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.

News Brief

Prominent Zimbabwean Activist  Sheds Light on Current Crisis

Doug Coltart, a vocal activist and human rights lawyer based in Harare, speaks to Okayafrica about what's currently happening in Zimbabwe.

A few days ago, the Zimbabwean government issued a directive to major cellular network providers Econet and TelOne to disable the internet and all access to social media. The directive was an attempt to prevent any information from spreading outside the country's borders with regards to the nationwide protests which have led to the deaths of at least five people and the injury of at least twenty-five others.

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The front page of The New York Times on January 16, 2019

Kenyans Are Furious at the New York Times for Posting Photos of Terrorist Victims

After the the deadly attack on Tuesday, many are accusing the American newspaper of having a double standard on which dead bodies they allow into the paper

Is the New York Times guilty of a double standard when it comes to publishing images of dead bodies?

Kenyans, and others fed up with the coverage, took to social media in the hundreds to denounce a Times article that included an image of victims of Tuesday's Nairobi terrorist attack, bloodied from bullets, and lying hunched over their laptops, dead.

It has cause enough debate online to where the Times' incoming East Africa Bureau chief Kimiko de Freytas-Tamura felt the need to explain their photo policy, which is to show the dead only if their faces cannot be seen in the image. The photo in question fits the policy as the faces are facing away from the camera. She would later apologize before posting the official policy to her Twitter account. The photo remains up.

The Times' official response, as those tend to do online, has only created more anger. But unlike many unruly Twitter mobs, those responding to the official statement have a rather coherent message—"you wouldn't do this with photos of the American dead."

Some of the responses to the Times' official statement.

In a response to the controversy from the Poynter Institute, a typically astute observer of journalistic practice in the United States, they run through the typical American journalism school approach to publishing photos that might shock or offend. They write:

Should the Times have run the photo?
There is no easy answer.
The first question any news organization must ask when deciding to publish violent images is: WHY show it?
In other words, what is the news value? Does the public need to see such an image to fully grasp what happened? Does the public need to see such a photo to confirm or disprove the official account of the events?
An argument could be made that a writer's words could accurately describe the scene without being as disturbing as the image. In addition, when it comes to an act of terrorism, might publishing such a photo actually advance the cause of the terrorists, showing the damage they caused, thus fueling dread and panic?
Also this: The photo on the Times website came without warning. As a reader, you didn't know you were going to see a photo of dead people until you actually saw it.
Those are arguments to not run such a photo or, at least, warn readers of its graphic content.

While it's a fine analysis of when to show a violent image, it misses the central issue at play for those aggrieved by the Times' posting—that the American news-gaze values certain lives differently. Black, brown, foreign, poor—American journalism organizations, including the New York Times, cannot escape a base ethnocentrism in their coverage. It's so embedded into how these institutions operate, and the gap in understanding is so wide, that to much of the world, the Times' official response is laughably wrong at first glance.

"We take the same approach wherever in the world something like this happens--balancing the need for sensitivity and respect with our mission of showing the reality of these events"

And while there are examples from the Times that complicate this feeling, like these images of the dead in the terrorist attack in Nice, France, it doesn't discount the wider and correct feeling that the white victims of American mass shootings are treated differently than their African counterparts. And while there are complicated and systematic reasons for this which will always make discussing it difficult, to simply deny that different standards exist, does not increase the Times' credibility with Kenyans or the newspaper's growing online audience which will only become more vocal about how they're portrayed.

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Falz 'Moral Instruction'

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Every week, we highlight the cream of the crop in music through our Best Music of the Week column.

Here's our round up of the best tracks and music videos that came across our desks, which you can also check out in our Songs You Need to Hear This Week playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

Follow OkayAfrica on Spotify and Apple Music to get immediate updates every week and read about some of our selections ahead.

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