The much anticipated video of Amanda Black’s hit single, Thandwa Ndim, debuts tomorrow (Friday May 17), and the singer says it tackles the scourge of gender-based violence through the stories of women.
Talking to City Press at the Africa Creative Agency offices at Waterfall City on Wednesday, the 26-year-old singer-song writer said that it might surprise music lovers.
“In the video we are exploring women’s stories. The women are telling their stories because more often than not we always look at the abuser and then we forget about the women. The women tell their own stories and that’s what the video will do. It will allow women to tell their own stories,” she said.
Released in February this year, Thandwa Ndim – a Xhosa expression meaning loved by me – seeks to encourage women to love themselves first and realise their self-worth.
“The song is about self-love. I tell the story of a woman in an abusive relationship and goes through all the emotional cycles. She needs to leave but she doesn’t know how. She knows she has to leave but she doesn’t feel she is strong enough to leave,” she told City Press.
“She goes through the emotions throughout the song but in the end she realises, looking in the mirror that: ‘I will be loved by myself.’
“My hope is that this song reaches as many women as possible. The way I wrote the song, I wanted to focus on the emotional. I wanted to focus on the things that we cannot see that abuse creates – the effects of abuse. My hope for the song is that women can find that strength within themselves.”
Speaking about the song, Black said it was inspired by the way in which abuse had become the norm in South Africa, it inspired her to write a song that would empower women who found themselves in abusive relationships.
“This song has very strong messaging of things that I saw and felt from people around me and obviously South Africa at large especially with abuse becoming the epidemic that it has become,” she said.
“I drew a lot from people’s stories, strengths, emotions and everything that they have been through, that’s how this song became powerful because of my story and other people’s stories.”
Looking back at her journey, Black, who originally hails from Butterworth in the Eastern Cape told City Press how she had always wanted to move to the City of Gold.
“The decision to move had always been at the back of my mind because I have been singing all my life. And my family has always encouraged it,” she said.
“I wanted to leave home when I was 18. When I finished my matric I told myself: ‘I want to go to Joburg.’ We know Joburg as the place where everything happens, and that’s where the industry is.”
However, according to Black, her mother would not hear of it at the time.
“But when I told my mom about the plan to move when I was 18 she just told me, ‘no, not yet’. She wanted me to study and have a plan B,” Black said.
Although initially known for her part in three editions of Idols South Africa and making it to the top seven of the show’s season 11, Black shot to fame months after arriving in Gauteng in 2016 after she released her first official single, Amazulu, a song from her debut studio album with the same title.
Speaking about her Idols journey, Black told City Press: “I am a firm believer in things happening the way they are supposed to. Obviously at the time when I was voted off, I was heartbroken because I wanted to win.
“Literally a year after not winning Idols, I released Amazulu. I became Amanda Black and Amazulu became huge and that was my breakthrough. So I see no other way of it having happened,” she added.
Black told City Press that her journey from home to where she is now was captured in one of the songs in her yet to be released second album.
“I came here [Gauteng] in 2016, I remember, it was January 11. I literally sing about everything in that song. I wrote about the literal journey, about how I got on the bus, what I was going through on the bus, what I was hoping for, what I was afraid of,” she said.
For Black, the support from South Africans has made it all worthwhile.
“The love from South Africans has encouraged me. The love is overwhelming and I appreciate it. And I have received from people from different age groups. From the elderly to toddlers. People who might not know my name but know my music. This encourages us to keep going as an artist. The love,” said the song bird.