Saturday, February 14, 2009

Different kangaroo dances all over Africa - Black Stars, NPP, Kenya

The Kangaroo dance was probably the most popular dance in Ghana in 2008. First the Black Stars unveiled it when Michael Essien got on the end of Sulley Muntari's freekick to score Ghana's first goal against Morocco in the African Cup of Nations at Accra's Ohene Djan sports stadium. I was at the stadium that day and believe you me, I was so ecstatic to see the goal that I was making so much noise jumping up and down to pay any attention to the Black Stars' celebration. They did the dance again after Sulley Muntari scored Ghana's second and the next day, a new dance craze was born. The NPP employed it in their Election 2008 campaign as well. Do you know where the dance originated from? Do you even know that it was a dance craze in Kenya as well? Now you know.

The Kangaroo dance celebration became a phenomenon during the CAN 2008. In fact, Ghana's dreaded rivals, the Super Eagles, actually used that same celebration when they drew first blood in the quarter-final against Ghana. They mocked us with our own patented celebration. Thank heavens, the Black Stars came back (even with a man down) to win the game 2-1 and send the Super chickens in a flying coffin to Agege. All you Naija people know it's all love. :-) Sulley Muntari disclosed to the media that the Kangaroo dance was inspired by Tic Tac's Kangaroo song, which was a hit the year before. The Black Stars have hiplife in their iPods; for real. The Kangaroo goal celebration and the dance Tic Tac and Samini did in the Kangaroo video are not exactly the same, but hey, who's going to doubt Sulley Muntari? The Black Stars' dance was called the 'dabodabo' when it was premiered. 'Dabodabo' aka the Duck dance.

You can judge for yourself by watching this video (watch at 0:39)

You can also sing along to Tic Tac's Kangaroo here and watch the video that was sponsored by MTV (yup, bingi things aguan for hiplife)

The Nigerian mockery of the Black Stars wasn't the end. The Black Stars use the celebration up till today. In fact, the Black Starlets and Satellites do as well. John Paintsil, Ghana's most controversial footballer, encouraged his teammates at West Ham to do the dance once. He made sure those of us watching on TV saw it. Ghanaian footballers are spreading the kangaroo craze and hey, other African teams and players are following suit.

Anyway, Nana Akufo Addo and the NPP championed the 'We are moving forward' message in their campaign. What better way to show 'moving forward' than a kangaroo style progression with the hands? If you asked a Ghanaian who he was voting for, and the answer was the NPP, he'll have his hands in a 7 shape and would move them forwards and backwards. If the style was loved by Ghanaians in times of national support for the Black Stars, it had to do it for the NPP. Eventually, the NPP lost out in the election to the NDC, led by the Yeresesamu dance craze. Some anti-NPP people joked about how Nana Akufo Addo's hands were too short and he could not execute the Kangaroo dance well enough. You can see the NPP's Kangaroo movements in this video below.

But here's the juicy part. The kangaroo dance craze was hand in hand with the Tusker-drinking Kenyan populace in the late 90's even before Tic Tac introduced us to the Australian animal. I don't know the story but my Kenyan friend who went to high school in Ghana and is supposedly dating a Ghanaian (you see how this story comes full circle) provided me with some videos.

I must say that Churchill video is hilarious. Big ups to Kenya's NTV though for putting their news, shows, etc online. The Kangaroo dance in Kenya is different from the one in Ghana but hey, from the East to the West, Africans love to dance and even the Kangaroo is not spared.
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