Bose Ogulu (Mama Burna)
Garnering the attention of fans all over the globe, Bose Ogulu, the mother of explosive Nigerian Afro-fusion artist Burna Boy, has a legion of followers of her own. The outspoken business manager of Burna Boy can often be seen supporting her son and creating viral moments for the blogs. Recently, she made news after she danced up to the stage to accept an award on his behalf at the SoundCity MVP Awards Festival. “They say he dey craze, he no normal. Thank you for 2018. 2019, expect more madness,” she said, prompting a flood of social media responses from fans expressing their wish that Ogulu was their mom.
But what’s more than the viral moments and the big personality is Ogulu’s own accomplishments as not only a manager, but an academic and professional. With a Bachelor of Arts in foreign languages (she speaks French, Italian, German, English, and Yoruba), and a Masters of Arts in translation, Ogulu had a successful career as a translator for the Federation of West African Chambers of Commerce that predates and rivals any social media fame surrounding her. Her commitment to youth culture runs deep; from 1997 to 2015 she was the CEO of Language Bridges, a language and music school, where she organized cultural immersion trips for over 1,800 young people. Present-day, she not only manages the career of her son, but of other acts like musical and visual artist Nissi Nation and author Benson Idonije. And for 29 of her years, she’s been a wife. (She is also the mother of three children).
Ogulu’s contributions to youth culture go beyond furthering her son’s career. And that’s why fans have adoringly dubbed her “Mama Burna.” As he ascends, her business acumen and omnipresence is a reminder of just how fierce an African mother’s love is for her children, a reminder to youth of the preciousness of their own maternal figures and how far they will go to ensure we thrive.