Artist Review – iFani

Celebrities are often treated like demi gods, but bleeding through the media pages is the up and coming Xhosa rapper iFani who says that he is no celebrity, but he is partially prepared for the hype. He cannot avoid the inevitable, so with time his fame will blow up, though his real name remains hidden.

They say fame comes with arrogance but this 26 year old rapper is anything but. Many know his fresh debut single ‘ewe’, Xhosa for yes, which has been receiving a lot of air play on many local and international radio stations. Though many know his song, not too many are familiar with the artist himself. And, he loves it!

Fresh from the underground he rises to the surface with his aka being iFani, meaning “it’s not the same” in Xhosa.

 This is how he defines himself, not the same. With everything he does he strives to be different. Different from your everyday local rapper like AKA or L’tido. “I am not a celebrity” he says humbly. At this early stage in his career money does not drive him. But I guess only time will tell, a couple of parties at ZAR, a SAMA award or two and maybe the champagne lifestyle will start to rain on him. Still, despite these thoughts iFani currently remains grounded.

At the moment he is taking time to make a few sacrifices, just to keep him in sync with himself and his career. “Sports stars like Mike Tyson train hard and keep their bodies in shape so that they can be fit enough to be world renowned players. As a rapper he must do the same, work hard and focus.” This brings him to the sacrifices he has chosen to ground himself while he starts to take his career more seriously. For the next couple of months iFani vows that he will not be drinking or smoking, he will be hitting the gym and taking a break from eating meat too! Thou shall not tempt the flesh! Mo faya to this brother, I cannot imagine going months without KFC or McDonalds and a refreshing bottle of Hunter’s Dry. Why? Why? Why would he do such a thing you ask? Well our very own “Ghandi” aka iFani the rapper, says that if he can wake up each morning and do what everyone else can do then, that would just make him everyone else. Deep!

Such consciousness proves that the artist still reeks of “undergroundness” if I may use such a nonexistent word.

Let me not make this a hate filled debate about the underground artist turning commercial like it’s some disease. The fact of the matter is, according to iFani, underground and mainstream form a one way street. We are all aiming at one thing and that is to make it or to “blow up”. Underground artists shouldn’t be sour towards commercial stars as it is all about defining what blowing up means to you. Measure your own success and don’t feel bad about it once you have made it. He also says that artists should do their homework. See what the masses are responsive to and use that to approach them, you do not need to change your style to do that. This brings us to the reason why he raps in his mother tongue, admitting that conceptualising in Xhosa is actually difficult but it is one way of preserving African languages. He enjoys the challenge though because anyone can write in English these days.

I read somewhere that the name of his album is “i believes in me” which I confirmed with him of course. He says that isn’t his debut album but rather a blueprint of his album, which he worked on with producer St. Bosserati, originally from Malawi but currently based in Cape Town and Playakeys from Jozi. Apart from his album, his working for Dj C-live and listening to a lot of underground music from likes of Champ Tile,Maxhoseni, Chocolate Soul from Lesotho and many other artists from all round Southern Africa.

…iFani one of your freshest South African hip hop stars, originally from Eastern Cape and now based in the city of gold, Jhb. For now he can enjoy being a “loner” and not being recognised in public as it allows him to be himself. We’ll respect that and give his space. For now.

Check out his second single Zizo Beda, which is yes…about the beautiful ex miss South Africa and Selimatunzi presenter. We have it here on , only for you. “ewe, ewe” [singing]

To download the track click on the link below:

Zizo Beda download link:

Red Everything Movement


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