It shouldn't come as much of a surprise that dancehall is developing slowly but surely in Africa. After all, Jamaica, where the genre originates, and that continent have much in common.
When Jamaican acts were finding other regions around the world to be difficult markets, several were having big shows and even tours on the continent. In recent times, Africans have apparently become more accepting of these artistes and even have their own crop of youngsters in the genre.
According to Gambian DJ Artical Slice, who hosts the television programme Total Reggae Connection on GRTS TV and is a presenter at Unique FM, dancehall (both Jamaican and African) is definitely on the rise.
"Dancehall in Gambia is getting to another level. In terms of hot artistes here you have like ENC, Benjamin, Honourable are Stalwart. They are very lyrical artistes," he said.
He continued, "Jamaican artistes like Mavado, Vybz Kartel, Khago, I-Octane, Beenie Man and Chronixx, the people here anticipate to see them. Morgan Heritage came to Gambia and brought out like 30,000 people. Busy Signal had a full house as well. Capleton was nice. The biggest I've ever seen was Capleton, Anthony B, Morgan Heritage and Busy Signal."
He shared that Demarco's I Love My Life was recently the number one song there. Today, Tommy Lee holds that spot.
Many of the Jamaica-Africa connections are facilitated by Boswell 'Stampede' Lammie who often sends Jamaican material to Africa. He also outfits television and radio stations in Africa with dubs, jingles and drops.
Over in the east of Africa, the Ugandans are having similar fun with the genre.
DJ Jacob Omutuuze of Dembe FM 90.4, the No. 4 station in Uganda, also spoke with The Sunday Gleaner.
"It's a great thing! I come from a country called Uganda down in a place called Kampala and I can say that dancehall is the gift of a lifetime!" he said.
Mr G, Elephant Man, Bounty Killer and Konshens are the hot shots in Uganda.
"People here love Jamaican entertainers. The turnout is good for the shows, especially among the 18 upwards age group. The youth love the Jamaican songs. They don't understand exactly what they are saying but due to, like, the production and the flow, they love it," he said.
According to Omutuuze, Ugandan dancehall acts are quickly learning to follow the style and flow of Jamaican dancehall stars.
"We are trying to copy the dancehall style in Jamaica. They (Jamaican entertainers) are trying to take over the scene. It's not a bad thing, but our youth here they are trying to do the same. The youths here are becoming superstars because of dancehall. They are following the Jamaican artistes," he shared.
Omutuuze named MC Norman (from South Africa) and Bobi Wine as big acts. Bobi Wine, who has been to Jamaica and has recorded with Mr G, seems to have adopted more than musical traits as he 'rolls' with an entourage which rivals that of Mavado.
Amid all the growth of the genre, DJ Jacob said the country lacks good producers, studios and video directors.
"If we get to improve those aspects, it can make our industry connect with the Jamaican industry," he said.
G Money, a promoter of Kenyan/Jamaican background, said reggae has always had a place in Africa, but the opportunities now available to dancehall artistes have increased drastically.
"Reggae has always been big. What we are seeing now, over the last five years, is the establishment of a sustainable dancehall touring market. The audience here now understand and embrace reggae and dancehall music 360 degrees," he said.
The usual heavy hitters in Kenya are Konshens, Chris Martin, Cecile, Darrio, Alaine, Chronixx, Busy Signal, Tarrus Riley and Jah Cure.
"The good thing, though, is that in Africa, there is also an appreciation of the artistes who are working hard now.
So people like Tifa, D-Major, Romain Virgo, Agent Sasco are also in heavy rotation. In fact, Chronixx blew up in Kenya 18 months before getting a record played in Jamaica," said G Money.
As for Kenya's dancehall journey, it's progressing steadily.
The artistes there have been able to get cross-continental collaborations going. For example, Cecile, Gramps Morgan, Mr G, Alaine and DeMarco, among others, have collaborated with African artistes.
There is also a healthy growth of local productions as ZJ Heno(based in Kenya) has released several rhythms featuring Africans and Jamaicans.The stars there are Wyre, Bobi Wine, Chameleon and Red San.