Bibiography of

Laye “Ananas”

Lions Of Africa

Born and raised in the heart of Dakar, Senegal, Laye Ananas Dieng emerges from a griot family, the custodians of African cultural richness. In a modest family of seven children, where art was second nature, Laye and his younger brother carved their path into music from an early age. At just 16, Laye Ananas was already dancing professionally, initiating a remarkable career.

His breakthrough into the spotlight occurred alongside the African music legend, Youssou N’Dour, becoming one of his principal dancers at the age of 19. Travelling across Europe and West Africa, Laye perfected his art during three memorable years. However, his destiny took a major turn when he attended Michael Jackson’s concert in 1999, an experience that inspired a bold vision in him.

“I was tired of the negative image portrayal of the African continent, and it always shows Africa, and I knew this could be an excellent way to bring this second image directly to Europeans.”

Laye Ananas

Back in Senegal, Laye Ananas brought his vision to life by creating “Lions of Africa”, a venture aiming to blend traditional culture into a modern setting. With street partners in a Dakar ghetto, he discovered young talents, forming an energetic troupe. Lions of Africa quickly caught the attention of the future President of Senegal, Abdoulaye Wade, becoming a crucial element in his presidential campaign and contributing to his election.

“We already had so many followers. Our energy, our ability to captivate the audience, to make them happy and proud of their roots, was of great importance.”

Laye Ananas

Over 25 years since its inception, the Lions of Africa ensemble, led by Laye “Ananas” Dieng, has become an institution in Dakar. The troupe continually welcomes talented young artists, providing them with international and stage experience at major events. Despite political challenges in a country where power largely controls culture, Laye Ananas persisted, even receiving a grant from the Aspirant program of the Cultural Council.

Currently on tour with the “Løven Leo” project in schools in Trondheim, Norway, Laye Ananas and the Lions of Africa captivate children and adults with a performance combining puppets, spectacular dance, acrobatics, and drums. Their international commitment is evident in collaborations with artists worldwide, from performances in India to the “Our Heritage” project with the Indian group Dhoad at the Transform – Trondheim World Festival.

The major breakthrough could happen in November when 24 artists from the Lions of Africa travel to Qatar to participate in the FIFA official cultural program, supporting the Senegalese football team – the Lions of Senegal. With the world’s eyes on them, Laye “Ananas” and his Lions of Africa promise to showcase the most magnificent and spectacular Senegalese tradition, exciting the football crowd. A story of artistic ascent and cultural influence embodied by a dancer from a humble family who transformed a vision into a global reality, thereby illuminating the path for future generations.

Workshop Norway

Dive into the rhythm and spirit of West Africa with Lions of Africa’s captivating workshops. Join us in Norway as we share our passion for music and dance, guiding aspiring talents and enthusiasts on an immersive journey through the vibrant beats and movements of our rich cultural heritage.

Uncover the vibrant heritage of Lions of Africa. Explore the cultural richness of Senegal through captivating performances and unique artistic expressions. Be inspired by our cultural odyssey.
+221 77 493 19 52
Norvège, France, Amsterdam, Belgique, Luxembourg, Sénégal
© 2024 Lions Of Africa. All rights reserved