On what would have been Anele Tembe’s 22nd birthday, her fiancé, AKA, has released a dirge titled “Tears Run Dry” in her memory. The somber song finds the artist remembering his late fiancé fondly, while acknowledging just how much of a toll her passing has taken on him. He laments on all the plans they had as a couple which have not come to fruition but consoles himself by reconciling that Anele must rejoice at being in heaven on her birthday with her late mother.
On a recent outing for an interview at YFM’s Y Mornings breakfast show, AKA spoke briefly to the show’s host DJ Ankletap about the song, saying “I’m thinking of releasing it during Anele’s birthday.” He duly did so on the morning of 11 October, taking to instagram to announce the release of the song with the following message:
In the same interview, AKA alluded to understanding that there’s an expectation on him to address all that he has gone through in the wake of Anele’s untimely passing through his music. He said, “The first music that people wanted to hear from me was after I went through all my stuff this year and whatever. And people probably wanted to hear me talk about all that stuff, but I felt like yo, summer is back. I can’t come out all sad and heavy. Let me get the jiggy stuff out the way and do like good vibes.” The jiggy stuff is presumably the joint album he released with Costa Titch on 11 September called You’re Welcome.
He continued, “Obviously later in the year, my project is still gonna come out and then I’ll deal with all that heavy stuff.”
Regardless of what his strategy is when it comes to releasing new music and continuing with his career, it is quite clear that AKA is still deep within the throes of grief – understandably so. Despite maintaining a positive outlook throughout the content of the song given the context, “Tears Run Dry” is riddled with lines that are truth-bombs and hit like a gut punch. Lines like “If we stayed fly there was bound to be turbulence…” and “So many apologies that I owe you” are very telling that there’s a lot that AKA still has to get off his chest.
Listen to “Tears Run Dry” below: