Julie Mango – “Sugar & Spice and Everything Christ”
We had a chat with the hilarious and patriotic, Juliet Bodley, more popularly known as, ‘Julie Mango’. We are sure you’ve taken many trips with her down memory lane as she re-enacts Jamaica of the past with her funny and very relatable Tik Tok sketches.
This Clarendonian’s spring to prominence online was welcomed by many Jamaicans and other lovers of Jamaican content who wanted a suitable distraction from the depressing COVID-19 updates. And while most of us are “outside” and “getting back to our regular schedule”, Julie Mango entertains a growing online fan base who are now sending her skit suggestions as they gear up for belly-full of laughter.
Now let’s meet Julie Mango!
1. How long have you been known as ‘Julie Mango’?
I have been known as Julie Mango from before I was 8 years old. My Dad gave me that nickname (giggles) because I use to sit in the big mango tree or under the big mango tree in the front yard of our home in Clarendon and I use to eat a lot of Julie mangoes…
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2. So what other types do you enjoy?
(Laughs) I like East Indian Mango and I like Bombay. My mom used to cut up the Bombay mango in squares and serve it to me as a salad with other fruits. So I like East Indian and Bombay but my top top top favourite is the Julie…
3. We know you’ll get to Netflix soon but if we could fast-track that journey, tell us a current Netflix series you would like to make a guest appearance.
I really like Kim’s convenience, that’s something that was shot in Canada…umm I don’t think they’re gonna shoot that anymore…Which other one do I watch? You see, my favourite ones, they’re already done… [Also] Norsemen, Master of None, and Grace and Frankie.
4. And since we’re talking about acting, name your favourite Jamaican actor/actress.
Favourite Jamaican actors are definitely Oliver Samuels and Volier Johnson and Titus Campbell, My favorite female actor…she’s known for acting but she does other things too. That’s Dahlia Harris. And there’s a lady that used to always do Pantomime…she is Asian and she used to do Pantomime a lot back in the day and she was hilarious but I don’t remember her name.
Another favorite of mine is Karen Harriott. I love love love love Karen Harriott and then, of course, I love Fae Ellington.
5. When you’re not making short skits for TikTok, what keeps Julie Mango busy?
…So horseback riding or horse riding is kinda one of my hobbies right now, so that’s what I would do when I go out. Other than that, I go to the mall and go shopping. Buy something I don’t need and regret it next month or something like that (chuckles).
6. Let’s talk about food. Name your favourite Jamaican dish.
I don’t really have a favourite Jamaican dish. I like all of them because, if I say Ackee and Saltfish then I go leave out Liver. And then if I say Liver, I’m going to leave out Callaloo and Saltfish….or Callaloo by itself. So, I like all Jamaican dishes because then there’s Cow Foot and then there is Oxtail and then there’s Curry Chicken, Curry Goat. Then there’s Jerk Chicken and then there’s Jerk Pork…What if I had to choose between Fried Dumplin and Festival? That’s not chooseable betweenable (Laughs). So, I love all Jamaican food.
7. And which Jamaican drink would you wash down your tasty Jamaican meal?
(Laughs) I don’t think I can get that Jamaican drink anymore but I used to love Dandy Shandy…Since that’s not available anymore. I love Soursop juice and Carrot juice. And my grandmother…and my mom used to make it.
Soursop juice, Carrot Juice, and of course, Sorrel…Actually, I kinda love Sorrel without the sugar. I don’t know… it ‘ave a nice tang to it. So yeah, those would be my three top [Jamaican] drinks: Soursop, Sorrel, and Carrot juice.
8. What do you miss the most about Jamaica?
The other day I wanted to assemble a bookshelf at home and if I was in Jamaica I could just go next door and, ‘beg a bredrin’ and say, ‘come and assemble this bookshelf for me nuh please’. Here [in America], because of the pandemic, I haven’t really gotten the time to get to know people so I wouldn’t be really quick to invite someone into my space…I would have to hire someone. And hiring someone to just assemble a table can cost you like $300.00 USD. So I miss the [Jamaican] men because they are just so helpful; so willing to help a female in distress…
9. What do you not miss about Jamaica?
…the crime and violence, hearing news that somebody shoot dem self and dem shoot their loved ones….I really wish it [crime and violence] would just disappear from Jamaica and Jamaica become wholesome again.
10. Mental health is very important to you. In a very Jamaican way, share a word of encouragement with your Jamaican fans.
Everything is going to be okay. I know it sounds cliché but it really is going to be okay…the fact that you were born, the fact that you exist, it means you were designed to be successful because (chuckles). God created you in His name and His image so he would not create something in His image and His name that him doe plan fi mek successful….It’s kinda like a manufacturer producing something for the purpose of it not working. That just doe connect. So everything is going to be okay. You just have to trust that. And don’t be ashamed of anything in your past.
Always be authentic with yourself, always be authentic with others. Don’t envy. How do you not envy? Just don’t compare yourself with others because you came with a specific purpose on earth and the best you can do is to do what you are supposed to do whilst on this earth…so don’t compare yourself, don’t envy.
Be happy for everybody and your mental health will be alright. If you have a mental health issue, or a mental illness. There is help. There are therapists who are qualified who can take you through the process and can lead you to healing, so that’s nothing to fear. Don’t be fearful if you have a mental health issue. It can be resolved. Everything can fix. Just like high blood pressure can fix, mental illness can fix also. We have the technology.
That’s a powerful message Julie Mango! Are you sure you’re not a pastor? Thanks again for sharing a little about yourself with us and we’ll continue to watch you blossom on and offline as you live out your dreams.
We’re at the end of your sneak preview into the life of Jamaican Tik Tok sensation Julie Mango.
The pandemic has brought a lot of bad but it has also brought forward a lot of good. One of the ‘goods’ is that Jamaicans are everywhere online. You don’t have to scroll too far down a search listing to find authentic Jamaican content on the most popular social platforms. Tik Tok, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, you name them, you’re sure to spot not one, not two but at least five trending conversations initiated by a Jamaican influencer. In this feature series, we will give you a sneak preview in the lives of our most popular Jamaican personalities online.
Now tell us, which Jamaican online personality should we feature next?
Interview transcribed by: Aaliyah James