When we found Manthe Ribane’s performance art videos on YouTube a few months ago we became a tad obsessed. Do yourself a favour and watch: Ghost Diamond, Okzharp- Dear Ribane ft Manthe. She’s half performance artist, half musician, but mostly, a muse.We had a quick catch up with her on her way to Switzerland, (she was invited to perform with Kid Fonque at the Lac de Geronde Music Festival!), and talked obsessions, inspiration and her latest EP, Dumela 113 – Words: Nadine Oosthuizen
CSA: What would be the soundtrack to your life right now?
Manthe Ribane: I’ve been transcending into my spiritual being so I’ve actually been listening to a lot of gospel!
What are some of your obsessions?
Zaha Hadid, Zaha Hadid, and Zaha Hadid! I’m obsessed with her work and what she’s managed to do during her life. I’m so happy that I get to remember her through her artwork.
Ok, so let’s say you could invite anyone to dinner, dead or alive, who would it be?
Definitely my late parents, just to catch up a bit and ask them for some advice. It would also be really nice to thank them for the advise that have given me, they were such perfectionists. To entertain them I’d invite Mohamed Ali and Coco Chanel. Mohamed Ali, because he was such a positive, phenomenal being. Whenever he said anything, it was always for everyone, he made them believe in his own power, to stand for what they believe in. And then Chanel, because she grew up without parents and grew into such a success and inspiration.
What would be the title of your biography?
Transcending. The word simply holds so much power for me. We constantly have to remind ourselves what our purpose is. For me, transcending into your purpose makes it easier to execute.
You are so talented, being a dancer, musician, installation and performance artist. Do you find it difficult focusing on one thing it a time?
No not at all. I see it as a hand with its five fingers, you have to use it. You have to have the one to use the other. All these things fall under the umbrella of art, in my case mostly performance art. Both dance and music, even installations are the fingers of the art hand or umbrella. I’m also very grateful that I get to be inspired by the people around me. I’m happy to have all these people in my world.
What makes you happy?
Ah so many things, but I think it would be those “Is this really happening moments”. Like when I get invited to perform at events like Cointreau Creative Crew Awards at Liberty in London, where I can have inspirational people like Lily Cole, Naomi Harris and Laetitia Casta around me. Or when OKZharp and I were nominated for track of the year at the Gilles Peterson Worldwide Awards. I mean, being placed in the same category as Erykah Badu or Kendrick Lamar means the world to me. It makes me really happy that the world is accepting of the things I make you know?
Talk a bit about this EP that you made with OKZharp, Dumela 113
Well, it came about when I was shooting the film Ghost Diamond by photographer and filmmaker Chris Saunders with OKZharp. It was a very positive experience for me and was constantly singing little bits of things , in the moment, which OKZharp noticed. So it was his idea to collaborate and get something else while we were both here, so we made the EP.
I’m very excited to start a new project with Doctor and Misses when I get back from Switzerland. But more about that you’ll have to wait for!