What started like typical questions asked by many regarding the on-going corruption scandals rocking the country has pushed one of the little-known Nakuru dancing crew into the limelight after they composed a song that went viral.
The song, a Kenyan version of Childish Gambino’s ‘This is America’ showcases the dancing prowess while highlighting corruption scandals crippling the country.
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In the first week, the song registered close to 59,000 views on YouTube.
The group, Igiza Dance Crew, started eight years ago as a dancing group of four young men seeking to earn a living.
It has transformed into one of the most sought-after group that not only performs at corporate events but competes for top national and international awards.
Dan Karimi, the dance crew’s lead said although they have been doing covers of other songs, the latest, This is Kenya, has been received well.
“I think we are now picking up after a lengthy struggle. The song has garnered more views within the shortest time. This too, shows how corruption is really frustrating the entire country,” he said.
The group has been using the internet to perfect their moves.
“We were sure that at some point, we would get a breakthrough. Luckily, we all had the ambition, we shared a dream and we had to search online for the latest moves to make it in this ever-growing industry,” Karimi said.
The group scooped East Africa’s Best dance crew award in 2016 and has diversified its activities, incorporating video shoots for weddings and running a clothing line.
“We have grown over the years, perfected our moves and even came up with our own dancing styles by doing a lot of research online,” Karimi said.
Dancing, he said requires a lot of patience to perfect and time to market since the industry is competitive.
In 2014 the group reached the finals in Sakata competition, and were ranked third. The group then started doing road shows to raise capital to expand their business to include video shoots.
“That was the best moment we ever had, it was an assurance that we were finally headed somewhere. For once, we represented Nakuru as one of the towns with potential to produce great dancers,” Fred Wasira, a member of the dance group said.
In 2016, the group was shortlisted together with Nairobi-based dance crew FBI to represent Kenya in the Hip Hop Dance Championship organised by Hip Hop International.
In the global event that brings together dance crews from more than 50 countries, over four thousand dancers compete during the championships.
“This was one of the biggest dreams we ever had, sadly, we did not make it because we could not raise airfare and money for accommodation,” Karimi said.
They needed almost Sh 3million to cater for their expenses and efforts to seek assistance from both the county and national governments did not bear fruit.
“We were discouraged but we decided to focus on expanding our local business to include road shows, video shoots for weddings and events, clothing line and performing in functions,” Karimi said. As a marketing strategy the group does video covers for popular songs, a move which has seen them grow and achieve a large social media following.
“Some of these artistes call us to encourage and congratulate us,” John Kamau said.
The group is however hopeful that, with support from the Government, their dream will come true next year.
“We still have what it takes, we know we are the best and nothing will weigh us down,” Kamau said.
“We are hopeful that should we get shortlisted for the competition next year, we will make it if we get enough support.”