Patti Boulaye

Boulaye was born Patricia Ngozi Ebigwei (she changed her name to Boulaye in 1975 after meeting actress Evelyn 'Boo' Laye) in Nigeria in 1954. The last of eight children in a Catholic, high-achieving family, her father was a politician from the Igbo tribe who fled the country when a bloody civil war targeted them.

Although she had hopes of becoming a nun, Boulaye auditioned for a musical after standing in what she believed was a queue for Madame Tussauds, and won a part in a production of Hair. After Hair, she featured in Two Gentlemen of Verona. Her first starring role was as Yum Yum in The Black Mikado.

After Boulaye's starring role in African movie Bisi, Daughter of the River, she came to prominence as a singer after winning the British TV talent show New Faces, where she made history by becoming the only contestant ever to receive the maximum 120 points.

In Nigeria, she was the face of Lux Beauty soap for many years, and The Patti Boulaye Show was shown on several NTA stations.

In 2003, Boulaye launched her West End musical Sundance, which took seven years to make. Hailed as a celebration of "the colours and music of Africa in a display of ceremonial dances, rituals and initiation ceremonies, all played out to the beat of African drums", it was written and produced by Boulaye herself, and opened at the Hackney empire.

Apart from performing, Boulaye's other passion is campaigning for better awareness of HIV/AIDS in West Africa. She founded Support for Africa in 2001 following a visit to Nigeria where she held babies suffering from AIDS.
Source(s): An Interview with Patti Boulaye: The British-Nigerian Actress, Playwright and Charity Organizer, Wikipedia

The Magic Of Patti Boulaye
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