“u can’t run/run/run from the roots u need to redeem for a future”
from who knew grannie: a dub aria

about mandiela

i walk in the world as a poet, working most often as a theatre director, and living as a self-professed foodie! my early career involved writing, readings, performances, lectures, and workshops across north america, the caribbean, england, and in australia. later i immersed myself in theatre as upstart founder/artistic director of b current performing arts which is still growing strong in toronto, canada!
while leading b current as artistic director i created the popular & much buzzed rock.paper.sistahz festival, ran the prestigious rAiz’n the sun training for emerging artists, nurtured at least two new generation of artists of colour in cross-canada, introduced dub Theatre to the world and laid ground for a lot of the non-traditional ways many canadian artists now create theatre plays.

i have three published books (speshal rikwes, dark diaspora… in dub, who knew grannie: a dub aria), film and videos screened and broadcasted worldwide, international sales of my audio cds and cassettes (first&last, barefoot&black, step.into my head), created dance choreographies, and written a few stage plays. a lot of my theatre work centred around directing ground-breaking plays, including big yard, cast iron, dark diaspora… in dub, el numero uno, a midsummer night’s dream for toronto’s dream in high park, obeah opera, steal away home, tightrope time, who knew grannie, wise.woman, and dream catchers for confederation centre of the arts in prince edward island, canada.

much of my work has benefited from arts council funding and arts fellowship support; i’ve volunteered continually and in excess; and awarded several prizes (including a dora silver ticket, different ‘best of’ nominations, some of the most heart-felt and profound thank you/s, and money!)

these days you may find me in different parts of the world living and working and engaging a few artistic projects, like my crossing/borders, the ongoing black stage canada media works; while directing and consulting for hire. on any given: you can catch me creating some raw and/or cooked culinary delights in my bush couture fashion and ensuring my carbon footprint is at a minimum.


Check out the drop down menu for more about my projects.

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