Two months after Zee Africa announced its intentions to roll out the “Dance Naija Dance” competition, the entertainment platform has successfully selected 16 dance crews across the 36 states in Nigeria.
Africa’s biggest contest is a dance reality show that will take on the form of a television series from the first week of August.
The idea behind the “Dance Naija Dance” is to showcase to the world the integration and infusion of Nigerian and Indian cultures.
“We are celebrating the two cultures – the Nigerian dance, and the Indian dance,” Somnath Malakar, the Chief Executive Officer for Sub-Saharan Africa and Indian Ocean Islands, told TechEconomy in an interview on Wednesday. “If after the reality show and our TV audiences like it, then, we will come back next year, Malakar said.
During a press conference in Lagos, Malakar said the “Dance Naija Dance” is a replica of the highly successful ‘Dance Africa Dance’ competition in December 2021.
He said the contest was specifically designed for Nigerians and Indians, explaining that the similarities between the two countries in terms of family values and lifestyle are things to reckon with.
The entries for auditions were open from 1 April to 21 April 2022, and each dance group of up to 3-4 persons had sent a one-minute-long dance video to the organizers for selection.
Malakar said, “Dance Naija Dance” recorded over 350 entries across all the states in Nigeria.
He revealed that it was difficult and rigorous to do the selection, considering the fact that many of the videos submitted were of good quality.
The selected 16 groups will struggle it out in the final stages where the winners will emerge and the overall champion crowned. “The winner of the competition will be gifted 5 million Naira, Malakar confirmed. “Other winners will also emerge and they will also be awarded different prizes.”
The judges across Nigeria, South Africa, and India for “Dance Naija Dance” were also announced at the press conference. Some of the judges include Kunle Remi, Keneth Agabata, Pelumi Buari, Sashin Kandhai, etc.
According to Kunle Remi, a prominent dancer, Zee World has been part of the Nigerian culture and it feels exciting to be part of the journey.
“I have never been a judge in life and here I am appointed as a judge.”
After weeks of entries and the selection process, some of the judges have been involved in mentoring the 16 groups to have a better understanding of what they should expect on the day of the competition.
According to Pelumi Buari, one of the judges, the experience has been organic. “The contest is beyond just dancing competition, it’s a fusion of two cultures with similarities.”
Buari said that the content Zee Africa brings has helped bond families together. “Zee World has been part of the Nigerian culture.”