Mamadou Sene

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additional name:
children & youth, earth, emigration, interculturalism, mysticism, oral tradition
Media Arts (radio arts)
Music (griot, sacred music, Wolof)
Performing Arts (children & youth, storytelling)
Djembe, Riti
Africa, Western, Europe, Nordic
Senegal, Gambia, Sweden
created on:
April 22, 2003
last changed on:
Please note: This page has not been updated since May 11, 2004. We decided to keep it online because we think the information is still valuable.
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Mamadou Sene


A link of life and art

Mamadou Sene´s life has not only been an incredible geographical journey, from Senegal, to Gambia to the Nordic Country of Sweden;but also a journey through much cultural variety and territory. Born in the nomadic tribe of Fulani in West Senegal , Mamadou´s music brought him to the bustling city of Dakar, to playing professionally in Gambia and finally to Sweden where he went from busking to becoming a successful actor and musician, creating a one-man show whilst being Artist in Residence at Intercult.
Mamadou´s life experience has formed a remarkable man that performs his mesmerizing story with extraordinary generosity.
It is the richness of tradition, rare talent and modern artistry that blend in a unique audiovisual performance. Music, song, acrobatics and dance are incorporated in a personal performance that moves the senses both with a rare natural theme and refined artistry.

Life and art are closely linked and intertwined in a autobiographical performance.
When Mamadou was eight years old, he was herding his familys cattle. To call his animals, his uncle made for him a riti - an instrument made out of calabash, alligator hyde and horsetail. The riti was used to communicate with the animals , to summon the herd but also to share songs and stories with other boys around the fire.
When Mamadou received the news that his mother had disappeared, he set out to search for her on foot. In the city of Dakar he was reunited with his mother and although he temporarily returned to his tribe and his herd he went back to the Dakar to play music and perform theatre. After working with the National Theatre of Senegal´s Ethnic Ensemble, Mamadou moved the Gambia and worked there as a musician and from there on to Sweden where Jonas Knutson incorporated him in MAMA - a world Music project. Mamadou joined the Stockholm Folk Big Band , playing at the Stockholm Water Festival.

With the Ale Möller band , a band also tuned into the World Music, Mamadou performs regularly at Folk festivals in Sweden and other Nordic countries.
Musicians from different ethnic backgrounds come together and blend their musical roots and talents to create powerful musical improvisation as well as traditional songs and new composing.

Mamadou also performs with a band called Hulling as well as being part of the music group Djëf-Djël ; a group that combines Senegalese and Gambian music , comedy and acrobatics and dance . They use the tama drums : drums that speak. Communication and storytelling are two themes in Mamadou performances and give meaning that reaches across cultural boundaries.

Mamadou has enjoyed much success , nationally and internationally with his one man performance " The Crocodile Violin ".
The performance was created to develop Mamadou particular style of performing and to galvanize his many talents in music, acting,acrobatics and dance.
The Crocodile Violin is being performed Nationally and has collaborated with theatre such as Angereds Teater as well as participated in the Zemun: a Festival of Mono and Pantomime in Belgrade.

As an actor , Mamadou has also collaborated with Teatro delle Albe, touring in Italy and Sweden . In February 2002 , Mamadou received the "Botkyrka Culture Award" for outstanding cross-cultural performance and personality.
Mamadou is a student at the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm where he studies Nordic Folk Music.He is Artist in Residence at Intercult and offers workshops which incorporate dance,acrobatics and drumming.
Author: Annika Salomonsson


Mamadou Sene was born in Senegal. He has lived and worked in Gambia and now resides in Sweden. Sene is presently a student at the Royal Music School in Stockholm where he attends a special program for foreign artists. Mamadou Sene is an actor, musician, acrobat and dancer: in order words, a true performer.


White Sand White Snow

Production / Performance,
A production of Intercult (Stockholm), performed on Intercult´s stage The Annex. White Sand White Snow is a performance for children, featuring intercultural art expression and engaged with environmental issues. Three Culturebase artists take part in the performance: Åsa Simma, actress and authentic Saami jojka singer from Swedish Lappland; Mamadou Sene; and Nils Personne - Swedish musician and composer (member of the klezmer music band Sabbath Hela Veckan). White Sand White Snow blends theatre (in Swedish), singing, music performed on intstruments from all over the world, as well as shadow theatre. The performance is directed by American-Swedish Edward Buffalo Bromberg.

The Crododile Violin

Production / Performance,
In the performance "The Crocodile Violin", Mamadou tells about his life among hyenas and lions in the forests of western Senegal. Mamadou began, at the age of eight, to work as a herder for his family´s cattle. To communicate with the animals, he used a riti that his uncle made for him. Riti is a traditional one string instrument made out of crocodile skin, a calabass and the hair from a horse tail. One day, Mamadou´s mother dissapears and he decides to look for her. His search takes him all the way to Dakar... In "The Crocodile Violin" Mamadou mixes music, storytelling and acrobatics.


2002 - "Botkyrka Culture Award" for outstanding cross-cultural performance and personality.


This artist took part in the following project(s) organized/funded by the partner institutions.

White Sand White Snow

(30 May 05 - 30 May 07)


Mamadou Sene
Crocodile Violin
White Sand White Snow