By Jeoffrey Mukubi
MORANGO Crew are emerging as the country’s premier exponents of various kasi dance styles, including afro house, kwaito, pantsula, kizomba and kuduru.
They also incorporate Brazilian salsa into their widening array of dance moves, which has taken the six-member group to various international destinations, including South Africa, Angola, Thailand and Cape Verde.
Their love for dance is almost tangible, and the members of Morango Crew are determined to work even harder to fine-tune their performances.
It all started for Morango Crew in 2012, when three of the six current members came together to form the group. The three original members are cousins Gabriel Teixeira Dasilva, Filemeno Montenegro and Joao Baptista Dasilva.
They were later joined by their other cousins, Placido Teixeira Dasilva, Milton Govia and Aylton Teixeira.
From dancing in the streets and at high school shows, Morango Crew has now featured in some of Namibia’s top music videos.
They have also hoping to get more international expsosure and continue to get bigger and better, after making a name for themselves over the years.
Joao, who is also the manager of the group, this week sketched the history of Morango Crew and also revealed what had motivated them to choose kasi dance as their form of expression.
“The dance crew officially began in 2012, when we only had three members, and it grew to six members,” Joao said.
“We started dancing at church, but it was not very lucrative, because we were not making any money.”
However, since these earlier financial woes, the group is now able to charge substantially for their performances.
“We charge approximately between N$4 000 and N$6 000 for a music video, and approximately N$8 000 to N$ 10 000 for a performance, which usually also depends on how big the event is,” Joao said.
Morango Crew has appeared in Blossom’s Indikupapatele house remix video and Chesta the House Prince’s Sabi music video, among others. Locally, the group is well-known, dancing literally almost everywhere in Namibia. They have also collaborated with Kongoma Dance, which is owned by Issy Nakamwe.
Asked whether there is a market for dancers in Namibia, Joao replied, “Yes, you can make good money, if you are talented.”
Kasi dance, like many other raw art forms, is deeply rooted in street culture.
Just like other forms of street culture, which includes hip-hop, b-boying and graffiti artistry, kasi dance is a grassroots response to cultural and political issues in communities.
Kasi dancers are usually deemed to be ‘naughty’ or are sometimes even linked to criminal activities, but Joao says that this is just a myth and not a reality.
“Dance took us from the streets to performing in other countries, and also distracts us from drugs and alcohol, because you do need to be fit to be a professional.”
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015