Bona
GIGIS STOMPING GROUNDS Image Credit: Bona
GIGIS STOMPING GROUNDS Image Credit: Bona

Gigi's Stomping Grounds

Genesis Gabriella Tina Manney (23), popularly known as Gigi Lamayne, shares how spending her formative years in Diepkloof, Soweto, helped develop her love for music.

Fundiswa Nkwanyana

BEFORE THE MUSIC BUG

Gigi had a carefree childhood that involved playing on the streets and sharing kotas bought from a local tuck shop with friends. Her fondest memories include dressing up for Guy Fawkes Day. Children would dress up as parents, sing and dance around the township collecting money from the community. “Wearing our parents’ clothes and singing a song called Penny Penny on the streets was so much fun!” she says.

EXPLORING HER PASSION

Today, Gigi is one of South Africa’s most prominent female rappers because growing up, she was exposed to different types of music. At home, her family listened to gospel music while at taxi ranks and tuck shops she heard kwaito and traditional music. As a teenager, she often saw other kids participating in street cyphers (freestyle rap, usually in a group) and rapping contests around Diepkloof. “I wrote poems as a teenager. And, when I heard other kids adding beats to their words, I was inspired to give it a try,” she explains. During this time, concerts would be held at nearby stadiums, tuck shops and in any vacant area. People were even selling cassettes of music that they recorded themselves. All this played a role in fuelling Gigi’s love for music. “I’m proud of the fact that it all began in the township,” she adds.

GIVING BACK

The Gigi Lamayne Foundation raises funds to help underpriv


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