“Gigi LaMayne” birth name Genesis Manney, is a young up and coming female rapper, singer, poet, rap artist and songwriter from South Johannesburg South Africa. Under a harsh background, with an abusive alcoholic father, Genesis turned to poetry as an asylum away from the harsh realities of a broken home. At the age of 11 Genesis wrote her first poem titled “Valentine’s Day” published at The Poetry Institute of Africa in the Anthology, “Fairytale Moon” followed by many other poems including her renowned poem, “Mother of Us All” dealing with the destruction of mankind as well as the natural environment. Looking up to Artists Such as Tracy Chapman, Lauryn Hill, Indie Arie and The Fugees, Genesis looked to use her poetry to change lives and in choosing to diverge into rap, this would reach the ear of thousands of people. According to Genesis her inspiration definitely came from her mother, a survivor of cancer and:”The strongest woman I know”, as well as her brother, a recovering drug addict. “He got lost a little, but he’ll be fine.” Genesis spend some of her time on selected Saturdays attending Playtimes at Cotlands Childrens home. “Those children make me so happy”.
At the age of 15, Genesis was selected as one of five candidates and scholars to be part of the Branson Scholar exchange programme and would attend school at Stowe School in Buckingham England for a year. Here she was privileged to explore different backgrounds cultures and a different way of living. “I made friends for life. These people are definitely one of the reasons why I’m as determined as I seem”.
Here, her rapping career bloomed. Taking part in shows and fundraising campaigns, Genesis knew this was a calling. From drama to music productions, Genesis stood out like a sore thumb. Drama Queen as One may put it and extremely talented. “I want to make history so bad; for me, my country and people who believed in me. I was put here for a reason, I know it”. Stowe created a platform for many children like Genesis to realise and cultivate their dreams.
After a year, Genesis returned to Johannesburg as well as her old school expecting a warm welcome. On the contrary, she was severely bullied. Coping was also not easy after her parents split while she was away. Rap once again was her only answer. On December the 2nd 2010, Genesis stepped into the recording booth for the first time, writing 12 songs in one month, Genesis was more than ready. “Low quality was what killed me, production and all, but throughout 2011 people on the internet were jamming to “Gigi LaMayne everywhere! My EP, “El Principio”, was a taster and people were enticed, despite the quality. They couldn’t believe a little girl was doing this.” Genesis knew that the hip hop industry was male dominated, but definitely matched up to the boys and more. In December 2011, Genesis collaboprated with Kgaolo “J-twinn” Malatji, international hip hop dancer and unsigned producer to create what totally knocked out the public. “Kgaolo saw a lot in me. Im still unsigned and so is he, but what we create together is just celestial. These are all featured on my new demo, “Live to Die”.