We asked you in our Best of Jamaica survey who is the Best Jamaican Social Media Personality. The results are in. The winner of Best Jamaican Social Media Personality for 2021 is ‘Julie Mango’.
The Jamaican actor, comedian, and social media personality Julie Mango was born Juliet Bodley and raised in Clarendon, moving to Manchester when she was 11. She remembers how, when she was a child, she often heard her father Basil Bodley and her Uncle Hugh Bodley speaking patois and learned its slang terms and dramatic expressions. Both her father and uncle were natural performers and excellent storytellers, and young Julie would listen to them for hours, learning how their mannerisms, how they told each other jokes, and the way they talked about what had happened during their day.
She attended Manchester High School where she was known as a Cadet Girl and as a performer who worked with the school’s drama club Ayaedeh, which staged several plays a year. She says that the performing arts were instilled in her early on, and her drama teacher Juliet Folie helped her to hone her skills.
Julie obtained a private pilot’s license through the Jamaica Combined Cadet Force scholarship program when she was 19, but she realized that becoming a pilot was not her goal. Instead, she decided to attend the University of Technology (UTech) to study structural engineering and to become a professional engineer. She worked as an engineer after graduating from Utech and then went on to get a master’s degree in engineering management at Florida International University (FIU). She worked in Jamaica for several years and then had the chance to work overseas.
However, her love of the performing arts never left her, and whenever she was in a room full of people, she found herself entertaining them and making them laugh just by being herself. She realized that she was a natural entertainer and that performing was part of her.
During the time she was working at both her engineering career and her “hobby” of the performing arts, Julie faced challenges surrounding her mental health. She later openly discussed these challenges on her Instagram platform. Her own experiences confronting personal mental health issues led her to become a mental health advocate who is committed to letting people know that there is nothing to be ashamed of if they have similar struggles and encouraging improvements in the treatment of mental illnesses. Her goal is to eliminate the stigma associated with mental issues.
Julie started her very popular TikTok at the beginning of the COVID-19 lockdown. She was working from home, but in the evenings, she had nothing to do, so she created her first video, “How Jamaicans Give Praise vs. How Americans Give Praise.” She did not expect anyone to see it, but it went viral, and “the rest is history,” she said. Now, as Julie Mango, she produces content every weekday, concentrating on skits about Jamaica’s people and culture on both Instagram and TikTok, and hopes to be able to pursue an acting career full time “if it be God’s will.”
See our recent interview with Julie Mango.
Follow Julie Mango Online