About Us

Meet the team

  • N’famady Kouyaté

    Artistic Director and CEO
    N'famady Kouyaté is our artistic director and an energetic master musician from Guinea, West Africa. Malinké in origin, born into a griot/djeli family; where the djeli have hereditary responsibility for preserving traditional Mandingue culture through the sharing of ancient rhythms, songs, and stories. N'famady is a master balafonist, singer, percussionist, multi-instrumentalist, and the founder of Les Héritiers du Mandingue (a traditional Mandingue-modern fusion group in Guinea). N'famady is now resident in Cardiff, Wales and has been working on a number of solo and collaborative musical projects, as well as leading participatory music workshops.
  • Cathryn McShane-Kouyaté

    Project Manager and CEO
    Cathryn McShane is best known as a British Sign Language-Welsh-English interpreter that has worked on screen but also in theatre, regularly interpreting and performing Welsh medium theatre productions by Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru and Frân Wen. Cathryn has also had extensive involvement in community arts (especially carnival) as a dancer, maker, and parade coordinator – including Carnifal y Mor to open the National Eisteddfod in Cardiff Bay in 2018. Cathryn began by taking on the role of project manager for The Successors of the Mandingue in 2019 and successfully managed numerous grant funded projects, as well as community arts workshop programmes and initiatives.
  • Keith Murrell - long grey beard in grey beret and black duffel coat against a block red background

    Keith Murrell

    Director and Creative Producer
    Keith Murrell is an interdisciplinary arts practitioner and organiser with an extensive track record in developing community projects and initiatives: currently Creative Director of Butetown Arts and Culture Association (BACA) and lead organiser of the Butetown Carnival.
  • Elaine Randall

    Director and Business Advisor
    Elaine Randall is an experienced and accredited business advisor who has worked in the not for profit and charity sector for many years - from CEO to business development consultancy. She has sat on the board of many local organisations including Bristol Credit Union; Since Parent Action Network; Tribe of Doris and Imayla Youth Charity. Elaine also enjoys Property development with a portfolio of properties in South Wales. Elaine shares her life with two birth children and several foster children being a foster carer for over 15 years and supporting over 40 young people; mothers and their baby’s for the local authority. Elaine’s love of dance and music has seen her travel so south America, Africa, and the Caribbean to experience her passions first hand, and given her performance and festival and event management experience.
  • Emily Agbaso headshot

    Emily Agbaso

    Social Media Officer
  • Paul Fordham headshot

    Paul Fordham

    Business Development Manager
    Paul Fordham has been involved in the presentation of music for 25 years with experience touching almost every aspect of getting music out there. From beginnings DJing in clubs and community radio in the 90s Paul moved on to venue programming and touring. His specialism in non-western music led to him setting up touring consortia and securing programming contracts with major concert halls, and festivals as well as management in music development and theatre. In the 2000s he established his own music development agency to explore lesser-known music such as that from Cape Verde and Somalia, bringing artists to the UK and venues as diverse as village halls and the Royal Festival Hall. He was a founding director of the Bristol Music Trust and is proud to be one of the board members who took the decision to rename the Colston Hall, now known as the Bristol Beacon.
  • Naomi Reid pictured in white top with blue design, hoop earrings, long necklace, glasses and curly long red hair

    Naomi Reid

    Dathliad Cymru-Affrica Project Manager
    Naomi originally from Shropshire, spent 17 years in London and is now based in Carmarthenshire where she lives with her partner and young son. She has over 22 years’ experience in the not for profit sector and music industry, specialising in events management, communications, projects and office management and artist management. Naomi was with African women’s NGO FORWARD (working to end violence against African girls/women) working in various capacities from Trustee to Communications and Events Manager, here she used her passion for the arts to set up Musicians Unite to End Female Genital Mutilation (MUTEFGM) and Artists Unite to End FGM projects which included touring Ivorian Dobet Gnahore and US Blues artist Corey Harris. She has mostly worked with the African diaspora in the UK/Europe and on projects in Tanzania, Sierra Leone, Ghana and Nigeria. Naomi runs her own arts organisation Chanya Culture Promotions which supports African musicians/artists with a social change element to their work.
  • Teejay's profile pic

    Tijesunimi Olakojo

    Dathliad Cymru-Affrica Festival Assistant & Fashion Show Coordinator
    Tijesunimi (Teejay) is an actor, model, Bàtá dancer, musician, and theatre director. She is passionate about the representation and inclusion of black creatives in entertainment. She has worked with organisations like Oasis Cardiff, Comic Relief, Sherman Theatre, Watch Africa Film festival, The Creative Plug Cymru, Sub-Sahara Advisory Panel, and Chippy Lane Productions. She has global features on BBC Radio II (United Kingdom), Karuna Himalaya (Nepal), Maxi Magazine (Los Angeles, USA), African Welsh Exhibition (Cardiff), Arcade Fashion Week (Nigeria), The Eye International Photo Festival (Aberystwyth), and African Magic Yorùbá TV.
  • Joshua Whyte aka Blank Face standing in the street in shades, jeans, and leather jacket

    Joshua Whyte (aka Blank Face)

    Dathliad Cymru-Affrica Festival Assistant
    Blank Face is a recording artist based in Wales with experience across creative producing and music directing across various projects. Blank Face a.k.a known as 'Blanko' is a musical canvas who fuses different sounds as his paint and brush to create a beautiful picture. He has just over 300,000 music streams worldwide.
  • Ffion Wyn head shot

    Ffion Wyn Morris

    Dathliad Cymru-Affrica Community Outreach Officer (workshops)
    Ffion Wyn was a founder of award-winning initiative Ladies of Rage Cardiff, a community project platforming women and non-binary musicians in MOBO and electronic genres. Ffion has over a decade of experience of putting on gigs, festivals, and helping artists promote their music. Ffion has spent the last ten years working in the arts industry in Wales for organisations like Arts Council of Wales, Poetry Wales Magazine, and Aubergine Café & Arts. Ffion now works at Wales Millennium Centre as a Community Engagement Producer.
  • Adjua headshot

    Adjua

    Dathliad Cymru-Affrica Festival Assistant
    Alt-R&B, latin and funk infused singer-songwriter and producer. Based in Cardiff. Her first single, I could never, released in 2020, showcased Adjua‘s unique vocal recording and song-writing skills. With both political and self-reflective lyrics she brings a refreshing take on the ideas os self-development and spirituality. With beautiful live instrumentation and harmonies, Adjua wishes to show her audience the beauty and magic of live, full band music. With headlines shows, festivals and 4 self-produced projects under her belt, she has established a sound that is unique to her and expresses both her personality and her passion for art. Coming from a Welsh-Ghanian background she is eager to showcase the diversity of her home town and the authentic talent within Wales. Adjua successfully launched her debut EP to a sold out venue in Cardiff and hopes to tour more of the UK in the next couple of months. Adjua performed at both Bethesda (at Y Fic) and Cardiff (Cabaret Stage) Dathliad Cymru-Affrica 2023 events as well as being an amazing festival assistant throughout.
  • Rahim El Habachi profile picture

    Rahim El Habachi

    Dathliad Cymru-Affrica Presenter and Steering Group Member
    Rahim El Habachi is an independent Moroccan playwright/actor/belly dancer and LGBTQ+ and HIV global majority arts campaigner, and a Creative Associate at National Theatre Wales. Rahim is also a mesmerizing chaabi dancer and a force to be reckoned with. For Dathliad Cymru-Affrica 2023 Rahim played the role of MC, interviewer, and performer teaming up for an extraordinary performance with Ayoub, the renowned singer of Arabic and traditional music. Together, they brought a captivating fusion of music and movement that will leave you in awe. Ayoub's soulful vocals, specializing in Moroccan melodies, blended seamlessly with Rahim's dynamic and graceful chaabi dance. Their synergy creates an unforgettable experience that celebrates the vibrant energy and cultural heritage of Morocco. As Ayoub enchants the audience with his rich vocal range and emotional depth, Rahim's masterful dance moves elevate the performance to new heights. The chemistry between them is palpable, creating a harmonious connection that is both visually and musically stunning.
  • Tahlia Walker profile pic

    Tahlia Walker

    Administrative Volunteer
    Our amazing admin with attitude! Tahlia has a wealth of experience using various data programmes and communicative systems having been a project administrator for a large corporate company. She is also a jazz dancer who has a lot of experience working within the performance industry therefore she knows how to keep events running smoothly.
  • Safyan Iqbal headshot

    Safyan Iqbal

    Media and Film Volunteer & Sessional Worker
    My name is Safyan Iqbal, I’m profoundly Deaf. I communicate through British Sign Language and spoken English. I have done a lot of different things with Successors - filming, editing, creating videos, designing posters & flyers, plus teaching basic filmmaking skills. I work freelance as an actor, songwriter, YouTuber, podcaster, and graphic designer for flyers and posters, and I'm open to trying new things as well. I enjoy being in films/TV shows, sharing music I listen to, and writing is something I am very keen on.
  • Ali Zay Goolyad

    Dathliad Cymru-Affrica Volunteer
    Ali Goolyad is a poet, actor and a community activist. Born in Hargeisa, Somaliland, Ali migrated to Wales aged 1. His previous work includes writing and performing in De Gabay, (National Theatre Wales), Border Game, Storm 2, Big Democracy Project (National Theatre Wales), Borderland (Radio 4), Talking Doorsteps (Roundhouse), Mattan Injustice of a Hanged Man (BBC), and Black and Welsh (BBC Wales). Ali is a collaborator at heart and loves the version of Welsh culture he creates. For Dathliad Cymru-Affrica 2023 he teamed up with Welsh legendary folk singer Dafydd Iwan for a special collaboration commission.
  • Smiley photo of Suleiman Atta

    Suleiman Atta

    International Volunteer
    Suleiman Atta hails from Bauchi, Nigeria. He recently graduated from the University of South Wales with a BA in Popular and Commercial Music. Suleiman arrived in Wales in 2013 and absolutely loves Wales. He is also a singer and songwriter and specialises in making afro beat music. In 2014 he won first place in a Welsh Factor competition and has been performing ever since. Suleiman now currently lives in Cardiff with his younger brother. He is fluent in Hausa which is a native language of Nigeria.
  • Chris Mearns sat with djembe drum

    Chris Mearns

    Dathliad Cymru-Affrica Volunteer
    Born with an English mother, a Northern Irish father, a Scottish surname, and living in Wales makes Chris 100% British. Retired on medical grounds after more than two decades in the British Armed Forces, Chris has a wealth of organisational skills. He currently holds the record for the largest organised function in The Falkland Islands where he even found a live band !! During his down time in the Forces, Chris has worked on a number of television projects as a Stunt Co-ordinator in bungee jumping Community projects based around singing and West African drumming keep him active now. Group logos, websites, promotional material, and video editing are among the skills kept current with local groups WOMP & Shiko and his own, recently begun, community drumming group in Cardiff.

 

Built on love, Shared with joy!

 

The Successors of the Mandingue is a unique company in Wales that exists to promote and share West African culture and heritage through music and dance activities. In a short space of time we have developed some amazing partnerships and have delivered some truly joyful and meaningful projects, both in community arts engagement and professional artistic collaborations and performances.