Micheal Okeke also known as Mickjay Flows is an upcoming Dancer in Nigeria’s Dancing industry . In this interview with John Okeke bared his mind on his vision to change the narrative in the Nigeria’s dancing industry and why he need sponsorship to bring it to reality .
May I know you ?
My name is Micheal Okeke. I am 20years old, am done with secondary school but trying to further ahead, I am into dancing and comedy but basically dance.
What actually spurred you into entering the dancing industry?
Actually at the age of 5 I have started dancing, but my dance life is not the main type of dance but normal dance that comes with songs lime Azonto, ShoWkey, and others. But I started the main dance industry in 2016 when I saw dance videos, musical videos and I saw the dancers and I want to be like them and I saw a dance crew that attracted me to dance and stuff like that.
Dancing industry seems not be attractive, what innovations are you going to bring on board to change the narrative as the usual thing that is being done in the industry?
A: Actually the dance industry in Nigeria is really suffering because our dance ambassador which is Kaffi is not helping young dancers like us and what I try to bring into the dance industry is that to ensure dance industry are standard, comedy industry are standard but the dance industry is really suffering which is not suppose to be.
So what I am trying to do is to make dancers in Nigeria to be united as one, dancers in Nigeria to be known as people that are also recognised in Nigeria because people don’t recognise dancers in Nigeria . They see them as people who don’t have job to do, people who are jobless but meanwhile we are the ones trying to make entertainment work because if dancers are not present in an event or whatever you will see that event being boring somehow because musicians are just coming there to just do their work and go, comedians are coming there to make them laugh and go but dancers are coming there to make some young people there develop their talent that they can dance.
Since you started dancing, have you recorded any success, any achievements?
I have recorded a lot of success and achievement because if I can’t record success and achievements then I have to just forget about dancing and focus on another thing.
My success in my dance career is a competition I can never forget, a competition name Lagos Dance Concert and this concert has given me the hope to continue my dance in the dance industry.
Lagos Dance Concert is a huge concert in Nigeria or the whole of Lagos in particular where i came out third in the concert. I was not the perfect person then, I was not good but when you put God first in all you are doing and try to rehearse then you will know that things will turn out good and that is one of my success story.
The musical videos, that we have our Christian singers doing their musical videos, i have been in so many musical videos of Christian and i have also been in so many musical videos of non-Christians musicians.
When i was in school then i represent my school during competitions. Lagos state competition and we came out, first, second, third out of some many schools, so it is something that i see the joy in those successes whenever i rehearse and try to go for a performance and i perform well.
What do you think are the challenges that you have especially in the industry and what are the personal challenges do you think you have, moving forward?
The challenges that i have and the challenges in the dance industry is number one; financial challenge is one of it because we dancers they don’t take us as someone that is responsible at all and that is why we are not being paid the way they should pay us as a dancer because we are using our strength to make things work, to make an event go well and when the event goes well they just look at us something and give us a little token.
But when you call a comedian to come and perform or you call an artist to come and perform, they will come and do what they know how to do and they will be paid well but when it comes to dancers we are not being paid. Financial challenges , that is the challenge I have .
Sponsorship too is very important and it is something that is really killing me because there is no one to sponsor me, no one to sponsor the dance industry and basically my personal dance life.
The issue of sponsorship is something that we need to promote because dancers need to be promoted. Thank God one of my dance page i created online, trying to teach dance online so that people that are not close to me can learn how to dance online too.
It is a page where i post my dance videos and i invite people to watch and when they watch my dance videos, they are inspired to learn how to dance too and from there they take off dancing. So i try to promote dancing.
But when there is no financial support, how will i promote that. There is no way i can promote a video when there is no financial support, where there is no sponsor.
So it is something that i really need right now and it is something that is very important because when you have a sponsor and you have a costume to do, a performance to go, you will have someone to talk to them to say these are my dancers and this is what they want when it comes to being paid at an event.
We need somebody that can speak on our behalf, if we are going for an event and if you want to talk to us talk talk to this person, he is our sponsor, he will be the one to tell you how much and how to run the stuff. For us it is just to do our dance performance and go then the money keys coming, that is the way things keeping working.
Another challenge is that dancers are always insultive, always abusing because when you see your fellow dancers that are better than you, you want to insult them; this one that does not know how to do anything, he is still learning. But meanwhile nobody is perfect, everybody is still undergoing classes of dancing. Even Kaffi our dance ambassador is not perfect. She used to travel out of Nigeria to go and learn dancing and then come back to Nigeria. So it is something that no one is perfect.
I need to tell dancers out to stop abusing your fellow dancers, no matter what you are not perfect, nobody is perfect, I myself I am not perfect because I am also learning.
So this is something that we need to do, we need to create that unity amongst , we need to make things work. When dancers come together to create something, there is a saying that two heads are better than one.
If I create or do a dance video only me and if two people create a dance video, their own is going to be better than my own because they are two while I am one, alone. So it is something that when you have group of people doing a dance video, it makes the dance unique than when you are doing the dance video as an individual.
I want to advise dancers out there that are into abusing and insulting their fellow dancers that they need to stop doing that. They need to have that joy, that happiness when it comes to dance stuff.
You are into dancing and I see the zeal and passion, do you have any plans to go into higher institution to study dancing as a career?
I am into dancing, not just into dance nor to be dancing for dancing sake, no. I am done with my secondary school and trying to further ahead, trying to make my SSCE paper and try to further ahead. So I am going to the school to study what I know is going to be the best for me, what I know. I am into dance and I need this thing to make my dance industry stand out.
So , it is something that I need to go and study theatre art, I can do web designing, design my video, try to create a logo for my dance video, try to make my dance industry stand out, try to make it unique that when people see my dance videos they will see oh, this guy is not just an ordinary dancer, he is someone that went to school, someone that has something upstairs, it is not somebody that is just a street dancer.
There are different types of dancers, we have street dancers that are into all this kind of street dance and we have standard dancers which are dancers that went to school to study dance, that knows the theory of dance.
Most dancers do not know the theory of dance, what they know is teach me any dance, they don’t even know the he name of the dance they just know how to dance it.
But when you know the theory of dance, you know the objective of dance and the practical of dance, then you know okay this one is not ordinary, it is something that I am going to school to go and study what I know I am going to be using for my dance industry.