One of Nigeria’s most prolific dancers Kaffy Shafua-Ameh has shared how she suffered rejection when she started her career in dancing.
The Guness Record holder in a recent interview said she faced fierce opposition when she began dancing. This was because the art was not glamourous or acceptable as a career path when she started out.
“It all got to that part where I was dis-daughtered, I lost friends. I had friends who said ‘my mother said we should not play with you again because you are a dancer’….. I chose dance when it was socially, culturally, religiously not acceptable to be a dancer. Dance had almost zero economic value.”
However, after her dance recognition on the Guinness World Record in 2006, her career took a remarkable. She says she went from “I dis-daughter you” to “That’s my daughter!”
“There were people there before me, I just came to put a sparkle to the whole thing, to bring it to that commercial existence that a lot of people just gave up on.… after breaking a Guinness World record, seeing the way I was able to carry the art form, the business of it, and seeing the reaction of people towards it and the opportunities it was opening, a lot of young people started keying in.”
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Kaffy who runs Imagneto Dance Company announced in 2020 that she would be collaborating with stakeholders to launch a health insurance scheme for dancers.
It was in response to the recent spate of drug abuse and death among Nigerian dancing creatives. The life insurance scheme is being powered through Kaffy’s Kreativs Arts Foundation for Youths (KAFFY).
The plan was birthed during a virtual conference tagged Dance2Health with industry stakeholders. They included healthcare providers, health management organizations, life coaches, dance group leaders, and dance artists.
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