Penny Dreadful Wiki
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For all the blood we share, for all the miles we have walked, Malcolm, we are not the same. Where I come from, we know, some people cannot be saved.
— Sembene to Sir Malcolm[src]

Sembene was a Senegalese man who was a longtime acquaintance of Sir Malcolm Murray. Sembene served as Sir Malcolm's manservant in which he also performed the role of sentry and confidant. He had an air of mystery and his heroic efforts proved invaluable in Sir Malcolm's personal quest.

Appearance and Personality[]

Sembene was outwardly calm and commonly appears introverted and indifferent. He was a quiet man who only spoke in short, succinct sentences unless he had the need to say something important or necessary. He appeared friendly and shown signs of interest, such as confessing in a brief conversation with Ethan his awe and disbelief at seeing the size of the ocean for the first time. Sembene also had an apparently strong relationship with Sir Malcolm; although the exact origins are unclear, it is implied that at one point one saved the others life. Despite adopting a servile position as a manservant, Sembene had no problems voicing his views and warnings to Sir Malcolm when he felt the need. Their relationship was unclear but friendly.

Sembene was also very brave and unafraid to enter combat against supernatural foes. He was able to act quickly and maintain his composure in serious situations. His religious beliefs, according to himself, were that he believed in everything. It is possible that he had encountered supernatural creatures in his homeland prior to Sir Malcolm's battles with vampires in London.

Sembene appeared to be a middle-aged man who possessed ritual scars across both of his cheeks. These he alleged to have been markings to denote his old occupation as a slave trader.[1] He commonly dressed in a read waist coat with lapels. He had black hair and brown eyes.

Skills and Abilities[]

  • Hand-to-hand combat: Highly competent in fighting, Sembene commonly uses a long, curved knife much like a Nepalese Kukri. He is highly competent with this blade and manages to dispatch with it multiple lesser vampires.
  • Bilingual: Sembene is able to speak both English and Lingala. As a Senegalese man, he is likely also familiar with French.
  • Stealth: Sembene has demonstrated a talent for stalking others at a distance and remaining unseen.
  • Baking: Sembene shows skill in making a buttercream-frosted torte.


Season 1
Season 2

Memorable Quotes[]

Sembene (to Ethan Chandler): When I first saw the ocean, I thought it must be a lake. Nothing could be so large, not even the mountains or the moon.


Ethan Chandler: I have a theory. I think Sir Malcolm saved your life, and you owe him. That’s why you’re here.

Sembene: Or I saved his, and now he is my responsibility.

Ethan Chandler: Guess it comes down to the same thing. We all owe each other in the end.


Ethan Chandler: Do you believe in God?

Sembene: I believe in everything.


Sembene (To Ethan): The leopard consumes the monkey, and becomes leopard and monkey. The crocodile consumes the leopard, and becomes crocodile, and leopard, and monkey. I have seen this. The shamans in my mountains call it Uchawi Mabadiliko: the changing from one skin into another. The ones so cursed do not always fully remember it, this... becoming.

-Little Scorpion