Sona Jobarteh

Founding Director
The Gambia Academy

Being the first female Kora virtuoso in seven centuries is just one facet of Sona Jobarteh. She is living proof of music’s ability to not only empower women in a male-dominated society, but to touch audiences from all over the world and from all backgrounds and cultures. Off-stage, she is active in social change, committing her energies and significant personal funds to The Gambia Academy, a pioneering institution dedicated to providing world-class education in skills required for success in 21st-century Africa. Here, aspiring young Gambian boys and girls acquire the requisite skills to effect positive change in their country and abroad. This Academy is the first of its kind to deliver a mainstream academic curriculum at a high level, whilst also bringing the culture, traditions and history to the front and centre of their everyday education. These efforts have gained her invitations to deliver speeches at high profile events around the world. Her formal studies began at the Royal College of Music and the Purcell School of Music in the UK, and culminated with a degree at SOAS, University of London. Those interested in learning more or getting involved are encouraged to visit