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05/12/2018

Mthatha-born singer and songwriter Amanda Benedicta Antony – better known by her stage name, Amanda Black – grew up pursuing one dream only: to be a famous singer. The 25-year-old spent her childhood entering school talent shows and competitions – but it was her third entry to SA Idols in 2015 that ultimately led to her success.

The Afro Soul star, who made it to the final seven of Idols’ season 11 and whose debut album “Amazulu” went platinum just three weeks after its 2016 release, has been awarded a prestigious Rising Star alumni award by her alma mater Nelson Mandela University, where she graduated with a National Diploma in Music in 2015.

“It is an honour to be receiving this prestigious award. It means all the hard work has not been in vain,” said Black.

The singer pursued tertiary studies “because my mother wanted me to have a plan B”.

“I chose music because all I wanted to do was sing.”

Black, who was the season 11 fans’ favourite, said although she was disappointed not to win Idols, she gained invaluable experience.

“My journey has been filled with hard work and blessings. Timing is everything. I learned that I wasn’t meant  to win Idols even though I wanted to, but I was meant to be there, because I learned a lot about who I wanted to be, and who I was as an artist.

“Being eliminated taught me the importance of perseverance and persistence. I also learnt about the huge impact and power that social media has on the industry.”

Her hit single "Amazulu", meaning “the Heavens” and written in her Xhosa dialect, was nominated for several South African and international music awards – and earned her two Metro FM awards, four South African Music Awards and nearly three million views on YouTube. 

“My album Amazulu was about my journey. The songs are my stories. They are honest.”

Commenting on her future goals, she said: “My hopes for my career going forward are that my music and message reach more people and heal and touch people’s lives on a global scale.

“One of the challenges is remaining true to my journey and goals. Sometimes we get distracted by situations and lose sight of why we’re doing the things we do and why we walk the paths we walk, but home and family always make it clear for me and keep me grounded … We should never forget who we are and where we come from, and especially where we’re going.”

Black is known for the Xhosa art patterns she wears on her face.

“The Xhosa facial art that I wear has quickly become part of my brand as Amanda Black. But it started as a way of expressing myself and embracing who I am. For me, it’s taking back my culture as a Xhosa woman – and feeling beautiful while doing it. It’s about me living the way I understand my culture to be. It’s a way of representing my roots and where I am from."

Eastern Cape singer Amanda Black – who rose to fame during Idols season 11 – has  received a Rising Star alumni award from Nelson Mandela University.

 

 

Contact information
Ms Zandile Mbabela
Media Manager
Tel: 0415042777
Zandile.Mbabela@mandela.ac.za