Africa General

Twerking: History, Performance and Opinions

For many decades, twerking has been part of black culture. And more than ever before, mainstream media now claim its originality to the black people. Variants of this kind are in several places where there is a considerable presence of African descent people.

Contrary to popular expectations, twerking is an African development. Whenever we think of viral development and other stuff, the world blindly takes Europe or America to be the enterprise of popular culture.

Africa is a rich continent of its own that was full of developments in all facets before its contact with the external world. But the fact is that contemporary Africa has never seemed to have passed through a single phase of development in the past. This argument aside, this is a forgotten African, twerking!

Mapouka of the Ivory Coast

a FAIR image to rep Mapouka

The origin of twerking can be traced to the Ivory Coast in West Africa, where Mapouka, a similar dance was birthed. For hundreds of years, Mapouka has been in existence and it consists of movements that emphasized the buttocks.

The Whine of the Caribbean

“As the thrusting or rotating of the pelvic girdle in a rhythmic pattern,” whine is another unique dance by the Caribbean that can be linked with twerking. It is simply a normal way for them to dance to music. In Jamaica, it is danced to Dancehall music and requires a lot of dancing skills to perform by the dancer.


It can be said that the word “twerk” itself was first coined in New Orleans in the 1990s. This was the period of the new era of music, that is, the emergence of the bounce music scene.

According to popular research and online publications, DJ Jubilee first used this word in his song “Do the Jubilee All.” The dance also gained recognition in the 2000s with the hit song “Whistle While You Twurk” by the Ying Yang Twins and in  Beyoncé‘s song “Check On It.”


Since then, there have been a lot of things attached to the fame of this dance; ladies nowadays dedicate their time and energy to learning how to twerk. It is considered sexually pleasing or obnoxious, based on several claims and opinions.

But the fact is that twerking arouse sexually and it can be irritating and disgusting, but its Africaness matters to Africans. It is unarguably the most performed dance in the world, especially among ladies. However, its sexual irrationality and irreligious performance should not be swept under carpet.


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About the author

Tadese Faforiji

I am Tadese Faforiji, a history student of the prestigious Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko, Ondo State- 21st-century University, properly called. I am a blogger and an avid writer.

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