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Paul Modjadji Source: Supplied.

Paul Modjadji’s Viva the legend solo, an ode to Nelson Mandela, won him The Top Dancer in the World award at the Talent America Showcase in New York in 2013. Fast forward to 2018 and Modjadji will set off to Jamaica, where he has been invited to be a guest lecturer at the Prestigious End Manley College for visual and performing arts, in Kingston.

As the world prepares to celebrate the iconic stateman’s centenary in July Modjadji will be sharing his dance mastery with professional and emerging dancers in Kingston as part of his month-long contract with the acclaimed college for the Performing arts.

Modjadji who has recently completed a tour of 10 African Countries under the Breaking Down Borders Africa Tour banner marks the first time the college is inviting a South African Dance lecturer to teach as part of the college’s summer programme. As a Play Your Part Brand Ambassador for Brand South Africa, Modjadji will use his time in Jamaica to also run programmes in honour of Nelson Mandela’s Centenary.

Expressing the importance of arts and culture in unifying communities around a shared interest and narrative, he expressed that Mandela was famously known for his Madiba dance and was in fact famously quoted as having stated that it is music and dance that makes him at peace with the world.

“Like Jamaica, that has given the world Reggae, Dancehall and the Rastafarian movement, South Africa is home of Kwaito, Gqom, and a long list of traditional indigenous dances and music, the likes of Mbaqanga, Ndlamo Dance, The Modjadji Rain making dance.”

“We have a shared history that is further matched by our passion for expressing ourselves through music and dance. I look forward to learning about the youth movement in Jamaica and how young people are using the arts to express the realities of the day, elevate social discourse and address socio-political and economic issues, particularly affecting the youth,” said Modjadji.

Modjadji who’s previous work includes choreographing Africa’s first Dance Film Hear Me Move, and major productions such as the South African Sport Awards, The Namibian Annual Music Awards and the MTV Africa Music Awards is one of South Africa’s celebrated dance exports, having studied dance in Denmark and The Tshwane University of Technology.

He is a permanent judge at some of the world’s biggest dance competitions such as Dance Star World Masters and Dance World Cup. A regular on Television in South Africa, Modjadji was recently a judge on SABC 1’s Break Da Beat alongside Head judge Courtney Paul and Rapper Fifi Cooper.

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[Adapted from Breaking Down Borders Africa press release.]