About Us

Our Purpose

Agida is established to provide groupwork and projects to break down barriers. Through developmental, cultural, health and well-being programmes, explored through a mix of various arts, such as, music, dance, drama, story-telling and art, communication is our core theme. It is Agida's aim is to build confidence and self esteem with emphasis on spoken communication and recognition of achievement.

The Benefits

You will have an understanding of the importance of sharing and communication. You will experience difference, by joining in and being part of your community; exploring all in the context of development and advancement of well-being and community spirit. You will learn to communicate to feel fulfillment, a sense of worth, increased confidence and self-esteem, for a positive sense of well-being and achievement.

You will be encouraged to follow your pathway, enhancing your abilities and skills, through our bespoke range of programmes, tailor made to fit you!

Who Can Benefit?

All members of any community can benefit from Agida's developmental programmes. The programmes advance communication using a different set of systems, spoken as opposed to written, to aid understanding and appreciation of empowerment, self-confidence, acceptance of others and integration into communities, from those using another language or the English language itself. We facilitate through a syllabus of music, dance, drama, story-telling, spoken word, spoken communication and listening skills. Each programme will be tailored to the needs of the groups/participants and the content bespoke.  

The Team

At Agida

We are an experienced organisation of educators and experts in our field, delivering workshops and master classes in community, corporate and cultural events. As an organisation, we work with many different clients, providing experienced and qualified practitioners. 

Once you make contact we will provide a full introduction in writing, about your request for a bespoke package, including information about any practitioner responsible for delivery of workshop/package, including their biography, their expertise and experience. A full and clear quotation will be included. If you are accessing our programmes through our charity, then we look forward to discussing this with you. We promise to be fully committed at all times to discuss and explore your needs.

In providing 'Agida Africa' programmes, all our practitioners are African, they work in their traditional dress and share their culture with joy.

Due to the popularity and fast growth of our organisation, we can quickly become fully booked, so please bear this in mind when considering our organisation, especially if you have a date in mind. Black History Month in October is a busy period, together with International Story Telling Week in the month of February. If you plan to work with us during these periods, please make contact as soon as possible so we can plan and organise your event/programme with you and avoid disappointment. We reassure you that all our practitioners are masters in their art - in communication, music, art, drama and dance, and have trained with us so they provide the high standard and quality we pride ourselves on at Agida. We embrace and believe in professional development and our practitioners are expected to train with us on a regular basis, so we evaluate and grow as an organisation, to meet the full needs of those who we work with. 

At Agida we are passionate about communication through the arts and support those we work with, with enthusiasm, from the initial contact through to completion. We are always ready to engage in conversation, sharing information about our organisation and our vision for the future.

We are proud to be known as an organisation who care about those we work with and what we do. 


Karim Mbaye

Programme Management and Facilitator Griot Story-teller, Oral Historian & Keeper of Traditions

Karim is the UK's number one Senegalese Master Drummer and one of the world's leading Wolof Sabar players. He is a member of the main Griot Sabar family in Senegal, the Mbaye family. Sabar drumming is one of the most exciting drumming traditions in Africa. The Sabar drum is played using a stick and hand. The Gewel or Griot is a musician, singer, storyteller and historian; singing and reciting history and current issues. The Griot play a very important role in the different ethnic groups across West Africa. 

Karim has toured the world playing with artists Alioune Mbaye Nder, Salif Keita, Ismael Lo and Baaba Maal. Karim was percussionist on Baaba Maal’s album "Missing You" recorded in Abbey Road Studios. Karim played alongside the late great legend Ray Charles in Paris.  

The Mbaye family have been part of the evolution and growth of modern Senegalese and world music. Born in the city of Kaolack in Senegal, Karim was a child prodigy and part of the Rimbax group, who revolutionised the Senegalese modern music scene. 

It was at the age of twelve that Karim was part of the album which put an all African drum ensemble inside the modern Senegalese music. He can be seen as a child on the YouTube clip "Thio Mbaye Rimbax". Thio Mbaye, Youssou N’dour's percussionist and Karim's brother, is probably Senegal's number one sabar player and is world renowned. Karim's father, Massaer Mbaye, was a leading Sabar player and was the first to incorporate women into the world of Sabar drumming. He did so by including Karim's mother, Agida Seck, a great dancer, into the drum group. She became Senegal's first female drummer and the first female drummer to appear in Dakar at the Stadium Iba Mar Diop. This development in drumming was revolutionary as drumming was traditionally a male only art form. 

The Mbaye family book is titled "Masters of the Sabar" by Patricia Tang (Temple University Press) and the history and culture of Karim and Sabar drumming can be explored with further reading. Karim uses the language of the drum; this is called Tassou (like rapping). The music arrangements are sung orally, called bakks. 

Karim is a drumming virtuoso. If you are a beginner or a professional drummer, Karim will inspire and improve you. Karim has amazed audiences across the world and creates fun and memorable performances. 

Karims is excited to be part of Agida and share his culutre and heritage. He brings his expertise from world travel and being born into his heritage of 'Griot' tradition.

Janine Mbaye

Management, Administration and Operations

When children face obstacles during their education it can often be tough for them to communicate their difficulty due to lack of confidence in communication skills. This thought is what led Janine to pursue and develop a career in spoken communication.    

After gaining a BA (Joint Hons) in English and Drama, Janine continued in education to gain a teaching qualification before moving on to work with learners of all ages. Her work has been a journey through education from many different aspects, including directing a Theatre-in-Arts Company exploring GCSE texts and devising and delivering workshops. Janine’s experience is the essence of what makes her approach and understanding unique and accessible. After varying teaching posts, for independent, mainstream and SEND education providers, she now runs her own company, delivering workshops in presentation skills, communication, speech and drama and educational programmes.    

Janine is a founder member of Agida, seeing and embracing the trustee's vision, she is keen to reach as many communities and projects as possible. She is relishing working alongside Karim, after his great success in the field of education in his own right. She is enjoying combining both their unique skillsets, developing exclusive ‘hands on’ developmental programmes, encompassing communication skills, through fun, enjoyment and discrete learning with diversity and inclusion at the forefront.    

African culture is a passion Janine holds close to her heart. She applies her educational knowledge, African studies and her love of Senegalese culture, with the expertise in African music, story-telling and art of the Griot culture Karim brings to the organisation. They both share their art with dedication and enthusiasm.  

Janine, our 'Agida Talks' facilitator, believes communication builds confidence and she is a great advocate of breaking down barriers in life, to enable people from all walks of life to have their say in a respectful, confident and empowering way. Drawing on and bringing her wealth of experience to Agida, she is experienced in devising programmes of education and syllabuses in Communication, Citizenship, Drama, English Language and Literature, and African Griot Culture, Janine remains ever the perpetual learner, learning something new each day from the privilege of working with children and people from all backgrounds.    

Janine is continuing to enjoy her work with The English Speaking Board, an awarding body, offering examinations in communication, debating, employability and interview skills, examining and moderating, and combines this with her ever expanding role and work with Agida. Other clients include: Young Enterprise at University of Chester, Liverpool John Moore’s University, University Centre at Blackburn College, Liverpool Hope University and Edge Hill University. 

Mari Thynne

Policy Development and Research

Mari’s career has spanned academia, higher education management and professional theatre. During this time, she has gained an in-depth working knowledge of higher education and arts management. In the final stages of a PhD at Lancaster University, she explores how contemporary creative organisations create commercial experiences. The work describes narratives of organising, and as such, offers a valuable framework for management considerations today.    

Having held senior management roles within higher education and touring theatre, she has been a senior budget holder responsible for developing commercial income generation on three university campuses, marketing university resources to local and national businesses for both income generation and collaborative research projects. Prior to this, she was Artistic Director and Playwright for Theatre of Red Earth - a UK experimental theatre company. She was also a Private Tutor of Dramatic Art, Voice and Speech for LAMDA plus taught ‘A’ level ‎drama, voice & speech and creative writing, and arts management for professional artists. Further information on Mari can be found in the following links: 




BA (hons) in Theatre (Dartington 1995),  

Master of Research Methods in Management (Bath 2007)  

Master of Digital Innovation (Lancaster 2013).  

Associate Fellow of Higher Education Academy (2017) 


Presently a freelance Management Consultant, Associate Researcher and Lecturer in Management Studies, Mari is Policy Development and Research Manager at Agida. Her major career achievement is successfully merging a performance background into management and academic environments, culminating in a unique trajectory that encourages a confident, intellectual and personable approach. She has local knowledge of the northwest and London, as well as working nationally and internationally. Mari is responsible for contributing to the design and development of Agida's pioneering developmental programmes and help organisations Agida engages with, to access unique experiences in communication.  

Contact: admin@agidaafricanarts.co.uk