The South African polymath has mastered dances from pantsula to voguing while collecting accolades for performing and design
Soweto native Manthe Ribane is one of the freshest names coming out of South Africa right now. The multi-hyphenate can lay claim to being a musician, performer, and designer – she uses her body, her voice, and any other material available to her to create works that feel like the future.
As a dancer she’s mastered many styles – wacking, pantsula, voguing, and crumping – and has risen to the top of the country’s eclectic scene, having travelled the world dancing for Die Antwoord. As a musician, she’s worked with South African rapper Spoek Mathambo and London-based producer OKZharp, with whom she released an adrenaline-fuelled, gqom-influenced EP on Hyperdub in 2016.
She’s also been recognised by her country as the face of a South African tourism campaign, graced the cover of Elle South Africa in March, and won awards for her innovation and style. And Dear Ribane, the creative collective she founded with her siblings, is hard at work on conceptualising sets, shoots, and performances internationally for the likes of Kenzo, Nike, and Apple.
But even if she is adept at many crafts, it’s as a dancer, watching her captivating contortions, that Ribane is at her most imaginative and magnetic.