Top 100 Kenyans 2021: Meet 13-Yr-Old KBC Star Taking Africa By Storm

  • TV host, singer and actor Shanah Manjeru on October 13, 2021
    TV host, singer and actor Shanah Manjeru on October 13, 2021
    Courtesy Shanah Manjeru Instagram
  • Kenyans have been left in awe by a talented 13-year-old singer, actor and tv host who recently won the Best African Female Artiste in Inspirational Music during the Afrima Awards, flooring seasoned singers in the continent.

    Lagos was the venue and the stars were out to claim their place in the vast skies of the continent but only a few managed to shoot and shine in the midst of the stiff competition.

    One such lucky star was TV host Shanah Manjeru who at just 13 years old won the tag of Best African Female Artiste in Inspirational Music during the Afrima weekend. She graciously defeated ten other contestants from different African countries in the same category.

    Manjeru proved that she can out-sing the best of them after beating talented acts such as Ada Ehi (Nigeria), Afrie (Uganda), Eden (Ivory Coast), Kamo Mphela (South Africa), Montess (Cameroon), Nata (Sierra Leone), Noel Nderitu (Kenya), Ruth Asong (Cameroon), Diana Hamilton (Ghana), and Kelly Khumalo (South Africa).

    Shanah Manjeru at the AFRIMA Awards in Lagos, Nigeria on November 22, 2021.
    Shanah Manjeru at the AFRIMA Awards in Lagos, Nigeria on November 22, 2021.
    Courtesy Shanah Manjeru Instagram

    “And @ShanahManjeru wins the Best African Female Artiste in Inspirational Music. She rocks at 13,” Afrima stated.

    But this was not the first big moment for the 13-year-old in her young career. Back in 2019, Hollywood came calling and Manjeru answered. The stage was set and the KBC host was invited to audition for a role of a lifetime.

    Manjeru was to audition for a role in the 2021 American biographical musical drama film dubbed Respect. The movie followed the rise of musical icon Aretha Franklin's career from a child singing in her father's church choir to her international superstardom.

    "The film follows the first two decades of Franklin's life, from being born as a musical prodigy in an affluent African-American family, the effect of losing her mother at age 10 to her arduous rise to international musical stardom, while simultaneously enduring an abusive marriage and constraints of patriarchy, ultimately concluding with the recording of her influential live album Amazing Grace (1972)," Wikipedia described the movie.

    Although Manjeru did not land the role, the auditioning team in charge of the movie had nothing but high praises for the young talent, painting a picture of a young teenager with a bright future on the big screens.

    “We appreciate so much Shanah’s hard work. She is incredibly talented and wonderful. Both our director and music director loved her read of the scenes and what she did during the music session,” stated the auditions team.

    Manjeru rose to fame in 2017 at the age of nine when she released her first song, ‘Destiny’ and since then she has been in the limelight for showcasing both her musical and acting talents.

    In 2018, she also hit the airwaves with her second music release, 'We Are One' then in April the same year she released her third music single dubbed Winner.

    Manjeru went on to release God Will Listen in December 2018 and followed up with a double release of Worship and Worship Symphony, in April 2019.

    Manjeru won the Arts and Culture Award at the second edition of the annual African Children of the Year Awards 2019 held in South Africa. Her song Winner bagged the Song of the Year Award during the Kenya Gospel Music Awards 2018.

    In 2019 during the Maranatha Global Gospel Music Awards, Manjeru won the Outstanding Alternative-Urban Fusion Minister of Excellence 2019. She was also a Groove Awards 2019 nominee.

    Shanah Manjeru at the AFRIMA Awards in Lagos, Nigeria on November 22, 2021.
    Shanah Manjeru at the AFRIMA Awards in Lagos, Nigeria on November 22, 2021.
    Courtesy Shanah Manjeru Instagram