Camp Afro Foli Drum & Dance Retreat 2018

Camp Afro Foli Drum and Dance Retreat brings you world-class artists from Africa and Australia in a 3 day retreat in the beautiful Sunshine Coast Hinterland. Held from July 20-22nd 2018.

Three days of movement, fun, cultural workshops, African food and performances, with international artist Bassidi Koné (Mali) and Clare Okamoto (Japan) and interstate artist Mohamed Bangoura (Guinea)  bringing Africa to the Sunshine Coast. Local artists will include Nathaniel Combs and Bec Combs from Rhythm Culture

Enjoy beautiful bush surroundings, world class talent and be immersed in West African culture with workshops in djembe, dancing, dundun drumming and dundun dancing. Loads of action to choose from and the promised gift of rhythm for your hands and your feet.

Camp Afro Foli will be held in the beautiful natural grounds of Camp Maranatha where there is dormitory style accommodation, facilities, communal kitchen, basketball courts, a pool and bush walking paths to the falls.

Camp Afro Foli begins with registration at 2pm on Friday 20th July followed by drum and dance workshops. Friday night is bonfire and drum circle night, so bring instruments to jam with.  Guests are asked to bring wholesome food to prepare for themselves for all breakfasts and the Friday night dinner.

Saturday night is party night and is open to the public. This is a good time for retreat crew to be inviting family, friends and others that are not attending the day workshops and general retreat program. Everyone coming to the show and feast is required to pre-purchase their  ticket. There will be an amazing African feast followed by performances by Bassidi Koné, Mohamed Bangoura, Clare Okamoto, and Foli Kan Drum and Dance Ensemble.

Saturday and Sunday lunches are delicious gourmet sandwiches and salads. Camp will finish up at 5pm on Sunday. Camp Afro Foli Drum and Dance Retreat activities include djembe, dundun, African dancing, dundun dancing, singing, yoga and more.

camp afro foli

Bassidi Koné

Born into a griot family, Bassidi has been playing the djembe and balafon from a very young age learning alongside his father. When he teaches his hands tell an ancient story and his smile shares it with the world.

Bassidi Koné is of Bwa ethnicity from the Segou region in Mali. Bassidi has carried on his family’s musical heritage, showing incredible skill in both the balafon and the djembe.

Bassidi Koné, co-founder of the Bwazan Association lives in Mali, West Africa and teaches and performs with Rhythm Culture annually.

camp afro foli

Mohamed Bangoura

Mohamed Bangoura, “Bangouraké” – Master Drummer and Teacher in traditional Guinean Music and Dance.

He is described in Guinea as the man with “Hands of Fire”, “the Lion of Matam”, already regarded by many connoisseurs as one of the best amongst the Master Drummers of this world. His life totally dedicated to the music and his traditions, mesmerizing audiences with his out of this world skills, talent, power and virtuosity. Bangouraké is a true master through initiation and ability.

Mohamed was born in Guinea, West Africa in a village called Bourramya-Koubya. This village is a few hours north of the capital, Conakry. Mohamed started to play at the age of 5 years old and has always been surrounded by music throughout his life. Mohamed was a member of the international acclaimed “Percussion de Guineé” and other National Ballet Ensembles based in Conakry.


  • Djembe Workshops – One of the most popular West African instruments. The djembe is a hand drum with three fundamental sounds but a million (that’s a guess) ways to play them. There will be several workshops each day for different skill levels. Classes will taught by Bassidi Koné and Nathaniel Combs.
  • Dundun Workshops – The dunduns are that groovy, body-melting, dance enticing instrument often played with djembes. They are cylindrical stick drums that come in three sizes commonly played with a metal bell.
  • African Dance Workshops – Learn to move your body with Mohamed Bangoura. These workshops will be for all levels and will be to live drumming. Experience traditional West African dance and work up a sweat! You will laugh and have loads of fun with Mohamed’s contagious smile and teaching style.
  • Dundun Dance Workshops – Like to drum and dance at the same time? Then this is the class for you! Mohamed will be teaching you to move around your drum with funky dance moves and invigorating drum rhythms! Drums are provided and workshop will be to live drumming.
  • Yoga Workshops – Wake up and start your day with a refreshing, warming Yoga session. Prepare your body for movement and stay centered amidst all the camp excitement.
  • Singing Workshops – We all have vocal cords and most of us enjoy talking, we do it everyday. This brings to mind an old African proverb that says “if you can talk you can sing.” Join an energetic and fun workshop of African song from many different regions which will leave you feeling transformed.
  • Balafon Workshop – Often compared to a marimba and xylophone, the balafon is an tuned percussion instrument played with mallets. Its complex and mesmerising patterns form part of the West African orchestra. With a family lineage of balafon players, Bassidi will be offering a one off group lesson. This will need to be booked in advance and paid for separate to the camp.
  • Bush Walking – Maranatha Camp is nestled in the Mapleton conservation park and runs along a beautiful stretch of the South Maroochy River. There are self guided bush walks from the camp up to Wappa Falls and surrounds.
  • Bon Fire and Drum Circle – On Friday night we will kick the camp off with a drum circle around the bonfire to celebrate, meet the teachers and generally warm up in all meanings of the word!
  • African Feast and Performance – Saturday night is feast and party night with a delicious African feast prepared by Homegrown cafe and performances from Bassidi Koné, Mohamed Bangoura, Clare Okamoto and Foli Kan Drum & Dance Ensemble.


Bassidi Koné (Mali) , Mohamed Bangoura (Guinea), Clair Okamoto (Japan), Bec Combs (Oz), Nathaniel Combs (Kiwi)


Maranatha Camp Yandina

275 Wappa Falls Road
Yandina 4561 QLD


Accommodation is dormitory style with 4 to 8 beds per room and adjoining showers and toilets.

Every bed has a mattress and you will need to bring all your own bedding including sheets, pillow, doona or sleeping bag.


Food at the camp will be catered for on the Saturday and Sunday with a African feast on Saturday night.

Saturday and Sunday lunch will be a gourmet style sandwiches and salads.

Gluten Free and vegetarian options will be available.

Friday and all breakfasts are NOT catered for and you will need to BYO Friday night dinner and breakfasts.


Camp Afro Foli Drum & Dance Retreat

Early Bird $330 (Until May 30th)

Full $380

Includes Friday, Saturday, Sunday tuition, accommodation, performances, African feast on Saturday night,
lunch on Saturday and Sunday. BYO Breakfast

Weekend – $300.00

Includes Saturday night accommodation, Saturday and Sunday tuition, performances,
African feast on Saturday night, lunch on Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday Pass – $200.00

Includes tuition for Saturday, Performances and African Feast. No accommodation.

Sunday Pass – $150

Includes tuition and lunch for Sunday. No accommodation.

Workshop – $30

For those only wanting to attend one workshop/class

Drum Hire:

$20 for the weekend
$10 per day

There will be drums for hire and sale at the camp.

Friend and Family Spectator Only – $195

Want to come and enjoy the camp but not ready to drum or dance yet?

Includes accommodation, performances, African feast on Saturday night, lunch on Saturday and Sunday. BYO breakfast.

 African Feast and Show –  Adults -$35, Kids – $10

For the general public and friends and family that are not attending the camp.

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