‘Dancers deserve attention, respect’
SHOW organisers have to do more to bring variety to their events by including variety of arts disciplines onto the stage.
This was said by Thabelo Kolobe, one of the twins in the outfit Super Twins in a recent interview with the Xpress People.
The duo is set to perform at the Lesotho Times Fanfest scheduled for 3 November 2018 at Setsoto Stadium.
The event is meant to celebrate Sunday Express’s sister paper the Lesotho Times’ over a decade of service and is organised by Plan A.
Thabelo commended the organisers of the forthcoming event and said dancing has remained a minority art for too long because most event planners only invite musicians at the expense of other arts.
“Being a dancer in Lesotho is challenging because there is no support from the show organisers,” Thabelo said.
“Only musicians get support in the arts sector. We only then survive from the little we make from being choreographers at the handful of events that we get per year.”
Known for winning the Vodacom Superstars in October 2014, the Super Twins are one of the few consistent dance outfits in the country but they say the market has made it extremely difficult for dancers to flourish despite the talent.
Their win at the dance challenge won them a slot alongside Uhuru in December 2014 at the Vodacom Summer Fever.
The few experiences at the summit of local showbiz have fuelled the duo’s desire to go professional despite the lack of resources.
However, that has remained a pipe dream for the brothers who initially had to fend off criticism from family members who refused to support their craft until they won the Vodacom challenge.
Born on 21 September 1992 as the last of five children in Khubetsoana in the Berea District, the twins started dancing while in Form C at Emmanuel High School in the Leribe district.
“It was difficult for our family to understand the art until we won the Vodacom competition. We were to later be part of Mantsopa Communications from 2011 to 2015 where we took part in the Push Love campaign sensitising communities on HIV and AIDS issues through dance and music.”
Thabelo said life has been difficult without the support from the different stakeholders in the sector. He has had to take different jobs among them being a customer experience representative for a local company from 2016 to February this year.
His brother Thabile on the other hand has been more inclined to school and will soon enrol at Limkokwing to study advertising.
However, Thabelo says the dream to go professional remains a reality for him. He said he hopes to help professionalise the dance sector to ensure that dancers can survive from their earnings.
He said it was disheartening that the few dance groups that are in the country get paid as little at M300. He however said in some instances the dancers would be forced to accept the paltry fees due to poverty.
“We need to sit down and agree as dancers not to take small figures. I now sometimes poverty forces the dancers to take money as small as M300 or M500 for a performance but the art has to be respected in the same vein as musicians are paid well.
“In some instances, you will find that dancers struggle to get paid while musicians are prioritised which is bad. So, we need to organise ourselves as artistes never to compromise for such small figures because that is where lack of respect starts and this also kills the industry.”
He said dancers have to respect their art and also honour God for their talent. He said younger dancers also have to ensure that they dance to diverse music instead of restricting themselves.
“Younger dancers have to explore different genres of music to ensure that they can fit anywhere.”
Thabelo said by 2022 when they reach 30 years old, they hope to have influenced professionalisation of the dance sector building on the steady change of public opinion about dancing.
Turning his attention to the 3 November 2018 event, Thabelo said they intend to deliver a phenomenal performance.
“The gig is going to be phenomenal. We feel blessed to be performing alongside Oliver Mtukudzi, Tshepo Tshola, AKA and all the other great artistes but our set will also be explosive. I cannot speak about the composition of the set but it’s gonna be a bomb,” Thabelo said.