The Sheraton Gambia Resort and Spa is a lovely hotel built on the hillside beside the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. I have visited it a number of times on photographic assignments for The Gambia Experience, including when it very first opened but when I went there last month and stepped out of the taxi I immediately noticed a striking difference to the hotel, a lovely village scene had been painted on the wall outside reception.

West African Art, Ibrahim Sesay Jr

The artist, Ibrahim Sesay Jnr, was born in a small village in Tonko Limba, a Northern Province of Sierra Leone. A musician and dancer, Ibrahim started painting while in the refugee camps in Sierra Leone and later in Guinea.

While the brutal war in his homeland continued, Ibrahim managed to start a new life in Senegal, finally settling down in The Gambia in 2000. In 2002 the war finally ended but Ibrahim stayed in The Gambia, which he is happy to call his home.

His skill as an artist was first noticed by a former General Manager of The Sheraton who employed Ibrahim to entertain the children at the hotel with face painting on a part-time basis during the high season (Nov to April).

When Marc Wozniak , the current General Manager at The Sheraton, saw some of Ibrahim’s art, he was so impressed that he offered him a commission to paint murals on the walls of the hotel.








Having started painting as a form of escape in the refugee camps he now sells his work locally including from the Sheraton’s lobby where many striking pieces are on display. In his own words “I love art  because it allows the human being the freedom of expression.”


Ibrahim’s paintings now adorn many walls throughout the hotel. As I wandered around the grounds I discovered more and more of the colourful murals. I was particularly struck with the wonderful variety of styles Ibrahim had developed and how naturally his work fitted into the hotel’s landscape. I had always liked this hotel but now it seemed somehow different and all for the better – more relaxed, more at home and more rooted in Africa.

West African Art, Sheraton, TheGambia

One of my favourite paintings by Ibrahim at The Sheraton Gambia Resort and Spa

West African Art, Sheraton, Gambia

Ibrahim Sesay Jr by his favourite painting at The Sheraton Gambia Resort & Spa

West African Art, The SHeraton , The Gambia


Related posts

The Sheraton’s signature massage at the Naatange Spa, The Gambia, Boutique Travel Blog

On the trail of the mythical Kumpo of Kanuma, TravelWith Kat

Luxury in The Gambia, The Travel Hack


Join my 'Behind the Scenes' newsletter

Delivered monthly to your inbox with all my behind the scenes news, latest posts and giveaways exclusive to my subscribers.


Travel Planning Resources

Please note that most of the following links are affiliate links which means that if you click on the link, I may be paid a small commission. You can find out more about affiliate links in my Disclaimer.


Travel Insurance

I never travel without insurance. If something unexpected goes wrong the costs implications are just too high to take the risk. World Nomads provides travel insurance to travellers from over 130 countries. They're the perfect choice for long term travellers or single trip insurance.


Travel clothes for women

Check out my guide to all my favourite travel clothes for women.


Book your hotel or package holiday

TripAdvisor is my preferred hotel search engine. They compare all the top sites to find you the best deal. I also use Airbnb ($31 discount) for booking rooms/apartments.


Book your flight

Skyscanneris my preferred flight search engine. I'd recommend them for finding the best deals on flights.

Rent a car

Discover Carsis a great site for comparing car hire prices to help you find the best deal. They search both local and international rental companies.


Book an experience

When I’m travelling, especially to a new city, I use Viator and Get Your Guide to book tours and excursions. You can't beat a good food tour to introduce you to a new city!


Don’t forget your travel adaptor

Worldwide travel adaptors are perfect no matter where you are travelling from or to. Buy this one from the US or this one from the UKIt’s pretty much the only one you’ll ever need. Please note that as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.


Pin It on Pinterest

More in Africa, Art & Architecture, Gambia
Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for the day

“Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for the day. Teach him how to fish and he’ll eat for...