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Funmi Iyanda
Lagos, Nigeria
Funmi Iyanda is a multi award-winning producer and broadcast journalist. She is the CEO of Ignite Media and Executive Director of Creation Television
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Wednesday, October 11, 2006


Myself, Sola Salako, Ireti Doyle, and Ijeoma with King Sunny Ade
I love to dance, l do not necessarily dance well but l dance with abandon and joy often needing to be dragged off the dance floor protesting. The only person who can beat my dancing energy is my delightfully crazy friend Temi who of course was born with some form of performance enhancing drug in her system. In fact that’s how we became friends. One day in the great UI, coming out of my Idia hall room, l saw an apparition. A 6 foot 1 female waving down the corridor like a drunken “Igunu” (tall draped dipping masquerade) in my direction humming the words to Rump Shaker. I feel in love and have remained in love with my fierce, intelligent, loyal and sensitive friend. Temi it was who was dancing vigorously to a mixture of club mix hip-hop and pop at Club towers a year and half ago when l broke my back dancing. I was competing with she who has a natural paraga like high forgetting that my paciotti mules where six inches high whilst she was sensibly in her usual loafers. I heard the crack and kept dancing, by day light l picked up my broken paciottis (the heel actually snapped) and back and ankle off the floor and limped into the car. Many doctors, neurologists, homeopaths and chiropractors down the line l am better but l cant dance that long and that hard any more especially not on high shoes. A pity really because one of my dreams was to dance in Tina Turners band. Such energy, such sensuality such fun, they always look like they are having fun.

I blame my mother, an unrepentant party loving Ijebu woman in her lifetime. Thursday ni won ti nta Atibaba. (Its TGIT in Ijebu land, party canopies go up from Thursday). She used to draw a large circle and challenge us to dance rewarding the best dancer with goody-goody (yeah lm old) and declaring that the worst dancer was mistakenly given to her by the midwives in hospital. To that end l have often used NEW DAWN as a dance floor dancing at the slightest excuse with Dbanj, Psquare, Weird, Tuface, Sunny Ade, everybody, big and small old or young and sometimes when l, m bloody minded enough l dance by myself.

So when l was presented with Kaffy (Kafayat Shafau), l found a kindred spirit. How, tell me did a young girl acquire such sterling leadership qualities and confidence. Kaffy for the uninitiated is the 26-year-old winner of the Silverbird Danceathon setting a new world record with her group and an individual last man standing Guinness world record. That gal danced for 55hours 40 mins!

A feat she hadn’t recovered from by the time she came for the interview because whilst she waited in a corner of the studio (NTA no get green room o) she and her team-mates slept like drunken soldiers. In front of the camera, Kaffy was an interviewers delight, bright, happy personality that sparkles, real core values that shines through and a cool relaxed personal style that was so hip it was painful. Not one of those vacuous young things, all tits, fake hair, fake accent and stupefying diatribe. She charmed me and all the girls (read old witches) on the panel. That she was born to dance is clear but that she has done so much to develop herself and elevate her art is pure admirable. She is Nigeria’s foremost dancer and choreographer for music videos, she is a fitness and dance instructor and runs her own dance school without any formal dance training. Awesome! That she is adding the kind of value that develops and deepens industry is the stuff a new generation must embrace. When she said that even though she studied physical education if she wanted to be an aeronautics engineer she could, l believed her for in that lithe petite body beats a huge focused heart. Go khaffy, Go KAFFY.


Olajide Balogun said...

Yeah! yeah!! yeah!!! Aunt Funmi, you've got the physique and the posture. I was even disappointed that you didn't take part in the competition. Was there an age restriction? :) (lol). I can't recall seeing Kaffy dance on the show; did she? Is there a link to Kaffy? maybe a homepage. Broke your back huh! well, we all now know who (whats your daughter's name?) has taken after. I am so happy for Kaffy, I hope most youths would be humble enough to learn from her. Nice drive Kaf.....Whats up with the N1.5? :). Please Aunt Funmi, I would want to see you do a solo.

Popeye said...

Funmi,in all honesty i watched the New Dawn episode with Kaffy on display,and I must say that i was really awed. I haven't watched your program in over one year,and a half,so stumbling upon you again was truly like a breath of fresh air.
Though I noticed that you had lost considerable weight,apparently. ( not that you were ever plump ) But being a sister,and all,i felt I had to make that observation. Pleeeeeze,Funmi,whatever it is that's stopping you from eating,kindly revert back to the status quo,before I barge into that studio to force feed you!
Anyway,I think the young lady Kaffy has got her act together. What with all the difficulties and barriers that young people face in this our Naija,it's a real wonder she's come this far.
Am kicking in,cos I've got an early call in the morning. Was nice posting some comments.Perhaps next time,I'll really have something worthwhile to talk about.

It's me again.....Popeye

Babs (Gbeborun of Lagos) said...

I remember that pix. Thats the one from the KSA interview (yourself, ireti doyle and co dancing away). How about putting a link to new dawn's website on your blog page. cant remember the web address. will check back tommorrow. I dont know what it is about you, but a few pple i know (most in their early 30s)including myself call you Aunty Funmi unconciously when gisting. You doing a great work. You're like a shared destiny to many. One that connects the puzzle in many hearst. Thanks for following your heart.

Anonymous said...

I mean it when I say that this young woman has come to stay. It's a good thing that she discovered that early and her parents gave her all the go ahead to maximize herself.

I want to use this opportunity to tell Kaffy, you are one hell of a dancer, there are great and bigger things ahead of you.

Take your time

Anonymous said...

The thing i have learnt from Kaffy is,if you love something go for it.I bet in the beginning people would have thought "see this unserious girl,how can u be a dancer".THe fact is if you have unquenchable passion for something ,project it in a postive light and make people see the good in it.See now the girl don reach Guiness book of world record.

maureen omene said...

one thing only i can say is that kaffy is the best thing to happen to dance, to the youths of this country.now youths with similar dreams have where to go(dance academy)and feel like they are doing something productive. go kaffy!

Anonymous said...

whatz up wit the dancing pill maybe took overdose cos even the audience were affected seriously dnt want the show to dance.maybe ur daughter shold enlist in the class,she really dat fun then i pity the future .... any plans.
hey no matter wat follow ur heart or else ur doing well wit the show.
go koddos!aloha

Ajayi Oluwaseun said...

Hello Funmi, Can you tell me the title of the record won by Kaffy?
I searched the online guinness world record database but couldn't locate it.
I have always envisaged seeing her in a psquare video and it finally happened in "Roll It". Trust me, she actually rolled it!

funmi said...

i totally respect you for two things 1. for been my name sake and 2.for bringing kaffy to your show(even though i missed it, but i felt like i was watching ur interview with her from your blog) i mean i totaly dig her.........she is awesome, i have seen her dance and i just wish i coud meet her in person.i admire the way she came up and stayed up and continue moving up....she has style, she is different, natural and a diva..hey funmi i was thinking if you could hook me up with her school.......i shud be crucified if i forget to say i love you blog.....and your show beats oprah's anyday...you should write a biography on yourself you would be a no1 seller cos you deserve it.........thanks for keeping our name for real.....FUNMI

Ayodeji said...

Kaffy is my cousin and I am so proud of her. Kaffy is known for dance but I must tell every one that her ambition was to be an aeronautic engineer, an ambition that was stopped by her father, my uncle, because he feels " so if you repair a faulty plane, who will test it". Dance took away her ambition as one of the best engineering mathematicians in the country. She started out by acquiring an international aerobics certificate online. The only regret I have is that she looked better when she was still fleshy and young compared to now that she's masculine. Success has a lot of brothers and sister they say but thats not mine cos I was into entertainment before she came though on a low key. I just want people to know that she not just dances but also brilliant academically.

lola said...

yeah i am happygiv fou r kaffy because she want for what she loves most ihope most people will learn from.please where is kaffy academy i would like to enroll there.