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All Access: An Exclusive Look Behind the Scenes of M.anifest and MiCasa's Joburg-Shot Music Video for 'Be My Woman'

We give you an exclusive behind the scenes look at the making of M.anifest and MiCasa's latest music video "Be My Woman."

SOUTH AFRICA—On a Sunday morning, in Troyeville, Johannesburg, the Ghanaian rapper, M.anifest shot scenes from a video for an unreleased song, which is a collaboration between him and the South African house band MiCasa.


The song,  called, “Be My Woman,” is catchy – with an infectious hook from MiCasa's lead singer, J’Something. It was recorded a few months prior—the artists exchanged files back and forth over email until they were satisfied.

The video was shot by the film company Callback Dreams. The video’s director Makere Thekiso has a lot of great things to say about working with M.anifest, as he has worked with him before on a yet-to-be-released short film shot in Ghana. “The beautiful thing about working with M.anifest is that you get to try different things. He is down for whatever. I will even shoot his music videos for free. I love his music, and also, he’s always willing to be creative.”

The concept of the video is that the protagonist, played by Itumeleng Modise, is waking up in her house, and preparing to go see a M.anifest and MiCasa performance. But she is in a dreamy world, in which M.anifest keeps appearing, but he doesn’t see her.

“It’s the first time I’m directing a narrative video, where the lead character (not the artist) has to carry the video. I’m a fan of music videos that don’t rely too much on performances, but cutaways and beautiful shots,” says Thekiso. “The biggest challenge is how to make those scenes powerful. Like if you watch a Beyoncé video, even if she’s by herself, she will carry it.”

The video shoot went as planned. Trouble began when the scenes with MiCasa were being shot in Yeoville, a densely populated small town in Johannesburg. Fans rushed to take selfies with J’Something, and wanted be on camera.

The video currently has no release date, but, we give you a behind the scenes look at the video shoot, below.

Itumeleng Modise and M.anifest on one of the first scenes of the video. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Video director Makere Thekiso talks to a crew member on set. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

M.anifest during a short break. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Itumeleng gets her make-up done. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Itumeleng in action. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Itumeleng Modise looking stunning on set. Photo courtesy of the artist.

M.anifest poses for the camera between scenes. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Itumeleng in action. Photo  by Sabelo Mkhabela.

M.anifest during another break. Photo  by Sabelo Mkhabela.

M.anifest and Itumeleng on the first scene on the second location. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

M.anifest with J’Something. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

J’Something, Mo-T and M.anifest standing by for a scene. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

MiCasa and M.anifest messing around between scenes. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

MiCasa and M.anifest. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

J’Somethig in action. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Watching playback of a scene. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Watching playback of a scene. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

People in Yeoville came out to watch the filming. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

A fan takes a selfie with J’Something. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

The people came out to watch and film on their phones. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

One of the scenes in Yeoville. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

And more selfies. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Interview
Photo: Lex Ash (@thelexash). Courtesy of Simi.

Interview: Simi Is Taking Risks

Nigerian star Simi talks about the successes & risks of this year, her thoughts on the #EndSARS protests, and how her husband, Adekunle Gold, inspired Restless II.

Simi is restless. It has nothing to do with the year she has had, in fact, she reaffirmed her status as one of Nigeria's most successful musicians with a single music drop, "Duduke," which enjoyed widespread appeal as the nation went into lockdown earlier in the year.

The 32-year-old singer's restlessness is a reflection of the organised chaos that has defined her recording process this year as she combined the rigours of being an expectant mother with an examination of her place in the wider world. It, more accurately, reflects her re-negotiation of the parameters of her stardom.

"I've never really been a big fan of the spotlight," she whispers silently early in our Zoom conversation. "I know that it comes with the territory, but when I got my big break and more people started to recognise me, I realised that I had to edit myself, my life, and most of the things that I'd do or say because I wanted to be careful to keep a part of me for myself."

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