Arts + Culture
Photo still via YouTube.

The Top 25 African Dancers To Follow on Instagram

From One Corner and Gwara Gwara, to Shaku Shaku and Kupe, African dance moves have a hold on influencing global pop culture online. Meet some of the talented creatives responsible for this.

Original content is most impactful when it's directly in the hands of the people who care about it most. That is exactly what's going on in the world of African dance and choreography on new media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and YouTube. Progressively, African dance artists have mastered the art of digital content creation and made the internet the main outlet for their creativity.

These dance artists (choreographers, instructors, digital marketers and independent filmmakers) are some of the hardest working people on the internet, as they are able to alloy a range of different skills together from video production, art direction and obviously choreography to create regular viral content. Indeed, community is a huge component of the growth of this online session, as most creatives in this regard actively support each other by collaborating, sharing content and borrowing parts of their choreographies from each other. This allows them to expand beyond their original niche audience and collectively grow the practice that they care so much about.

To celebrate the creativity, ingenuity and passion of these dynamic individuals from the continent and in the diaspora working hard to shape our collective movement vocabularies with new steps and choreographies, here is a list of some of the most engaging and entertaining dance accounts to follow on Instagram.

Dig in and practice your own moves with the dancers below.


Dancegod Lloyd

Location: Ghana

Style: Afrobeats, Hip Hop | YouTube

Iziegbe 'Izzy' Odigie

Location: Nigeria/USA

Style: Afro-fusion, hip-hop | YouTube

Incredible Zigi

Location: Ghana

Style: Afrobeats, Hip Hop

GIRLS GOT BOLD (GGB) Dance Crew

Location: Nigeria

Style: Afrobeat, Hip-Hop, Fusion | YouTube

Angela Amonoo-neizer

Location: Ghana

Style: Afrobeats | YouTube

Tony Pirata

Location: Democratic Republic of Congo/Netherlands

Style: Kizomba, Fusion

Samuel Kyei

Location: Ghana/USA

Style: Afrobeats, Kizomba, Hip Hop, Coupé-Décalé | YouTube

Charlito Le Vrais + Kirikou Le Vrais

Location: France/Senegal

Style: Afrobeats, Hip Hop | YouTube

SayRah

Location: Nigeria/USA

Style: Afrobeats

Yoofi Greene

Location: Ghana/China

Style: Afrobeats, Hip Hop, Azonto | YouTube

Merveille Lee

Location: Belgium

Style: Afrobeats

Mr Shawtyme

Location: Ghana

Style: Afrobeats, hip-hop, Azonto | YouTube

Meka Oku

Location: Nigeria/USA

Style: Afrobeats, hip-hop | YouTube

Judith McCarty

Location: South Africa/USA

Style: Afrobeats | YouTube

Petit Afro

Location: Netherlands

Style: Afrobeats, Afrohouse | YouTube

Krump Caliph aka Afro Beast

Location: Ghana

Style: Afrobeats, Hip-hop

George Hamilton Patnelli

Location: France

Style: Afrobeats | YouTube

Pãizinho Reis Manuel Fernando

Location: Netherlands

Style: Afrobeats, Hip Hop, Contemporary | YouTube

Lyka King

Location: France

Style: Afrobeats | YouTube

Princess K

Location: UK

Style: Afrobeats | YouTube

Ikorodu Talented Kids

Location: Nigeria

Style: Afrobeats, contemporary

Triplets Ghetto Kids

Location: Uganda

Style: Hip hop, contemporary, Afrobeats | YouTube

Chanel Adely

Location: Netherlands

Style: Afrobeats, hip hop

Regina Dadzie

Location: Ghana

Style: Hip hop, Afrobeats, Azonto

Cocainna

Location: Nigeria/UK

Style: Afrobeats, Fusion

Hakeem Adam is an instinct creative in love with beautiful sentences and the angst of communicating complex ideas in poetry. He frequently expresses this angst in simple sentences on his blog. He also loves to talk about African film and music classics on his platform, Dandano. Keep up with Hakeem on Twitter at @mansah_hakeem.

popular
Image courtesy of Lula Ali Ismaïl

'Dhalinyaro' Is the Female Coming-of-Age Story Bringing Djibouti's Film Industry to Life

The must-watch film, from Lula Ali Ismaïl, paints a novel picture of Djibouti's capital city through the story of three friends.

If you're having a tough time recalling the last movie you watched from Djibouti, it's likely because you have never watched one before. With an almost non-existent film industry in the country, Lula Ali Ismaïl, tells a beautiful coming of age story of three young female Djiboutian teenagers at the cusp of womanhood. Dhalinyaro offers a never-before-seen view of Djibouti City as a stunning, dynamic city that blends modernity and tradition—a city in which the youth, like all youth everywhere, struggle to decide what their futures will look like. It's a beautiful story of friendship, family, dreams and love from a female filmmaker who wants to tell a "universal story of youth," but set in the country she loves—Djibouti.

The story revolves around the lives of three young friends from different socio-economic backgrounds, with completely varied attitudes towards life, but bound by a deep friendship. There is Asma, the conservative academic genius who dreams of going to medical school and hails from a modest family. Hibo, a rebellious, liberal, spoiled girl from a very wealthy family who learns to be a better friend as the film evolves and finally Deka. Deka is the binding force in the friendship, a brilliant though sometimes naïve teen who finds herself torn between her divorced mother's ambitions to give her a better life having saved up all her life for her to go to university abroad, and her own conviction that she wants to study and succeed in her own country.

Okayafrica contributor, Ciku Kimeria speaks to Ismaïl on her groundbreaking film, her hopes for the filmmaking industry and the universality of stories. Read on for the conversation, and stream Dhalinyaro here.

Keep reading... Show less
popular
Image courtesy of Adekunle Adeleke

Spotlight: Adekunle Adeleke Creates Digital Surrealist Paintings That Celebrate African Beauty

Get familiar with the work of Nigerian visual artist Adekunle Adeleke.

In our 'Spotlight' series, we highlight the work of photographers, visual artists, multimedia artists and more who are producing vibrant, original work. In our latest piece, we spotlight Adekunle Adeleke, a Nigerian visual artist, using digital mediums to paint dream-like portraits of Africans. Read more about the inspirations behind his work below, and check out some of his stunning paintings underneath. Be sure to keep up with the artist on Instagram and Facebook.

Can you tell us more about your background and when you first started painting?

I am a self taught artist. I started drawing from when I was really young. I mostly used graphite pencils and paper. But about six years ago, I think it was 2014, I wanted to start getting into color. I was a university student at the time and I lived in a hostel with three other people, so I couldn't go traditional so [instead], I started making paintings digitally, first on my iPad and then on my laptop with a Wacom. I have been painting ever since.

What would you say are the central themes in your work?

I personally think my work celebrates beauty (African beauty to be precise) and occasionally absurd things. I really just want to make paintings that are beautiful.

How do you decide who or what you're going to paint?
I do not have an exact process. I do use a lot of references though. Sometimes, I had an idea of how exactly the painting would look, others I just make it up as i go along.

Can you talk about a particular moment or turning point in your life that made you want to pursue art or a creative path?

I am not sure–I did not actively pursue art in a sense. I was just doing it because it was fun and I wanted to. Then people all of a sudden wanted to put me on projects and offer to pay for my hobby. I have thankfully been able to make art and also work in a separate field—which I also enjoy–by day.

Keep reading... Show less
popular
(Photo Illustration by Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Rejoice! WhatsApp Places New Restrictions on Chain Messages to Fight Fake News

To combat the spread of misinformation due to the coronavirus outbreak, users are now restricted from sharing frequently forwarded messages to more than one person.

The rise of the novel coronavirus has seen an increase in the spread of fake news across social media sites and platforms, particularly WhatsApp—a platform known as a hotbed for the forwarding of illegitimate chain messages and conspiracy theories (if you have African parents, you're probably familiar). Now the Facebook-owned app is setting in place new measures to try and curb the spread of fake news on its platform.

The app is putting new restrictions on message forwarding which will limit the number of times a frequently forwarded message can be shared. Messages that have been sent through a chain of more than five people can only subsequently be forwarded to one person. "We know many users forward helpful information, as well as funny videos, memes, and reflections or prayers they find meaningful," announced the app in a blog post on Tuesday. "In recent weeks, people have also used WhatsApp to organize public moments of support for frontline health workers."

Keep reading... Show less
News Brief

Sarkodie Hits Hard With His Latest Single 'Sub Zero'

The Ghanaian heavyweight rapper shows up with the fire bars over an Altra Nova-produced beat.

Sarkodie has dropped a new aggressive track in the shape of "Sub Zero."

"Sub Zero" follows the star Ghanaian rapper as he throws back criticisms that have come his way from other rappers with his own ice cold flow. The new track was produced by Ghanaian beatmaker Altra Nova and mixed by PEE On Da BeaT.

"Sub Zero" follows Sarkodie's turn-up single "Bumper," which dropped bak in February.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

news.