Respected Nigerian dancer, Kafayat Shafau-Ameh, popularly known as ‘Kaffy’ has bemoaned how dance is being sidelined in the entertainment industry.
The professional dancer said she’s out to correct the negative impressions about dancing during the first dance workshop in Nigeria, christened the ‘Dance Workshop and Conference’ (TDWC) with the theme, “Dance Is Serious Business 2.0” as well as a newly-commissioned edifice, “The Kaffy Incorporated.”
She said; “Our entertainment industry is riding on the back of the dancing industry. Dance is its backbone. Yet, no one discusses dance in conferences, no one talks about dance as a mainstream industry.
“But Africa communicates with the body. We communicate with dance in this part of the country. Our industry has absorbed from that so much.
“Dance can be converted into a sustainable business. I know how sustainable dance can be because I have done it over the years”
The dance queen who holds a Guinness world record stated further, “Before man could move, he gesticulates. Dance can be used to celebrate and for war. If dance is that powerful, I can pop in a lot of people into it.
“Sometimes we have so much fun without knowing we have exhausted so much energy. Dance helps women gain more confidence. We can use dance to empower, heal and fun. If so, why are we still under the food chain.”
Responding to questions about the entertainment industry in Nigeria, Kaffy also lamented the stereotype that has branded all similar Afro Hip-Hop music forms in Nigeria as ‘Afrobeat’, she said; “African music is African music. Afrobeat is Fela’s type of music and should not be generalized as the whole Genre of any kind of music that comes out from Nigeria.
Kaffy dirged wrong labelling of music genre in Nigeria, says “Afrobeat belongs to Fela”. She advocates for return to cultural dance forms, says “shaku shaku is good, atilogwu, bata better”.
“I think it’s a wrong way of generalizing our music. African music is African music We can’t call the likes of Victor Owaifo , Sir Shina Peters, Chief Osadebe’s kind of music ‘Afrobeat’ just because it originated from here, it’s different from Afrobeat and we should not generalize ‘Afrobeat’ as our sound; rather its Fela’s sound and we must protect it at all cost”.
Speaking to newsmen at the media parley, Kaffy explained that the Dance Workshop and conference (which in the last two years has become a catalyst in the entertainment industry as it was geared to make a huge impact on the dance community in Nigeria and Africa as a whole) is to inspire, train and mentor dancers in the art and business of dance, and on how to establish a profitable career within the entertainment industry.
She added that the project fuses dance with entrepreneurship and cultural exchange to provide a well-rounded educational experience for professional dancers in Africa; as well as establish the need for structure and discipline required to pursue a career in the performing arts and the entertainment industry.