Malik Yoba

Best known for his roles in the Disney classic, Cool Runnings, and the hit Fox television series New York Undercover, Malik Yoba has proven himself as a man driven to raise consciousness through the use of his many talents. As an actor, musician, activist, educator, inspirational speaker, playwright, entrepreneur and author, Yoba tackles his quest to educate people and communities across the world on the value of accountability, integrity and leadership with fierce humbleness. Born and raised in New York City, Yoba is not a product of his environment, but a progression, living life as an example to young people in inner cities across the country that those very streets, which breed hatred and violence, can give birth to positive ideas and upward mobility. Realizing at the tender age of 16 that he had a passion and gift for moving others and raising consciousness, Yoba started a life of volunteerism and encouraging social purpose while in high school.

Respected among his peers in education and community activism, by age 20, Yoba worked with 13 New York City Public schools in a program called AIDP (Attendance Improvement Dropout Prevention), in which he assessed students, faculty and parents needs to improve the quality, content and form of education, thereby improving attendance which was presented to the Board of Education in a book of findings. From the ages of 19 to 24, Yoba was a full time educator and worked with the City Kids Foundation, a NYC based youth leadership organization. By the age of 23 his work had not gone unnoticed as he was appointed vice president of the organization and served from 1991-1993. In 1989, he co-founded the City Kids Foundation branch in Los Angeles. Yoba designed and facilitated workshops on leadership, cultural diversity, community organizing, conflict resolution and self- esteem. His commitment is not only domestic. Over the years Yoba has worked with young people from Rikers Island High School and Spafford Detention Center in New York and students at Johannesburg Secondary School in South Africa. He is also credited for designing and conducting the first ever youth leadership conference in Belize, Central America. For his dedication to youth, Yoba has been recognized by or worked with former President Bill Clinton, The Congress of the United States, The Mayor of New York City, NYPD, UNICEF, McDonald’s Black Achievers, Hale House, The Ethiopian Children’s Fund, The Conference of Black Mayors, The Congressional Black Caucus and more.

Yoba is most widely known for his love for the arts. Since 1989 he has been in over 25 films including, but not limited to Copland, Smoke, Blue in the Face, Hooked Up, Harlem Aria, Vote for Me, Ride and Dreaming in Black and White, winner of Best Film at the 2003 Phoenix Film Festival. In 2005, he starred in the comedy Kids in America a feature, also starring George Wendt, Rosanna Arquette and Nicole Ritchie. That same year he played recurring character Ice: The Bounty Hunter on Fox’s Emmy award-winning comedy Arrested Development and co-starred in the Warner Bros. film Criminal opposite John C. Rielly and Diego Luna.

A veteran of 11 network/cable television series or pilots, Yoba has been in several series on top network and cable channels, including starring in TNT’s first series Bull (TNT), NBC’s short lived series Kingpin, Raines opposite Jeff Goldblum, a recurring role in the 2003-2005 seasons of Girlfriends (UPN) and a series regular in the F/X Network series, Thief (March 2006) with Andre Braugher and Linda Hamilton. In 2007, he starred in Tyler Perry’s widely successful Why Did I Get Married?, and the sequel Why Did I Get Married Too?. In 2009, Malik played Commander Ted Shaw on the ABC series Defying Gravity. He also wrote, directed and starred in the web series ShopTalk and recently wrapped the indie feature Recalled (2012). Today, Yoba can be seen on SyFy's Alphas with David Strathairn, which was recently picked up for a second season –summer 2012. He also recently wrapped the Lifetime movie “Betty and Corretta” where he played Martin Luther King Jr opposite Angela Bassett’s “Corretta” due out Feb 2013.

Cited by the New York Times Magazine as “An artist who will most likely influence American culture in the next thirty years…” (Nov 1994), Yoba is truly multifaceted. His theatre company, The Malik Yoba National Theatre (MYNT) Company, creates, acquires, produces and distributes content for the urban theatre market. He has co-written two musicals for stage: “What’s on The Hearts of Men” and “Acoustic Chocolate,” both which have been adapted for screen. Yoba was also co-musical director for the Henson/ABC produced Saturday morning show the “CityKids” and wrote the theme song for the Jamaican bobsled team in the movie “Cool Runnings”. He has been a guest on Oprah, Charlie Rose, Regis and Kelly, and has performed as a musical artist at Carnegie Hall and New York’s Theatre at Madison Square Garden.

Most recently, the title “Professor” can be added to his list of many monikers as Yoba completed his first semester teaching a course he developed called “The Working Actor” at Long Island University’s Brooklyn campus in the fall of 2011.

Yoba’s book, Please Return My Phone Call! Preventing the Demise of Personal and Professional Relationships, is THE handbook for business and interpersonal relationships that is rapidly challenging the thought processes of students, individuals, business owners and billion dollar corporations as it pertains to interpersonal communication, integrity, accountability, leadership, and proper follow through. This book leaves readers “switched on” and conscious of their habits and habits of others in business and life and since February 2006, he has worked with Citrix, Columbia University Film School, Yale University and Morgans Hotel Group to help them internally implement the books values and messages. His message transcends from middle schools (instilling the idea of accountability) to corporations (confronting habits that cost companies millions).

In the entertainment industry for over 20 years, Yoba cannot be labeled as just an actor. Despite his professional and personal accomplishments, he continues to energize young people by challenging their ideals, behaviors and values. His desire to ignite change is expressed in many forms – artistically, pro-socially and educationally.

For more information on the book, seminars, workshops or keynotes please go to