Kenya's dance industry dancing to 'cash cash'

By AUSTINE OKANDE

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Dancing has overcome the current societal hurdles enriched by negative public perception to become an enriching business for many young people today.

As the local entertainment scene speedily twirls into a lucrative business venture among the young and agile urbanites, the gifted have now resorted to spending hours in the gym, training tirelessly to ensure they horn their dancing skills that is slowly emerging as an acceptable profession.

One of such dance groups is the FBI dance group, an award winning dance group that has managed to curve a niche for themselves in the local entertainment scene as the most endowed professional dance group.

 The group is known for their well-choreographed dance moves dubbed Digala.

Formed in 2006 in the Eastlands’ Majengo estate where all the members hail from, the FBI dancers have grown what they once considered a passion into a recognisable brand that now merits as their main source of income.

“We formed the group while still students at Jamhuri High. However, it was not until 2009 when we featured as main dancers for the gospel group MoG in one of their hit songs Let Him Go. The song later sparked demand for our services so we decided to start commercialising our dance,” says Fredrick Milanya, the group’s leader.

Bragging as the godfathers of Kenyan commercial dance industry, the FBI enjoys a wide fan base across Eastern and Central African entertainment scene.

To them, dancing has been a worthwhile venture for the group and has pushed them out of poverty in the slums of Majengo.

“Dancing currently pays well. We have had opportunities to travel in different countries namely Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia and Rwanda – places we would otherwise never traveled to. We pocket an average of Sh70,000 per show – the same apply for a music video,” Milanya says.

“Currently most of our clients are corporates who often employ our services in their product launch, promotion and even product endorsement. Performing in events and music videos are also our main source of revenues.”

In 2011, the FBI dance group entered into a partnership with the Prisons Department through which it runs a project dubbed ‘Dance for Change’ in Nairobi prisons.

“Through the project we aim at offering dance training and mentorship programme to the youthful inmates through dance as an alternative career,” Milanya says.

Apart from dancing, the FBI has ventured into different types of businesses like transport.

The group owns a commuter vehicle and a design clothes for celebrities such as comedian Eric Omondi, Ogopa singer Myra and the MoG gospel group.

To perfect their moves the group has a daily practicing session that last for at least three to four hours and it is during such sessions where they learn new moves and perfect on our moves.

The group comprises seven members – Fredrick Milanya, Ramadhan Nyachio, Ezra Njagi, Kibibi  Tajiri, Kennedy Mutembei, Justus Mtua and Simon Janaj.


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