25/05/2018 11:26 SAST | Updated 25/05/2018 11:26 SAST

WATCH: Africa's Rhythm Is Unparalleled

This is how we get down — and yes, it's in our blood.

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As we celebrate the beauty and diversity of our continent this Africa Day, one common thread running across all borders is our unparalleled rhythm and footwork.

It has made its way to international dancefloors and award stages, and we're here for it.

We highlight a few of the moves that have transcended national lines and put us on the map — from Togo to Mozambique, it's lit.

Tofo Tofo

Global pop icon Beyonce's team spent four months looking for Mozambican dancers Mario Buce and Xavier Campione, who were featured in her "Run the World" music video. The two were flown to Los Angeles, where they met the singer and taught her their signature kwaito and Mozambican makwaela moves over three days.


Traced back to a Durban DJ, Bongz, the dance move took the country by storm — and not only the country. Pop superstar Rihanna performed the dance at the 60th Grammy Awards, and those who weren't in the know thought it was the "stanky leg".

U.S. music and business mogul Diddy also took to Instagram to share one of the local vids of the dance.


A post shared by Diddy (@diddy) on


The dance is from Ghana, and is said to have originated from a traditional dance called Kpanlogo. Dancers mime everyday activities. It has featured in international dance floors and even inside Ghananian church corridors.

Ghanaian footballer Asamoah Gyan and Togolese football star Emmanuel Adebayor have performed the dance as part of their goal celebrations — and DJ James Anaman has been known to drop some azonto, too.


A theme dance that gained popularity in Nigeria in 2015, shoki is traced to muso duo Lil Kesh and Olamide.

Nigerian-American singer Jidenna, with "Black Panther" star Lupita Nyong'o, Nigerian-American actress Yvonne Orji and a few friends, finessed the shoki dance back in March.

Ciara posted videos of her dancing the shoki barefooted on the streets of Lagos in 2016.


Toofan, a Togolese group that originally sang the song "Gweta", made up the dance itself and its name. The whole concept is called "gweta soeme", which is equivalent to dodging jealous people. The gweta can now be seen danced far and wide in Africa, including at weddings.

Yes, you can't, with us. We train them young.