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Amanda Strydom is one of South Africa's most celebrated artists. Not only a singer and cabaret performer, as most people know her, she also writes most of her own lyrics and plays, and is an acclaimed actress.

Born in Port Elizabeth on July 23, 1956, she matriculated from Framesby High School in 1974. She also studied drama at Mari Mocke and Marlene Pieterse's "Kinderteater"
(Children's Theatre) and excelled at local Eistedfodds. She can't read a note of music, has no formal singing training, except for school choirs, church and the great echo in the bathroom of her parents' home. She studied drama at the University of Pretoria and graduated with a BA Drama degree in 1978.

She was appointed to the Cape Provincial Arts Board's (Capab) main company and starred in "Kinkels innie kabel" and "Die Wonderwerk". The lead in a Franz Marx movie "Pasgetroud", whisked her into the freelance world in 1979, which took her from theatre to film, television, cabaret, TV presenter, radio disc jockey and writer.

Her cabaret at the Oude Libertas in Stellenbosch in 1986 caused outrage when she gave the black power salute after singing about the cruelty of the passlaws. Since then, she has often been called "Amandla" Strydom in the press.

Soon after this incident she was almost emotionally crippled with bipolar depression, about which she later wrote a play, "In Full Flight". The play has been hailed by critics as a "revelation".

After an abscence of three years from her entertainment career, Amanda returned to the stage in 1992 by writing and staging her own shows with great success and to wide critical acclaim.

Her compilation album, "Ek loop die pad, 20 jaar", was released in 2000 and celebrates 20 years of Amanda's life in songs.

visit www.amandastrydom.com for up-to-date information

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