Mamoudou Ndiaye

Senegal Instructor

Mamoudou left formal schooling early to join the world of theater, drumming and dance – he got an important education outside of school and from the world. At a young age he was sent to live in a rural area and work in agriculture. He turned up in a new community where he didn’t speak any of the local languages, and he had to learn a new language from the beginning. This was his sixth language! He helped this community learn the national languages of Wolof and French, which are taught in schools.

Music was always Mamoudou’s greatest love and when he moved back to his hometown of Kolda he immediately rejoined his group of artists, performing live and on the radio. He had his big break when his group won a contract with the Peace Corps, teaching theater, rhythm and dance to young girls in 7 villages as part of an empowerment program. Through that program he developed relationships with many music events for social causes.

Mamoudou first came into contact with Dragons in 2005, when one of his Peace Corps friends started working with Dragons. He has been the drumming mentor with the program ever since, working with nearly all the Dragons groups that have come to Senegal in the past 20 years, and is a well-loved member of the Dragons family, with most groups knowing him by his nickname “Mamoudou Djembe.” Starting off by only teaching drumming, he began to teach also about the traditions and history of Senegal and the surrounding countries in West Africa.

Mamoudou is also a fully trained Youth Camp Counsellor, with attestation from the Ministry of Youth and Education. In 2022, Mamoudou travelled to Nepal where he worked with international schools and did public performances, and also attended Dragons instructor training in the Himalayas. The cold mountains were a very different experience from the beaches, forests and deserts of Senegal.

Mamoudou loves the way that the traditional and modern worlds come together, because they both are a force for rapid learning about the global world. Mamoudou loves answering and asking questions, and also speaks 9 languages.