Botswana: Flat Cap Boys Take Dance to Another Level

| February 10, 2016

By Ketshepile More

Ghanzi - It went viral all over social networks even in various music videos of local artists, but just what this zoma dance move that has intrigued everyone is.

Like some popular dance moves such sbutjwa, hlokoloza, sepantsula and many others; zoma dance made its fame entry around 2003 from a simple lean gesture by an elder who could not keep up with the young vibrant dance moves at late night entertainment gathering.

For a long time the dance was only ever danced in Ghanzi district by the native Ghanzi residents, and to some extent admirers. According to Baswabile Katse Baoke, the creator of zoma dance, he only did a leaning gesture on anything that was nearer to him as well as on people just one night when he was out partying.

Katse says he got tired during just a normal dancing routine and he decided to just use anything close to him to lean on and did his own thing. That was how zoma dance was born, everyone seemed to like the flair he was putting on his move, that unique dance flair which now identifies with Ghanzi district.

He says to him he was just celebrating and enjoying himself in any way that similarly anyone could chip in any of their preferred style to their dance moves.

When it started the slanting was more on a hand put over the head of another person while dancing or maybe leaning on a chair for support and dances with feet close together and twists bending backwards just a little.

Now, zoma dance has gone to another level with lads like Flat Cap boys blending it with their hip hop chic. Although the dance has been popular, Flat Cap boys took it to a new level with a new generation of flair for the young and vibrant.

As the creator of the dance, Katse says he is impressed at how the young lads are blending the dance and still recognize its originality.

He also says some local artists who have used the dance in their videos, like Vee have approached him and chat about recognizing him for his innovation.

Comprising of Tiro Ramontsho, Kutlo Tibi, Katlholo Hiri and Emang Tobate, Flat Cap boys was formed in 2009 as a way of keeping off the street while also spinning ideas on their future. Made popular among their peers with zoma dance, Flat Cap copied the dance after witnessing one of Ghanzi football players Kaizer Molatole using the style as a goal celebration.

Nevertheless the quartet identifies themselves as hip hop dancers. But, because of their versatility as artists they tapped on the dance and now own it with their creative fusion styles to the original dance move by Katse.

As fate would have it, these Zoma kids got an opportunity to showcase their skills at Street Jive dance competition last year in Gaborone where zoma dance obviously got a display. Although they did not perform well due to technicalities, Tiro says they learnt so much at the competition and just on how such competitions run.

According to Tiro, the group managed to reach top five but failed to perform other dance tasks as per instructions; thus they got disqualified from the competition. "The experience needless to say has prepared us mentally and the next competition we will be ready and conversant with the rules and regulations of the competition," quips Tiro.

However, the boys had a merry holiday as they celebrated their position three from Epic Dance Battle also in Gaborone.

Although it was a tough battle, Tiro explains that they improvised on some dances and chipped in their hip zoma dance; which surprisingly became a thrill among the revelers

Flat Cap boys are not into dancing alone; outside their dance routine they embark on other activities which are their individual passions.

While Kutlo and Emang are still finding themselves artistically in addition to dancing, Tiro is an aspiring musician whose goal is to record an album while Katlholo is a tattoo artist.

While they use ample time during the week to engage in other activities, weekends are critical for them as they agree is a time when most out of school youth even school going get tangled in activities which are more delinquent in nature.

"Hence, this is the time that we mostly have gigs and perform primarily to lure in our fellow peers to stay out of trouble and perhaps be inspired to also engage in activities that could keep them out of trouble," explains Katlholo.

Now as the new season has begun, the Flat Cap boys say they are focusing on growing their brand and plan to register their group as a business entity. Also in store this year for them is massive preparations for the upcoming Street Jive Season 2 competition as well as Epic Dance Battle.

"The two gave us exposure and confidence and we believe we have grown from where we were, therefore with focus we can do better in the coming competitions more so that we have learnt from our mistakes," states Tiro.

Their only advice to their fellow peers is to find passion in their talent and make use of it responsibly. To the school going they only plead with them to stay in school and source inspiration from them as their elder brothers to stay out of crime and instead be responsible youth, something every community aspire for; a disciplined and crime free youth to help build and develop their community in a responsible manner.

Source: BOPA

Category: General

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