ahdri zhina mandiela  

seems i’ve always, and continue to 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 the toronto company, b current (www.bcurrent.ca) which has been in existence since 1991!

during ‘my tenure’ at b current 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 toronto, 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 in toronto, 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, and wise.woman.

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!)

find me between tobago/caribbean & ontario/canada; living and working at a pace where i can breathe/fresh air, eat/vital food, love/many people, engage/a few artistic projects, write/more, and enjoy the days/nights. on any given… you can catch me creating some raw and/or cooked culinary delights in my bush couture fashion, consulting or collaborating with artists, advising the b current team (in my emeritus capacity), or connecting with my mother who is approaching 90 years and my daughter/jajube (whose age i won’t tell), both living in toronto.