Rise of the coastal dancer
Posted Sunday, February 17 2013 at 02:00
When it comes to dancing they have proven without a shadow of doubt that they can give the likes of Chris Brown and Usher a run for their money. These youngsters from Mombasa are setting a whole new level in the entertainment industry; together they have formed an organization called Kenya Youth for Change with the aim of promoting the art of dancing. Sylvania Ambani caught up with these dance groups to learn more about their art.
Abdillahi Mohammed, Juma Ibra, Swaleh Said, Brian Hotiato and Jeremy Mkura met in high school in 2006 and immediately became instant friends. They were soon to discover their dancing talent which they decided to develop.
After years of performing in hotels after completing high school, they decided to try their luck in Sakata Season II. They finished third overall. This did not kill their spirit but actually prompted them to work even harder and in the following season of the competition they went one position high and bagged Sh300,000 prize money as runners up.
They crew members, all pursuing their college education in different institutions, are determined to carry on dancing and even plan to form a company to develop the talent of others interested in the art.
They originally used to call themselves U.G.K IN 2007 but changed their name to B12 last year. It is a six-member group of Arif Ashraf, Samuel Ochola, Michael Otieno, Edwin Omalla, Jackson Jebal and Jeremy Kimani who sing and act besides dancing and have two recorded songs to their name.
Their passion for dancing has led them to try out different competitions, like ‘Mombasa got talent’ where they were crowned best dance group for the two seasons it ran. B12 also beat more than 100 dancers in Sakata Season III to finish fourth overall and a Sh100,000 cash prize.
They met during school variety shows where different schools met to showcase their different talents. They then formed their first group known as ‘Interclan’ in 2009 and later Mystical.
The five-member group consisting of Ian Mogare, Benjamin Komora, Arnold Omondi, Lepereze Olomina and Martin have also featured in a music video for upcoming star Qritical, which also helped increase their fan base. They say they are not ready to stop dancing especially now that they have realized that dancing pays.
They started dancing as part of a volunteer process where they used to dance in events organized by a guidance and counselling organisation for free. They eventually tried out the Sprite Street Dance competition where they were able to sharpen their skills. The mixed six-member group has won a number of awards like the best dancers in Coast in the Nzumari Awards and also winning the same category in the Coast Awards. G-Clef has opened a dancing school to train aspiring dancers.
Dabs, which stands for ‘Dance Attitude Brotherhood and Swag’ is a five-member group, with one female. The team consists of Jackson Ayieko, Dennis Okech, Jacqueline Okech, Mullah Tenga and Jimmy Opiyo, all in college. They first met after high school in 2009 then landed their first gig at Milele Beach hotel during the launch of Juliani’s album.
They have two awards to their name in the best dance group of Kenya that they won in 2011 in both the Coast and Nzumari awards. They have dreams of being the best in dancing and also hope to open a dancing school which they believe would keep youths away from crime and drugs.