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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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Global Citizen x OkayAfrica: The Impact of Conflict on Children

An estimated 1.4 million children have been hit by schools closing in the Tigray region of Ethiopia amid conflict and crisis. Here's how that's impacting Ethiopia's children.

In times of conflict and war, school-aged children could have their futures defined by whether or not they can access education amid ongoing violence.

Ethiopia's northern region of Tigray is in the midst of a war that has impacted millions of lives and affected neighboring regions, Amhara and Afar. The war — which has forced citizens to flee, has tipped the region into famine, and has barricaded humanitarian aid from reaching the most vulnerable — has now been going on for about 11 months.

As the beginning of the school season draws nearer, safely reopening schools, making education accessible, and protecting children from the impacts of violence in the affected regions is a priority for aid agencies.

"As schools prepare to reopen in early October in most parts of the country, in Tigray and the bordering regions of Afar and Amhara, where the conflict has expanded, education remains at a standstill," Director of Education Cannot Wait, Yasmine Sherif, told Global Citizen.

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