Breaking down what could become the year’s new dance craze.
With last week’s release of the video for “Zanku (Leg Work),” Zlatan Ibile has consecrated himself as the originator of the newest dance craze in afropop.
The specific origin of the name ‘zanku’ is uncertain but the dance itself, says Ibile in this interview from December, is one he noticed from his visits to The Shrine in Lagos and refashioned into a trend.
The best zanku, so far, works best in beats combining repeated foot tapping or pounding, with hands held aloft, and finished with a flourish—a stylised thrusting of one foot as if to knock down a door. Variations include a faster footwork, mimicry of slicing and screwing hand motions and the brandshing of a white kerchief, all of which is done with vigour and attitude.