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In The Spotlight

Nyambi Nyambi



His Oklahoma roots start at the very beginning. Born in Norman, Oklahoma, Nyambi Nyambi identifies himself first as a huge Sooner fan and later as an actor. Nyambi currently plays the role of Samuel the waiter on the CBS sitcom “Mike and Molly.”

The journey from Norman to Los Angeles, where the actor lives and works, has been marked by several milestones that reveal an individual who, at the age of 33, has more talent in his rearview mirror than most people encounter in a lifetime. The former Bucknell University basketball standout is just as adroit on stage as on the court, receiving a masters of fine arts in acting from NYU and reveling in his passion for live stage performance.

Never satisfied to stand still, the actor aspires to run his own production company and nonprofit organization one day. To that end, Nyambi hopes to pursue a second masters degree in Administrative Leadership at the University of Oklahoma… in the town where it all began for the avid Sooner fan.

I hear that “Mike and Molly” is up for a third season on CBS. 
Congratulations!
Thank you! We’re excited to be back for a third season.

Your character on the show, Samuel, is a Senegalese waiter. How have you managed to nail the character so well? The accent seems spot-on.
I traveled a lot last summer and Senegal was one of the places I went. I wanted to meet the people and get a feel for their mannerisms and humor – just to get a sense of how they are.

Did you tell them you’re a star of an Emmy®-nominated sitcom in the U.S.?
Nooooooo. I didn’t want to do that, but as soon as I got off the plane, they could smell that I wasn’t from there. I’m of Nigerian descent, but the moment I spoke with an American accent, it was over.

The memo was out that the American had arrived?
Exactly. A man came over to me – he looked official – and offered to help me fill out a form for entry. The form asks for your occupation. I told him I’m an actor, which in a lot of cases is the same as saying, “I have no money.” The man said, “Actor! Now I KNOW you are big man! You are big man! Give me some money.”

Was it like that the whole time?
Halfway into the trip, I could speak in their accent, so it got much better.

You seem to tweet a lot.
I tweet some. What do you call “a lot”?

More than once an equinox, which is really all I can fit into my Twitter regimen.
Well, by that comparison, I guess I do. But you’re kind of a lazy tweeter.

No free time. But I’ve heard that you recently watched 365 movies in 365 days. Now there’s some free time.
It wasn’t exactly one movie per day, but I did get in all 365 in a year.

How did you decide which movies to watch?
I got suggestions from my Twitter followers – some were better than others. But now a lot of the storylines have blended together and I can’t keep them straight. But overall, I think of it (365 in 365) as a celebration of peoples’ work.

I understand you were Sooner-born.
Yes! I was born in Norman, and I’m a Sooner at heart. Both my parents went to OU, but we moved when I was young and I actually went to college at Bucknell. My parents live in Virginia now, but they have a room that’s blinged out with OU stuff – we call it the “Sooner Suite.” I’m very proud of my Sooner roots.

You should be proud of your other roots – I’d kill for your hair. But only if it’s low-maintenance.
It’s not too bad. I really only have to fluff it back up after I wake up.

What are you currently obsessed with?
OU Sooners are my number one obsession, of course. I’m also obsessed with a new game on my iPad® called Temple Run. I can’t get enough!

Do you have any real-life heroes?
My parents. They’ve been a huge influence on my life. And I’ve always admired Magic Johnson.

You’re an actor and a basketball player. Any other mad skills?
Well, that depends. It’s kind of relative. If I’m talking to a neighbor, I’m good at basketball. If I’m talking to Kobe Bryant…

…Good penmanship?
Yeah. Actually, I can draw portraits.

What’s not as important as it used to be?
The need to be liked by everyone. It’s impossible.

What’s more important now?
To be a creative person. Writing, developing art, fostering artists and bringing a voice to people whose voice falls on deaf ears.

I know you have a masters degree from NYU’s graduate acting program. Why is art important to you, and why is it always one of the first items on the chopping block in our schools?
I think people think of it as “fun” and not “serious work,” but you know, you have to be an artist to be a surgeon. What makes art so important is that it’s an entity that gives a person a well-rounded view of life and to take it away deprives that person of fully learning who they are.

What do you believe that most people don’t?
I’m very optimistic. I believe it’s important to celebrate the work of other people and have faith that your day to shine is coming. 

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Calendar

September 2018

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More than 20 speakers in a one-track session designed for the digital marketing professional, marketer, business owner or anyone interested in branding, PR, advertising, social media, SEO, search,...

Cost: $250

Where:
Tower Theatre
425 NW 23rd St
Oklahoma City, OK  73103
View map »


Sponsor: BigWing
Telephone: 405.475.4185
Contact Name: Janelle Archer
Website »

More information

This year will mark the eighth time the John F. Kennedy Awards have been celebrated, honoring individuals making a significant contribution to Oklahoma, its communities and its people, while paying...

Cost: $300

Where:
Skirvin Hilton Hotel
1 Park Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Sponsor: Santa Fe Family Life Center
Telephone: 405-840-1817
Contact Name: James Timberlake
Website »

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More than 20 speakers in a one-track session designed for the digital marketing professional, marketer, business owner or anyone interested in branding, PR, advertising, social media, SEO, search,...

Cost: $250

Where:
Tower Theatre
425 NW 23rd St
Oklahoma City, OK  73103
View map »


Sponsor: BigWing
Telephone: 405.475.4185
Contact Name: Janelle Archer
Website »

More information

Price Tower Art Gallery in Bartlesville will host Women Artists of the West's 48th annual juried art exhibition, featuring over 200 original art works, created by women in all mediums, subjects...

Cost: Free 2018-09-21,22,23

Where:
Price Tower Art Gallery
510 S. Dewey Ave.
Bartlesville, OK  74003
View map »


Sponsor: Price Tower Arts Center
Telephone: 918.336.4949
Contact Name: Angelina Bourgou
Website »

More information

Escape the ordinary, and learn about OKC from a different point of view. Relax in the climate controlled cabin on one of our 65’ cruisers, or enjoy the breeze on the viewing deck and listen...

Cost: $15 for Seniors and kids under 12, $20 Adults

Where:
Regatta Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd.
OKC, OK  73109
View map »


Telephone: 405.702.7755
Contact Name: Business Office
Website »

More information

A fabulous art auction to raise money to help support Oklahoma A+ Schools at UCO.

Cost: $100

Where:
CHK|Central Boathouse
732 Riversport Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73129
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma A+ Schools at UCO
Telephone: 405.974.3791
Contact Name: Heather Bryant
Website »

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The evening Cocktail Cruise offers stunning views of the downtown skyline, the Boathouse District and Finish Line Tower, the Wheeler Ferris wheel and quite possibly an amazing Oklahoma sunset. Come...

Cost: $15 for Seniors and kids under 12, $20 Adults

Where:
Regatta Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd.
OKC, OK  73109
View map »


Telephone: 405.702.7755
Contact Name: Business Office
Website »

More information

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Join supporters in communities across the nation for the St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. This family-friendly event raises funds to support the...

Cost: $10 for adults or children six and older

Where:
Stars and Stripes Park
3701 S. Lake Hefner Drive
Oklahoma City , OK  73116
View map »


Telephone: 405.403.7762
Contact Name: Emily Drover
Website »

More information

Let’s end childhood cancer. Together! This September, supporters across the country will unite to participate in the St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer, an exciting, family-friendly...

Cost: $10 for Registration

Where:
Stars and Stripes Park
3701 S Lake Hefner Dr
Oklahoma City, OK  73116
View map »


Sponsor: ALSAC St. Jude Oklahoma City
Telephone: 405.403.7762
Contact Name: Emily Drover
Website »

More information

Price Tower Art Gallery in Bartlesville will host Women Artists of the West's 48th annual juried art exhibition, featuring over 200 original art works, created by women in all mediums, subjects...

Cost: Free 2018-09-21,22,23

Where:
Price Tower Art Gallery
510 S. Dewey Ave.
Bartlesville, OK  74003
View map »


Sponsor: Price Tower Arts Center
Telephone: 918.336.4949
Contact Name: Angelina Bourgou
Website »

More information

Escape the ordinary, and learn about OKC from a different point of view. Relax in the climate controlled cabin on one of our 65’ cruisers, or enjoy the breeze on the viewing deck and listen...

Cost: $15 for Seniors and kids under 12, $20 Adults

Where:
Regatta Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd.
OKC, OK  73109
View map »


Telephone: 405.702.7755
Contact Name: Business Office
Website »

More information

The evening Cocktail Cruise offers stunning views of the downtown skyline, the Boathouse District and Finish Line Tower, the Wheeler Ferris wheel and quite possibly an amazing Oklahoma sunset. Come...

Cost: $15 for Seniors and kids under 12, $20 Adults

Where:
Regatta Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd.
OKC, OK  73109
View map »


Telephone: 405.702.7755
Contact Name: Business Office
Website »

More information

Show More...
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