Patrick Vieira is a football manager and former footballer. Vieira, who was an important member of the France national team, is currently serving as the manager of Crystal Palace Football Club which competes in the Premier League. Widely regarded as one of the best players of his time, Vieira helped his team win its first FIFA World Cup in 1998.
Sadio Mané is one of the greatest Senegalese football players of all time. He is Senegal's fifth all-time top goal-scorer and was named African Footballer of the Year in 2020. One of Liverpool's key players, Sadio serves as an inspiration to youngsters as he succeeded as a footballer in spite of his father forbidding him from playing as a child.
Akon is one of the most successful R&B, hip hop and rap singers in the world. His albums Trouble, Konvicted, Freedom, El Negreeto and Akonda have many chartbusters songs. He has also founded record labels Akonik Label Group, KonLive Distribution and Konvict Mizik. He courted controversy in 2007 for an onstage act involving simulated sex with a 15-year-old girl.
Born to Senegalese parents in France, Kalidou Koulibaly initially played for France U20 and then captained the Senegal national team. He took Senegal to the finals of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations. He has often opened up about racism, especially after once being called a “monkey” by a Florentina fan.
Senegalese singer Youssou N'Dour is known for popularizing the musical genre mbalax. The Grammy Award- and Praemium Imperiale-winning singer has also served as Senegal’s culture and tourism minister. Initially part of the Star Band, he later formed Étoile de Dakar. He has also starred in the British-American movie Amazing Grace.
Demba Ba is a former professional footballer who played as a striker in several teams, including Chelsea, West Ham United, and Newcastle United. He started playing football as a child and made his first-team debut with the team Rouen in 2005. He has been associated with many clubs since turning professional. He has also played for the Senegal national team.
Léopold Sédar Senghor was a Senegalese cultural theorist, poet, and politician. He was Senegal's first president, a position in which he served from 1960 to 1980. Widely regarded as one of the 20th century's most prominent African intellectuals, Senghor is credited with founding the Senegalese Democratic Bloc party. Senghor received many awards, including the African Studies Association's Lifetime Achievement Award.
Askia Mohammad I, or Askia the Great, established the Askia Dynasty of the Songhai Empire and reigned as its first ruler. Known for his efficient administration, than his fighting prowess, he introduced provinces and provincial governors in his kingdom. He also developed trade with Asia and Europe.
The 4th president of Senegal, Macky Sall has previously also been Senegal’s prime minister and the President of the National Assembly. Initially part of the Senegalese Democratic Party, he later joined the Alliance for the Republic. He has also been Senegal’s minister of mines, energy, and water, and the mayor of Fatick.
Abdou Diouf is a Senegalese politician who served as the president of Senegal from 1981 to 2000. Abdou Diouf is renowned for gracefully surrendering power to his successor Abdoulaye Wade, thereby contributing immensely to African peace. Wade went on to say that Diouf deserves a Nobel Peace Prize for exiting without violence.
Former Senegalese president Abdoulaye Wade and the current Senegalese Democratic Party secretary-general Abdoulaye Wade had practiced as a lawyer in France for a while after completing his PhD. Following his return to Senegal, he became an academic. His presidency was plagued by charges of corruption and nepotism.
Frank Vandenbroucke was a Belgian road racing cyclist. Despite his troubles with drug addiction, Vandenbroucke was seen as a bright prospect and a great hope for Belgian cycling. However, his addiction ultimately led to his estrangement from the world of cycling. Frank Vandenbroucke died at the age of 34 due to a pulmonary embolism.
Senegalese footballer Cheikhou Kouyaté who has played as both a midfielder and a defender is now associated with the club Nottingham Forest. Starting his senior career with the Belgian team RWDM Brussels, he later won 4 Belgian Pro Leagues with Anderlecht. He was also part of the 2021 African Cup of Nations-winning Senegalese team.
Blaise Diagne was a Senegalese-French political leader who became the first black African elected to the French Chamber of Deputies. He was also the first to hold a position in the French government. He actively advocated for equal rights for all and was a pioneer of black African electoral politics. He was a freemason.