My Lagos Story with Kaffy The Dancer
Celebrity dancer, Kaffy, has travelled far and wide but if there is one place that will always be like home to Kaffy, it is Lagos. In this session of ‘My Lagos’, the energetic and passionate dancer extends her passion to ‘Eko’ because, to her, you cannot completely feel like a Nigerian if you have not experienced Lagos.
What’s Lagos to you?
Lagos is the town; Lagos is my first love. Lagos is my first chance. Lagos is the city that gave me my opportunity. Lagos is the city of talent; the city of usefulness. The colour of Nigeria; the window of the nation is Lagos and that’s what I think Lagos is.
Where is home?
If you asked me this question seven years ago, it’ll probably be a different definition but right now, home is where my family is. Whenever I’m with my kids, I’m at home. So, even if I’m at home and my kids are not there, I’m not comfortable – until I’m with my children, my husband, my family. In terms of location, it’s in Lagos and I’m a Lagosian from Epe.
What are you up to right now?
Right now, I’m expanding. I’ve expanded three businesses already; a costume and clothing company called ‘Yanga’. Then, there is ‘Ijoda Wellness and Fitness Company’, because I’m really passionate about fitness and your state of mind. I also have the ‘Magnetic Dance Company’, which also serves as a training institute, an agency and a creative solutions company for the industry.
The new thing we’re working on, right now, is to empower youth with creative minds and an association for dance.
Being in Lagos, how would you say Lagos has evolved?
Well, when a city affects entertainment (and) business, it affects the excellence of people’s successes. When you’re talking about the city of excellence, you’re talking about a city that has produced a lot of successful people – in sports, entertainment and every other area and this excellence in people is what makes the city an excellent one.
We can see that Lagos even imparts excellence on people. There are artistes that have done well in the eastern part of Nigeria. When they come to Lagos, they do way better and go international.
What do you like the most about Lagos?
Freedom. Freedom to express (yourself). Lagos does not respect who you are because you’re a Lagosian. If you’re a Lagosian and you’re not doing well for Lagos, Lagos is going to kick your butt. It doesn’t care.
You need to come in and understand Lagos; that’s why people say ‘ogbo do ri din’ which means you cannot be slow; ‘o gbo do no ge re’ – you cannot be dumb; and, ‘o gbo do ya mu’ – you should be street smart. Don’t let someone ‘419’ you.
What’s your favourite store in Lagos?
I don’t have a particular place I like to shop in Lagos I either go to Ketu, Mile 12 or, if you want to shop for the family, you go to the Sunday Market and you’ll get things fresh. But, because of our own busy lives, we also try to do the inter-community stores in the areas you’re in but when I want to do bulk buying, go to Ketu. They don’t fail.
What do you think makes someone a Lagosian?
One of the first things Lagos is going to break is that it’s going to break you into its swag. There’s always a different swag from someone that came from Abuja and someone who has always been in Lagos.
Lagos is fast-paced and that’s its blessing and its curse. When you go outside Lagos, you’re more at peace. Like when I go to Abuja, everything is so slow and I’m like why are y’all so slow?
Some people go to the airport, five minutes before their flight while in Lagos, three hours before – you’re still rushing to get there (laughs). So, Lagos shapes you up. I feel everybody that wants to survive in Nigeria, to understand the depth of being a Nigerian, I think you should have a moment in Lagos. Being in Lagos helps you to understand Nigeria as a whole.
Where would you like to go to for fun in Lagos?
Considering that I’m a source of entertainment for some people who absorb me to be entertained, when searching for entertainment, I usually prefer finding it in my house, with my kids.
What’s the best meal you’ve ever had in Lagos?
Ah! ‘Ewa Agoyin’, Ijebu garri and cold ice water! (laughs)
But you can’t take away garri and ‘ewa Agoyin’ and then ‘Agege bread’. That’s hot! You’ll always find that they’re always walking with an Agoyin seller. Then, there’s also Amala and Gbegiri and Ewedu soup. Very delicious!
Have you ever had a police run-in before?
Yes, I have. A lot of times. If you’re in Lagos and you’ve never had a police run-in, then you haven’t been baptized yet.
There was a time I was stopped with my dancers and accused of being armed-robbers because we were dressed the same. I was shocked and after some disagreement, we eventually agreed and they allowed us to go.
There have been good and bad experiences when the Nigerian Police is concerned. Some think because I’m driving a good car, I’m a prostitute and they will call me “ashewo”. Some who know me, when they see me, they will hail and even, sometimes, protect or escort me. So, I’ve faced both sides of the coin with the Nigerian Police.
What’s the best thing a fan has ever said to you?
Many things and they come from different aspects. Some tell me my dance inspires them while others call me ‘Michael Jackson’ like a guy did. I can remember a man telling me that I’m the only person he allows his children to watch.
All these things are beautiful and when you’re down, they remind you that people are watching and what you do is reaching out to someone.
Who can you call your professional hero or heroine?
My professional heroes will be Michael Jackson and Beyoncé. Beyoncé inspires me because of her work ethics, her doggedness. She can be anything else; I don’t need her to be perfect. How she takes her work and how she tries to be who she is and be very good at it is so inspiring. For Michael Jackson, goodness! Who doesn’t love Michael? Anybody that doesn’t love Michael Jackson doesn’t love how God expands a talent.
What’s the last movie you watched?
The last movie I watched was with my kids and we watched the new ‘Tomb Raider’.
How much do you spend on social media?
It was two and a half hours and I was shocked at how I spent two and a half hours being unproductive. So, I set my alarm to thirty to forty minutes on Instagram. After that time is spent, I log out because it’s addictive and takes a lot of time from us. Sometimes, it’s unhealthy and watching other people’s lives have diminished our self-productivity because the human mind is naturally competitive; so, when you see your friend that you’re not happy with anymore flourishing, it breeds some level of contempt in you.
By Linda Orajekwe