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IVOTI (article first published : 2007-09-9)

Idols runner-up Ayanda tells her own story of the Idols experience in a poignant, funny and human one-hander in Ivoti: Inside the Idols Story under the direction of Tu Nokwe and Themi Venturas.

"Sooner or later we all come to realize that life is about “votes”,” says Ayanda. “We vote with our feet, with our bums; with our cell phones; with our Rand; with our cheers and now and then with a cross on a ballot." She explains how this process of voting has impacted in a very real way on her personal and professional life. It has been five years since her exit from MNet Idols nationwide television. Her Idols experience has left her with the labels of "the class of the 2002 Idols competition", and "The Voice of a Nation". She has put those five years to good use and has carefully crafted the music for her debut album, Music2Me -‘Umngoma’.

After Idols, Ayanda ventured into theatre and landed herself main roles in various theatres like; The Johannesburg Civic and New York Off-Broadway Dodgers, starring in Sleeping Beauty Pantomime, the British musical Boogie Nights and interactive theatre Drumstruck.

Ayanda can be described as one of South Africa's most versatile up and coming artists. She is guided in her artistic development by mother Marilyn Nokwe of Mango Groove, aunt Tu Nokwe of Shaka Zulu fame, and grandmother and family matriarch, the legendary Patty Nokwe. Ayanda comes with a pedigree second to none. Her aunt Tu Nokwe, the legendary Afro-centric artist, who has been actively involved in the development of Ayanda's musical career; founded the school at which Ayanda is enrolled - Amajika.

Ayanda’s strong sense of social consciousness was influenced by her family’s rich musical history inherited from her grandparents, Patty Masuku and Alfred Nokwe. Her leadership training at Amajika has taken her from production manager to artistic director. In 2004, she entered a more exciting and challenging role as a creative director for the school. Now she is labelled an ambassador for African Youth and Children.

Ivoti: Inside the Idols Story runs at Catalina Theatre in Wilson’s Wharf from September 12 to 30 from Tuesday to Saturday at 20h00 (Sundays at 18h00). Bookings at Catalina Theatre on 031 305 6889. There will be two-for-the-price-of-one previews from September 12 to 16, with the official opening night being on September 18.




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