

sixties and one of the lead singers of their National

Ballet, he also penned ‘Fary’ (The She-Donkey) a

narrative tale that was later made into a fi lm. At 74, he

continues to work as an artist in Thies, where he was



Aji Nogoye Mbaye Diop

A traditional praise-singer, dancer and spoken-word poet,

or ‘Tassou’, similar in form to American rap, Aji is from a

large Griot family of artists ranging in spectrum from

storytellers, poets and musicians to singers, dancers and

visual artists. She contributed to her grandson,

percussionist Thione Diop’s most recent U.S. album,

Sunu Africa, and has collaborated with many artists

including her brother, the late Mbaye Donned Mbaye, a

well-known religious, Baay Fall singer.


Doctor Ngagne Mbaye

Born into a large Griot family in Pikine, a suburban area

outside of Dakar, Ngagne was the fi rst in his family to

pursue a profession outside of the arts. After completing

his post graduate studies and his residency at the

Hospital Aristid Le Dantec, he earned his doctorate

in pediatrics and subsequently founded and now

manages two medical clinics, one in Dakar and the other

in Bandia, Senegal. He is committed through his work as

a pediatrician to fi ghting against the spread of disease

and promoting better healthcare in Senegal. He

strongly believes that it is his Griot roots that have been

essential in helping him to succeed in his medical studies and to communicate more effectively in his work with

his patients.


Elhadji Alassane Diop

Married for over 60 years to Aji Nogoye Mbaye Diop

Elhadji has a rich knowledge and wisdom of the Griot tradition and

is the ‘witness of truth’ for the Diop family. Born in Pikine, Senegal in

1912, Elhadji is the descendant of a long line of Griot percussionists.

He has 4 daughters and 2 boys and continues to be the head of his

family’s household even today at the age of 96.


Baboulaye Cissokh 

Touring with many of Senegal’s celebrated musicians including Youssou

Ndour, The National Ballet Sorano, and many others, Baboulaye is

a master Kora player and continues to bring new life to the traditional

songs of this unique and beautiful instrument.


Elhadji Mansour Mbayev

With more than 40 years experience with the National Television

of Senegal, Elhadji is the son of Amadou Mbaye Maodo, one of the

principal Griots in the compound of the marabout Ababacar Sy, Khalif

General of Tijanes in the sixties. With many stories to tell, Elhadji has

an intricate understanding of the many facets of Griot life and has

much to say about how the landscape has changed.


Becaye Mbay

A traditional Griot, Becaye has worked for many years as a journalist

for the National Radio and the National Television of Senegal, and

currently produces and hosts the weekly-featured TV show, “Bantamba”.

He resides in Dakar where he continues to engage viewers and

keep them on the edge of their seats