Abuja was thrilled last weekend when the fourth K-POP finale held in the capital featuring a total of 15 teams.

The event, in which groups of dancers try to imitate the dance moves of Korean K-POP artistes, was held at the conference hall of the NICON Luxury Hotel and was, tagged ‘Exceeding K-POP.’

The Korean Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Noh Kyu Duck, explained the rationale behind the theme: “That means that the contestants are expected to go beyond the level of simply imitating the performance of K-POP bands and instead demonstrate some creativity in their performance, highlighted by Nigerians’ unique sense of rhythm, which will enable us have an even more meaningful competition.”

This year, a total of 168 dancers in 28 teams participated. Only 15 made it to the finale in the students and adult categories.

The competition was intense, characterised by high energy performances from both students and adults, surpassing the standards set in previous years.

In the student category, The K-Popians (Boys) from Gwagwalada emerged winners beating Legend Ido Sarki and the K-Popians (Girls) to second and third place respectively.

In the senior category, Kaduna-based T-SOD was the team to beat. Being the first to perform they set the bar so high that none of the other teams that performed after them could match up, not even fan-favourites and Abuja’s own Pacific Stars, that ended up as runners-up. The final podium place was taken by Supreme Task also from Kaduna.

T-SOD, having fallen short last year, took away cash prize and Samsung branded products. They also stand a chance of representing Nigeria in the annual K-POP competition in South Korea.

The group’s leader, Joseph Ada Benjamin, expressed optimism that they would represent Nigeria well in the international event.

The other teams in both categories went away with cash prizes and Samsung branded products.

Commenting on the event, Mr. Goerge Ufot, a director in Nigeria’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism said: “It is a wonderful event and the good thing about it is that they are not only providing entertainment for our youths but are also encouraging us to see the kind of things they do for their youths out there. Today in Asia, South Korea is leading in the area of youth involvement in creativity and culture.”

He emphasised that at the local level, Nigerians were also doing their bit to promote culture and creativity among youths, citing the example of the ‘Maltina Dance All’ competition among others.

But for Ambassador Duck, there is more to the event than just the thrill: “This is part of my embassy’s effort to boost the cultural ties between Nigeria and Korea and we are giving opportunities to younger Nigerians to showcase their talent.”