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WHEN Beyonce’s video for Run the World (Girls) aired in South Africa, there was an uproar about how she had “stolen” our dance moves. She had adopted, and aced, the pantsula style of dance and apparently shot the video in Mozambique. Considering her celebrity, it was great that she’d put the dance on the international map.
Now SABC1 has introduced Stumbo Stomp amaPantsula, a show about pantsula dance-offs, and we get to celebrate our homegrown dance style.
Hosted by the animated rapper iFani, the show will see some of the country’s top pantsula dancers show off their skills in the hunt for a whopping R25 000 at the end of a given episode. While iFani is no great pantsula dancer himself, he was happy to take the job. He did, however, confess that initially he wasn’t unsure whether presenting was his thing.
“When they called me for this show I told them that I had never presented in my life, so I did not think that I was the right person for the job. The funny thing, though, is that they said they had seen my videos and they thought I was the right person for the job.”
For him the question was not about only being able to handle the job, but that he felt that there were a many other people who were better suited for the job.
“You need to understand that when you take on a gig like this you are stepping into Pearl Thusi or Luthando Shosha territory. It’s always hard to compete with such talent. But the producers insisted that I host it.”
And, as soon as it was “lights, camera, action”, iFani sprang to life.
“What’s funny is I never had time to rehearse or familiarise myself with the studio. I was just shown where I would be needed and then they started shooting. To my surprise, they liked what I was doing and kept urging me to do more.”
The show seeks out the best dancers and each week we’ll see challengers in an epic battle of pantsula moves.
The crew or person who impresses the judges the most will win R25 000 and advance to the next stage of the competition.
“Pantsula is not just some form of dance, it is a culture. I hope that this programme shows that to people. It is solely South African.”
• Stumbo Stomp amaPantsula airs every Tuesday at 6pm.