Nene Leakes’ ‘African tribal dance’
Africa is a Country | April 21st, 2014


Whenever “The Real Housewives of Atlanta,” comes on, we look away. But sometimes we can’t. Like the time they went to “Africa.” It was really just South Africa and they stayed in air conditioned hotels (they called the Ghanaian president for advice before they left). Then there’s the ongoing saga of the “African prince” which one of the housewives, Kenya Moore — or is it Portia Williams? — claims to date (on Instagram, she posts pics of the swag he supposedly gives her, but no pics of him, or of them together).  There was a rumor that the alleged boyfriend was Teodoro Obiang. Of course, we know Teodoro is a sort of prince in that his corrupt family runs Equatorial Guinea like it their kingdom. Others said it was D’Banj. Then the other housewives claimed Moore paid D’Banj to play her boyfriend. Yes, we’re tired of all this nonsense, too, what with the TV network that produces the “Housewives” franchise, Bravo, milking the “African prince” story for all its worth as can be seen from this video from a few days ago. But sometimes, the housewives skip the dating/man/catfight-centered plotlines and branch out (they’re celebrities and “talent” now) and actually try to do other things. Like when Nene Leakes (just google her) did an “African tribal dance” on the current season of “Dancing with the Stars.” During a recent episode, Nene and Derek Hough, her dance partner (not her regular one; something about a “switch up”) decided to do a jazz number. This became an “African, tribal dance.” Because, as everyone knows, jazz dancing is tribal and came from the jungles. Of Harlem. So here’s Nene explaining to E!Online how they came up with the “African tribal dance” theme:

He said, ‘Hunni nobody can do this, you’re the only person here who can do this. You’re always the queen bee, and fabulous, and over the top, so there’s nobody else here who can do an African tribal dance. You’re the only black girl here.’ I thought that was creative and awesome and I was like whaaaat?! I’ve only been to Africa one time I don’t know what they do over there, but let’s try it!

Despite the fact that Nene has no more knowledge of Africa and its tribals than the producers and Derek Hough, they still did their African tribal dance. Her costume and the dancing — a mix between a bad Bollywood number,  an extra on ‘The Lion King’ musical, and a terrible version of Josephine Baker’s banana dance — are eyewateringly painful to behold. We don’t know if the producers were knowingly having fun at Nene’s expense, or are truly that ignorant and racist. And here’s the evidence. Send small children out of the room:

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9 thoughts on “Nene Leakes’ ‘African tribal dance’

  1. Scary. Ignorance runs rampant, its global. As a Black American now traveling in Kenya I get it every day. Like when someone asks “But where are really from?” Or this past weekend. “But you must be from the South? (in the US)” Or when talking about Easter I said to someone my hometown has a big Catholic presence (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) they said, “But shouldn’t it be Baptist? Blacks in America are Baptist.” . We need more education in every corner of the globe.

    • You are right. Africans are equally to blame we know nothing about Black Americans. Yet we call them akatas. Akata is as equally derogatory as the N word.

  2. I don’t see how this is a “tribal dance”. It was basically an homage to the choreography of Beyonce’s “Grown Woman” video.

    • Why because she a Black woman with AFRICAN ancestry attempted to do an AFRICAN tribal dance? Be careful. This article reeks of AFRICAN vs AKATA. This author is pitting us against each other, quite actually.

  3. This is another “look at the akatas” story.

    Akata is a horrible word that is used to describe African Americans. Don’t let them tell you otherwise because I am African,

    The problem with this article is that Africans like you foolishly see those with African ancestors and ancestry as outsiders who are appropriating their culture.

    If Chinese Americans tried to perform something of the same culture … as their mother country…whilst never being there – I doubt Chinese natives would be alarmed. Africans also discount your help because they view you as nit of them.

    Africans act jealous of AA success and at every point that we can we seek to mock you to feel better about our lowly continent and our lowly selves.

    We think it is ok to appropriate their culture but if they try they are an akata. And the fact that some of us view it as appropriation is even more embarrassing still. I cant imagine israelis blaming israelis for hitlers concentration camps.

    Blacks see it as an us we are too tribal to ever think this way. We benefit from their affirmative action, skew stats to be superior once again.

    this is how us nigerians do..we will come in other peoples towns and mock them. Have a go at nairaland. Search South Africans. Many of us have went to Zimbabwe and have talked about the people there!

    Those who are AA and still think pan africanism includes us? Work with us at your own peril. BTW you should kick us out of your country, forcing us to develop our own.

    Anyone who doesnt think this is a problem search akata on twitter. I plan on telling my American friends what the word means.

    • The blog title is a sarcastic mockery of anyone that is not too familiar of Africa. But one could see why we are regarded as one big country, we are homogenous in other ways:

      Same tribalism
      Same corrupt leaders
      Same high rapes
      Same arrogance
      Same ineptness
      Same poor education systems

      • Advice from a Caribbean man, get some help. The media is full of the same negative narratives about Africa which you posted above. Hopefully, you don’t live there.

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