Bibi Badejo is a London born Nigerian, professional lawyer and samba enthusiast. Her love for samba started during a trip to Brazil in 2009 where she experienced carnival for the first time in both the cities of Rio and Salvador. Determined to learn this style of dance, she began taking lessons in 2010 before becoming part of the Paraíso School of Samba, the only school of its kind in the UK whose artistic direction is led by artists who grew up in Rio de Janeiro.??For Bibi the Paraíso School of Samba has allowed her to experience authentic Brazilian samba and its deeply rooted African heritage. She is committed to the school and practices at least twice week in her quest in mastering the art that is the Samba dance. Her hard work and efforts paid off when she became a passista in 2010, an official samba dancer representing her school.
She has had the opportunity to perform at various events and on numerous platforms including the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics, Wembley stadium for a friendly Brazilian football match, Cargo nightclub, Sushi Samba restaurant and for Chelsea football club. Another one of her samba achievements was having the chance to be taught by Carlinhos Do Salgueiro, a prominent choreographer from a top tier Rio Samba School in Salgueiro.?In 2014 she won the highly anticipated annual competition to become Rainha da Bateria (Queen of the Bateria or Samba Queen), a prominent sort after position and highlight of the Bateria, the percussion band of the school. She became Queen of Champions following her first outing as Queen at the Notting Hill Carnival 2014.
Our short documentary gives a glimpse into the preparation and dedication Bibi and the women of the UK samba schools put into the samba school parade for Europe’s biggest carnival, Notting Hill. The future holds more samba performances and trips to Brazil, Portugual, Spain and Germany to hone Bibi’s skills and technique. She has also developed an interest in playing within the Bateria and started learning how to play the caixa and chocalho – “badly” she would say, “but it’s a start.” Judging by how quickly she learnt samba, we’ll be sure to see her joining the school Samba band very soon!