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Storytelling has always been part of African culture and history. Since the glorious days of the Malinka talking drums and the war songs of the Dahomey Amazons, Africans have told their stories and voiced their own narratives. Over the centuries, the African storyteller has evolved; in a digital era, the griot has become the singer, and the drummer has become the communications expert. Just as the profile of the narrator has changed, so has the narrative; Africa has a new narrative, a narrative of startups, groundbreaking innovations, and global thought leaders inspiring generations of young people on the continent and beyond. In this new narrative, Africa finds an ally – an ally that has a beat. That ally is Djembe Consultants. 


Immortal Like the Phoenix 

From a vision born in Angola, Djembe Consultants has evolved to become the Communications’ Partner of Choice for Africa and has, over the past decade, told the African story like no one else has. A small team of in-house drummers operating from Luanda has, in 10 years, metamorphosed into a global consultancy with its multinational and multicultural team providing all communications services from eight countries on four continents. Djembe’s history is not that of a typical communications agency; it has evolved from an in-house corporate communications unit to a fully-fledged multilingual creative and communications agency operating a single P&L. Like the phoenix, the Consultancy kept building and evolving on its journey throughout the years. 


Evolving Towards a MEA Regional Focus 

Running hundreds of projects and supporting organizations in more than 30 African countries covering all regions of the continent, Djembe has positioned itself as the go-to communication partner for local and international actors with Africa at heart. The Consultancy has provided strategic communication services to American, European, and Middle Eastern companies operating on the continent and beyond. Djembe’s approach initially was Afrocentric at its core, reflecting the client projects supported, the partnerships built, as well as an unwavering commitment to the growth of the African innovation ecosystem. 

Over the past five years, Djembe’s evolution has seen the Consultancy extend its reach to include the Middle East region, supporting client projects in 13 MENA countries. The African and Middle Eastern regions have similar traditional cultures and present comparable economic development stories. Unfortunately, both regions suffer from a sometimes-challenging narrative often promoted on the global stage by outsiders. For Djembe, this evolution was therefore a natural extension, as the Consultancy believes in the MEA region’s potential and has extensive experience in changing the narrative to one of hope and prosperity.     


All Out for Regional Innovation 

Entrepreneurship and innovation are at the center of promoting economic prosperity in the MEA region. Providing the right structure for young people to build ventures that solve everyday problems will change the future of the region. In 2022, Djembe dedicated a new unit to supporting the MEA innovation ecosystem. Known as Djembe Innovation, the unit was set up as a renewed commitment of the Consultancy towards the success of innovators and entrepreneurs. What started as typical communications support to launch the Fábrica de Sabão, one of Angola’s first innovation hubs, evolved into a full-fledged mentoring and advisory unit for hubs and startups operating across the African and Middle Eastern regions.  

Leveraging a whole new suite of capabilities, Djembe supported, advised, and partnered with key actors in the global, continental, and local innovation ecosystems, including Afrilabs, Fábrica de Sabão, the Innovation Prize for Africa, MEST Africa, Soronko Academy, ShEquity, and the Zayed Sustainability Prize, among others. One key vision that drives Djembe’s work on the side of innovators and entrepreneurs is to empower them to develop, tell, and defend their unique stories: stories of job creation, stories of ground-breaking innovation, and stories of economic empowerment. 


 Impact-driven Storytelling 

Telling stories the Djembe way means projecting untold success, bringing unknown achievers into the limelight, and celebrating the impact of global citizens. Putting storytelling at the heart of impact has shaped Djembe’s journey since its inception and has conditioned the Consultancy’s focus on nurturing impact stories across the length and breadth of the MEA region, from Cairo to Cape Town, and from Senegal to Saudi Arabia. Djembe leverages storytelling for its clients and partners in a way that projects not only their impact and success but also how those are key milestones on the transformational journey of the region. This impact promotion contributes greatly to changing the region’s narrative and brings to the fore what is delivering sustainable results and the people who are at the heart of this transformation.  


Projecting the Power of Diversity 

The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals 5, (which highlights the need for the World to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls) is high on Djembe’s internal agenda. From Djembe’s early days, there were powerful women leading regional client projects. From Nicole Suter to Paschorina Mortty and from Marjorie Chapas to Sharmaine Oddoye, Djembe has, throughout its history, brought together some of the brightest female minds in the communications industry. These former Drummers mentored some of the finest young and up-and-coming communications specialists. Furthermore, being a female Djembe team member means you are always at the heart of the Consultancy’s growth plans. Currently, three of the four Directors are female from different origins and cultures, representing Northern Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, and the Middle East.  

Djembe’s diversity extends beyond gender, as the Consultancy has a diverse cultural team of Drummers. From a “Hello” to a “Bonjour”, from a “Shukran” to an “Asante”, Djembe Drummers are native speakers of the major languages covering all the regions of the World. This diverse team of Drummers provides equally relatable local insights not only to clients and partners but also to other colleagues working from diverse backgrounds. If the British Empire was said to be “the empire on which the sun never sets”, Djembe is surely a global consultancy on which the sun never sets with Drummers operating from Africa, the Americas, Asia, and Europe, in Dubai, Egypt, France, Ghana, India, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America. 


An Evolving Beat for the Next Decade 

Africa’s beat has changed this past decade, and Djembe has gathered great insights working on investment and development projects during this period. As we enter a new decade of impact-driven storytelling ahead, the evolved Djembe beat will reflect not only the transformation of Africa but also the Middle East’s. Djembe will continue to connect the two regions, whose histories and future aspirations align with each other. 

 Africa and the Middle East have changed their beats; let Djembe help you change yours. 

 *Drummer: A member of the Djembe Consultants team. 

Gilles Ametepe

French communications Manager, Innovation Projects Lead 

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