born Dancer Performer
“The first time I saw Mambo perform, it was amazing. The moment she stepped on the stage at the Brooklyn Bandshell, the whole crowd went ballistics. It was like watching this African S & M Queen whip the crowd into submission,” Boo Lynn Harris, Afropop.org. Mambo has been performing since she was 10 and has been in countless productions, dance companies, troupes and bands. She has done countless videos and has had the pleasure of entertaining the Crowned Prince of Saudi Arabia, the President of Ghana and the President of Cameroon.
“It is always a blessing as an artist to perform for their head of state but to be asked twice and paid double the second time to do a welcome ceremony, is unheard of,” says Mambo. It was the fear of the “boot” that had this lady perfecting her performance skills. According to Mambo, “My first teacher, Mr. Anderson from the Lincoln African Dance Ensemble, who taught me stage presence and dance expression would teach us choreography for four to six weeks. When it was time for the performance Mr. Anderson would broodingly announce with the greatest theatrics I have ever seen, ‘Aint nobody getting on my stage if y’all don’ know this dance,’ and in perfect tour jettais mode, ‘you don know the dance, all o y’all are getting the boot. And the will be no show.’ That used to frighten the butterflies out of my stomach.”
After watching her open up for soukous stars at Joe’s Pub in NYC and hearing the deafening applause before she even finished her piece tells me that this performer can wake the dead with the gyration of her waist, flight of her thunder legs, the exuberant expressions on her face. It feels like the dosage of this artist, this performer will only get stronger.
“What can you expect from me, next? I do so much performing and teaching that I myself have no clue on where the Almighty will take me next. All I have to do is keep giving praise where praise is due, be humble with my art and teach it to the next generation because that is absolutely important. The youth have to understand and respect our culture, in so doing they learn to love themselves. That’s why I joined FUSHA Dance Company. Funmilayo does a great job of reaching out to students and teaching them to love dance. She taught me how to teach it. It’s one thing to know something but it is another to teach someone else.
“Another thing you should expect next is a documentary on the life of an African Dancer in New York. It’s going to be tough but my family believes in me and expects me to do my best in everything I do and my plan is not to let them down.”
Burkina Faso: Beranger, “Introducion – Mr. Beranger”
Congo: Jirbo Ntunta & Soukous Stars, “Maison Blanche”
Soukous Stars “Live at Joe’s Pub”
Soukous Stars “Live at International Reggae and World Music Awards”
Soukous Stars “Live in Maryland”
Yondo Sister, “Live in NYC”
Nigeria: Princess Kush, “Kushaka Tribe”
Burkina Faso: Petit John, “C’est Chic”, “C’est Beau”
USA: “Mapouka Contest”
MAMBO FOR A PERFORMANCE