Countdown to Showtime: “Dancing is not really our thing”Watch full episodes
The Nigerian Idol contestants performed Fela’s greatest hits, from Yellow Fever to Lady to Gentleman. Go behind-the-scenes on Countdown to Showtime.
Last week on Nigerian Idol was all about the great Fela Kuti. The contestants performed Fela’s greatest hits, from Yellow Fever to Lady to Gentleman. But how did they prepare?
Preparing for Fela wasn’t easy as expected; they had to work on dance routines and movements. “Dancing is not really our thing,” Kingdom says after their first group rehearsal with dance choreographer Chibuzo Slim Ikonta. “Doing the choreography is kinda stressful,” the fairies Queen, Beyonce, adds.
Slim Ikonta struggled to get them to do the basics, but he is working with singers who have never worried about dancing. “I have to work with their strength and help them with their weaknesses,” he says. But his efforts didn’t make the task any less complicated or scary because, for the first time, they must depend on each other to perform. “If one person swerves, we all look funny, we look like clowns,” Emmanuel says with a laugh, but he is serious.
However, it wasn’t all tedious. The contestants got to meet Lemi Ghariokwu, the legendary visual artist behind Fela’s album covers. He provided insights into the songs the contestants selected. On Lady, which Akunna performed, he said Fela was highlighting the influence of western culture on African women.
On Yellow Fever, performed by Francis, Mr. Ghariokwu says it was Fela’s being abrasive, as usual, about skin bleaching.
The contestants met another Fela’s acquaintance, whom we won’t mention. Watch episode 6 of Countdown to Showtime to find out.