Exclusive Interview: Meet The Sexy African Dancer Who Has Worked With Drake, Wizkid, Rihanna And Other Big Artists


Top African dancer Nqobile Danseur has had a splendid career so far, with her hallmark being on tour with Drake this year. The sold out Summer Sixteen Tour has been one of the most hyped events this year. The down-to-earth, stylish, inspiring and visionary lady is part of a trio dubbed CEO Dancers, which has had a run since 2010.

Over the years, their determination has seen them appear in music videos, tour with D’Banj, Drake and Tiwa Savage, perform with Rihanna at the BRIT Awards, work on projects with Wizkid, and make headlines all over Africa and globally. It’s literally been an uphill journey to success, but the fruits have been worth it – they are literally the among the best dance groups to crop out of Africa.

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Her other team members are Ezinne Asinugo and Soliat Bada, with the latter being her BFF.

Their breakthrough came when they became semi-finalists in Britain’s Got Talent back in 2013, graced TV screens all over UK and now they are globe trotting, working on mega projects. During the show, Simon Cowell, who loved their choreography said, “I could wake up to that every morning…I won’t press the snooze.”

Not that Nqobile needed any validation, but her ever growing fan base and appreciation from Asia to the Caribbean has made her scale for even greater heights. Her most recent project is her collaboration with UK based Afrobeats producer, singer-songwriter Maleek Berry on the “Kontrol” music video, which has had massive success.

The London-based entertainer shared with me her success tips, life goals, her encounter with Kanye West and much more in my candid interview with her:

Harun: When did you discover your dancing talent?

Nqobile: From a very early age I’ve always loved dancing. It’s always been a part of me and always will be. It’s naturally my outlet. Especially as a teenager, I used to be in my room with the door closed and music loud, it felt like my own little world. I remember blasting some Missy Elliot and started making up little dance moves and piecing stuff here and there and incorporated some stuff I had seen on the streets or on tv. Little did I know, I was actually choreographing!

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CEO dancers with D’Banj in Monaco at the World Music Awards, 2014.

H: You are also a successful commercial model, how do you juggle time between dancing, modeling, and the other stuff that you do?

N: I wouldn’t say I’m a model, I do shoots here and there. What I’m focused on right now is my dance career and I’ve fallen back in love with writing and music again. So most of my time is spent alone actually, in my own world allowing my creative juices to just flow and keep me inspired and I’m actually discovering new talents as I learn more about myself. It’s fascinating!

H: You are currently based in the UK…how long have you been there? Are you studying or working?

N: Yes, London is home for me. I’ve been here for sixteen years since leaving South Africa as a kid.

H: How was your childhood like? Did you ever imagine you’d be a popular dancer?

N: Even though awkwardly shy, I was definitely the kid you would catch dancing and entertaining especially at family gatherings back home and Oh gosh not at all, I never imagined I’d be a “popular dancer”. When myself, Soliat and Ezinne formed & founded our dance group CEO Dancers in 2010 we were creatively connected and dancing was honestly a hobby or extra curriculum activity whilst at Uni. Back then there were no Afrobeat groups, well not ones that were “out there” . So when we came out as a group and uploaded stuff on YouTube it was something new and intriguing for people. So our videos kept going viral on the net and we built a strong fan base on all social media platforms and that’s how we generated our bookings.

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Drake enjoying the dancer’s sick moves!

One gig led to another, from doing small parties, fashion shows, weddings, opening up at concerts, music videos. Eventually artists started paying attention and got in touch to work with us from our very first major gig and tour with D’banj in 2011, to the World Music Awards in Monaco, being on Britain’s Got Talent where we gained our international clientele, choreographing and performing with Tiwa Savage at the BET Awards, Wizkid, Davido, Lil’Kim, Rihanna and now touring with Drake. It’s been such a humbling journey.

H: This year, you toured with rapper Drake for the Summer Sixteen Tour. How was the experience? Which is the most memorable moment? How is it being around him?

N: Oh my gosh, Drake is probably my favourite artist to have worked with so far in my career. From watching the show before we join him on stage, how he totally owns the stage with consistent energy like an athlete and how much he truly loves his fans and connects with them is just so inspiring. He’s such a genuine soul and I’m so blessed to have been amongst greatness and a part of history on the anticipated and sold out Summer Sixteen Tour. One of my best memories has to be the prayer circle before the show and his recognition of us as dancers and what we bring to his performance, it was our motivation. It made us feel like whoa, our presence is felt. Those are the beautiful moments I miss from the tour, the unity and positive energy of the entire camp. Ooo and I can’t forget when Eminem came out on stage at the Detroit show, that was ICONIC!! Just seeing those two on stage in their element, both legends in their own right.

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The South African dancer is proud of where she came from.

H: As a dancer, you are often part of a crew. How has dancing influenced your relationship with people you work with, friends and family?

N: Funny thing is Soliat (my best friend and crew member) is super family oriented and she’s such a people’s person. We have the same personality yet uniquely different. So being around her all these years has actually made me more open and warm up towards people. Prior to that I was awkwardly shy, I loved people but just kept to myself which may sometimes read as antisocial and approachable. I’ve just learnt to let my guard down and just BE. Now I’m totally myself everywhere and anywhere. I love it!

H: In 2015, you were surprised to find out that Kanye West was watching you practise from another room! Tell us about! How did it happen?

N: Yes, I was teaching a private class at the Arts Club and he happened to be in the building watching the session. After I was done, we got to have a little chat and he was nothing but sweet and encouraging. I’m a huge Kanye fan, since College Dropout days so for me I was ecstatic that he was even there.

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H: You are such a beautiful lady. Your appearance in Maleek Berry’s “Kontrol” video — which has just hit 10 million views — is one of the most magnificent things I have ever seen! What’s your perfect look?

N: Thank you so much, I appreciate that. We’ve actually gone just over 10 million views now. Congrats to Maleek and the team and thankful to them for having me on such a great project. You know what, I don’t actually have a perfect look per sae. I’m very big on doing as I feel and being myself truly. So for the video I just brought my own personality and stuck to my signature look which was my pastel purple long bob and added a purple lip for fun factor. I love playing around with hair colours, makeup and nails. I’m such a harajuku girl at heart.

H: Any killer makeup tips for women out there?

N: Always do makeup that makes you feel gorgeous. When you feel gorgeous, it oozes out of you and you look even more gorgeous. True fact!

H: Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?

N: Definitely see myself further in the entertainment business. This is where my heart is and there is plenty for me to discover and experience, so I’m really excited for my journey.

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on the set of “Kontrol” with Maleek Berry

H: Which is your favorite music genre and show on TV currently?

N: Ooo I’m definitely a 90’s R&B kid and always will be. However, every now and then there’s always that hip hop or bashment jam that steals my heart. Right now I’m super in love with Sean Paul ft Tory Lanez – Tek Weh Yuh Heart I don’t watch TV, unless we’re talking Netflix. Lol.

H: Who would you say is your favorite African musician?

N: I don’t actually have a favourite African musician, I’m very much in support of the whole African movement. So many dope African artists putting Africa on the map and it’s so beautiful to witness that. Africa to the WORLD baby!!

H: Ever been to Kenya? If not, why would you want to visit?

N: Oh my gosh, that’s one African country I’d love to visit for sure. Kenya has a beautiful culture, colours and the food. Omg I’d love to experience some moments and create memories out there. Let’s make it happen.

H: Finally, please give upcoming performers a word of encouragement as many people out there look up to you!

N: My biggest advice to anybody with a dream and vision, performer or whatever it is you want to be would be to GO FOR IT!! Go for that thing that’s in your heart and gets you excited every time you think about it. With social media nowadays being a great platform to show the world whatever you want, USE IT. Showcase your work, show the world YOU. Place yourself amongst people who inspire you and have similar interests to you.

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She’s not only sexy, she’s stylish too!

Continuously strengthen your skill and talent daily, visualise yourself LIVING that dream and in that moment and remain focused! There’ll come a time where that opportunity will come and you have to be ready for it. From that opportunity, even more will come and before you know it Boom you’re actually living your dreams one by one.

You can follow her on Instagram @nqobiledanseur to keep up with her big year in 2017!

Watch Nqobile bust a move in Maleek Berry’s “Kontrol” music video:

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