Arts + Culture
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The 17 Best Viral Dance Videos of 2017

OkayAfrica gives you the best viral African dance videos of 2017 that you'll be sure to dance along with.

Year after year, we continue to get lost in visual creativity brought to you by talented folks utilizing social media platforms to share their joy of dance.

Dance videos are how we get put on to music we may have missed (because let's admit that it an be a bit much to try to keep up), as well as establish what kind of moves you'll be breaking out in the club (no shame, I'm that person). And because it's the internet, of course there's the cross-cultural exchange we all love. This year we saw dance challenges on dance challenges, and kiddies taking over—we're here for it.

Below you'll find our favorite viral dance vids of 2017 and why.


1. Because the One Corner Dance turned Ghana's conservatism on its head.

At first glance, it didn't make any sense why the dance and song caught. In a relatively conservative Ghanaian society, in fact, the gestures of the dance could be seen to violate an unspoken rule about movement in public space. Yet people of all ages, across the country do it. That even the military and police who are the embodiment of restraint and rigidity, enforcers of the strictures of society couldn't resist the tune means it had the most important—if not revered—quality of any music: like the force in newtons first law, it puts bodies in motion.

-Anakwa Dwamena

3. Because these moves epitomize the energy in Babes Wodumo's "Wololo."

13. Because this MJ tribute is everything.

14. Because we cannot.

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Tay Iwar. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Tay Iwar Is Nigeria's Hidden Gem

In a rare interview, the reclusive Nigerian singer and producer talks in-depth about writing and producing his new EP 1997, his forthcoming album Gemini and Nigeria's 'Alté' movement.

Tay Iwar wants some space. The word is the title of one of three songs on his new EP and also one that comes up during our interview, conducted via voice notes and texts on Whatsapp from his base in Abuja—a long way from Lagos which remains Nigeria's music hub.

The choice of the nation's quieter capital over the bustle of its music metropolis is a deliberate one for Iwar and one which fevers his reputation as a recluse and cult figure in Nigerian music circles. This especially happens among the subculture referred to as "alté"—an abbreviation of the word alternative which is used to denote the independent movement that is free from the flash and perceived vacuity of afropop. Precise definitions of the word vary but common denominators include introspection and melancholia, as well as trap and R&B.;

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Photo: Dancers of the Asociación Cultural Afro Chincha Perú via Wikimedia Commons

After Decades of Erasure, Afro-Peruvians Will Finally be Counted in the National Census

Despite an Afro-Peruvian cultural resurgence not a lot has been done to increase the population's visibility on a political level.

In 2009, Peru became the first Latin American country to issue an official public apology to its afrodescendiente population for centuries of "abuse, exclusion, and discrimination." Since then, many have criticized it as more of a symbolic gesture, especially for its failure to mention slavery. It was also seen as a way for the government to highlight Afro-Peruvian culture over making any substantive improvements to the material conditions of Afro-Peruvian communities.

Enter the census, which can play an important role in compelling the Peruvian government to address systemic inequality related to education, poverty, and health. Unfortunately, the last time Peru made a formal attempt to keep track of its African descended population via the census was in 1940.

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Watch Kuami Eugene's Vibrant Music Video "Meji Meji" Featuring Davido

This Ghanaian and Nigerian link up will make your day.

Ghana's Kuami Eugene has been an artist to watch—especially as he shows himself to hold his own on collab tracks.

The music video for his latest, "Meji Meji" featuring Davido, is here. Its upbeat vibe shines through as the two crooners go about their day in Ghana, singing sweet nothings to their love interests.

"Meji Meji" was produced by Fresh VDM, with the video directed by Twitch & Rex.

Take a look at the vibrant video below.

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