Click the player above to hear Wambui's mother's thoughts about her name --Excerpt from her one-woman show, You Don't Know Crazy.
Actress / Singer
Wambui Bahati, a.k.a. John-Ann Washington, began her formal theatrical studies at New York University School of the Arts and made her professional theatrical debut 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. (See theater resume here.)
Wambui wrote, produced and stars in the one-woman musical Balancing Act the Musical and I Am Domestic Violence. Both of these shows have received national 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 Carter Center.
Some of her awards include the 1987 Metroland (Capital Region of New York State ) Awards - Best actress in a Musical - Sister Hubert in "Nunsense", 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 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.
Named John Ann Washington at birth, Wambui Bahati is her new legal name taken on during the "reinvention of herself." In Swahili Wambui means "singer of songs," Bahati means, "my fortune is good." The native North Carolinian lives in New York City and is the proud mother of two adult daughters. She is the author of You Don't Know Crazy, the highly acclaimed, tell-all, autobiographical empowerment book.