Saturday, 28 January 2012

New Year Dance Off!

In a little, not so little village called Kagoma, in Kaduna state, the 1st of January is always a much anticipated date by the youths. It is a day when any one has the excuse to be anything in broad day light without fear of judgement or condemnation from his/her peers. It is a day of reckless, wanton, uninhibited dancing! Wear what you like, dance how you like, act the fool and don't think twice about it. Its the kind of day where you will find your 'I'm too classy for that' kinda babe, acting well, not so classy.

Anyway, when 1st of January showed up, I wasn't much for dancing. The year didn't start off too good and my mind was off jubilation. Little did I know that the dancer in me was not in agreement. So while I sat in my kitchen enjoying quality family time, a trap was being set for me. From somewhere in the distance the sounds of drums found there way into my father's compound and before I knew it, the beat took over. So I dragged my sister, grabbed my camera and headed off to catch the train.

The annual New Year dance involves dancing/walking round the village streets to vibrant singing supported by lively drumming and, short bursts of vigorous dancing supported by vigorous drumming. Now, the dancing is completely incomplete without a shaker called 'zek'. You attach this shaker to your body and it makes shaking sounds whenever you move. Being that we had no previous plans of dancing, we had no zek and if you don't get your zek at least a day before the fest, you're on a long thing. Fortunately, we were able to buy a couple for about twice the price i.e. N100 each.

Even though I like to feel like a village champion, every now and then I get proven otherwise. Before everything took off in full swing, my zek started falling off. So I had to reluctantly get urgent tying assistance from some all too eager intoxicated youths.
As you can see, my photographer sister, didn't get my face in that pic. So we had to get a pretend one
Oh, are you surprised by my attire? Ha, you don't know anything. I be proper village girl! Anyway, the dance took off in full swing and we I got into the groove. Yes I, cause my sister...well... she is pretending to be dancing in the crowd. And me?
Here I am actually dancing. I told you, village girl. Sha, don't think that with all the dancing I missed the scene. For example you see that erm, big boned lady in black? I would like to believe that she dared showed off her voluptuous physique like that because it was new year's day dance off. Anyway, I was so fascinated by her boldness I had to get a few more pics:

Oh, there's more. This next lady obviously missed the lecture at puberty 101 which taught that: when a lady steps out onto the dance floor, any dance floor, she must be properly kitted
I mean, didn't she feel the bells jingle as she boogied? Oh well, moving on... . What's a dance off without a couple of blue faced men, my sister posing in between them, and a couple of green bottles to serve as motivation?
Notice the malt in her hand? A couple of guys insisted we needed refreshment for all our hard work and forced us to take some. We just had to take a pic, so here's one of them:
Maybe if they had forced a green bottle instead my sis would have gotten enough motivation to dance so she wont have to pretend to be dancing (eyes rolling at you sis). Anyway, some soldiers showed up in the scene trying to regulate the dancing:
What?! Do they know how old this tradition is? Where did they come from sef? If not for the haramists we would have enjoyed our dancing in peace oh. Sha, we no too vex as we know the volatile situation of the north. I had to take pictures, and as you know security forces are always uneasy about their pictures being taken (I wonder why, are they hiding anything potentially illegal perhaps?). In fact, if you see how this guy below eye me ehn?
What? I had to black eye the face o, before Nigerian soldier go come find me. If you know the kind warning one of them give me ehn, na with fear I dey take post this pictures sef.

After dancing round the village for a couple of hours, we got tired and retired. On getting home, my little brother (who is only five) was gutted that he wasn't part of the dance. So, he insisted on wearing the zek about the house
Isn't he so cute? As for my sis, she insisted on capturing the evidence of her being on the dusty streets of Kagoma:
Compare the clean foot in the pic to the dusty feet. Lol. Me? The excitement of the morning dance got me all fired up that I began to plan a get together for the later part of the day. Little did I know how unfit I was for as I lay on my bed to recover, I remained there until the sun went down and the moon woke up. Lol. I obviously need a gym. On this final note I'd like to say goodbye. However I can't possibly leave without acknowledging some of the expert drummers who...
 ...were responsible for all the fun we had (chai, see the seriousness on that guy's face. If all we Nigerians were as dedicated to our unpaid employment as he is, the EU will have nothing on us) and also responsible for this:
Lol! The music was too hot. Once again, Happy New Year People!

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