Kaffy, born Kafayat Oluwatoyin Shafau is a Nigerian dancer, choreographer, dance instructor and fitness coach who is also the founder and owner of Imagneto Dance Company.
In an interview with Punch, the dancer talked about her background, career, marriage and her feud with Davido.
I had a pleasant childhood filled with lots of warm memories. My siblings and I moved to England with our mum after she separated from my father. However, because of the emotional trauma of the divorce, my mother began to behave in an odd manner at some point and we had to be taken to one of our relatives. I actually lived with about three families while growing up.
I attended Chrisland School, Ikeja for my primary education and afterwards, I continued my schooling in England. When I returned to Nigeria, I attended Coker Secondary School and I also obtained a diploma in Data Processing from the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago Iwoye.
Initially, I wanted to become an aeronautic engineer but I’ve been involved in dance since I was in school. When I was in primary school, I led the cultural troupe. I can recall that back then, we went for the school’s first ever ballet show at the University of Lagos. However, I wasn’t limited to dance alone as I also represented the school at science competitions and inter-school debates. I was also a member of the school’s soccer team. When I was in the university, I founded the school’s female basketball team.
I started dancing professionally in 2002. As a kid, I was always the centre of attention whenever I danced at parties but because I was shy, I stopped dancing in public for a while. When I decided to take it serious, I was consumed with the burning desire to ensure that dancers are well respected and packaged. The first major job I got was through a referral. When I got there, the people were impressed with the way I spoke and they decided to engage me.
I cannot really pinpoint one particular job as my biggest but I’ve done a lot of notable jobs. Some of them include music videos with artistes like P-Square, Seyi Shay, Dbanj, Ruggedman, Lara George, among others. I was also the official choreographer and creative director for major events like P-Square’s Invasion Concert, Rhythm Unplugged, Malta Guinness Street Dance and some editions of Headies Awards, to name a few.
Guinness Book of Records
It is an experience I can never forget. I would say I have always been driven by the passion to succeed and stand out in whatever I do. I prepared my mind that I was going to break the record and I did so without allowing myself get distracted. We danced for more than two days with few five-minute breaks.
Me and Davido
That issue wasn’t really about Davido alone. It is common with a lot of artistes who think that they are helping dancers by having them on stage with them. But we’re the ones actually helping them because their performances would be drab and colourless without dancers to spice things up. Davido’s case was just the straw that broke the camel’s back and I decided to speak up, not just for my sake alone, but because of other dancers too. Anyway, I have forgiven Davido because he apologised to my husband.
The allegation that I don’t take care of my dancers is totally false. The truth is that when you’re doing well, a lot of people will want to talk about you even if they don’t really know anything. You can imagine that I was trying to fight for dancers, yet some people who call themselves dancers were saying false things about me. I just focus on being me and being the best at my job. You can ask any of the people who work with me if I don’t take care of them. However, you need to understand that there are some organisations that we work with that may not pay us immediately after we have rendered services for them. In that case, it is not my fault if I can’t pay my dancers on time.
Michael Jackson was the biggest entertainer while I was growing up and I really admire him. I also like what Beyonce is doing.
It is the grace of God that has sustained my marriage. My husband and I also understand and respect each other. However, we are still learning because in marriage, there is always something new to see or recognise. My children are usually around dancers and they are present at some of our rehearsals. None of them has yet to show interest in dancing but they are very creative.
I am not crazy about fashion and most times, I’m always dressed in track suits and sporting attire that would help me to move freely.
I relax by dancing. What many people don’t know is that dancing is ther*peutic and it helps to keep the body in good shape.