A national dance craze in Ivory Coast has spawned a black market in treatments claiming to increase one’s bottom size.
By John James
BBC News, Abidjan
The dance in question has been inspired by DJ Mix and DJ Eloh’s hit song Bobaraba, which means “big bottom” in the local Djoula language. When it plays you can be guaranteed that the dance floor will be packed with people shaking their derrieres.
Even Ivorian footballers have adopted the moves and could be seen wiggling their bottoms in a curious on-pitch dance after each goal scored during the just-ended Africa Nations Cup.
However, doctors have warned of the possible dangers of some of the concoctions on sale.
While the dance has been embraced by both sexes, DJ Mix says it was inspired by women.
“We made it as a tribute to women, because African women are defined by the shape of their bottoms,” he says.
“Move your bottom, jump, you see, it’s alive.” Kady Meite, one of his dancers, says the song is a message for women. “There are women today with large bottoms who are embarrassed, so it’s to say don’t be ashamed – be comfortable,” she says. The message seems to have been taken on board – so much so that some women are now going in search of a “bobaraba”.
In the sprawling Adjame market just north of the city centre in Abidjan, women sell “bottom enhancers”. Bottom enhancing treatments sell for $2 “You need to inject this liquid into your bottom once a day,” says a market trader, showing a vial of coloured liquid labelled “Vitamin B12”. Each vial costs $2. The label claims it is made in China.