Experience Senegal (2023 - 2024)

Experience everything that the “Gateway to Africa” has to offer – right from campus! The 2023-24 Year of Senegal will be a yearlong exploration into the West African country’s culture, history, and global influence.

The Year of Senegal is part of a rich tradition of globally-focused programming that has existed at the university since 1984.  We are proud to continue the collaboration with key international, domestic, and campus partners to host special performances, events, lectures, exhibits, and seminars. These offerings help foster local and global connections and engagement across cultures.
The year commences with a talking drummer featured in Marvel's Black Panther film franchise and continues with Senegalese-choreographed productions, film screenings, speakers, and student engagement events.  Everyone will be able to take part in Senegalese life and culture throughout the year. Our upcoming events are open to the public and we invite all faculty, students, staff, alumni, and the surrounding KSU community to attend!

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Year of Senegal, Logo 2023-2024

Senegal Events

We look forward to seeing you at the diverse programming being offered this year as part of the Year of Senegal.  Many thanks to the faculty and staff, as well as the campus, community and international partners, who are bringing the Senegalese experience to Kennesaw State University!

Listed below are the Year of Senegal events for the 2023-24 academic year.  Event details including the times and locations will be added as information becomes available.  Please check back!  If you have any questions about the events listed below, please contact Community Engagement and Outreach in Global Education at global.engagement@kennesaw.edu .

  • Massamba Diop - Drummer for Marvel Black Panther Movie Franchise

    Year of Senegal Kick-off Event

    Date: Friday, August 18

    Location:  Student Center University Rooms (Kennesaw Campus)


    • 10:15-11:00 am - Opening Ceremony         
    • 11:00 am-12:00 pm - Reception and Meet & Greet                   
    • 1:25-2:15 pm - Festivities: Learn more about the talking drum and the Senegal-America Project that continues to connect people
    • 2:30-3:20 pm - Master drumming class to learn from the experts in this one-of-a-kind experience

    Join us as we kick-off the Year of Senegal as part of KSU's Week of Welcome.

    We are excited to bring world-renowned percussionists Massamba Diop and Tony Vacca to introduce us to the music and mysteries, hope and histories of the talking drum in Senegalese culture. Before the telephone, there was the talking drum - - and we get to experience it first hand!

    Hear about Massamba Diop's experience when he was selected and his drumming featured in Marvel's Black Panther films, then experience it for yourself! 

    *Attendees will receive a limited-edition Year of Senegal t-shirt, wristband, and laptop logo sticker!*

    Celebration of Stone Carving in Senegal

    Date: Tuesday, September 19

    Location: Campus Green (Kennesaw Campus)

    Time: 11:00 am-2:00 pm

    The Zuckerman Museum of Art and the Year of Senegal invite you to attend the Celebration of Stone Carving, an annual event and mini-festival celebrating the art of stone carving, in honor of Ruth Zuckerman’s birthday! This year’s program focuses on the stone carvings and artists of Senegal! At this event you will learn about the ancient origins of stone carving, see Ruth Zuckerman’s tool set, and learn how the tools and techniques from ancient times are still used today. You can also try some of the hands-on activities: chisel a real block of marble, carve your own small plaster sculpture, or carve your own small sculpture out of sandstone. While there, enjoy a birthday treat in honor of Ruth Zuckerman!

    Stone Carver Senegal

    Sembene! Movie Poster

    Film Screening of Sembene!

    Date: Thursday, October 12

    Location: Social Sciences Building, Room 1021 (Kennesaw Campus)

    Time: 11:00 am-1:00 pm (Time changed from original promotion)

    Called "The inspiring story of the father of African cinema," this film showcases the life of Senegalese director, producer, and writer Ousmane Sembène, who impacted the world of literature and film, while creating social change in the process.

    The Cannes and Sundance award-winning film will be watched and reviewed with the support of Radow College faculty; students can also ask questions of the filmmaker. 

    The "endlessly fascinating... enormously moving" life of Sembène and this award-winning film will inspire you no matter what field of study you are pursuing, so grab a snack, sit back, and take it all in.

    This event is sponsored by KSU's School of Communication & Media, Black Studies, and Global Education.

    Goats on the Green

    Date: Wednesday, October 18

    Location:  Campus Green (Kennesaw Campus)

    Time: 12:00-3:00 pm

    While Senegal is home to over 16 million people, the population of goats in the country is over 6 million!  You can find goats everywhere in Senegal - - and on this date you can find them on the Campus Green!  Get a close up look and take a photo with these cute animals that are an integral part of Senegalese goat farming and their economy. 

    Grab your collectible Year of Senegal goat sticker and put your name in the drawing for our limited edition GOAT ball caps!

    Goat Profile

    Peanut truck

    Economic Development Issues in Senegal: Food Safety and Sanitation

    Date: Tuesday, October 24

    Location: Social Sciences Building, Room 1021 (Kennesaw Campus)


    9:30-10:45 am - Peanuts and the economics of food safety in rural Senegal

    11:00 am-12:15 pm - The market for sanitation in urban Senegal

    From table to trash - - get the scoop on how peanuts, food safety, and competition in the sanitation industry are impacting Senegal's economy. Things we take for granted will be explored by developmental economist Dr. Joshua Deutschmann from the University of Chicago's "Development Innovation Lab." 

    Coles College faculty member Dr. Timothy Mathews and Eric Celler of KSU's Bagwell Center will lead these sessions.

    What impact do these practices have on our own lives and the world?  What can we learn, to ensure we are global citizens who make sound decisions and protect people and our planet?

    Film Screening of Kemtiyu, Cheikh Anta

    Date: Wednesday, November 1

    Location: Social Sciences Building, Room 1019 (Kennesaw Campus)

    Time: 6:00-9:00 pm

    As seen at the African Film Festival in 2020, the film Kemtiyu, Cheikh Anta focuses on the life of Senegalese scholar Cheikh Anta Diop.  The documentary will challenge viewers to consider the relationship between many elements of human existence: science and history, geography and identity, and political context and research.

    Diop's educational background and experiences will leave you in awe. Studying at the Sorbonne and translating Einstein's theory of relativity into his native language are just two uncommon facets of his story. His influence on cross-cultural dialogue was unparalleled - - his life will challenge and inspire you!

    Join Radow College faculty member Dr. Seneca Vaught, who will lead the review of the film.  Snacks will be available.

    Kemtiyu Film Screening

    Pape Ibrahima Ndiaye (Kaolack)

    Sage: Performances with Senegalese Artist in Residence Kaolack (Pape Ibrahima Ndiaye)

    Dates: Friday and Saturday, November 10 & 11

    Location:  KSU Dance Theatre (Marietta Campus)

    Time: 8:00 pm

    Kaolack (Pape Ibrahima Ndiaye) is a contemporary Senegalese dance artist with a substantial history as a performer, choreographer, and teacher. He trained with and performed in Senegal’s premier contemporary African dance company Jant Bi, directed by the “mother of contemporary African dance” Germaine Acogny. He also performed with contemporary dance luminary nora chipaumire (who hails from Zimbabwe and has performed and created work internationally for decades). Kaolack is currently completing his MFA at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, and has created works with undergraduate students across the U.S.  Kaolack’s approach to contemporary concert dance brings an innovative and important new perspective to KSU's dance department. 

    The KSU community will be able to enjoy the results of Kaolack's original choreography, created with KSU students over four weeks while he serves as an artist in residence.  Dance assistant professor Dasha Chapman oversees this collaboratory experience.

    Tickets can be purchased on the College of the Arts website.

    November 10 - 8 pm

    November 11 - 8 pm

    Book Club

    KSU's Center for Africana Studies (CAS) is hosting its annual book club in January, featuring a book with Senegalese roots, to be announced this fall. Limited spots are available. Books will be distributed in December before the winter break.

    Check this site to sign up.

  • Check back soon for more exciting programs and events to help you experience Senegal!



Senegal Exhibit

In collaboration with KSU's Museums, Archives, and Rare Books (MARB) and Professor Adina Langer’s Museum’s Exhibitions (HIST 4427) class, the Year of Senegal has developed a set of introductory exhibit panels to give a general overview of the country of study, including definitions, images, and historical figures, with additional context provided below.  KSU Global Education wants to thank the following students for their contributions to the exhibit panels:  Carson McCullough, Clifton West, Colin Malek, Logan Disher, Malika David, Michelle Sallie, PJ Skinner, Rafael Dixon, Reagan Earnhart, and Sierra Mchugh-Bryan. 

The Year of Senegal panels can be viewed outside the Global Education offices (Academic Learning Center, 5th floor, Suite 5625).  Below you will find supplemental terms, locations, and figures that are bolded on the panels.

  • A short tree with a thick trunk and edible fruit native to Africa and Australia. Senegalese people have traditionally considered baobab trees to be sacred. People take special care of these trees in Senegalese villages, often asking the spirit of the tree for good fortune, health, or success.
  • An ethnic group in Sahel and West Africa that dispersed across the region traditionally consisting of semi-sedentary/ semi-nomadic people. Their history dates back to the 5th century CE.
  • An ethnic group found throughout Senegal, but especially in the Lower Casamance region. They are one of the oldest indigenous peoples in the Senegambia region.
  • A language adopted as a common language between speakers whose native languages are different. The etymology of the term derives from a common language spoken by people around the Levant and eastern Mediterranean Sea to support commerce and diplomacy from the late medieval era to the 18th century. 
  • Built of red terra cotta around 1776 as a holding place for enslaved people waiting to be transported across the Atlantic Ocean, the Mason des Esclaves has served as a museum telling the story of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade since 1962. In 2015 the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience agreed to oversee the revitalization of the museum with a focus on engaging visitors in dialogue based on up-to-date historical interpretation.
  • Fashion label owned and operated by Adama Amanda Ndiaye, a Senegalese fashion designer. Her pieces are manufactured in Morocco and sold around the world including in New York, Tokyo, London, and Paris. 
  • Literally the quality or fact of being of Black African origin, but used colloquially to mean affirmation or consciousness of the value of Black or African culture, heritage, and identity.
  • Intellectual and cultural revival of African American music, dance, art, fashion, literature, theater, politics, and scholarship centered in Harlem, a neighborhood in Manhattan, New York City, in the United States during the 1920s and 1930s. 
  • Senegalese poet and storyteller whose work promoted interest in African folktales around the world. 
  • The Wolof word for family deriving from the concept of "people with whom you share.
  • The largest ethnic group found in northwestern Senegal, the Gambia, and southwestern coastal Mauritania. A Wolof empire thrived on the coast of West Africa between the Senegal and Gambia rivers from the mid-14th to the mid-16th centuries CE.

  • The third largest ethnic group in Senegal, making up 15% of the Senegalese population. The traditional Serer religion focuses on ancestral spirits and reincarnation.
  • Historical name for the geographical region in West Africa that lies between the Senegal River in the north and the Gambia River in the south.
  • A segment of the global slave trade that transported between 10 and 12 million enslaved Africans across the Atlantic Ocean to the Americans between the 16th and 19th centuries.


  • The first high-end shopping center of its kind in West Africa, Sea Plaza Dakar hosts more than 70 shops and restaurants with an emphasis on internationally known branded outlets. 
  • Senegalese fashion designer originally from Guinea with an accessories label known as Kakinbow. He is best known for his Touki (meaning "traveler in Wolof" bags made with local mud cloth and his poncho wraps made in earth-tones inspired by the region. 
  • Senegalese poet, politician, and cultural theorist who became the first president of Senegal (1960 - 1980). Senghor was an African socialist and proponent of African culture and empowerment within French-African relations.
  • Senegalese historian, anthropologist, physician, and politician whose studies focused on the origins of humanity in pre-colonial Africa. 
  • Roughly translated as "good hospitality," Teranga emphasizes the warmth, generosity, and sharing that Senegal is known for, as it integrates their culture.