Sankofa African Drum and Dance Ensemble

Share on Twitter!

Sankofa African Drum and Dance Ensemble

Tuesday, February 19, 2019, 12:15pm

As part of its ongoing celebration of Black History Month, SUNY Sullivan will be hosting Sankofa, a drum and dance ensemble, in the Student Union on Tuesday, February 19th from 12:15pm – 1:15pm.

Sankofa, meaning “going back to the roots” in the Twi language from Ghana, West Africa is very symbolic in promoting personal and community awareness of the positive role of the arts in the villages in West Africa demonstrated through rich cultural values passed on by ancestors (“Nananom”).

The group was originally formed in the summer of 1997 from community drum circles in Allentown and Stroudsburg, PA, and strives to teach togetherness in diversity and empowerment of the individual self-image as well as the community building/teamwork through African drumming and dance. Sankofa is made of four drummers and three dancers led by Kofi (an Asante prince from Ghana) and Yacin (a Wollof princess from Senegal). They teach authentic drumming and dance techniques along with their history and cultural origins. The latter become the basis for the staff/students of the schools and organizations in also developing their own. Their performances, assemblies, and workshops generate the same community spirit of sharing, oneness, joy and love where everyone gets involved; both audience and performers.

Sankofa’s performance is electrifying in terms of the spiritual release in their drum, dance and songs (Chants). Sankofa has successfully completed over 800 residencies in schools as well as the community; from conferences to festivals. Notable amongst them are the 2006 UN Water Conference in Mexico City, Mexico; Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Folk Festival in Allentown, Pa; Indian Summer Festival, Netcong, NJ; Jazz Festival, at the Delaware Water Gap, PA; International Festival and First Night at the Paramount Theatre in Middletown, NY; Sussex County Farm and International Shows, in Newton, NJ and eight World Trade Center Benefits in NJ, NY and PA for the Red Cross and other non-profit organizations.

Sankofa also uses drumming as therapy for at-risk youth and also self-awareness/self-esteem programs for youth. They conduct residencies ranging from one- to thirty days.

For bookings contact Kofi’s Orange County office at 31 Owen Drive, Monroe, NY 10950. He can be also reached at tel./fax: (862) 266-0136/ (646) 630-9242; or via email at

Event sponsored by Lorraine Lopez-Janove, Chief Diversity Officer, in collaboration with Student Activities.
Contact Lorraine Lopez-Janove, Chief Diversity Office at