Pronounced: WHAM BOO EE
Don't let her youthful looks and boundless energy fool you! This captivating woman presents with over fifty years of professional theater and public speaking experience, spanning a wide range of venues, audiences, and cities throughout the United States, Canada, and Australia.
From the time she was a child, Wambui Bahati (aka John-Ann Washington), has enjoyed entertaining others. As an adult survivor of mental illness and domestic abuse, she has combined the wisdom and strategies that helped her reclaim her health, happiness and peace, with her gifts as a performing artist. This has allowed her to inspire and motivate thousands of people in powerful and unique ways.
She began her formal theatrical studies at the New York University School of the Arts (The School was later renamed the Tisch School of the Arts.) and made her professional theatrical debut as an original cast member in Godspell at Ford's Theater in Washington, D.C. She went on to perform in the Broadway productions of Godspell and Jesus Christ Superstar..
Wambui's regional and touring credits include starring roles in The Magic Show, Joseph Papp's rock version of Two Gentlemen of Verona, Little Ham, Nunsense, Don't Bother Me, I Can't Cope, Gone With the Wind –the musical, The Wiz and Crowns.
Wambui wrote, produced and stars in the one-woman musical Balancing Act [about how mental illness stole her life – and how she took her life back] and the play, I Am Domestic Violence. Both of these shows have received international acclaim for the unique way that they provide outstanding entertainment while dealing with important issues in our communities.
Ms. Bahati possesses the uncanny ability to create custom shows and presentations based on a specific theme or topic. She has written and performed these custom presentations for organizations such as NOW (National Organization for Women), Habitat for Humanity, and the Jimmy Carter Center.
Some of her awards include a Woman of Achievement Award from the Greensboro Commission on the Status of Women, a Belle Ringer Image Award from Bennett College, the Lionel Aldridge Award (a national honor recognizing individuals who provide extraordinary service and courage on behalf of people with mental illnesses), the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, North Carolina's President's Award, and a proclamation from the mayor of the city of Toledo, Ohio.
The native Greensboro, North Carolinian currently lives in New York City and is the proud mother of two adult daughters and two granddaughters. Over the past five years, she has shared her love of 'creating with her hands' by providing online tutorials on various crafts.
She is the author of the highly acclaimed, tell-all, autobiographical empowerment book, You Don't Know Crazy - My Life Before, During, After, Above and Beyond Mental Illness and the books: Domestic Violence and Relationship Abuse Awareness and Prevention for College Women - A Reminder, and They Are Not Going To Save Us.
Her passion: "Reminding You of Your Magnificence."