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ARTS FOCUS:  A Little bit 'bout Mama C

Charlotte Hill O’Neal aka Mama C is a vocalist, writer, poet and visual artist who has been performing professionally for more than twenty years and exhibiting her art work extensively since 1986.

Mama C was born in Kansas City, Kansas in U.S.A. but left the states at age 19 to live and work in Africa in 1970. She has lived in Tanzania since 1972.

She is co director of the United African Alliance Community Center UAACC which was founded by her husband Pete O’Neal and which provides classes in various subjects for the AruMeru Community outside of Arusha, TZ. 

Mama C was greatly influenced in her early years by the jazz, blues and gospel that Kansas City is famous for and was always surrounded by music and art in general.

As a visual artist she continues to exhibit her work around the world and as a poet and vocalist she has performed yearly since 1995, during the UAACC Heal the Community tour in cities and universities across America. 

In recent years in addition to her solo performances,
 Mama C has been jammin’ with young artists
in America and East Africa
fusing contemporary hip hop
with jazz, blues, R&B
and
she has performed and/or recorded with a growing roster of artists including
 M1 of dead prez     Umi of RBG
FidQ
Natty Rebels
 Purple Kush
Ulysess Salett
 Ras Kofi  Kelly Love Jones
Urban Shamans
Khari Allen Lee
King David
Mechanix from South Africa
Kalamashaka’s Kamau Ngigi
Mandugu Digital’s Ambrose Akwabi
Watengwa artists JCB and Dwee
  Sauda Simba
 Mrisho Mpoto   Nuru Heri
Kamikaze
Alwatan Kwele
Will Power
Carlos Andres Gomez
Big Mic   Buddha Blaze
South African musician Tony Cedras
among many others on the continent and in America.

click here for select scenes of performances and studio jams

 

Her song writing and performing talents have been showcased in performances on television and radio in many cities and universities across America and East Africa and she launched her last album titled Music is My Medicine in Atlanta, GA. in 2008. The album, produced by Peace Power Production Studio’s William “Kamikaze” Njoroge follows My Life Already Full (2007); Warriors of Peace (2007); Freedom or Nothing (2006).  She launched her book of poetry, Warrior Woman of Peace: Philosophical Life Flows from An Urban Spirit in the African Bush, during the 2008 Heal the Community Tour in America. Also that year, she was honored for her years of arts activism along with noted poet and professor, Dr. Sonia Sanchez and Sister Pam Afrika, in Philadelphia U.S.A. in a special tribute, Standing on our Mothers Shoulders.


These Warriors of Peace came together for the video Rasta Cool which emphasized community service and cameo'd some of East Africa's finest musicians including legendary musician
Mr Coumson Mkomwa RIP,
 saxaphonist supreme.

The Peace Power Productions Studio album was
produced by Ras Magere

 


The photo for this album cover was after the UAACC Hip Hop weekend retreat and seminar.
This was New Year's Day.
Faza Nelly RIP of Xplastaz was there!

The Peace Power Productions Studio album was produced by Alwatan Kwele

Mama C’s next album is set to be released in December 2009, produced by Kamikaze at
Peace Power Productions. FidQ features on the title track, Mama Got Swag.

Mama C continues to enjoy jammin’ and recording with artists from around the world. She is presently performing with a talented group of East African musicians under the umbrella of Dunia Truth.

Pete O’Neal and Mama Charlotte are the subjects of two award winning documentaries about their lives and activism including American Exile narrated by Hollywood actress Alfre Woodard and the PBS documentary, A Panther in Africa, by Aaron Matthews. www.apantherinafrica.com

Mama C is featured in the Clantash documentary ‘The Power of Poetry’ and she is one of the artists in the newly released documentary on art and activism by ‘Hip Hop Colony’ filmmakers Michael Wanguhu and Russell Kenya titled ‘Ni Wakati’.    M1 of dead prez and Umi of RBG and Kamau of
Kalamashaka are some of the artists featured  







 

 


 

 




A scene from the making of Ni Wakati
by Michael Wanguhu. That's M1 and Umi on the mic


A triangle of love and activism! Dr. Sonia Sanchez, noted poet and professor and Sis Pam Afrika, world renown activist for political prisioners, bless Mama Charlotte during the tribute to them as long term community activist at the Standing on Our Mothers Tribute in Philadelphia, PA
They had just received the robes of the Maasai marking them as
Warrior Women!


What a blessing to jam with these two great South African musicians! The great Tony Cedras and Nathi Gcabashe, who has a voice like no other!
 It was happening at the La Grande Dakar in Brooklyn Feb. 09

Coming Soon!! new links and many more pics, posters, music and video!

 

 


 


Dunia Truth mixin' jazz, blues and hip hop...ingredients for some good musical messages!
 


Watengwa brothers JCB and Dwee and John Masangwa...


...Francis Lotuno and King David  all play under the Dunia Truth umbrella of musicians


 




 


























Photo by Robert Babuu Mollell

Mama Charlotte's poetry book

Warrior Woman of Peace

will soon be available on line

as well as her music and videos!

 


Photo for cover of Warrior Woman of Peace
 by Gaidi Faraj

A Few Highlights!


Ambrose working his magic!


King David riffin and jazzin it up!


A Conspiracy of Musicians!


FidQ visited UAACC with several East Africa Allstars!

Big Mic jammed in PPP studio...laid it down!


I was so tired after the performance but still managed to get the energy to do a jingle for East Africa radio

Bro Geronimo with Prof Jay and my poetry book

Brother Kamau chillin at UAACC


Jammin' with Natty Rebel crew in Philly!

Mama Koko and Kami...She did a freestyle spoken word composition "I could have loved that man" that was beautiful!!

Performance with Nuru Heri...nice!

Khari Lee...New Orleans sax man supreme and the incomparable King David doin' it!!!


East African Allstars at UAACC!


Jammin with a Baaaddd musician in Phoenix! This sister could play some vibraphones like nobody's business! When the spirit hit we just danced it off!!


Doin' it in Philly! Everybody was wild with Jah Love!
Whenever I'm in Philly Brother Kwele and I perform pamoja! That's MC Blak also on the mic. It was like a reunion!

 

Feelin' the spirit and gettin carried away!!


Scene from the making of
Music is My Medicine video

...another scene from Music is My Medicine video


Music is My Medicine video shoot

artists peace power!

What a joy when I perform with Tony Cedras! He was Mama Marium Makeba's musician for years! Here we are after a jam at La Grande Dakar in Brooklyn early this year


 After the Arusha's Got Talent show at Masai Camp!

 


Mzee Pete and Bro Ambrose

I luv me sum Brooklyn jam!

Mzee Pete with M1 and film makers Michael Wanguhu and Russell Kenya during the making of the documentary Ni Wakati