Born in the Eastern Cape in Maclear, near Mthatha, Amanda Mankayi is no exception to the unshaken posture of the fatherless epidemic. Her father left the Eastern Cape for Johannesburg in search of a better life for her and her family, but his endeavour for greener pastures would be no journey back home. Her mother worked hard to raise her and 6 siblings, it was an easy journey but it built the woman is she today
Amanda entered the Dare to Dream talent search initiative in her hometown Maclear, and won it in 2011. She says it was diﬃcult for the judges to pick a winner seen that her older brother Nathi Mankayi was also competing, but she triumphed.
After recording and not being able to get her record released in 2012 she nearly gave up on the music front but fortunately in 2015 Nathi moved to Johannesburg to release his album so she followed and went to study music business. She ﬁnished her ﬁrst year in 2015 and then revisited the songs she had worked on in 2012.
Things ﬁnally took a turn for the better in 2016 when Muthaland Entertainment, who also works her brother Nathi, approached her to record her album. It was then decided to release her ﬁrst single INTONGA YAM ft NATHI who is also the co-composer of the song .Intonga Yam is about her journey, like the ﬁrst verse “ndiyazile soze ndihambe ndedwa kulendlela, mna ndinawe” (I knew I would not walk alone in this journey when the Lord is by my side.)
I believe that God exists and that He would make all my dreams come to pass. This is my Psalm 23, it’s like a prayer) which emphasises her trust and relationship with God.
Amanda Mankayi has been encouraged by the reception of the song so far. “It worried me that I composed it back in 2012. I wasn’t too sure if it would still be relevant, I sang it for the ﬁrst time at the Dare to Dream ﬁnale, but my peers and contemporaries have been encouraging, so that’s good.” she says.
Amanda says she thanks the Lord that she never lost hope.”I knew that I wouldn’t die with this talent. I had to use it and respect it. Even when we sat at home in Eastern Cape with no prospects. Hope kept us going.
Her Album titled “Zola Ntliziyo” earned her a nomination in one of the prestigious awards in the country the SATMA awards and she is also nominated for best collaboration for “Intonga Yam” at the South African Afro Music Awards. Amanda Mankayi is humbled and excited by the nomination and cannot wait to share his music on stage through performance.