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Ezibu Muntu Changes Name and Mission

Home / Community Discussions / News and Announcements / Ezibu Muntu Changes Name and Mission

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    Tanya Dennis

    Ezibu Muntu African Dance Company and Cultural Foundation has modified its name to Ezibu Muntu.

    Ezibu Muntu, (pronounced easy-boo moon-too) in the Yoruba language means “Universal family.” Beginning in 2015 and culminating in 2018 the Company evolved with a mission to be more than a dance company.  Ezibu is now an organization that offers music, theater and education.

    Re-emerging “As the Village that Raises the Child.” Ezibu utilizes state-of-the-art, award winning curriculum and strategies to address every child at every level, i.e. the child still searching for their identity to the high-level achiever, eager for knowledge and leadership opportunities.

    In 2015, Ezibu’s Founder Tanya Dennis, and Executive Director Renee Knight embarked upon program development while seeking a centrally located space to expand programming and services.  Knight and Dennis, in collaboration with 1973 Alumni member and Ezibu’s Theater Director  Nancy Nelson Ewing, are planning to stage award winning plays created by Ewing.  Hopefully by 2021, Dennis and Ezibu’s technical director Tony Hall, under Ewing’s guidance will stage “Brother Dap” a Black history musical written by California playwright Fred Davis.

    Knight and Dennis created a music component, primarily to address the chronic problem most non-profits face, and that is funding.  An annual Black Music Series, hosted in June at the Carpenter Theater, in celebration of Black Music Month, is in the planning stages with hopes of a June 2020 launch.  Ezibu’s goal is to become financially self-sustaining via three fundraisers: The Gala which you are attending tonight, The Black Music Series, and their annual Dance Concert which will be hosted this year at the Glen Allen Cultural Center June 28th and 29th.

    Ezibu has multi-talented members whose only limits have been funding.  Rodrick Davis, Ezibu’s musical director is a master in Capoeira, a Brazilian Martial art form that will be taught at the center.  Mr. Davis is currently one of Ezibu’s teachers during summer camp, teaching drum making and mentoring young men utilizing African principles and leadership.

    A 2023 Company trip to Cuba connecting with Museo de los Orishas and Casa de Africa, culminating in performances at the Teatro Mella is in the planning stages with lead choreographer and Artistic Director, Babadunjo Olagunke.

    Last but not least, Ezibu Muntu is dedicated to owning its own building.  Once a building is secured, programming to the Richmond community will increase ten-fold, as classes, workshops and seminars will be offered daily.  “It takes a village to raise a child” and Ezibu Muntu is that village.

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