INTERVIEW: “Money is invested in movies and music, but not in dance” Kaffy speaks out on neglect in dance sector

Kafayat Shafau, one of Nigeria’s renowned Nigerian dancers, better known as Kaffy, has emphasized the persistent lack of investment in expanding the dance industry, despite the increasing recognition of dance as a vital component of the creative sector.

Kaffy, a former holder of the Guinness World Record, voiced her concern regarding the insufficient funding allocated to the dance industry in comparison to other popular cultural forms like music and film.

In an interview with Punch Saturday Beats, Kaffy highlighted the potential exploitation of dance for purposes other than entertainment.

She said

“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.”

Being the founder of Imagneto Dance Company, Kaffy highlighted that she has personally dedicated a substantial sum of her own funds to establish a system and technology aimed at supporting both dancers and non-dancers. She also pointed out the prevalent absence of a business mindset among many talented dancers.

Kaffy 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.”

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