Dibi – Port Elizabeth’s Jack of All Trades

In honour of Youth Day, we’ve decided to post a feature every day this week to showcase some trailblazing things South Africa’s brightest young creatives have to offer. First up, hailing from Port Elizabeth, we find Dibi. Gcinuhlanga Dibi, mononymously referred to as Dibi, is poised to be one of the next greats to come out of the city. What makes Dibi so compelling as a subject is how diverse his skill set is as a storyteller across multiple media. This 23-year-old entertainer showcases the hunger and potential to be a compelling visionary.

Dibi’s best known commodity is his rapping and for good reason. He’s been prepping his game since he was a pre-teen, battle-rapping with crews since he was in primary. Dibi’s proving himself to be one of the more entertaining rappers on the come-up. A deft storyteller, he has a canny ability of mixing clever lyricisms with inventive flows.

Although he’s yet to release a full-length body of work, Dibi has given his listeners quite a bit to feast over. Over the last year, he has released numerous freestyle overs the beats of some South Africa’s biggest hits including Shekhinah’s Suited, Distruction Boyz’ Omunye and Nadia Nakia’s Naa Mean to name a few. Squad, his latest single, is a braggadocio record that reads like an amalgamation of all his best qualities. He comes out the gate swinging calling out his adversaries as ‘amateurs’ and ‘characters’ before launching into the journey he’s taken to get to where he is now. One of his best showcases comes in the earworm that is Golide, my favourite track. This song not only shows him dropping hard bars but the song is littered with incredibly infectious hooks that showcases his potential to crossover and play with best of them.

Dibi’s diverse skill set moves past rap into the broader entertainment industry. One only needs to look at his music videos to see the breadth of his ambitions. His music videos tend incorporate cinematic concepts into the standard music video template; Squad leans into the comedy genre where he pulls off two mini-sketches with comedic star TaFire and fellow rapper Greg XV. Golide finds him leaning into the action genre as we see him execute an entire fight scene with frequent collaborator, Zigi Ndhlovu. His latest offering, Letters: A Visual Experience, leans into the documentary/mockumentary space as it’s centred around an interview Dibi has with Sabrina Ludovic de Lys.

He has forayed not only into acting but scriptwriting as well. He currently stands as one of the scriptwriters of the South African web-series drama called ‘Love’, and as an actor has had roles in . At just 23, Dibi is carving out his own unique lane as a creative innovator. Showing the ability to not only competently play multiple fields but to also to play in those fields at the same time. Dibi shows the potential to be an all-round entertainer, innovating the blueprint hip-hop icons like Ice Cube and Will Smith laid within a South African context. The entertainment game is one that is continuously changing, Dibi has set himself up as one player ready to play.

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