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Listen to Bongeziwe Mabandla’s New Single ‘Jikeleza’

Bongeziwe Mabandla shares new optimistic single.

"Jikeleza" is South African folk musician Bongeziwe Mabandla's latest single. The song, which is sung in IsiXhosa like most of the man's work, speaks on love giving us life.

"It is about our universal need to connect," says Bongeziwe in a press release. "It is about the togetherness in people and about the things that bind us and make us the same."


"Jikeleza" was inspired by the idea of loving one another in a world where there seems to be so little. "Writing the song was a challenge," says the artist. "It took a lot of rewriting and getting feedback from the team, and I wrote many different parts before I got it right. The idea came together when we decided to play around with making each part distinct, with each verse coming from a different place."

As is always the case with Bongeziwe's music, "Jikeleza" blends the tingly traditional folk music guitar with modern contraptions like synths and pads.

"'Jikeleza' has very South African feel but with a mix of a very modern global texture," says the artist. "The song has a playful side to it and while it is probably my most fun single to date, it is also very special as it comes from a real and compassionate place. It is a positive song with a very relevant message in South Africa right now."

The artist also adds that the song was written with a live audience in mind. "I wrote this song for the listener to get involved, and the call and response part is my favorite. I thought a lot about how it would be live and the way an audience would feel and interact at a festival, for example. When I was writing it, I was imagining the live stage version."

Listen to "Jikeleza" below:


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We asked several South African hip-hop heads, artists, writers and DJs to share their top five SA hip-hop songs of the decade. A majority of them included K.O's 2014 smash hit "Caracara," which features KiD X and is produced by the extremely talented Lunatik.

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The list Includes a slew of young talent from across the diaspora.

TIME has released its new list, the 100 Next recognizing "100 rising stars who are shaping the future of business, entertainment, sports, politics, science, health and more. Although this focus lends itself to a younger group, we intentionally had no age cap—a recognition that ascents can begin at any age," as it's described in TIME.

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The Kenyan director of the groundbreaking film Rafiki Wanuri Kahiu is one of this year's many nominees. "I'm on the first #TIME100Next list! So proud! So happy! So pleased to represent," wrote the filmmaker on Twitter. Ugandan musician tuned presidential candidate Bobi Wine is also included on the list.

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J Hus. Photo: CROWNS & OWLS. Courtesy of Epic Records.

The 12 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Rema, J Hus, YoungstaCPT, Thutmose, N'veigh and more.

Every week, we highlight the cream of the crop in music through our Best Music of the Week column.

Here's our round up of the best tracks and music videos that came across our desks, which you can also check out in our Songs You Need to Hear This Week playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

Follow our SONGS YOU NEED TO HEAR THIS WEEK playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

Check out all of OkayAfrica's new playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

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