Marie is from Grand Gedeh County, Liberia, and of ethnic Krahn heritage. She grew up in a family of farmers, and learned to dance and sing by participating in family and community celebrations and rituals. She became a professional singer and dancer with the Liberian Cultural Ambassadors Dance Troupe, based in the capital city of Monrovia, in 1990, just as the civil war was starting. For the next 13 years, she devoted herself to anti-war and disarmament work, through music and dance.
Following the end of the civil conflict in 2003, Marie traveled across Liberia, inspiring and facilitating dialogues about the evils of human trafficking (warning women in the countryside not to trust those who promise to take their daughters to the city for a better education and job) and about the benefits of reconciliation by first attracting attention through performance.
She has recorded three CDs in Liberia, including Sumuyaya, in 2013. In 2012 Marie toured the United States as a singer and dancer, and returned to the U.S., settling in Philadelphia in 2013. She joined three others as part of the core group of singers in the Philadelphia-based Liberian Women’s Chorus for Change that same year.
As a soloist she’s in great demand throughout North America. Liberian communities invite her to perform to both entertain and educate. She’s often asked to sing her songs that inspire conversations about community-building and conflict resolution. In 2016 she was honored with a Leeway Transformation Award.
Marie Nyenabo 2015 WPEB Radio Interview