Presented to




We are proud to present this year's Malonga Casquelourd Lifetime Achievement Award to Dr. Zakarya Diouf, for his excellent achievements in music and dance. His exemplary leadership has been a beacon for thousands of people throughout the Bay Area and beyond.

Dr. Diouf is known for his brilliant career as a choreographer and performer, teacher and esteemed scholar of African music and dance. He is founder and director of Diamano Coura West African Dance Company. He has also choreographed works for Dimensions Dance Theater, Harambe Dance Company, and worked with the San Francisco Ballet, and Ballets of Utah, Florida,Indiana, Singapore, and South Africa.

Dr. Diouf has also served as director of the Mali Ensemble, a multinational performing company representing the unity of the West African countries of Mali, Senegal, and Guinea, and also with Les Ballets Africanes and the Senegalese National Dance Company. He has served on the faculties of many universities and currently teaches West African music, dance, and history at Laney Community College in Oakland and is an Artist-In-Residence at the Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts in Oakland.

CK Ladzekpo, artistic director of this festival and director of the African Music Program at UC Berkeley says, "Zak has been largely responsible for making Oakland one of the premiere centers of African dance in the US. His leadership as choreographer and director of Diamano Coura, his dedication to doing what he loves even when the resources are so limited—I don't know where the history of African dance would be without him. We should have given him this award a long time ago."