This song, Akanamali, had just come out in September, the month before I would arrive to Cape Town. It was a top hit for the city, potentially song of the year, and a group of ours too. Even though the lyrics are in AfriKaan, you could still appreciate the beats and the beautiful tune.
Sun-El is the artist and Akanamali is the tune. Here is a brief descriptor about the song and the culture behind it.
“The music video tells a story about three young women who are chasing after happiness and money from men and are disappointed in the end. The relationships these women have with the men are transactional. Except for the first lady who runs away with a guy who has no money (akanamali), she finds her happiness.
Transactional relationships are the centre of heated debate South Africa. Some people believe that they are dangerous because the men who invest their hard earned money (blessers) on the beautiful young women (blessee/slay queens) will require a return on the investment – a return that has to come in the form of a sexual favour. Others believe, as long as the women are willing participants in the relationships they can’t be judged.
The relationships do sometimes become violent and the girls are left compromised. South Africa Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa weighed in on the matter and championed the fight against blessers, only to be caught in a scandal that singled him out as a blesser. Bless him, the Deputy Hypocrite.
In a nutshell, the first of the women runs away from the township to the city with her boyfriend. The second runs away from her parents’ home with a man who is apparently moneyed, only to find out he has no furniture in his home – karma. The third is out with a man who is balling on a budget. Before the viewer can make sense of anything it’s over.
These scenes in the video are tied together by the obtrusive presence of Samthing Soweto and Sun-EL Musician, who nod their heads in disappointment while watching each of the girls run away. Towards the end of the video, the angry mothers are dancing together with their runaway daughters, and the daughters with the men that disappointed them. All of this in front of a white background while they are showered by coloured confetti.
There is some comic relief to it, the second story alludes to what South Africans have said about men from Midrand, in Johannesburg, who drive the Vrr Pha (GTI) – their houses don’t have furniture and it’s not negotiable for them to have it. The video might actually be a social commmentary about financial intelligence and choosing relatioships wisely. There’s something to ponder.”