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KAFFY Foundation, Stakeholders Seek Healthcare Deal For Dancers

By Editor 01 August 2020   |   3:22 am

Worried by the spate of health challenges leading to loss of lives among Nigerian dancers, stakeholders in the industry converged to proffer a sustainable healthcare deal at a two-day virtual conference tagged Dance2 Health initiative.

The strategic leadership summit was put together by Kreative Arts Foundation For Youths (KAFFY Foundation), an NGO founded by renowned dancer, Kafayat Shafau-Ameh, also known as Kaffy, in collaboration with other relevant individual stakeholders.

Among industry eggheads in the virtual gathering was Engr. Adeoye Fadeyibi, MD/CEO of EKDC, Mr. Yinka Lawson, activist, Dr. Mario Adelaja, The Lead Business/Brand Developer and Strategist for Arrive Alive Diagnostics and Dr. Samuel Iwua, a Relationship Coach. Leaders of thought in the dance industry in attendance include Seun Awobajo, Footprint of David, Omolade Dalmas, Ajowa Dance, Francis Adeshina Readland and Ukalina Opuwari, Society for the Performing Arts (SPAN) and others.

Hailed as first of its kind gathering, the conference was birth in response to growing concerns about health challenges faced by members of its performing art community of dancers.

For a robust perspective into the issue at stake, Kaffy, convener noted, “More than 98 per cent of dancers lack health insurance and self-awareness. The majority live a lifestyle of drugs, peer pressure, poor mental wellbeing, and personal irresponsibility. This is the bane of the industry. Until every corporate dance leader is shouldered with the responsibility of ensuring that every staff (dancer) has a valid health insurance cover this industry lacks a heart.”

In corroboration, Agubata Ekene, a stakeholder summed up a major concern that resonated with all stakeholders in the gathering.

“Until dancers pay attention to their body with time no one will pay attention to their dance,” he concluded.

Participants discussed challenges witnessed across the spectrum of the industry and gave a strategic approach to deliberately solve the problems. They noted that access to healthcare was a critical need that must be met to help prevent avoidable health challenges. They also proffered and amplified the solutions adopted for effective practical deployment.

Dr Mario Adelaja noted, “With the multifaceted challenges facing members of the industry, we alone cannot make it happen. It is not enough to start a project. A thousand Kaffys can kick start a project, it takes a working structure and a sustainable system driven by a united people to make it work.”

Inspired by the burden of the health challenges facing the industry, Engr. Adeoye Fadeyibi, MD/CEO of EKDC pledged his support by announcing the donation of a whooping sum of N500,000:00 (Five Hundred Thousand Naira).

“Nothing confirms commitment than giving. We will give our all to make it work,” he remarked.

Stakeholders also agreed that all hands must be on deck to galvanize support and sponsorship from the private sector by dedicating an email – kaffy@kaffyinc.com for enquiries and correspondence with interested parties.

To feel the pulse of the industry on the subject, Kaffy revealed that a survey put out to measure the interest of dancers in a healthcare deal recorded an encouraging number of over 250 responders within 24 hours.

Meanwhile, plans have reached an advanced stage for the take-off of the first phase of the project with an initial 500 dancers, who would benefit from a comprehensive healthcare insurance plan at an affordable rate.

Giving more insights to the resolution, the convener revealed, “We agreed to start small in Lagos State by running with a proper organisational structure, proper registration of dancers within Local Councils, evaluating the cost of healthcare per unit, and finally putting up a system that stirs sustainable support and sponsorship is the way to go. This conference is an ongoing conversation that was purposed to run twice per month.”

As part of its sustainable activities, Kaffy also revealed that the KAFFY Foundation would be launching a mental health support group where dancers can meet twice a month to express themselves.

“Opportunities will also be available for one-on-one sessions with professionals. All these can only be possible with sponsorship through funds, training, information and awareness campaign. We are reaching out for support from corporate organisations, health sector and others,” she concluded.

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