(Johannesburg) – Twenty-three-year-old Sachin Chad Baatjies, a professional Krump dancer from Port Elizabeth’s Arcadia, did his home city proud when he performed at the prestigious MTV Africa Music Awards held at the Ticketpro Dome in Johannesburg this past Saturday night.
Baatjies, who attended Westville Senior Secondary School, was chosen out of hundreds of dancers to perform at the MAMA Awards.
“I got chosen because of my consistency within the industry and how well I have performed as a dancer this year,” he said.
Online encyclopaedia Wikipedia defines krump dance as “a street dance popularised in the United States [and] characterized by free, expressive, exaggerated, and highly energetic movement. The youths who started krumping saw the dance as a way for them to escape gang life and to release anger, aggression and frustration positively, in a non-violent way”.
Baatjies, who grew up in a gang-ridden environment, turned his back on bad friendships and influences by finding refuge in the Christian faith and dancing. He is now a fulltime dancer.
“The MAMA 2016 experience was amazing and I got to meet all the great artists from Africa. I wasn’t treated like a dancer, but as an artist. That is what I am; an artist.”
With dancing his career, Baatjies said MAMA 2016 made him realise that he did not need to blend in, but rather stand out. The talented dancer is embarking on a national tour around South Africa and will be leaving for Botswana soon.
“God is the reason why I am here and my faith is the reason why I don’t give up. I thank MTV for treating me like a celebrity and thank you to my city, Port Elizabeth for supporting me and my mother.”
Baatjies represented South Africa in Germany at the annual European Buck Session earlier this year. He is a member of the local Dejavu dance crew in Port Elizabeth.