Nigerian music . . . and it’s impact on weddings in Southern Africa

Nigerian music . . . and it’s impact on weddings in Southern Africa

Sharon Kavhu

Nigerian music makes impact in Southern Africa. It is an African culture that when there is a white wedding, the bridesmaids and groomsmen should perform wedding dance routines to spice up the event.

Many Southern African countries used to do wedding dance routines using native and sometimes international songs to set a tone for both the ceremony and reception as well as enriching the moment

In Zimbabwe, a lot of wedding dance routines used to be dominated by rhumba, kwaito and R n B music while weddings from Zambia use to prioritise Zed beats as well as R n B and soul music.

Wedding dance routines from other countries such as Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, and Mozambique were dominated by Angolan base or kizomba and hip hop, house, rhumba, Afro jazz and Marrabenta music respectively.

Today, Nigerian music is dominating weddings in the region with artists such as Davido, Flavour, Ice Prince and P Square being the main players.

“For dance routines on a wedding to serve their purpose, they should be performed along with music that entertains guests and create a lively atmosphere.  The music should at least make the audience move their bodies along with the melody and Nigerian music is creating such an atmosphere,” said Godknows Marimo, a wedding dance choreographer who is based in Pretoria, South Africa.

“Nigerian musicians have popular songs on international music television channels, among them are ‘Skelewu’, ‘Da Mu Duro’ by Davido; ‘Oliver Twist’ by D’Banj and ‘Pull Over’ by Kcee featuring Wizkid.  The songs have become so popular in our region and whenever people hear them, they enter into a ‘party’ mood.

“As such, we use Nigerian music to put people in a party mood during weddings.  However, here in SA some people prefer artists such as Uhuru, Mi Casa, Zahara and DJ Sbu for their weddings.” Marimo said any modern dance can be suitable with the Nigerian music, thus it is up to a choreographer to select the type of dances to be used.

Some of the choreographers copy the dance routines from the Nigerian weddings’ Facebook site.

The dance routines that are adopted from the site are also similar to those which are seen in the videos of popular Nigerian songs. Therefore, people name the Nigerian dances after the name of the song. For instance, there is a ‘skelewu’ and ‘Azonto’ dance which are named after Davido and Wizkid’s songs respectively.

On social media, it is also clear that Nigerian music is becoming influential to wedding routines.  Recently, there was a wedding dance routine which was posted on ‘Wedding digest Nigeria’ Facebook page and it has reached 231 000 views, 6 500 likes, 1 100 comments and 7 400 shares. Of the figures, the majority of the participants are from southern African region.


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