The Real Origin of Shaku Shaku Dance

Shaku Shaku is a current dance craze done by crossing the wrists in front and away from the torso, with legs slightly apart and bent at the knees while launching into a graceful half-gallop. The rest of the movement involves mainly the dancer’s feet and it is largely free-styled.

After months of hinting, Shaku shaku has become a bonafide viral hit so much that some have nicknamed the dance ‘the Nigerian Gangnam style’ because of its slight similarities to Psy’s 2012 monster. With the internet now filled with thousands of videos of people including Nigerian stars like Genevieve, Davido, Dj Cuppy, Tiwa Savage, Wizkid and the rest attempting to shaku shaku there’s a need to actually talk about how it all began.

Like most grassroots movements, the exact origin of shaku shaku is unknown. What is know is that the dance started to feature heavily on the streets of Agege around mid-2017 and that by some accounts, the infamous awawa boys (street urchins) are credited with popularizing it. In fact, most of the stories behind the birth of shaku shaku are grimy; DJ Real even claims that the dance step was named after the way street urchins moved after smoking copious amounts of weed.

OLIC 4 in December 2017 was the unofficial exhibition for shaku shaku. Olamide took the fourth edition of his annual OLIC concert to the mainland at the Teslim Balogun Stadium and for the first time away from the usual venue at the Eko Hotels convention centre. This relocation gave a sort of ‘home advantage’ not only to the King of the Streets but also to underground artists (like Mr. Real and Slimcase, backed by Disc Jockeys like DJ Real and Enimoney) and they performed the street dance in front of a participatory crowd of over 10,000 people!

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