Nigerian dance artist, Kafayat Shafau-Ameh, has said she will mark her 40th birthday and 20 years on the dance stage with a mega dance concert.
The concert tagged “The Rise of the Phoenix” would include a special session to harness talents among children to commemorate the Year 2020 Children’s Day.
Shafau-Ameh, popularly known as Kaffy, made this known in Lagos adding that the event would hold between May 27 and May 30, 2020.
“This year, I’m going to be 40. I’m still strong. Also, I will be marking 20 years of being on stage in this industry, sacrificing, pushing, crying, pulling and being victorious about one thing -Dance.
“So this year, we are scaling it higher, this has led us to extend: “The Dance Workshop and Conference” to four days instead of three.
“Dance can change lives, that is why I created the idea of a conference and called it ‘The Dance Workshop and Conference (TDWC) Africa’.
“We needed an atmosphere whereby we can have conversations with multiple stakeholders in the various sectors, and bridge the gap between the informed and the uninformed.
“The three days will include activities such as workshops, conference, trade fair, while the fourth day is for the concert; which we call the `Rise of the Phoenix. The phoenix is a bird that rose from ashes of its predecessor in flames, and burns through everything.”
Kaffy explaining her choice of Phoenix said “Ever since I was a kid, I’ve always seen myself and everything as a fire so right now, it is not just a fire that burns through me, I’m now the fire. I’m ready to burn through anything and to build anything positively as far as this nation is concerned. Nigeria is one of the greatest nations in the world”.
The dance workshop and conference will hold at Landmark Events Centre in Oniru, Lagos State with participants drawn from schools around Lagos.
The focus of the conference would be on business development, wealth creation and capacity building for youths.
Kaffy also said that dance in Nigeria had grown, “My assessment is that it has grown geometrically, in popularity but it has plateaued in technical delivery.
“Due to the influx of trending dances, the voice of rigorous and discipline art of dance is being silenced. Sometimes, when I do some proper choreography; while some will like it, others will dislike it because it does not feature popular trending dances like ‘Gbese’.
“Even if we want trending dances to become sustainable, we need to approach it like a science. For instance, wherever I have taught `Shakushaku’ dance, 90 percent of the time, my students grabbed it at once.
“I will say dance is empowering people, it is the best thing. It is so fulfilling to see that a girl, who wanted to be a prostitute before, yesterday changed her mind and danced with me.
“The feeling is overwhelming. I have kids with different disabilities such as autism and hearing impairment that enrolled for dance. I have watched their lives transformed” she said.