From singing on top of a restaurant chair at the age of three to going on mighty musical heights in not only Africa but also around the world.
During an exclusive interview with this writer, the fourteen-year-old award-winning musician Shanah Manjeru narrates her musical journey and how it has been so far.
“It all started when I was only three years old in a restaurant on a Sunday afternoon.”She says.
The artist recalls requesting her parents to allow her to sing in the restaurant while having lunch. As any parent would react, so did hers. They quickly refused. Shanah went ahead and sang her heart out to a nursery rhyme loudly and courageously on top of her chair.
“Everyone clapped at the restaurant as l finished singing, I sat down calmly and continued eating.” She adds.
It was then that her parents noticed her talent and helped in nurturing it. At the age of seven, her parents put up her first ever music concert that clearly heralded her musical path.
Later in October 2017, Shanah set her best foot forward in the music industry and released her first single debut Destiny. Overtime she has consistently released nine other songs like; We Are One, Winner, God Will Listen, Worship, Worship Symphony, God Will Make A Way, Jesus Loves You, This Is Christmas, and most recently Not Ashamed which was released in July 2022.
Her name has sparked and echoed in many media houses in not only Kenya but also across Africa and featured in multiple newspapers. Her music is vastly placing her name on a global map.
Getting into her song God Will Make A Way, the talent-driven singer, speaks of how the song came in as an inspiration and dedication to everyone at the height of COVID-19.
“Life was tough, people lost their loved ones and businesses shut down. I felt the need to use my music in encouraging those going through the rough time that God will make a way where there seems to be no way.” She states.
The outstanding musician has broken barriers and surpassed a lot of achievements proving that age is just a number.
It was through her music career that she first landed a job as a show host in Big Minds a kid’s show that aired on KBC Channel 1 for more than three years. She speaks of how influential the show has been to her as it helped her boost her confidence and eloquence.
In April 2022, she got selected to co-host a prestigious National Geographic Kid’s Africa educational entertainment series. This led her to exit KBC.
“I no longer host the kid’s show on KBC and I thank them for believing in me.” She says.
Shanah Manjeru made headlines last year by becoming the youngest ever All Africa Music Awards AFRIMA winner, having won the Best Female Artiste in African Inspirational music for the song God Will Make A Way during the coveted AFRIMA awards held in November 2021, in Lagos Nigeria. She terms this her biggest award accomplishment in her young musical career. In addition, she was honored to deliver the opening welcome to all the AFRIMA nominees from across Africa.
The sensation was also contacted by Hollywood, the USA to audition for the role of Aretha Franklin.
“It was such an honor to be considered to represent the life of the icon, late Aretha Franklin.” She says.
In 2021, she got featured among the great in Kenyans.co.ke chart as part of the Top 100 influential Kenyans. She recently made an indelible mark in her gospel music career, when she received the Global Child Prodigy Award 2022 in August held in Dubai. Standing tall among ninety-nine other top child talents globally.
The delight to behold also bagged up awards in the past years. In 2019, she won the Arts and Culture Award category in the Annual African Children of the year awards 2019 held in South Africa. This rendered her a nomination as an ambassador of the Stacey Fru Foundation based in South Africa.
Looking back, the phenomenal musician’s success has been rooted in a lot of hard work, passion, and discipline. According to her, these are her key principles.
In 2018, her song debut Winner won the song of the year award during the Kenya Gospel Music Awards. The song also played many times at number one on the XFM Weekly Top 30 show on Kenya’s rock radio station at the time XFM 105.5FM. And in 2019, she won the outstanding Alternative-urban Fusion minister of excellence, during the Maranatha Global Gospel Music Awards.
Shanah Manjeru speaks highly of her management and how inspirational it has been.
“My dad happens to be my manager who has been instrumental in my music career, and my mum is also present in my life, she guides me and takes me to event locations.” She says.
She clarifies that her songs are all written by her father, who not only comes up with musical ideas but also directed some of her music videos. She is currently on the verge of learning the art of songwriting and we should look out for songs that she will one day compose and direct.
While Kenya remains her current location, she promises to work constantly in order to improve her gospel music and reach millions across the globe.
“It’s a noble target and with God on my side everything is possible.” She says.
Shanah on Social Media
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