Woezo Africa Music & Dance Theatre, in collaboration with Creoternity Theatre, will be launching UNGANISHA. To make a cultural showcase possible, it takes a dedicated team of people.
I am a dancer, choreographer, instructor and an event planner based in Calgary. I am also the Founder and Director of Woezo Africa Music & Dance Theatre which is an African performance company founded in 2006. The name Woezo Africa means “welcome to the land of perfection”, the company strives to preserve the purity of the cultural values and principles of Africa by providing quality entertainment and education to our community by increased community involvement with youth, improve community relations and promote a better understanding and appreciation of the African culture and its contributions to today’s society.
We are committed to excellence and integrity in the training of dancers, the delivery of performances that celebrate such art forms, and the development of community-based programs that utilize the cultural arts to uplift people of African descent. I have devoted the majority of my time and energy to dance performances, instruction and presentation for over 20 years, performing around the world and having the opportunity to introduce western audiences to the vibrancy of African arts and culture. Throughout my career I have been involved in traditional and contemporary West African dance since the age of 3, performing professionally since 1993 and teaching professionally since 2006. It has been my goal to broaden the public’s idea of what African dance can be by providing a window into the complex cultural backgrounds that inform various styles of African dance as they are performed today.
In 2007, I travelled to my birthplace of Lagos, Nigeria with an ensemble to host the Woezo Dance Festival with the Guild of Nigerian Dancers (G.O.N.D.). In collaboration with G.O.N.D., I invited dance companies from all over West Africa to perform both traditional African styles and contemporary dance styles such as hip-hop and salsa. Workshops were also conducted to provide the opportunity for the ensembles to share their knowledge of various styles with one another. In 2012, I returned to Lagos to host a second Woezo Dance Festival, this time in collaboration with Ijodee Dance Centre. These experiences demonstrated that traditional African dance modes are not fixed, but fluid and inclusive, readily incorporating influences from other dance styles that allowed them to continue to change and evolve.
A grounded artiste, Chibuzo ‘Chibie’ Okoye has worked in the TV, film and theatre industries as an actor, singer, director, and producer.
Born in Lagos, Nigeria, Chibie moved to Canada in the summer of 2004 for her undergraduate degree in Communications and Computer Science from the University of Windsor. She went on to perform locally in the gospel and spoken-word scene in Windsor where she co-founded Creative Expressions to showcase other artists. She honed her acting and directing skills through student films before singing and recording original songs for the score of the critically acclaimed, multi-award winning film ‘The Tenant’ of which she was also an Associate Producer. She was later cast professionally in several movies, notably ‘Aftermath’ by National Geographic.
She would go on to act as the lead in the stage drama ‘Brixton Stories’ at Berkeley Theatre in Toronto – Canadian Stage, embarking on a national tour, before working as a Producer at AfriCan Theatre Ensemble for the stage play ‘Lost,’ touring the GTA. She has worked as an Associate Producer at Planet Africa Television and Production Team of several Live Awards shows and performances. She has since produced the feature film ‘KOFA’ and most recently directed the stage play ‘Sankara’.
Chibie takes pleasure in celebrating her cultural heritage through her music and art forms and is thrilled to embark on this astonishing journey of historical discovery, providing the creative direction for UNGANISHA.
Middle Eastern belly dancer, Model and Zumba instructor. Born and raised in Israel. Growing up in the Middle East where Bellydancing has its origins, Aphrodit has been exposed to bellydancing for as long as she can remember. She has a lot of passion and deep appreciation for the music and dance of different cultures. Bellydancing being her favourite style. Aphrodit is also a Zumba instructor and she is pursuing a career in acting, modeling, fashion and designing.
Her interest in dance led her to Woezo Africa Music & Dance Theatre. Deborah joins the team as Production Assistant and a Step Dancer to support the successful planning and execution of the show.
Adora Nwofor is unquestionable quality. She’s certainly unique and yet has something relatable to everyone due to her anthropology background and plethora of extraordinary world experiences.
Standing 6’1’ she commands the stage as a comedian, MC, public speaker, model, and actor. She can be seen on stages hosting events such as folk fest Cariwest, femme wave, as well as the Grand marshal of the March for women (2017) where she hosted over 5000 women. Just when you think she has a niche she pops up as MC for Canada day 150 and Culture days for the city of Calgary. As a speaker at their yearly diversity in leadership conference she had a waiting list due to great interest and her inclusive and informed speaking style. Adora’s comedy has a feminist pov with a dark twist that has been labeled by some as shock wit.
Her acting resume is slowly growing from local TV and Indy to reality to Nollywood and principles role such as suck it up (2016). Modeling, styling and makeup are skills she uses to spread her message of body positivity, as seen in Avenue magazine’s Best dressed list (Calgary 2017).
She always brings grace and is as great addition to any event big or small.
Pamela is the principal and CEO of global communications consultancy, PR Consult. She has more than 15 years of international public relations and corporate communications experience across tech, e-commerce, automotive, broadcasting and not-for-profit industries. As an avid lover of the Arts, Pamela has sat on the board of the Ribbon Rouge Foundation in Edmonton and Seoul Theatre in Seoul to help promote diversity, social causes and Arts culture. She currently sits on the board for the South Edmonton Business Association and is part of the executive team for Evolution Toastmasters. This is her first year with UNGANISHA.
Mwabeni L. Indire is a professional filmmaker from Los Angeles living in Calgary. He founded and owns Indire Entertainment and has produced commercials for BMW, Infiniti, Honda, and various companies both small and large. Mwabeni is also filming two Spanish-language movies, one of which is set in Guatemala, Canada and the USA. Indire Entertainment also produces other audio-visual experiences, like music videos and weddings.
Mwabeni is a first-generation American of Kenyan and North-East African descent and fluently speaks and writes in three languages – Maragoli, English and Kiswahili, along with a smattering of French, Spanish and other Kenyan languages. He has lived in the USA (Los Angeles and Lansing), Calgary, Vancouver as well as Nairobi, Kenya. He also attended colleges in all three countries.
Mwabeni is a graduate of the prestigious Vancouver Film School and has had several articles published having been a newspaper’s managing editor in his Michigan college days. He has extensive modeling, and acting experience too. In his downtime, he enjoys mountain-biking, dance, teaching and sharing world history and the Scriptures, soccer, composing film scores, drawing, working on cars and spending time with great friends and family. He can be reached at Beni@indire-entertainment.com. He is excited to be a part of the great collaboration that’s making UNGANISHA possible!
Chantelle Rose Arbic is a photographer currently attending Alberta Of College of Art and Design and working towards her design degree majoring in photography.
Her style consists of working with people, challenging them to express themselves and capturing the raw moment. She does not like heavily photoshopped images so keeps her photography on the natural side. Using light and composition to pull together a perfect exposed image of her subjects.
She has also done many VIP events around Calgary, such as images for the “ignite Festival” that took place June 2017.