Vive L’Afrique! Official We Face Forward Party

  • Saturday | 21.07.12
  • 7.30pm
  • Band on the Wall, Manchester
  • Free Entry


In celebration of the city-wide We Face Forward festival of West African art and music, Band on the Wall are delighted to welcome you to our free festival party featuring the cream of professional West African performers currently resident in the Manchester area, including:

Jali Nyonkoling Kuyateh
Born into a family of traditional oral historians or Griots in The Gambia, Jali Nyonkoling Kuyateh is a master of the African harp or Kora, an instrument built from a large calabash cut in half and covered with cow skin to make a resonator with a notched bridge like a lute or guitar. Jali has recently been featured on the international BBC children’s programme, Zingzillas and supported Afrocubism at their recent concert at the Bridgewater Hall.

Sam Maitland aka PapaSam Alafia
Accomplished composer songwriter and music teacher, Sam Maitland, aka Papa Sam Alafia, moved to the UK from Freetown, Sierra Leone, West Africa in the late 1980s.   Sam toured the United States and Japan with the African band Rokoto and more recently has been working with the Post Modern African Peoples Dance Group Sakoba.  He has also performed with internationally known artists such as Seal and King Masco.  

Sidiki Dembele
The second son of a Griot family, and playing from the age of six, Sidiki has achieved acclaim throughout West Africa and Europe as a master percussionist.  He has worked with various ballet and touring companies in his native Ivory Coast and in the UK. He was the featured lead percussionist and Djembefola in the international African touring circus Afrika!Afrika! Since settling in England he has appeared in festivals, worked alongside musical legends such as Salif Keita and been involved in community projects. He is acknowledged as one of the strongest percussion soloists in the UK and his unique style excites and inspires his audiences wherever he goes.

Kuwor Sylvanus Kwashie
Sylvanus Kwashie Kuwor is a Ghanaian master drummer, dancer and general practitioner of a range of dance forms from the West African sub-region.  Kwashie began his performing arts and cultural training from early childhood. A graduate of the Ghanaian School of Performing Arts, University of Ghana, Kwashie is currently pursuing a PhD in Dance Anthropology at the University of Roehampton, where he also teaches dances from the West African sub-region on the World Music and Dance Course.

Sens Sagna & Friends

Sens is an experienced and inspirational dancer, singer and teacher from the Cassamance region of Senegal, West Africa. Cassamance has a strong history in maintaining culture through rhythm, song and dance. Sens comes from the Jolla tribe and performs and teaches both choreographed and freestyle dance, to rhythms from Jolla, Mandinka and Olof cultures. 

Before coming to live and work in Manchester in 2005, Sens performed and toured extensively with a number of percussion and dance ensembles in Senegal.  Sens draws on his traditional heritage and his vast performance experience, to bring his African roots alive. Currently Sens provides regular dance classes and workshops; is artistic director of the vibrant performance group ‘Kajamor Family’ as well as collaborating with a range of other artists at events throughout the country. 

To get in the party mood, we’ll also be serving up a selection of fine West African inspired food before the show:


1) Jollof rice w/cabbage.  Served with Vegetable / lamb / chicken or fish stew and 2 okra and 2 plantain – £8

2) Sweet plantains – 4 for £1.  Served with vegetable sauce *

3) Plain rice.  Served with peanut butter stew.  Made with chicken, aubergine and zuccini, and soya spices.  Plus 2 okra and 2 plantain – £8

4) Egusi stew.  Served with brown rice or semolina – £8

5) Okra stew.  Served with brown rice, semolina or plain rice – £8

6) Beans cake (Binch Akara).  Made from black eyed beans. 4 pieces or £1.  Served with vegetable sauce *


* Akara or Plantains can be served with or without vegetable sauce.


Presented by Band on the Wall in association with We Face Forward – a season of contemporary art and music from West Africa, celebrated across Manchester as part of the London 2012 Festival. 

Special Offer! Book your meal in advance and get free ‘lucky dip’ tickets for a future concert – click here now for details