Bridging the Gap and Empowering Women through Dance Fitness

After more than 20 years of democracy, South Africa is still grappling with issues of gender inequality. While many strides have been made, the gap between male and female entrepreneurs continues to widen.

Despite the fact that women make up about 50% of the world population and 40% of the global workforce, they own only about 1% of the world’s wealth. Global statistics also reveal that women’s unemployment levels remain higher both in educated and less educated categories.

Not only does South Africa mirror these trends, but the full participation of women in the economy in the country is being eroded. The latest Global Entrepreneurship Monitor statistics show that only 6.2% of South African adult women are involved in entrepreneurship, down from 9% the previous year.

IYACHICHIMA’s Dance Fitness and edutainment business unit speaks to the empowerment of women through dance and fitness. We are on a mission to start a powerful movement of turning music and dance into a profitable and fulfilling industry.

 

POPIT DANCE:

  • A dance movement that serves to empower women through AfroBeats
  • Founded by a South African social entrepreneur and professional dancer
  • Bridging gaps between people by connecting them through music & dance
  • Dance fitness offers: networking through dance, team buildings, live performances, brand activations, edutainment, fundraising events and dance fitness classes

 

What sets Popit apart as a dance fitness movement is that it uses the human truth that we need to come together as women and through this skill and talent, we can bridge gaps and make a difference in people’s lives and a positive impact in the world.

A marketer by profession and a dancer by passion, Phumi at the founder of Popit has been using dance as a way of addressing social ills. Whilst studying in Japan in the early 2000s, Phumi told the South African story through AfroBeats, and raised funds for HIV/AIDS orphans.

She then went on to be crowned as the first Black queen at the University of Pretoria (capital of South Africa), and appeared in various shows and musicals bringing awareness t worthy causes and getting buy in from her audience through this powerful way of connecting with people form different walks of life. . This went on even when Phumi was employed as a senior brand manager at a global company where she made a mark by being the first employee to conduct dance fitness classes which were incorporated into the corporate wellness strategy and graduate recruitment program.

Because she wanted to do so much for her community and world at large, Phumi resigned from the corporate world in 2015 and founded her own social enterprise, Iyachichima.

#Popit represents the dance pillar within Iyachichima, and that is where Phumi got her breakthrough as a dancer. The all-girl dance crew that Phumi formed in 2015 opened for Chris Brown during his X World Tour. Post that, one of the ladies went on to be employed by an event management company.

Since then #Popit has been invited to make high profile dance appearances in and around South Africa, including the home of Nelson Mandela in Qunu. To date, #Popit continues to conduct various corporate team buildings, youth development projects and women empowerment campaigns.

In the summer of 2017, Phumi was selected by the US Department of State as one of 1000 Young African Leaders to be on a Fellowship program. She completed business and entrepreneurship studies at the University of Texas, Austin and has successfully launched her AfroBeats dance movement called A-cubed.

A-cubed stands for “AfroBeats: from Africa to Austin” and exists to connect people from all walks of life and all dance levels through the power of dance by introducing them to AfroBeats Dance Classes. #Popit collaborated with various Austin-based female dancers and studio owners to make this dance movement a success. Through the power of dance they collectively raised $3000 towards the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund.

#Popit continues to bring women together and is serving as a way of achieving health and wellness whilst promoting social cohesion amongst women from different generations, racial backgrounds and social class.

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