Some of the most common questions about Kizomba is where it comes from? Where did the dance Kizomba originate?
There has always been a bit of a debate around this. When I started dancing Kizomba in 2011 some teachers (the Angolans) claimed Kizomba was from Angola and others (the Cape Verdeans) claimed it was from Cape Verde. It seemed like it was a struggle to claim Kizomba for their own country. Now it seems to me that the general consensus favours Angola. I hear most people say the dance is from Angola. And it is clear that the word “Kizomba” is a word from Kimbundu (an African bantu language common in Angola) and it means “party”.
But with that said, it is also true that people have danced very similarly, with slight variations, in most PALOP countries as well as in Portugal. Sometimes calling it Kizomba and sometimes another name on the dance. And there is a lot of music in Kizomba parties that is not from Angola. What is clear is that there has been a lot of influence back and forth between the different PALOP countries. Both regarding the music and the dance.
Now Kizomba has several spin-off dances which had their origins in the dance, mainly Kizomba Fusion and Urban Kiz.
If we focus more on the question where the Kizomba music is from, the general consensus once again seems to favour Angola. Angolan musicians started adding influences from Caribbean Zouk to Semba, initially calling it Semba-Zouk. One of the most influential musicians in this movement was Eduardo Paim from the group S.O.S. Due to his prominence in the development of Kizomba music he has also been called the “father of Kizomba”. It is also said that the percussionist of S.O.S., Bibi, was the one who in an interview first decided to call the music “Kizomba”.
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