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Articles > Maobong Oku plays with Cuban group Proyecto Nunkue Ayaya, 8/18/11 YouTube

Photo by: Jamie Bower

Maobong Oku
www.maobongoku.com

Maobong is a singer, dancer, and drummer from the Efik people of Calabar, Nigeria. Based in Vancouver, she leads a group there called Kokoma African Heritage Ensemble.

She is also a priestess of the Ndem water spirits of Calabar, where Cuba's Abakuá came from. During Abakuá ceremonies, reverence is paid to the Ndem spirits with the phrase "Ndem Efi, Ndem Efo."

In August, 2011, Maobong Oku played with Project Nunkue Ayaya -- Roman Diaz, Clemente Medina, Onel Mulet -- in their premier session. This was filmed by Martin Cohen and his Congahead crew and is available on YouTube. See Congahead.com for photos from the video shoot.

Among the musicians playing with Maobong in Vancouver is Toto Berriel, of los Muñequitos de Matanzas, whose father Israel Berriel still plays with the group, most of whom are Abakuá. See YouTube video of Canada Day performance, 7/1/11 -- Toto is to the left of lead singer Maobong.

http://youtu.be/OsnCl4lOlV8

October 17, 2011 | Registered CommenterLukumiArts