In a candid revelation, Ghanaian dancer Dancegod Lloyd opened up about the difficult choices he made at the start of his career. He disclosed that he had to lie about his roots to secure job opportunities, fearing that his true background might hinder his chances of success. However, his journey took a significant turn when he decided to live his truth and proudly embrace his community.
When Dancegod Lloyd visited the homes and offices of his clients for dance lessons, he encountered a prejudice that led him to conceal his background. He realized that individuals with whom he interacted, often from privileged backgrounds, were curious about his origins and upbringing. Fearing judgment and the possibility of losing opportunities, he would provide alternative information, stating that he was from Tema or simply lived nearby. This false narrative allowed him to navigate these spaces but left him conflicted about his authenticity.
“You go to people’s houses, these people are well-to-do, people of class and when you go to their house to teach them, they want to know you well. Your background, where you are coming from…what if you are up to something else?
“Sometimes when I go to people’s homes, I tell them that I am from Tema or just say I live around because they had this perception about where I was coming from, Ashaiman,” he shared in an interview with Babs Cann on Original TV.
The turning point for Dancegod Lloyd came when he recognized the contradiction between his motivational role on Instagram and his self-concealment. Determined to live his truth, he began telling people proudly that he hailed from Ashaiman, the community that raised him. Although this decision carried risks for his career, he understood the importance of embracing his roots and demonstrating pride in his background.
“One time I was like, I need to stay true to myself because here I was motivating others on Instagram. I was contradicting myself. I needed to face reality so I started telling people that I am from Ashaiman,” he said.
As Dancegod Lloyd started to embrace his authentic self, he witnessed a positive change within his community. He noted that the Ashaiman community, previously met with skepticism or prejudice, began to see upliftment and pride. Dancegod Lloyd highlighted fellow artist Stonebwoy as a proud son of Ashaiman, symbolizing the shifting perception of their community. He expressed satisfaction and relief at the growing acceptance, allowing others from slum communities to confidently acknowledge their origins.
“When we start talking, it’s all vibe and happiness until I mention Ashaiman, and then their mood starts to change but now things have changed. They are proud to have an Ashaiman boy on board…it feels good, and I feel relaxed…just like Stonebwoy. Others can boldly say that they are from Ashaiman and other slum communities,” Dancegod noted in an interview.
Dancegod Lloyd’s journey serves as an inspirational example of the power of authenticity. By sharing his story, he encourages others to be true to themselves, irrespective of potential risks. His experience highlights the importance of embracing one’s roots and the transformative effect it can have on both personal growth and the communities we come from. Dancegod Lloyd’s determination to overcome societal expectations and proudly represent his community is a testament to the strength and resilience of the human spirit.