BY Ben Ebuka, 3:35pm June 29, 2023,

Why this 15-year-old award-winning singer is one of the top rising African artists to look out for

In October 2021, Shanah made history as the youngest award winner of AFRIMA (All Africa Music Awards) at age 13. Photo credit: Shanah Manjeru via Facebook

From singing excitedly on top of a chair in a restaurant at age 3 to winning multiple awards in Africa and beyond, 15-year-old Kenyan singer, Shanah Manjeru’s music career is growing more impressive and more successful than ever.

Shanah recalls courageously singing aloud at a restaurant while having lunch with her parents, who reluctantly gave her permission to sing, marking the beginning of her career. At age 7, her parents encouraged her to perform at her very first music concert in Ethiopia, which launched her music career into the limelight.

“It all started when I was only three years old in a restaurant on a Sunday afternoon. Everyone clapped at the restaurant as l finished singing, I sat down calmly and continued eating,” said Shanah.

At age 9 the talented Kenyan kid released her debut song, Destiny in October 2017. In 2018, she released three songs We Are One (February 2018), Winner (April 2018), and God Will Listen (December 2018). She also released Worship and Worship Symphony in April 2019, God Will Make A Way in 2020, and ‘Jesus Loves You’ in August and November 2022 respectively.

In October 2021, Shanah made history as the youngest nominee of AFRIMA (All Africa Music Awards) at age 13. She contested against Ada Ehi Ft Buchi (Nigeria), Afrie (Uganda), Eden (Cote d’Ivoire), Kamo Mphela (South Africa), Montess (Cameroon), Nata (Sierra Leone), Ruth Asong (Cameroon), Diana Hamilton (Ghana) and Kelly Khumalo (South Africa).

She eventually won the award under the Best African Female Artist in Inspirational Music category for her song, “God Will Make A Way,” and made history as the youngest ever AFRIMA winner at the awards ceremony held in November 2021 in Lagos Nigeria.

She also won the award for the Arts and Culture category at the Annual African Children of the Year Awards held in South Africa, which earned her an ambassadorial appointment for the Stacey Fru Foundation in South Africa. Her song, ‘Winner’ won the Song of the Year Award at the 2018 Kenya Gospel Music Award.

In 2022, Shanah received an award under the music category for the 3rd edition of the Global Child Prodigy Awards – an annual award that recognizes the top 100 international child prodigies in different categories, held at the Marriot Hotel in Jaddaf, Dubai. She was among other global recipients that included another Kenyan kid, five-year-old Elias Muthomi Gintonga.

“May this Award encourage all children to pursue their talents without giving up, however difficult. There is light at the end of the tunnel,” said Shanah, as she accepted the Award at the virtual event. 

She once hosted a kids’ show called Big Minds, which aired on Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) Channel 1 for over three years. In April 2022, she was selected to co-host a National Geographic Kids Africa educational entertainment series.

Shanah, who is the last child of her parents, intends to become a doctor, a singer, a dancer, a gymnast, or a teacher. 

Last Edited by:Annie-Flora Mills Updated: June 29, 2023


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