Obani lababantu? Get to know the woman behind the name GeeSixFive

Sixty-five-year-old Olpha Selepe isn't just the composer and singer of 'Obani Lababantu', she's also her academic chasing her PHD, proving age is nothing but a number.

Sixty-five-year-old Olpha Selepe was a musician and scholar. Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG – “Obani lababantu? Obani lababantu? Obani lababantu? Lalelaaaaa ke!” This a sample of lyrics of the social media hit song Obani lababantu.

Olpha Selepe, a 65-year-old woman who goes by the name GeeSixFive, has been trending on social media since the release of her song, with many users loving the song, which has now been turned into gifs and short videos for commentary on current events.

She told Eyewitness News she composed the song to inspire people to get out of their comfort zones, often afraid of what people would say.

Asked what the song lyrics mean, this is how she explained it:

“I had to pose that question saying ‘who are those people’? Who are these people? Obani lababantu? And I answered it same time, saying ‘you’re forgetting that you’re one of them’. Then I said obani lababantu. Listen, here are these people, that’s why I said ‘it’s you, it’s me, it’s them, it’s us. So, I wouldn’t be here if I focused on other people.”

The 65-year-old nudged her peers to know that it’s never too late to achieve their dreams.

“Get out of those cocoons and face the world with your talents. Forget about people and what they might say.”

Selepe said her aim was to send a serious message using the amaPiano genre in a catchy way.

Citing the importance of prayer in her life, she said she’s happy God answered her prayers.

“What I prayed for is where it is, God helped me. It was through my hard prayers, I prayed for this and the way the people have welcomed it, it’s amazing.”

Proving that she’s a diverse person, Selepe isn’t just a musician, she’s an academic. She’s currently pursuing her doctorate in higher education.

“My field of research is in higher education. It’s about our TVET college students and how they prepare for the workplace. I’m focusing on the preparedness of the students.”

For those hoping to continue jamming to her records, Selepe said this is her first and last record.

“That’s why I named myself GeeSixFive to show that I’ve done this thing, it’s done and dusted. I’m not going to release another song or album.”

The musician and aspiring PHD holder advised young people to get an education because “there’s nothing you can do without education.”

She urged the youth to be focused so they don’t fall into the trap of peer pressure.

At the same time, her song was widely welcomed with some saying it could be a December jam.

She is currently completing her PHD at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

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