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Interview: David and Tamela Mann Get Candid About Their New Love Project Celebrating Their 30 Years of Marriage

David and Tamela Mann

David and Tamela Mann are the real relationship goals! Married over 30 years, the pair started from humble beginnings and together have built a multi-media empire that spans music, film, and television.

 

David Mann is best known as portraying the hilarious character “Mr. Brown” in various Tyler Perry films, tv shows, and stage plays, while Tamela is best known as her role as “Cora” similar Tyler Perry productions. Additionally, the Grammy, Stellar, Dove and NAACP winner has achieved global stardom with her gospel music hits, “God Provides,” and “Take Me To The King.”

 

The Manns have certainly come a long way! And they are celebrating with the release of a joint album, book, and nationwide tour all titled, “Us Against The World.”

David and Tamela Mann Us Against the World MAKEBA GILES

Us Against the World: The Love Project is a soulful 10-song R&B musical collaboration from the creative spouses about resilient and enduring love. A departure [but not quite] from Tamela’s usual Gospel melodies, All the songs were inspired by the stories they included in their new book.

 

The album, brimming with David and Tamela’s vocal chemistry, features six duets, Tamela taking a solo spin on two tracks and David singing the remaining two. Each song shares a facet of the couple’s journey – from the most exhilarating happy moments to the challenges that inevitably test a long-standing union, and closes with a track about their three decades of love and commitment.

Their new memoir, Us Against the World: Our Secrets to Love, Marriage, and Family (W Publishing/Harper Collins) shares an inspiring, funny, and up-close look at the couple’s lives while offering hope and practical advice for building a strong relationship, marriage and family.David and Tamela Mann Us Against the World MAKEBA GILESHighlights of the Us Against the World book include:

  • Tips to help couples grow in love and commitment to each other.
  • No holds-barred honesty about how to experience true unity, intimacy, and fulfillment in marriage.
  • Insight into how two successful people built careers and a family together.
  • Encouragement that though blending a family has challenges, it is definitely possible.

 

I had the honor of speaking with David and Tamela Mann recently about all their latest projects. In addition to finishing each other’s sentences (lol), David and Tamela Mann’s unwavering love for each other was highly evident from the start of our chat through the very end.

 

Read our conversation below.

 

Makeba: You know, David and Tamela you truly are a power couple! You two have had a very long and prosperous career in film, in television, music. Tamela you are one of the biggest female gospel artists out there. And your new project, Us Against the World, is really is an entire concept with a new cd, book, and national tour all under the same umbrella focusing on the same theme. The tour is winding down as has done extremely well. and now the book and cd are available for purchase. So first, let’s discuss the tour. How did the idea come about for that?

 David: [With the] Us Against The World tour, we wanted to have something that we could actually physically go out and be a ministry tool for us in our marriage ministry. But we wanted to do it where it wasn’t just a concert, it wasn’t just a comedy show, it was-

 

Tamela: Or a conference.

 

David: Or a conference. Yeah. Just a stand up talking head conference. We wanted to do something that was an experience. So, we came up with the concept of having it all in one night.

 

David: I do the whole comedy set, and I give little teachable moments, like there’s one segment during my set I ask a couple, “Do y’all love each other?” And, of course, they, ‘Yeah, we love each other.” “But are you guys in love? Because it’s possible to love somebody and not be in love.” And you don’t realize I’m giving moments of teaching, and love, and stuff like that, because I wrap it in comedy. Then after I’m done with my set, then that’s when-

 

Tamela: Well, I’ll come out and I do the gospel portion of my upbeat songs and then we go, we kind of take a roller coaster ride. And then we also incorporate a love set which are songs from our new project, Us Against The World: The Love Project, where me and David have a collaboration album that we’ve done together-

 

David: We start the love set off with some of our friends and family to give us what their definition of love is. And so, we videoed that to introduce the love set, and we give you the definition of what love is, what the biblical definition of love is, and you know, they’re practical. And then Tam and I, for the first time, we sing together. For the first time on tour, on the road, anywhere. And, oh, to move it back up, while we’re doing the love set, we kind of do this rededication with couples, and we do a prayer. We pray for marriages, family-

 

Tamela: And being unified in the unit and unity of marriage. So, we end with a prayer.

 

David: And the end, Tamela Mann takes us to straight worship again. And when I tell you it’s an experience, it’s a roller coaster ride, it’s a … I mean, it’s just a little bit of everything. So we call it The Experience. And so, once everybody gets The Experience, we all come back out and just thank everybody for coming out, so that’s the Us Against The World tour. Now the book is Us Against The World: Our Secrets to Love, Marriage, and Family-

 

Tamela: Marriage and Family.

 

David: And so, what we do in the book is we take everybody on a journey of 30 years with the Manns. So, we kind of take you on our ups, and we take you on our downs. There’s something in the book, even while we were writing the book, we had to go back and revisit some things, issues, problems, situations, that we thought we had resolved.

 

Tamela: That we had dealt with in our marriage. So, I’d say it’s a few skeletons that we talk about, and yet, being very transparent to kind of just, our goal is to encourage families to give hope and inspiration that they can stay together and not give up on each other.

 

David: That’s a few nuggets and things in there that you haven’t heard from the Manns. In the book, also, we shared some prayers for different situations. We talk about love. We talk about finances. We talk about keeping the fire in the marriage. We talk about simple things like even laughing with each other in the book. Just sitting down and just having a good laugh, because we definitely talk about-

 

Tamela: Staying committed to each other, and not just tolerating each other, but loving each other through every up and down that you have, which you will have in your relationship.

 

David: And we also, we definitely deal with some of the tougher issues that have come up in our life, like we have one that we talk about the art of arguing, where we share our biggest argument that we’ve had in the book- … which started out real rough and rugged, but it ended up being funny, because, you have to read the book, it didn’t quite go according to plan for me in my anger.

 

Tamela: And we also talk about our blended family, how we’re a super blended family, and how we came together as one family unit.

 

David: And we also, in the book, we also talk about revisiting the vows. A lot of couples, we don’t understand fully what we’re getting into when we’re talking about renewing our vows or even saying our vows. So, we go back and talk about revisiting and redoing our vows.

 

Tamela: And we talk about the knock at the door, which was a kind of a hard place in our marriage.

 

David: To put it mildly.

 

Tamela: It was five years into the marriage, and we had the knock at the door, and surprise.

 

David: I have another child by another woman that happened before our marriage. But that, just to kind of give you a backstory on it without giving it all away, that’s where the ‘Us Against The World title and saying came from was from that knock at the door in the book. It was the knock at the door, and Tam was kind of like, “I’m not going to be able to do this. I’m basically-”

 

Tamela: Because we’re blended. We already had, we had one child when we started out as a couple, and I didn’t know if I was going to be … I didn’t really know where I fit in. I felt like I was going to be kind of lost in the shuffle of things. It’s like, well, “Where do I fit in here? Am I going to be like-

 

David: First, second, third, fifth?

 

Tamela: Or below or beneath, since we have the new child come in. Dealing with the baby mama drama. So, he explained to me all the, that it was us against the world, and he really made it plain to me.

 

David: Once I set her down and explained to her, “Look. I love my kids. I love, you know, all of that. I’m a stand-up guy. I’m going to make sure I take care of my kids. But at the end of the day, you are my priority. It’s us against everything else. It’s us against the world. It’s us against anything that will come against tearing us apart.” And that’s where the whole ‘Us Against The World’ title came from, and even when we’re out on the road, when we say Us Against The World, we’re not necessarily talking about the Manns against the world. We’re talking about the body of Christ, and so-

 

Tamela: So, we as a people and family unit.

 

David: Right. And just representing us against anything that’s going to come and tear up the family structure, tear up the marriage. It’s anything that will come and try to destroy that. We’re against that. So, it’s not like it’s us fighting against everything.

 

Tamela: No.

 

David: It’s-

 

Tamela: All of us.

 

David: All of us. Yeah.

 

Tamela: The ‘U’ in us means you as a family. All of us. And that all filters from, that goes into leading into the actual album, ’cause it’s based off of the stories that we have in the book is where the Love CD comes from. Us Against The World: The Love Project. So, that’s kind of how that all fits into it.

 

David: Yeah.

 

Tamela: And David is singing some songs to me, and I’m singing some songs to him, and we’re also singing songs together.

 

David: It’s our first project that we’re totally doing a whole album together, and it’s straight love music. And part of the, I don’t want to say problem that we’ve had in the music industry, because Tam is such a, known for her strong gospel-

 

Tamela: My roots.

 

David: Her roots. Yeah. Yeah. People kind of are looking at it like, “Is she trying to cross over? Is she trying to go R&B?” That wasn’t the goal. The goal was to encourage marriages.

 

Tamela: And to just sing about love. You know, it’s some from us, to us, for us, and to just actually show another side that, for one, that I’m in love with my husband, that I like my husband, and I like being with him. I feel very secure in my marriage and the love that I have for him, and I wanted to share that in song.

I think it’s an amazing body of work that we’ve put together, and I really hope that everyone enjoys it like we’re enjoying writing and listening to it. Even my grandkids have really inspired us, because they’re really enjoying it, as well.

 

 

Makeba: I’ve listened to the cd from beginning to end and I absolutely love it! Every song is beautifully written and produced, but one of the songs that really stuck out to me the most was “Mason Jar.” Can you two share more about that song’s meaning?

Tamela: Mason Jar is a song that’s talking about me as a young girl, teenager, how most of my friends experienced love early, and boyfriends, and everything, and I never had that. But I finally found love that I can preserve like you could do preserves in a mason jar, that you could package up and put in the jar, or hold-

 

David: And hold dear to your heart.

 

Tamela: And hold dear to my heart. So, that’s what Mason Jar is about. Finally found love that I can cherish forever.

 

 

Makeba: I love it! And tell me about some of the other songs on the cd.

David: I do a song on the album called “Still Do.” And it’s just where I’m rededicating my love, my vows, to her. It’s kind of me saying, “Look, I would do this all over again.” And so, there’s songs like that on there. Feels Like. That’s your song.

 

Tamela: “Feels Like” is a song that I’m singing to David. When he touched me, he makes me feel like-

 

David: A special girl.

 

Tamela: A special girl, a special woman. I mean, it’s really just, it’s a wonderful thing, and it gets more in depth as you go in the song.

 

David: Yep, and then there’s songs that speak about making up. There’s a song called Making Up. A couple of the lyrics are, “Every time we fight it feels like the end. Butterflies in my stomach, and I just don’t think we’re going to come back from this.”

David and Tamela Mann Us Against the World MAKEBA GILES

Makeba: Upon first listen to the cd, I’m sure there will be some people who will have an opinion about its overall sound. How would you say you compare the songs included on “Us Against The World” to just the everyday R&B love songs we hear today?

David: Musically, we wanted to stay relevant, musically. Because you know, you’ve got to make sure. But we wanted to speak about the love that we know for thirty years. Genuine love that God has called us for each other. I don’t want to say that’s what’s different, but we don’t want to do no “you slap a booty and make it jiggle” we wanted to do good wholesome love music by a couple who is in love with each other can enjoy and relate to.

 


Makeba: Songs that every married couple can resonate with for sure! Now with so much going on in your professional and personal lives, how do you successfully juggle your career and family life while still making time for your marriage?

David: How do we juggle this? How do juggle, you know, being in the secular industry, the gospel industry, juggling being married and work. How do we balance it? I always tell people I don’t balance it. I don’t give my marriage, I don’t give it the same weight as nothing else. It’s my priority, it’s our priority. And about us making it a priority, I don’t feel that there’s any pressure, we just continue. We don’t try to go out and beat people over the head with it. We’re just an example. We let people know that we don’t have a perfect marriage …

 

Tamela: Right.

 

David: … what we are is a work in progress. And once people see that, because people aren’t looking for perfect people. What people are looking for is consistent people. And if you’re consistent in what you say and consistent in what you do, people will read through that and say, “You know what? Okay let me …”

 

Tamela: And then if you make a mistake they will give you grace.

 

 

Makeba: Absolutely. Let’s take it back a bit – all the way to the very beginning. What was the first time that you guys met and fell in love? I’m sure it’s a magical story.

Tamela: How we first met, it would be my best friend from church that we grew up together went to high school with David and she took a chorus class with him and we do speak of this also in the book. I met through the chorus, she took me to the school to meet him, actually to sing for them. Because he was singing in the group.

 

David: With Kirk Franklin and our pastor now there, Blair. And we met and what’s funny is we had never ran into each there and we were, I guess our group is what you would call local famous. We were locally- (laughter). And the crazy thing is Tam was known for singing all around the city as well, but we had never bumped into each other. But after we met that day, we started running into each other all the time which was weird.

 

Tamela: Afterwards it’s like musical after musical because that’s the thing that we did, you know, that was our hobby pretty much. We were singing from church to church.

 

David: And then so we wound up connecting after that and just becoming really good friends. I kissed her, and she got pregnant, and we got married. (laughter)

 

Makeba: Oh wow!! [Laughs]

 

David: We give the other details in the book on the in between, the kids the marriage and all of that.

 

Tamela: It’s broken down even more.

 

 

Makeba: Thanks for sharing that! Now being married over 30 years, what is something you feel every couple should consider before getting married?

Tamela: I would say counseling would be great for every couple. I mean, and it’s like a lot of times in the black family, counseling was always kind of like a scary you only go there if you have like if you’re “special-special” or we would honestly say crazy, but I think it would really be good for every couple to have some counseling before you get married to make sure that’s what both persons really want to do.

 

David: And make sure that your relationship has a foundation of friendship. Because when a lot of stuff goes on, a lot of stuff that comes against you, and it will, child, make sure the foundation is that you guys really have built a solid friendship with each other.

David and Tamela Mann Us Against the World MAKEBA GILES

Makeba: Let’s go back to the music project for a bit. With this new cd, do you believe that it could be used by church organizations as a tool to open the conversation about romance in marriage?

Tamela: I think it could, and we could use more talking about love in the ministry, in church. Because I think, like one question beforehand about how divorce rates are so high in the church because we really don’t talk about a deep love and how we should pay attention to each other as each other’s husband and wife. In committing ourselves to each other and that it deals with the body, you know?

 

Makeba: Right.

 

Tamela: Even when it comes to sex. I mean, you listen to something, we can’t listen to Jesus can work it out while you can get intimate with your spouse. So that’s one reason why David and my son came up with this idea like, “This will be good,” and this is good for us and the body of Christ.

 

David: And there is a great disconnect from the time we leave the church quoting all the scriptures that we know to the time we get home. There is a disconnect somewhere, if the divorce rate is high there is a disconnect in the love that God said we should have for each other. Somewhere along the line we’re getting disconnected if the divorce rate is at an all time high. So [as the] the body of Christ we should take a really good look at- these are the ways that are going to help our intimate life. These are the ways that are going to help us communicate better. These are the ways that’s going to help us move past some of the issues that we’ve had in our marriage. So yes, us as the body of Christ we have to wake up and take a bigger look at what’s causing the divorce rate to get higher.

 

 

Makeba: Agreed! Tell me: at what point in your marriage and fame did you decide that you wanted to use this platform to engage in the conversation, and what measures do you take to ensure that this lifestyle doesn’t have to change the core of who you are as individuals and as a married couple?

Tamela: Well I think it kind of happened with how the Lord kind of set us up. Even coming from Kirk Franklin and the Family, going in to the plays, and people finding out and understanding that we were a couple, not just playing two people with the same last name, that we were a couple. Because for so many years people didn’t know that we were a couple as him being Mr. Brown and me being Cora. So I just think it’s kind of like a set up for us that we were trying to- it’s not that we were trying, but it kind of just happened that way. To be an example, and we’d been mentoring people since we gotten married even in our earlier days before all this came to part.

 

David: And it just kind of morphed into that, and we realized that this platform wasn’t given to us to be rich and famous. This platform was given to us to make a difference. Even out on this tour, if we bless one couple that comes to see the show then our job is done. And so we talked and heard from couples that say, “Look, our story is your story. Thank you all for sharing and being transparent.” And it blessed us and now we feel like- there was one couple that came that was separated, and once they left the show and understood our story they said, “Okay we’re going to work it out.”

 

Tamela: Because of the knock at the door that happened in their lives, you know. That’s what it’s all about. It’s about forgiveness and sometimes we have to start over, start at the basics. The basics of, you know, apologizing, start dating each other again, and just talking to each other and becoming friends.

 

 

Makeba: Indeed. In addition to much forgiveness in a long-lasting marriage, there’s also a great amount of support. How much of you guys’ success in marriage, family, and business is tied into the support that you receive from each other?

David: All of it. I would say how much? 100% of it. Because we have, the support and the accountability that we have from each other, it’s the reason that we’re in the place that we’re in. She pushes me I push her. We make sure that, you know, sometimes we have those days when it’s like not feeling good. We hold each other accountable and say “Look, pull it together.”

 

Tamela: Yeah, I’m outside, he’s saying “Leave me alone,” but even though what they’re saying is right, but we are there for each other through the ups and downs.

 

David: And so I would say 100% of our success is because of each other.

 

Tamela: Yes.

 

 

Makeba: Absolutely. Mutual support in marriage is certainly important. I know that you all talk about that and many other topics in the book, but out of all of the subjects you discuss, what’s the main takeaway that you want couples to get from reading Us Against the World the book?

Tamela: I want them to have hope and not quit and not give up on each other. Even though you do, like I was just saying, you have those days when you want to say leave me alone but I need you and you need me and we can make it together even though we’re having this misunderstanding right now.

 

David: And that a relationship, it’s attainable. I know like I as telling them earlier, we don’t paint a perfect picture. But we even in the book we have tips and little nuggets that can help people. We have a question and answer that couples can do. I want them to leave reading this book like there’s hope and I want them to leave refreshed and rejuvenated that hey let’s make this another year of a happy marriage.

 

 

Makeba: Sure. Although it’s very evident in your marriage, tell me the role that faith has played in your marriage being so strong and how your faith has been instrumental in your journey thus far.

David: We’re just speaking for us, that’s our foundation. That’s what we believe in, that’s what we follow, that’s how we’ve made it and we believe by faith that it’s been our Lord and savior Jesus Christ that has guided us this far. So, I would say yes.

 

Tamela: Yes.

 

David: Definitely yes.

 

Tamela: Definitely for me. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for my faith and that I, like David said, the foundation that I’ve been taught that he’s my rock He’s my foundations, Jesus Christ that is. And I feel like I wouldn’t have made it this far if I didn’t have it.

David and Tamela Mann Us Against the World MAKEBA GILES

Makeba: Amen. Now continuing on the subject of faith, we know that mental health is a hot topic right now. With so much going on in your lives, what are the practices that you have in place to help quiet yourselves so you hear God’s voice? How do you achieve and maintain that mental balance and clarity?

David: You know, it takes some meditation time. Sometimes you just have to, especially with us, with everything that’s going on around us the tour, the book, sometimes- and Tam is really good at this- is just getting up away from all the noise. Getting up away from all the stuff that’s going on so we can hear God for what’s next. Because a lot of times you can be so caught up in the middle of the whirlwind that is us-

 

Tamela: But even with life, even for all of us day to day. Even when you think of yourself. My quiet time for me a lot of times is when I get in my car, because I can cut off the radio, I don’t have to answer the phone, I don’t have to hear anybody. Especially when it’s like when I’m by myself that’s almost like my prayer closet, is my car. Because and even being out here on tour, being on the bus in my bunk I just get in there, close the curtain and just let it be quiet. And even if in the dark, cut the light off and just kind of let him talk to me and then like, just say yes.

 

Makeba: Awesome. I say it all the time: sometimes you just need to just disconnect from everything and connect with God.

David: Right, right. Sometimes you’ve got to shut the noise off.

 

Makeba: And surely that connection to God along with your faith helps you to manifest your goals.

Tamela: Yes. Our faith is that. It’s like after praying and asking God for direction in whatever goals that we’re trying to make or meet, for me if I’m answering this question right is I want to know if this is where the Lord have us to be, or which direction, is this the right direction we need to be going?

 

David: And there must be some vision. There has to be a vision first. Be some vision. There has to be a vision first, you know ’cause we write it down, make it plain, ask the Lord to order, and, you know that’s how we … that’s how a lot of our goals have been. You know I’ll tell Tam “Hey, you know, this is the vision”.

 

Tamela: Yeah, he’ll gimme this like, “Well let’s pray and see if this is what the Lord have us to do.”

 

 

Makeba: That’s good! Now back to the project. In regards to the book and the album. Did you all learn anything from each other that you didn’t know during the creative process?

Tamela: Yes I would because David … we were talking and some things come up and he’s like, “Why am I just now knowing this after 30 years?” So some things did come up because some things kinda happened to me in childhood that I can put in way back in the back of your mind like you wanted to forget ’em. So it’s like he brought up, you know, some issues of … that we talked … I told him about and I’ll give you one, is that I considered myself the shadow girl. It’s like guys wanna hang out with me in the dark but they couldn’t hang with me during the day time or like take me out during the day time. But they want come hang out at my apartment in night time.

 

 

Makeba: Do you all have any go to Scriptures that have helped you get through the challenges in your marriage?

David: You know one of my favorite books is, “His Needs, Her Needs: Building an Affair Proof Marriage.” And First Corinthians [of the Bible], just speaking about what love is from a husband to a wife is my favorite section.

 

Tamela: And my favorite [Bible scripture] is, “All Things Are Possible If You Just Believe.” If I just keep believing, keep trusting, keep hoping, you know, that it could happen if I just keep believing in it. Meaning my marriage. It’s possible with God.

 

 

Makeba: Those are all great resources! We’ve talked a lot about love, now let’s shift into family. I love how close-knit your family is! What keeps the Mann’s family tight and together?

Tamela: What keeps us … I think you know, we’re the kind of family where we keep everything out there on the table. If something goes down, you may have a meeting, we have a round table meeting and you might have a meeting called on you. Or a lot of times when we’re at home, we stand around the island or sit around the table and we just talk about our day to day, we talk about what’s happening with our kids. So I think, you know, it’s like we have to be around each other is what keeps us going.

 

David: And what keeps us together is our love for each other. And our ability to communicate and be very transparent with each other. A lot of times the transparency doesn’t always feel good, but at the end of the day it is good for us as a family.

David and Tamela Mann Us Against the World MAKEBA GILES

Makeba: Awesome! I appreciate both of you using your career and your personal life as inspiration for love and marriage both on and off line. And the book, cd, and tour are all so ground breaking and powerful. I want to know, will there be a second leg on the tour with additional cities added for those who missed out this first time around? And if so, when can we expect that?

David: There will be a second leg coming mid-2019. So stay tuned.

David and Tamela Mann

 

Makeba: That’s great because I – like many I’m sure – missed you guys on the first leg due to locations and scheduling, so I’m glad there will be more tour dates to come! Now David with the tour, the music, and the book, what elements have been included in each of those that are specifically geared towards husbands?

David: There’s a couple of moments on tour where you see … I guess we talk about the knock at the door. That’s something that I found that several guys that have dealt with in their marriage-

 

Tamela: And even questions during your set.

 

David: Yeah, even questions I talk about during my set, I ask questions of men that … are some shocking questions and I’ve gotten some shocking answers while I’ve been on stage.

 

Tamela: Yes, even from the audience.

 

David: From the audience I’ve gotten some shocking answers. And in the book I just address stuff that we deal with even when we’re talking about leadership and we talk about the dreaded “no, no” word when it comes to ladies and submission, and how men sometimes we take that as a dictatorship to rule over. And I explain to guys what that really means from a biblical stand point, is not to have somebody that you Lord over. But it’s for you first to get a mission for the to submit under. They’re not submitting to you, they’re submitting to the mission that God is giving you. Oh I preached that just then! [laughs].

.Makeba: [Laughs] Sure did! Now Tamela, a personal question for you. Being the youngest of 14 children, how did that shape your perspective on love and marriage?

Tamela: Actually it shaped me quite well because a lot of things that I seen my siblings do and a lot of … especially with my sisters, it kinda showed me what not to do and things that I didn’t want happen to me because I’ve seen some bad relationships. I’ve seen my sisters be abused in their relationships to the point of seeing them … they had been stabbed, shot, I’m just … the worst of the worst. The things that I saw as a teenager with them being beat up in abusive relationships and it was like, “I don’t wanna be with anybody like that.” And you know one thing that I kind of said to myself, even with a person smoking and drinking, I didn’t want to have to deal with it.

So those were things that I kinda wrote down and said, “I’m not gonna have nobody, I don’t wanna be with anybody that do these things.”, because I’ve seen the outcome and it really shaped me into who I am and helped make me the woman that I am today. I was running, I was running from those things.

 

 

Makeba: Indeed. I applaud you for that and wish more women – especially young women – would follow your wonderful example! Now it’s your turn David! As a child your mother moved from city to city. Looking back on that, how did that shape who you are today?

David: A lot … you know, I really … that’s one of the things I really didn’t realize – that we moved that much until we were writing the book. And I realized….that I wanted to create a stable environment for my kids, for my family you know. So that shaped a lot of who I am. I wanted to be stable, I wanted to have somewhere that they could call home, somewhere they could call their spot. So it did shape me a lot.

 

 

Makeba: That’s wonderful! That is one of the things that I am most proud of with my family. From birth through the time my mother died when I was 15, we moved three times. My first 10 years of life were spent in the same house, and that cultivated a sense of stability for me. But when we had to move at age 10 and again at age 15, it shook me quite a bit. So I decided early on that I wanted that stability that you just talked about and because of that, I bought a house when I was very young — at age 22 — which I still live in to this day. I’m proud that I’ve given my kids the stability of spending their childhood in the same house, without having to move around. Thank you for sharing that!

And we touched upon what’s next after the “Us Against The World” project earlier, and I’d like to dive into that a little bit more. In addition to more music, you actually have a Christmas film coming up too! Tell me a little more about that.

David: Yes to both of those. We’re currently looking into producing some movie stuff … we executive produce which kinda leads us to we executive produced a new film that we’re gonna be in December 2nd called Merry Wishmas.

 

Tamela: On TV One. I have the leading role and I’m like a business woman who’s so caught up into work that I forgot about family and love and kinda had a bitterness toward my family. So this movie is about forgiveness and about family and finding love again.

 

David: And finding love. So it’s called Merry Wishmas, it’ll be on TV One December the second.

 

Tamela: And more about the movie, Merry Wishmas, that David said comes out December the second. It’s a Christmas movie and it’s about forgiveness, and it’s about family, but I have the starring role and David is my co-star in this movie … and y’all, he’s having to be serious, he stepped away for a second, he’s having to be serious in this movie. It’s no joking so you get a straight David Mann.

 

David: So [for producing], we’re moving into producing more, and we will have other [music] artists start-

 

Tamela: And also now that my son, that we see that he can take your producer’s hat, he’s gonna be working more with the TillyMann music on that part too. So it helps us to kind of expand ourselves.

David and Tamela Mann Us Against the World MAKEBA GILES

Makeba: That’s great. I’m so excited to see the movie, and will certainly be on the lookout for more music in the future! And Tamela, you also have your own line with Ashley Stewart coming soon!

Tamela: Oh yes, the Ashley Stewart line that I’ll have is called Mann Apparel. And it’s gonna be in Ashley Stewart. It’s athletic and leisure wear, meaning you can work out in it, you can run your errands. Some nice comfortable gear. They are real cute pieces that you can kinda dress up or dress down. And I’m really excited and proud of it.

 

 

Makeba: Also, as a family, you do a lot of social good work all over the world as well. How are you continuing to do Ministry outside of the United States?

David: You know we had this opportunity to go out and I had never seen such extreme poverty. And you know there’s not only … you know abroad. There’s that kind of poverty here in the United States. But that just opened my eyes to wanting to do more. And so once we had the opportunity to actually go out and speak to people … you know it’s one thing to go and see it from a screen, but it’s another thing to actually go and see.

 

Tamela: And be hands on. It was the most … go ahead baby.

 

David: No … just one instance that really pricked my heart is there was a young lady that wanted to come see us, but she simply didn’t have shoes. She had to borrow a pair of shoes.

 

Tamela: And they were flip flops. They wasn’t shoes-

 

David: And she was pregnant.

 

Tamela: Yeah. And she walked a long way-

 

David: Over a mile to come and see us. And it wasn’t like she was walking on just… yeah, it was longer than a mile. And so stuff like that, so something as simple as shoes. I mean and we have a closet full of shoes and you know-

 

Tamela: And I would say one room, I would say maybe like some of our bedrooms or your kids bedroom. People, five to seven people was living in … just think one of your bedrooms for your kids. You know i ain’t gonna say a master bedroom ’cause that was bigger than a lot our houses. So it’s just … to be hands on, actually go see this, seeing people trying to run electric in their house with wires wide open, not wrapped even in tape, to keep the safety of not-

 

David: Being electrocuted.

 

Tamela: Or getting wet. But it was just different things like this. Them having to carry water. It just-

 

David: It inspired us to want to do more and just help.

 

 

Makeba: That’s amazing! Sometimes a glimpse outside of our own world is all we need to be reminded of how blessed we are, and to use our blessings to bless others. Now tell me, what’s next for David and Tamela Mann after the “Us Against The World” project, the clothing line, and your Christmas movie? Will you ever return back to reality TV?

David: We’re gonna be doing some other stuff on a different platform, and we’ll be making some announcements soon on the platform that we wanna do. So stay tuned!

David and Tamela Mann Us Against the World

David and Tamela Mann Us Against the World

You can purchase the David and Tamela Mann ‘Us Against the World: Our Secrets to Love, Marriage, and Family’ book here.

David and Tamela Mann

For the latest updates on David and Tamela Mann, visit their website, and connect with them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

David and Tamela Mann Us Against the World

Makeba Giles is a Digital Content Producer and Founder of Faith Health and Home, a digital space with information and resources for physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being to help families live an inspired lifestyle.

faithhealthandhome@yahoo.com

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