Last weekend, the double-edge event tagged A Night With The Phoenix, became a carnival of sort as friends, family, and creme de la crème in the society converged at Ebonylife Place, Victoria Island, Lagos to celebrate the queen of dance, Kafayat Oluwatoyin Shafau, popularly known as Kaffy.
The event, which was initially planned to host high caliber in the society to a private screening of a bio documentary titled Dance Is Serious Business to mark Kaffy’s her 42nd birthday, turned into a display of elegance, colors and class.
The documentary captures Kaffy’s journey to fame, her pains, her family, plan for the future and her love life.
The dance instructor said she started dancing due to limitations in her environment when it comes to somebody becoming something in life.
“You know, we have this stereotypical idea that if you’re not a lawyer, engineer, doctor, you are a nobody.
“Just a few days ago, somebody said on Instagram that one of the five most useless courses to study in Nigeria is Microbiology. He said the course is useless because Nigeria is useless. And I wondered why someone thinks it is useless.
“I put myself on the line and make things happen. Look at the food chain of the entertainment industry, dance is supposed to be at the bottom, but somebody believed that there is a value in it, and guess where we are now? I knew the value of dance, but did Nigeria give me any facility? In order to get where I am, I pushed myself. I am a known dancer today, not because of just the movement of the body, but because I always try to drive the message home that nobody is useless. You need to find your passion; study what it is, and you will find a cause. You don’t even have to be popular. People are chasing fame but I did not. Fame found me. But that is because I never focused on fame.”
The award-winning dancer noted that, “Gen Zs need to realize that they have the best generation. They have everything at their fingertips and things that work for them; from YouTube to Instagram and other social media. There was no social media to support my rise to fame; I had to go from one city to the other just to dance for me to be seen.
“In terms of impact, excellence is attainable, regardless of the odds. I’m not saying there are no challenges. I’m not saying economically we don’t go through challenges, but we can thrive, regardless.”
She reminded that nobody was ready to dance professionally when she started, adding, “But dance now impact globally. It is now a world where no one can ignore a dancer. Dance is a flagbearer, a vehicle for what is now known as Afrobeats domination. Without the Skelewus, and Azontos, how would Afrobeats have gone to America? What made Afrobeats trend was when the Americans started doing our dance to those songs, and they started consuming our music because dance was what the plate it was served on,” she said.
On the future of dance, she said: “How can a talented young boy in Ogbomoso or in Jos, or in Bauchi showcase his talents? The only way he can do this without coming to Lagos and risking his life is through digital platforms. This is what I’m building; I have built apps and platforms, all with my hard-earned money. I could have bought a house in Banana Island; I could have decided to be anything that I want to be. Well, guess where I am? I’m so passionate about this. So, I am using this opportunity to talk to the world, to talk to people out there, well-meaning Nigerians, those who are looking for where to put their money that we need partners; we need investors. I need people that can believe in this dream,” she said.
On her inspiration, the dance queen said she draws inspiration from understanding the reason for being on earth.
“God said go and multiply. What does multiply means? Impact people, multiply does not mean to go and gather and be rich for yourself. You multiply by sharing who you are to those that can consume you and reciprocate. The universe is designed to reciprocate back to you.”
Giving insight into the documentary, Kaffy said, “Storytelling is the way to go; content is the future. We lose our history if we don’t tell it. If I die, do I want to let somebody from the west come to tell the story of one African dancer called Kaffy? I am going to be alive and I will tell that story. There’s no better time to do it than now.
“This documentary has been in my file and diary for over 10 years. And this is just the beginning. There is a future to this. Dance is a serious business is the first in the documentary. We are going into phase two, The Rise of the Phoenix, and then we are going into a movie production about the diary of the African dance queen, and tell the stories of other kids who were picked under the bridge,” she hinted.