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Photo by Sarah Ginn.

First Listen: Okzharp & Manthe Ribane Preach Perseverance on ‘Why U In My Way’

Listen to the duo's latest single from their upcoming album.

"Why U In My Way," which we are premiering here, is the first single to Okzharp & Manthe Ribane's upcoming album Closer Apart.

On the song, Manthe soulfully croons about being hopeful and keeping your eye on the price as you go through life's challenges. Over a spacious instrumental by Okzharp, she sings, "Dreamers don't complain, dreamers don't explain/ Don't you fade away, so don't you fade away."


"The song is inspired by obstacles in life and that we shouldn't fade off from our purpose and our journeys," says Manthe in an email to OkayAfrica. "At the end of the day, we shouldn't fade away, and stay driven, and not forget who we are and what we were born for."

"100% agree with Manthe," says Okzharp. "It's primarily about being strong in the face of things beyond your control, and caring for your dreams. It's also about time and how it can distort and bend in different ways. Looking at a diamond is like looking at deep time, it's great. And time is precious. We met an amazing senior gentleman artist at one of our shows who told us that a billionaire can't buy five minutes, and that stuck with us."

Okzharp & Manthe Ribane are a duo but are each based in different places, with Manthe living in South Africa, while the producer is in the UK. The title of their album, Closer Apart, attests to them being far apart, but being brought together by music.

Closer Apart is out July 6 through the UK-based label Hyperdub Records. Catch the duo at their upcoming London show tomorrow (6/20) and at Brooklyn's Afropunk Fest (flyers below).

Listen to "Why U In My Way" below.


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Photo still via TIFF.

Watch the Striking Trailer for 'Farming'—Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje's Directorial Debut

This is a must-watch.

The trailer for Farming, Nigerian-British actor Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje's directorial debut, is here.

"Between the 1960s and the 1980s, thousands of Nigerian children were farmed out to white working class families in the UK," the trailer begins. "This is the true story of just one of them."

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Politics
Image by Fibonacci Blue via Flickr.

#IStandWithIlhan: Supporters Rally Behind Ilhan Omar Following Racist 'Send Her Back' Chant

"I am here where I belong, at the people's house, and you're just going to have to deal,"—Congresswoman Ilhan Omar

Social media continues to rally behind Representative Ilhan Omar, following a series of racist remarks targeted at her and several other congresswoman of color by President Donald Trump.

The president doubled down on his racist rhetoric during a re-election rally in North Carolina on Wednesday, attendees began chanting "send her back," referring to Omar—echoing anti-imigrant remarks that the president tweeted last week, in which he wrote that four congresswomen of color: Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib should "go back" to where they came from.

This is far from the first time that Omar has been on the receiving end of racist and Islamophobic attacks and referred to as un-American on account of her Somali heritage.

READ: Op-Ed: In Defense of the Black Boogeyman

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Sir Elvis in "Loving Man" (Youtube)

6 African Country Musicians You Should Check Out

Featuring Sir Elvis, Jess Sah Bi & Peter One, Emma Ogosi and more.

With Lil Nas X's EP going straight to number on the American charts, it seems like country music revival is taking over 2019 and beyond, thanks to its unlikely fusion with trap music. It only makes sense that black people are reclaiming the genre, as country was actually partly created by black American artists and heavily influenced by gospel music.

On top of that, plenty of lesser known black artists and bands are making country, or country-infused, music. This is especially the case in Africa, where the genre has been around for a few decades and an increasing number of musicians are gaining momentum. By gaining popularity in Africa, country is coming back to its roots, as country guitar and the way of playing it was originally inspired by the banjo— an instrument that African slaves brought with them to America.

Country music has a strong appeal across the African continent for several reasons: the similarity with many African instruments and the recurring lyrics and themes about love, heartbreak and "the land." At the heart of it, country music has an appeal to working class people all over the world who feel let down by the people that were supposed to help them.

Country music is played regularly on the radio in countries such as Kenya, Tanzania and Malawi but yet, the artists featured are overwhelmingly white and American. African country singers do not get the respect they deserve or are seen as anomalies. With the growing number of them making country music, here is a list of the ones you need to listen to right now.

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