Ifani burst into the scene with a musical sound so out of the box, so fresh, so entertaining, you had to pause and pay attention. Still, because his style and music were so new and fresh, a style sitting on the shoulders of none but himself, he could not be sure whether he could sustain people’s tastes, which were vested in the familiar and the largely followed.
But Ifani had more than just a dream, he had a plan too. All those years of hiding his flair in dreams from his parents and in corporate suits gave him enough time to prefect his craft on the side and build an untested body of work. The task of making real ones dreams is a monumental one. Ifani did it and he did it twice over.
Choosing a career to be an artist is risky, it’s uncertain, it’s full of ups and downs; but we pass in this world but once, if we never follow our dreams, there is nowhere else where it will be safer to dream. In this life, you follow your dreams; you claw for your dreams; you fight your dreams. You never let anyone reduce your dreams;
Ifani is the true personification of the “dare to be different” mantra. There is something truly special about people who don’t only have the courage but also the capacity to be different. We are all exposed to the same things, the same music, the same fashion, the same version of fun, where do people get that inspiration to be completely different.
Is it a certain megalomania in the personality, that despite all the world already knows, already appreciates, already enjoys, you think you can expand that circle with something new. Is it that unyielding belief in oneself, that despite the possibility for rejection, despite the possible loneliness, the fear in people to embrace the new, that even such possibilities cannot deter you from your unique version of what people can also enjoy.
Ifani has been around for a minute now. His body of work has grown, his reach has expanded, sonically, he has managed to smoothly link with other styled artists, all without losing an inch of his own uniqueness; Ifani has walked his lane consistently, feeding us great tunes, all done his own way.
Besides his multi-layered music and the ability to make hits, Ifani comes across as having the most fun from his own music. That is contagious and pulls us all in. I can almost see him at University, haunted by the weight of his dreams whilst the academic demands were calling. That he actually managed to complete his studies, whilst his heart lay elsewhere, shows the true nature of the man. That he could have been anything he wanted out of life; but he chose to follow his heart in the end.
You disappoint people enough when you tell them you have quit your corporate job, with all its cushion, benefits, security, to start your own company. To then tell them you sacrificed all that to be a Hip Hop artist must have been too much to handle. We come from backgrounds that never had the kinds of jobs we have had. To those left behind we represent what’s possible; we mirror their own dreams. To then give it all up is to be too irrational for words.
This makes Ifani’s musical journey ever more inspiring. I can almost hear Ifani responding to his critics, ‘music is my life, you guys don’t understand. This thing runs in my veins; it’s what give me reason to wake up in the morning, it’s what gives me strength to achieve all that I have managed to achieve’, he may have said.
But Ifani is not done yet. As a host of a new dance show, he is proving to be an all-round entertainer. Realising our dreams allows us to dream new dreams. Ifani is pursuing his dreams without compromising an inch of himself. He is doing it all his own way.
Written by: Yonela Diko