Twerking hits Mzansi

06 February 2013 - 02:20 By ANDILE NDLOVU
The Pro Twerks at the Kanye West concert in Johannesburg on Saturday night. The group made sure it was a night to remember
The Pro Twerks at the Kanye West concert in Johannesburg on Saturday night. The group made sure it was a night to remember

Thousands of people who saw Kanye West live at the weekend might only now be picking their jaws up - because of seven twerkers who were among the opening acts.

The seven girls - who call themselves Pro Twerkers (yes, you can twerk too, but these are professionals, dear) - had some members of the crowd that packed The Dome, in Northgate, northern Johannesburg, on Saturday sheepishly giggling, others whistling, and others just plain disturbed.

Twerking is a "new" dance move locally.

It originated in the US and involves women with big hips and butts dancing provocatively - mostly to hip-hop music with heavy beats. Go on YouTube and simply type "twerking" and a host of videos featuring young girls in hot pants and dancing, especially to rapper Juicy J's smash hit Bandz a Make Her Dance , come up "twisting and jerking".

Luckily for parents, some of these videos carry warnings - and require parents to sign in. An accompanying message reads: "This video might be inappropriate for some users."

Refilwe Nketsi, 24, of Joburg, a saleswoman for a gym, and her friends are growing quite a profile for themselves - with the Kanye West gig being their biggest so far.

They formed the group in the middle of last year.

They dance at a lot of Joburg nightclubs, such as Icon, in Sandton, and Capital, in Rosebank, and sometimes at two or three gigs a night for no less than R1 000 per lass.

And it's all natural, honey, no implants here - besides it's not that lucrative yet. Nketsi told The Times yesterday: "I started thinking outside the box and I thought that though there are many hip-hop dancers, fortunately there aren't many twerk dancers in South Africa, and twerk dancers with ass and belonging to the same group.

"So I thought we could take advantage of that and make the most of it.

"I told them [my friends] that we won't make much now, but the demand is there and maybe one day we'll even have our own reality show, who knows."

Their folks have learned to tolerate it (the other girls are not older than 21), she said, and her boyfriend doesn't mind either.

Put on US rapper French Montana's Pop That and these girls will go ratchet (meaning out of control, or nasty) on the dance floor.

Even Nigerian star Flavour has got in on the act with his recently released music video for Shake, which, obviously, shows him admiring the backsides of big women twerking.

It's all the rage.

"People here think that they're Americans, so everything, including the lifestyle that side, and the minute something is on TV we're at it," Nketsi said.

"So we're doing it well here too, I'm confident to say. I'm not going to beat about the bush, we're copying them, and obviously we add our things too, we spice it up, but it's their style."