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Ayanda Manxeba

Other children beat me up...

I was born in 1996 in Imizama Yethu in Hout Bay, Cape Town, and the third born of four children. Both my parents are Xhosas from the Eastern Cape. My parents owned a Shebeen which gave me a love of music
(I was performing at 7 years old) but confused me because every week we would be in church, but during the week I witnessed violence and drunkenness. My mother was strict and now I can appreciate this. None of my siblings finished school. There was a lot of violence in the home because of broken relationships.

In 2004 we lost everything in a Township fire and we were relocated to another part of Hout Bay which was classified as a ‘coloured ‘area. My best friend there was a Muslim boy and I went to live with his family and I adopted Islam. They were good to me and I didn’t want to tell them when I got beatings from the other children because I was black.
Eventually I went home to my parents who were now living in the mixed Christian /Jewish home of my mother’s employer and I found myself more interested in Christianity than Islam.

When we moved back into the new Imizamo Yethu Township, I got involved in a church music team. From there I met the Pastor and it was he who, sitting in Bible studies in my house, told me about Jesus, I received Christ at 15 and found myself changing inside because of the teaching. My family opposed this change and used witchcraft to drive me away from the church. One day, the British evangelist and author, John Blanchard, visited our church. He influenced me greatly, spoke to me, and gave me a desire to study theology.

The doors opened for me to study at the Bible Institute. My parents hoped that I would find employment and support the family because I am their only child who finished school, but after visiting the Bible Institute they softened and allowed me to study.

My two passions are Theology and Music. I would like to combine them when I graduate.

Ayanda is in his 2nd year at the Bible Institute. He is often heard playing the piano, from gospel to jazz, in Williams Hall on campus.