Ramatu Afegbua-Sabbatt, founder and executive director of Manga African Dance, Inc.
Ramatu Afegbua-Sabbatt, is a native of Idah in Kogi State, Nigeria, and a descendant of the Okpella tribe’s Royal Family of Afegbua. Ramatu got her start in the fine arts at a young age when she began acting from age 14 where she appeared in state television programs in Nigeria. The particular famous pieces she played in are Wedlock of the Gods, a famous play by Zulu Sofola, and The Gods Are Not to Blame by Ola Rotimi.
Ms. Afegbua-Sabbatt immigrated to the United States in 1988 to Atlanta, Georgia. As a University graduate with a degree in Business administration, a major in Marketing, who served in the mandatory under-graduate program in Nigeria as a high school teacher through the national youth service council (NYSC) for a year. She also holds a Diploma in Insurance and a Grade 11 Teachers Certificate in Education. Ms. Afegbua-Sabbatt graduated from Saint Leo University, Florida with a Master’s Degree in Business Administration in 2012.
Since 1988, she has influenced authenticity in African dance by performing with the leading cultural dance companies in metro Atlanta (Extensions of Africa, African Dance Connections, Uhuru Dancers, Barefoot Ballet Manya, Giwayen Mata and Ballethnic Dance Company’s signature production, Leopard’s Tale). Mrs. Afegbua-Sabbatt co-founded Barefoot Ballet Manya. As the founder of Giwayen Mata (translated from Hausa as “Elephant Leaders of the Women”), an all female percussion ensemble, she broadened artistic expression for female artists by challenging the traditional practice of exclusively restricting drumming to male musicians.
Mrs. Afegbua-Sabbatt is listed on Fulton County’s School Arts Program, Georgia Council for the Arts’ residency Artists Directory, and former Young Audiences/Woodruff Arts Center.
Mrs. Afegbua-Sabbatt is in her 17th year as an instructor in Atlanta Ballet’s Dance Education Program at Fulton County’s West End Performing Arts Program.
Accomplishments & Accolades
1995. Certificate of Special Recognition for Volunteerism; Atlanta, GA.
1996. Centennial Olympic Games Recognition of Contribution; Atlanta, GA.
2000. Afegbua-Sabbatt received Excellence in Teaching Award; Gate City Heritage School.
2003. National Women’s History Project.
2004. Afegbua-Sabbatt received Heritage Award for Outstanding Dedication to Our Children.
2004. Afegbua-Sabbatt received Outstanding Woman in the Multicultural Community.
2005. Afegbua-Sabbatt was ordained with a chief-anointed title in Nigeria and now retains the name Chief Odufa which means ‘one that comes with blessings’.
2006. Afegbua-Sabbatt received Local Hero Award from Bank of America’s, Neighborhood Excellence Initiative.
2012. Afegbua-Sabbatt received Super CLO certificate award from the U.S. State Department at American Embassy, Abuja, Nigeria.
2013. Afegbua-Sabbatt goes on to tour in the Democratic Republic of Congo where she instituted an annual Rhythm in Motion program for the US Embassy in Kinshasa.
2014. Afegbua-Sabbatt was invited to become a member of the International Dance Council, based in Paris, France. She then instituted the Rhythm in Motion Black History program for the U.S. Embassy in Kinshasa, DRC.
2015. As a member of the International Dance Council, Afegbua-Sabbatt was invited personally to perform for the Dance World Cup in Vancouver, CA.
Ramatu also received the International Women’s Day Award for the “Make It Happen” program from the U.S. Embassy, Kinshasa, DRC for her outreach to the community through dance culture, marking her in a long line of women who lead the charge in getting things done.
Received an award of appreciation from the Go, Eat, Give organization and campaign for her contribution to the relief efforts to end world hunger.
Received a meritorious honor award from the U.S. Department of State for her institution of the Rhythm in Motion Black History program for the U.S. Embassy in Kinshasa, DRC.C.