Freda Abbott-Ayodele,[bottom left] a visual and performing artist has graced the stages of Central Ohio for over 25 years as dancer/choreographer, singer and most recently drummer. She is a member of Uhuru Dance Ensemble, the first African dance group in Columbus; Akwabaa, an all women’s African drum group and Advance party, which is a poetry, drum and dance act. Freda adds these talents to Sistah Ngoma.
Yvonne Mumin [bottom right] is the Lead Dancer and instructor for the Uhuru Dancers of Columbus, OH. She is also the Dance Instructor and Choreographer for the Directions for Youth and Family services and works with the Short Stop Youth Center Drum Dance and Theater Ensemble teaching young man and women African Dance to certain drum rhythms.
Pat Funderburg's Afro-Rhythms provides both graceful and powerful creative movements that give a challenging workout. The movements are modified for any level of fitness or presentation. It combines Pat's love of dance with her commitment to fitness. The result is a fun invigorating workout that is "exercise to a different beat!"
Yvonne, Freda and Pat add movement to Sistah Ngoma. We perform certain cultural drum patterns as they dance.
Uhuru (Swahili for "freedom")
Left to right top: Letha Pugh, Elizabeth Bolen, Pat Funderburg
Middle left to right: Sue Franks, Barbara "Wahru" Cleveland, and Rani-Biffle Quimba
Sistah Ngoma Bios
Rani Quimba is one of Sistah Ngoma’s original members. She has studied with Wahru for several years. She has also attended workshops presented by Ubaka Hill, Nurudafina Pili Abena, and several others, and is considered an accomplished drummer on the djembe’ and dunun. Rani was a member of the NWMF’s first drum chorus and has participated in this festival as a workshop presenter, assistant facilitator for the late night drum jams, and in performances with Sistah Ngoma. She also has performed with Judy Piazza, the KRI and Hettie, Nurudafina Abena, Edwina Lee Tyler, Wahru and others at the National Women Music Festival, the Ohio Womyn’s Music Festival, Wimfest, and local.
Elizabeth grew up in a musical family and was exposed to a variety of music genres at a young age including: American Folk Music, Blues, Bluegrass, Zydeco, and Celtic. She began singing, playing guitar and writing songs when she was 16. A djembe drummer for 16 years she has played with several drumming groups including: Groove Project, multicultural Women's drum groups and Sistah Ngoma, as well as with the Columbus Community Drummers.
Sue Frank has been with Sistah Ngoma for over four years. She has a passion for drumming and shows it when learning the backup patterns for djembe and complicated dun patterns. She is also a member of the Columbus Community Drummers.
Letha Pugh has performed as a conga player with several local female music groups. . She also plays djembe and is a natural on duns. She provides Sistah Ngoma with swagger.
Julie Kronenberger add verse to our group. She has a great vocal range and loves to sing. She also plays djembe and assists on the dun on special numbers.