If you listen to Afrobeats and watch Nigerian music videos, you may find yourself gravitating towards the dance steps that typically end up going viral on social media.
Behind the Afrobeats choreography for songs such as Alingo and Roll It, is a man who comes from humble beginnings. We sat down with the Imo-state born choreographer, Nonso Asobe, as he shared advice to those wanting to follow their dreams.
When we asked Asobe about the most challenging obstacle he has had to overcome, he stated poverty without hesitation. Asobe also mentioned how he was faced with significant challenges while trying to combine his education with his passion for dance. The choreographer recalled ultimately going against his father’s will when his father demanded he let one go for the other, stating that “he could not serve two masters at a time.”
During his early stages as a choreographer, Asobe worked with popular music acts such as Banky W., Rugged Man, and Eldee the Don. He received his big break when he started working with the successful Afrobeats musicians, Peter and Paul Okoye (PSquare) in 2006. From being the lead choreographer for the PSquare duo for 11 years to making TV appearances as a judge in reality shows such as ‘Dance with Peter’ and ‘World of Dance Nigeria,’ Asobe was committed to making a name for himself. “I was glad I could fight my fears to [be] where I am today,” he said.
Now popularly known as “Don Flex,” Asobe is an internationally celebrated choreographer, a professional dance instructor, and the owner of Extigate Entertainment group. “I get a lot of people saying, you are too old for this, but I’m still here, and I’m making progress out of it,” he stated. Aside from choreography, Asobe has also featured as an actor in the premier afrobeats movie, “The Dance Movie Project.”
For him, dancing on the big stage wasn’t just a pathway out of poverty - it was an opportunity to mentor beginners. His entertainment group, Extigate, continues to serve as a nurturing bud for dance talents worldwide. “To anyone else out there who wants to follow their dreams and are probably looking up to me to get inspiration to make it - be yourself, be consistent, and don’t let nobody discourage you,” he said.
Asobe made it through poverty, completed school at Lagos State University, and his success in the music industry is nothing short of headstrong focus and tenacity. It‘s clear his defiance and strong will worked in his favor. As a final word of encouragement, Asobe says, “Through God, you can achieve anything.”
Watch his AfroVibes interview here.