Promoter of the NSEF Project

NSEF Ambassador is committed to promoting the NSEF project and to helping to raise the quality of services provided by the organisation to the Guinea-Bissau community.

The Foundation’s Ambassador

Musical artist from Guinea-Bissau

The Foundation’s Ambassador

Musical artist from Guinea-Bissau

Goodwill Ambassador.

NSEF's Ambassador, Manecas Costa, will focus on supporting and realising the potential of networks that already exist, new opportunities for partnerships, and support for NSEF project to maximise its service to the Bissau Guinean community worldwide.

Short Biography

As a youth in Guinea-Bissau, Manecas Costa was immersed in the rich musical traditions of his West African native land.

Inspired by the great Bissau Guinean guitarist José Carlos Schwarz, Mr Costa took up the guitar at the age of 9 and formed a group called 'Africa Livre' with his brother Nelson Costa.

Such was the extent of Costa's local fame when he emerged from his teens that UNICEF decided to make him a Goodwill Ambassador.
This gesture was also recognition of his socially aware lyrics on Bissau Guinean society.


life and Career of Manecas Costa


life and Career of Manecas Costa

Life and career.

Early life

Manecas Costa was born in 1967, in Cacheu region of Guinea-Bissau.
Mr Costa was performing at age of 9 and founded the local group ‘Africa Livre’ with his brother Nelson, and by his mid-teens, he was a local star.

He was appointed a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF at the age of 20, campaigning for child health programs and composing songs to spread the message: the track ‘Meninos’ (which translates Children) advised ‘I don’t like to see children who are ill, or Mothers, don’t stay at home with your children when it is time to vaccinate them’.

However, in Guinea-Bissau, there are no recording studios, like many of his country’s musicians, he emigrated and settled in Lisbon, Portugal in 1990.

Musical style and career

Manecas Costa sings in Bissau-Kriolu, a mixture of Portuguese and indigenous languages. The region’s predominant form of musical expression is the sensuous gumbe dance, played on the tina water drum and the work of singer-songwriter and virtuoso guitarist Manecas Costa draws on such traditions with subtlety.

In the late '70s, he began singing and collaborating with musical groups such as N'Kassa Cobra, Cobiana Djaz, Mama Djombo, Orquesta Aragón, and Kapa Negra.

He recorded the first album in Lisbon named Mundo di Femia (1991); the second album was Fundo di Mato, released in 1999. Costa took part on the compilation Palop Africa!, and the third and most widely available album, 2003’s Paraiso Di Gumbe, was produced by BBC Radio 3 presenter Lucy Duran in Guinea Bissau itself and, despite the country’s rich musical heritage, is believed to be the first album ever recorded there. Costa recorded his fourth album Aló Irmao!, in 2010).

Manecas Costa News
"an exquisite debut album, surely one of the best African albums of the year" The Guardian

Manecas Costa Links