WUNMI IDOWU, CCEDA Outreach Coordinator
Woezo Africa Music & Dance Theatre | UNGANISHA |
Wunmi Idowu began performing traditional African dance styles at the age of 3 in her hometown, Lagos, Nigeria. She is an accomplished dancer, choreographer, instructor, and director of Woezo Africa Music & Dance Theatre (Woezo Africa).
Wunmi moved to Alberta in 1992 and continued immersing herself in the African dance community in the cities, Edmonton and Calgary. Prior to starting Woezo Africa, she worked with groups Wajjo drummers and Kekeli dancers, Nigerian Okoto Dance Troupe, C-Stylz Dancers, Afrikanata Dancers and Asante Dance Troupe. She continues to share her passion for African culture and dance through performances and classes in dance styles, Afrobeats, Afro Fusion and traditional African dances such as Coupé Décalé and Ndombolo.
Woezo Africa, meaning “welcome to the land of perfection”, was birthed in 2006 out of Wunmi’s passion for sharing African dance and culture. This platform creates a space for artists from rich backgrounds of dance styles to entertain, educate, and empower their audiences through traditional and modern African modes of performing arts, including dance, music, theatre, and storytelling. Under her leadership, Woezo Africa created local and international productions, such as Africa Jo, UNITY: Dance Across Africa and UNGANISHA; as well as two editions of Woezo Africa Festival (2007 and 2012) in collaboration with the Guild of Nigerian Dancers (G.O.N.D) and Ijodee Dance Center in Lagos, Nigeria.
In 2016, Wunmi won an award for people’s choice Performing Arts in the category of Dancer at the Obsidian Award. In addition, the endless support of Woezo Africa resulted in the celebration of three major achievements and recognition in 2017 and 2018 by being a big part of the inauguration of Alberta’s first Black History Month. Furthermore, Woezo Africa was also awarded a Certification of recognition from the House of Commons of Canada (House of Parliament). This reinforces the development and importance of understanding cultural diversity and equity in the community.