A popular dancer, fitness coach and founder of the Imagneto Dance Company, Kafayat Shafau, aka Kaffy, says that though dance is now better recognised as an integral part of the creative industry in Nigeria, investments towards its growth is still low.
In an interview with her, she said, “The good thing that has happened to dance is that it is now recognised both as a viable business and career. Unlike 10 to 15 years ago when I started, no parent would want to bring their child to dance classes. They did not understand what value it brought to their children, but now they do”.
“However, I think one of the main problems it does not look like a very structured ecosystem is because of the way investment is going. Money is invested in movies and music, but not in dance. Dance is still seen as a service provider, rather than a part of the industry. The only question is, are people taking it seriously enough to consider it an ‘investable’ entity? Without investment and capital, dance cannot be sustained.”
The dancer also stressed that dance could be used for more than entertainment. She said, “Dance is what holds the entertainment industry together. No one would want to go to a concert and watch an artiste stand on a spot; it would be boring. In the health sector, dance carries a lot of power too. I use dance as a therapy to treat people with trauma, and even autism. I use it to improve the retentive memory of children.”
Kaffy, who stated that she had invested a lot of her personal money into building a structure and technology to help both dancers and non-dancers, also noted that many talented dancers lacked a business mindset. She said, “The problem is not the talent, but the mindset that it can be used to make money. However, that is not peculiar to dancers. We need to furnish the creative industry with adequate knowledge. They don’t need to go to university to understand accounting, marketing, sales, use of social media usage, and other things that can help their careers/businesses. That is what my platform is about to do for young people.”