Making the world her stage

Juggling school and her craft, Lischen Kambanda gives us insight into what fuelled her passion for dance.
Ingrid Booysen
Born in Windhoek and raised in Tsumeb, Lischen Kambanda started dancing in a cultural dance group at her school when she was in grade two. She performed at school meetings, corporate events and dance competitions. She was always the girl who would throw a move or two in the middle of the circle.

Kambanda went on to study at a performing arts centre in 2011 and 2012 and obtained a grade one and two in dancing and arts. The third-year psychology student is now taking the industry by storm with her dance moves.



Going solo

The 23-year-old said her first solo performance, when she shared a stage with Kamo Mphela, was her favourite.

"Since then, I've been getting proposals as a solo dancer. That was the peak of my dancing career because that was the point at which people got to know me as an individual outside of Infinite Dancers and could see my potential."

She said despite her parents' disapproval - as dance can be overlooked as a profession one can pursue in an African household -she never gave up on her love for dance.

"I never stopped dancing. I kept sharing my dancing videos on Instagram, and if I got gigs, I'd go for them but never in a way that was disrespectful towards my parents."

The talented student now dances alongside award-winning DJ Alba Nalo, and said: "Working with DJ Alba is amazing; she is one of those people who make you do something you'd never imagined you could. I'm not sure how she does it, but she has a way of getting the best performance out of you. She is my ousie, mother, mentor and bestie because she’s always there for me. It’s amazing working with her, and she's knowledgeable too".



Side hustle

Kambanda considers dance her side hustle, which entails getting booked for gigs and performing at events as a solo performer or with her dance group, which was initially named the Infinite 5. The group, which has since rebranded to Infinite Dancers, was established in 2019 by a group of girls.

“We were just girls who were passionate about dancing. There was this particular day when a friend of mine wanted to film a dance video and invited me to come and dance, just to find out that she invited other friends of hers to dance as well. We would just dance in the street and make videos and that’s basically how the Infinite 5 came to be.”

The group posted dance videos on social media and soon received proposals for professional music videos and events. They have appeared in several music videos, including 'Soek Soek Remix' by DJ Spuzza and AKA, which also features Chester Houseprince, Don Kamati, Mega and Chakie.

“Infinite Dancers is the root cause for how I was recognised in the industry,” Kambanda added.



Advice

"'Never stop believing in yourself because if you don't, no one else will' is the advice I give to the youth. For those who are passionate about performing arts, I understand that it can be challenging to convince your loved ones that this is the path you want to follow. Just keep pushing; your hard work will be noticed, and everything will fall into place. However, don't disrespect your parents just because they disagree with your passions; instead, sit down with them and discuss your concerns in order to come to a mutually satisfactory conclusion. Do what you want, but always have a back-up plan.”



What’s next

Despite the fact that juggling school, dance rehearsals during the week and gigs over the weekends may seem impossible, Kambanda has managed to do it. She said she wants to start an orphanage, offer dance boot camps, appear in dance movies such as 'Step Up', and, most importantly, complete her education.

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Namibian Sun 2024-04-25

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