Bata Legally Recognized as the Root of Salsa.


In a court ruling presided by Honorable Olufemi Yemisi, a FCT Customary Court ruled that the Bata dance is the root of the Salsa dance. In the case number: FCT/CC/PYS/CM/02/2021, the applicant – Incorporated Trustees of Intellectual Property Lawyers Association of Nigeria (IPLAN) brought the case before the honorary court on January 8, 2021 seeking that the Bata dance is recognized as ‘’A Medium for Communication of the culture, beliefs, religion and history of the Yoruba people of Southwest Nigeria; that the movement, choreography, instrument, performance and  costume of Bata dance of the Yoruba people of Southwest Nigeria are the root of salsa; a declaration that Bata dance and its attendant ceremonies are the intellectual property and ancient heritage of the Yoruba people of Southwest Nigeria’’.

The litigation seems overarched move by the learned colleagues of IPLAN led by Mr. Folarin Aluko. Nonetheless, the celebrated case which received rave reviews in the press and commentaries by culture experts, was seen as a bold step meant to fully an age-long belief that Africa is the cradle of creations. The court hearings were painstakingly driven by the legal representatives of the respondent – BLACK BONES THEATRE COMPANY. Notwithstanding, history was in the cauldron of making.


To the amazement of the other Judges presiding over the case: Honorable Akinfiresoye. A. Tosin and Honorable Ethusani Abel Simpa, the litigant’s witnesses: Seun Awobajo – a globally recognized Children Theatre director and the initiator of the BAJA WAJO dance technique; Mr. Raji – a dance maestro specializing in the history and teaching of the Bata dance, and Mr. Dalmas of Ayanjo Dance Company (whose virtual presence in the course of the hearing added volume) to the final verdict given by the court of February 16, 2021