Show dem! 4 times the gwara gwara dominated the world stage

01 January 2019 - 08:00 By Kyle Zeeman
DJ Bongz had the world dancing his moves.
DJ Bongz had the world dancing his moves.
Image: Instagram/ DJ Bongz

Musician DJ Bongz has been serving sauce with his dance move the gwara gwara for so long you would think it was part of Sarafina and the struggle. 2018 was the year it made a really made an impact on the world stage.

Of course, Chris Brown and Swizz Beatz had already got ahead of the curve and hit the gwara gwara in the past, but as 2018 draws to a close, it seems the whole world is now dipping low.

Those who know, know. The rest...

Black Panther

The release of Marvel's Black Panther started an african-inspired movement around the world. Suddenly everyone was watching us and doing our moves. The official anthem of the time was Distruction Boyz Omunye and the dance was the gwara gwara.

Remember this dance that went viral?

RIHANNA

Rihanna also pulled off the move during a performance at the Grammy Awards.

That time we saw it, we couldn't believe it...and then hit the rewind button.

This Is America

Just months later, Mzansi erupted in applause when Childish Gambino's This Is America music video premiered and showed the muso busting a young gwara gwara.

The dance was one of several in the video, but by far the highlight.

BTS

In August K-pop supergroup BTS reached  level five thousand in the popularity stakes when they did the gwara gwara during a performance.

The group started doing the dance so much you would have thought it was their invention.

And that is where it gets tricky, you see.

Bongz realised the demand for the dance was so great that he even flew to America to give classes.

"I was asked to hold a workshop and teach people the gwara gwara. After the Rihanna performance I got a lot of calls and I am excited by the opportunity. I created the dance from scratch and it feels so special to have it shown on an international stage like the Grammys. It shows that Africa can make a big impact on international dance," he told TshisaLIVE.

But as Childish Gambino and BTS took the dance to whole new audiences, Bongz became frustrated and moved to secure his rights as the dance's "creator".

He told TshisaLIVE that he trademarked the dance move a year ago and was waiting for the documentation to show he had ownership of the moves, which were due to be given to him.

"I am busy looking at my legal options because I am not impressed with all these artists using my dance without my permission. I don't know what I am going to do right now, but I know that these artists must stop using my dance without asking me."

"It was not just the name gwara gwara, it was the dance moves too. I trademarked it and I will not hesitate to take action against anyone who uses it."

However, copyright lawyer Graeme Gilfillan disputed Bongz claim that it was possible to trademark a dance move.

"To my understanding, he could trademark the name “gwara gwara” in classes 9 and 41, as well as any logos, as long as such were not a copy in any way of what already exists in the trademark registry. But I am not aware that there is any trademark rights in a dance move beyond a name/logo."

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