LYDIA MANYAMA, alto
Lydia Manyama, born 23 August 1982, is currently studying music (BMUS) third year level at the University of Witwatersrand. She first studied Music performance majoring in Jazz vocal with Central Johannesburg College (CJC), completed in 2014.
She always says music is her life. She's always been involved in music groups since her primary education through high school. She's been a member of a praise and worship teams for over a decade and has formed her own music groups since 2013. Currently, she offers voice training for the two groups she works with at church. As a soloist, she performs in various events, weddings, music concerts and funerals. In 2015 she joined Young Wits Choir and took a break in 2016 because of her weekly engagement with the Jazz Ensembles she had at the university. She has been part of these ensembles for three years as part of her BMUS studies. She then rejoined the Wits choir in 2017, and to date, she is an active member.
Her professional career as an artist seems to be starting before she could even complete her BMUS studies, through the recommendation of the Wits Choir master, Ms. Dalene Hoogenhout, she was selected for auditions to be part of a William Kentridge production in 2017. This remains the highest achievement to date as a music student to be part of this kind of project. She will be doing International tours in April, July, August and December as part of the William Kentridge production following yet another successful production she was involved in 2017.
Her dream is to have a music school and run music projects that will bring music education and training to those who are less privileged but have passion for music and wish to pursue music as a career. She has seen a gap in the area of music education in schools particularly in the townships. There are no music subjects in most of the township schools as compared to the private schools. When she started at the university she found that students from township or rural areas battle to get space at varsity without music subjects or background. Her aim is to launch music as a subject for schools in townships and those community halls or club houses which mostly don't have sponsorships to support their artistic activities. After her completion of matric, she could not afford to further my studies. However, she had a community club as a support structure in her gap years which introduced her to dance and musical theatre. When she first started studying music, the community youth club lent her a keyboard to help her with her studies. She sees these types of facilities as helpful in nurturing and supporting the talent young people have, therefore formal music activities contribution to this kind of facilities would be of value in promotion of art and culture.