Aisha, who was wearing a light yellow shirt and blue skirt, looked at DJ Dominic Liusgo, smiled and closed her eyes. Then, as the music pulsed, she shrugged faster and faster. The vibrator will go global.
Her dance clips, which Leosgo posted on his TikTok page, have received more than 8 million views, turning the duo into a viral sensation in their West African country and beyond. Aisha and Lyosgo, known as DJ Domi, have created a music video that has garnered over 11 million views in four months, making it among the country's biggest recent hits. They traveled to Chad, Ivory Coast and France and interviewed diplomats and journalists. Their second music video, produced by one of Burkina Faso's top directors, was released this month.
In the once peaceful nation of Burkina Faso, which has been besieged by extremist Islamist groups in recent years, the duo has become a symbol of resilience and hope. Liusko and Aisha – who has no dance training, never went to school and says she “never expected any of this” – are an example of people's determination to continue to enjoy life, despite the violence, he says.
During the last week in the capital, Ouagadougou, speakers at a government-sponsored panel on the role of the media praised the teenager, boys on bikes chased her car, and men and women broke out dancing when the song started playing at a gas station. .
“We don't want to lecture, we want to bring happiness,” Lyoscu said in an interview. “To help people forget.”
“Hand in hand, we will overcome this,” Aisha added. “i am sure.”
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Liuju, 33, has made a name for himself traveling the country performing at “dust shows,” or literally, “dust shows,” a tradition whereby performers arrive in remote villages often with only their cars and audio systems.
Despite increasing gun violence, Liugo continued to perform, attracting enthusiastic crowds at shows with “no dance floors and no pretty lights.”
On the night that Yugo met Aisha, he was performing at a concert in Sin Village. Two of Aisha's friends, Yakubu and Adama, had paid Yusugu for the song “Atalaku” as people pay artists to write songs about them. That night, the DJ was singing their names when he noticed Aisha in her bright yellow outfit, shrugging her shoulders. He said the move is traditional, but he's never seen anyone use it that way in response to his music.
“who is this girl?” He remembers asking her friends.
They answered: “This is Aisha.”
And thus the chorus was born: “Jacob, Adama, Jacob, Adama… Aisha, she trembled!”
The clip went viral just months later. Aisha found out when one of her friends visited her in the peanut field to show her the number of viewers.
Aisha's immediate reaction, she recalled with a laugh during an interview, was fear. “I came home and shaved my head,” she said. “I didn't want people to recognize me.”
But when Leosgo and his manager return to the village to find Aisha, she's on board to shoot the music video, and everything that comes next. Aisha said that people in the village used to tell her that she was a funny dancer. “But I always felt comfortable when I danced,” she said. “So I kept dancing.”
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One recent evening at a luxury hotel in the city, Aisha and Lyusgo were side by side, exchanging jokes and dancing. Unlike that night in the village, they were now on a raised stage, surrounded by huge lights and palm trees, and dozens of hired dancers were following their movements.
They returned from a trip to France about a week ago and were filming their second music video. In the six months after the video went viral, Aisha made her first trip to the capital, Ouagadougou, and then moved there. I traveled internationally for the first time. I started learning French and taking dance courses. You've gotten a complete wardrobe upgrade.
She still keeps in touch with her friends from the village, including Jacob and Adama. She still liked the same foods. And She still couldn't believe how she ended up here.
“Right now, I want to keep dancing,” she said, sitting close to Liugo and the rest of her team, who she said have become like an adopted family. “But every day has an end. If God wants me to do something else, I will.”
David Armel, who directed the second music video, said their story resonated in part because of how humble the duo are.
“When people see it, they don't see a country or a race,” he said. “When people see her, they just see a black girl dancing, having fun after a long day of work. And everyone relates to her.”
On stage, Aisha wore the same blue and yellow as before, but her worn shirt and skirt were replaced with a sour blue jacket and pants and a light yellow undershirt. She smiled widely, looking at ease.
“Move, dance, move, dance,” Leosgo sang, as the dancers below followed him.
Everyone was shrugging their shoulders, but no one was as fast as Aisha.