Johannesburg - I’ve always thought rappers who first tried their hand at producing have a better understanding of what it takes to actually create timeless music.
While local artists try to compete with the rest of the world, it seems that the likes of Anatii – who finds more solace in the studio – have the answers. His latest single, Thixo Onofefe, meaning God of grace, released in January this year, finally has a music video – and this time Anatii was in the director’s chair.
The eerie images on screen are captivating, evoking feelings of mysticism. The video, which takes the form of a short film, is a metaphor for the different life experiences that we go through – be it life’s difficulties or reaching personal happiness. For Anatii, getting out on the other side means speaking to God about both the good and the bad.
The shots that flash between representations of spirituality as well as Anatii in a room surrounded by candles are meant to represent African culture – the mysticism and beliefs that people have. He shies away from the stereotypes associated with African mysticism, instead celebrating African heritage and speaking to the ancestors in a way that is authentic to individual culture.
Various shots speak to the elements of fire, water, wind and earth. It is a great directorial debut for Anatii. It could, however, have been slightly slowed down so that one can thoroughly take in the strong message that he’s portraying on screen.
The video is not overwhelming in terms of the depiction of African spiritual traditions, instead the message of belief and trust is beautifully portrayed in a shot where a young boy’s ancestors speaks through a sangoma to him. If Anatii’s album is themed around spiritual awakening, I’d love to see him take this story further. There’s something to it.
Anatii: Thixo Onofefe
Three and a half stars