Celebrity Nigerian dancer, Kafayat Shafau, widely known as Kaffy, has emphasized that despite the growing recognition of dance as a crucial component of the creative sector, there is still a lack of investment in its expansion.
Kaffy, a former Guinness World Record holder, expressed her concern about the inadequate funding allocated to the dance industry compared to other forms of popular culture such as music and film.
In an interview with Saturday Beats, Kaffy highlighted the potential exploitation of dance for purposes other than entertainment.
“The good thing that has happened to dance is that it is now recognized 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.
“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.”
As the founder of Imagneto Dance Company, Kaffy mentioned that she has personally invested a significant amount of her own money to develop a system and technology to support both dancers and non-dancers. She also noted that many talented dancers lack a business mindset.
Kaffy further added:
“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.”