SA dancer Lindi Mlaba says starring in Beyoncé’s 'Black Is King' is a dream come true
Beyoncé took the world by storm when she released her highly anticipated visual album, "Black Is King" which showcases the best of African beauty and wealth of talent.
She had everyone from Ghanaian co-director Kwasi Fordjour, Nigerian-British filmmaker Jenn Nkiru, Somalian poet Warsan Shire, Nigerian-American screenwriter Ibra Ake - to South African actors and musicians such as Busiswa, Moonchild Sanelly, Nandi Madida, among the many international creatives involved in the world production.
The film also features South African born dancer, Lindi Mlaba, who moved abroad in 2009 and has been dazzling on global stages across the United States, Europe and Germany, since.
Mlaba has worked with many international artists including Burna Boy, Jay Z, Daddy Yankee, Jeremih, Dawn Richard from Danity Kane, Sampa the Great, Serani and Soaky Siren.
In a recent chat with the dancer, she opened up about being a part of the historical visual album.
“The day I got the email for this project was a huge dream come true for me. Working with amazing choreographers and artists is what we as dancers strive for.
“So, of course, seeing JaQuel Knight's name in the email, I already knew this was Beyoncé. It is a major accomplishment for me, as one day I want to have my hand in the industry in South Africa as a choreographer,” Mlaba shared, with unmistakable excitement.
Shedding light on her pinnacle, Mlaba admitted: “Working with some of my favourite choreographers JaQuel Knight, Kany Diabaté and amazing creatives like Kwasi Fordjour who helped to make this vision become real.
“Also interacting with some of the dancers in the industry who I look up to and have followed for years, was surreal.”
Mlaba says "Black is King" couldn’t have come at a better time as the Black Lives Matter movement is playing a pivotal role in addressing issues of racism.
“The timing of Black is King is perfect. It dropped at the time when BLM movement is so powerful and plays a major role in effecting change across the world. And most importantly, the film celebrates black bodies.”
Quizzed on the part of the film that stood out for her, the 29-year-old said: “I can't help but be so proud of the parts where I saw South African artists killing it, Nandi Madida, Trevor Stuurman, Mmuso Maxwell, Warren Masemola, Connie Chiume, Nyaniso Dzedze, John Kani, Sheli Nyathi- Masondo, Gemaen Taylor. But I won't lie, the part with Moonchild and Busiswa took me out. I absolutely loved it. The girls killed it. The energy was 100%.”
On how she celebrated Women’s Day in Switzerland, Mlaba explained: “Some of us women took to the streets in Basel, mostly Africans, we walked from the city centre to the other side of town, silently. After the walk, we sat and shared stories of any experiences we have had that impacted us or that were positive as well, it was al experience.”
Mlaba also shared her a powerful message to young girls across the continent, she said: “I want all the young women to know that anything you want in life you can have if you don't give up and fight for it. Also, Happiness is wealth, so never second guess your happiness always try to be exactly that. Happy.”
Mlaba says after the pandemic has died down her big goal is to go on tour with Rihanna and working with some of the local stars.
“For now, I will be back and forth Berlin and Switzerland and also teaching (dance) where I can. I am going to choreograph to some of the artists I love in South Africa to showcase my work,” says the internation dancer.