Two months after Zee Africa announced plans to launch the “Dance Naija Dance” competition, the entertainment platform has successfully selected 16 dance teams from all 36 states of Nigeria.
Africa’s Biggest Competition is a dance reality show that will take the form of a television series from the first week of August.
The idea behind “Dance Naija Dance” is to show the world the integration and infusion of Nigerian and Indian cultures.
“We celebrate both cultures – Nigerian dance and Indian dance,” Somnath Malakar, managing director for sub-Saharan Africa and the Indian Ocean islands, told TechEconomy in an interview on Wednesday. “If after the reality show and our viewers like it, then we will come back next year,” Malakar said.
At 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 competition 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 consider.
Registration for the auditions was open from April 1 to April 21, 2022, and each dance group of no more than 3 to 4 people sent a one-minute dance video to the organizers for selection.
Malakar said, “Dance Naija Dance” has had over 350 entries from all states in Nigeria.
He revealed that it was difficult and rigorous to make the selection, considering that several of the videos submitted were of good quality.
The 16 selected groups will compete in the final stages where the winners will emerge and the overall champion crowned. “The winner of the competition will receive 5 million naira, Malakar confirmed. “Other winners will also emerge and they will also receive different prizes.”
The judges from 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 leading dancer, Zee World is part of Nigerian culture and it is exciting to be part of the journey.
“I have never been a judge in life and here I am appointed judge.”
After weeks of registration and selection process, some of the judges got involved in mentoring the 16 groups to get a better understanding of what to expect on competition day.
According to Pelumi Buari, one of the judges, the experience was organic. “The pageant is more than just a dance competition, it’s a fusion of two cultures with similarities.”
Buari said the content brought by Zee Africa has helped bond families. “Zee World is part of Nigerian culture.”