Kenyan prodigy misses main character’s role in new Aretha Franklin movie – Nairobi News

Eleven-year-old Kenyan gospel singer, Shannah Manjeru, last week missed the opportunity to play a young American iconic musician Aretha Franklin in an upcoming Hollywood movie Respect.

Shannah had been tapped by top Hollywood insiders to audition for a role in the MGM Studios film, directed by Liesl Tommy, which will also feature Franklin.

Eleven-year-old Kenyan gospel singer, Shannah Manjeru. PHOTO | COURTESY

Respect covers the childhood, rise to stardom and impact on the civil rights movement of the legendary queen of soul, who was a close friend and confidante of former US President Barrack Obama during his presidency.

The young Kenyan musician auditioned alongside top female prodigy musicians worldwide aged between 10 and 14 years old, in an exercise that was conducted via video link.

Shannah came into the limelight in October 2017, when she released her debut song Destiny, which she followed up with We Are One. The latter song hit the airwaves in February 2018.

Eleven-year-old Kenyan gospel singer, Shannah Manjeru. PHOTO | COURTESY
Eleven-year-old Kenyan gospel singer, Shannah Manjeru. PHOTO | COURTESY

In April 2018 Shannah released her third track titled Winner, which won the Song of the Year Award at the Kenya Gospel Music Awards in 2018.

In December of the same year, she released the song God Will Listen.

Shannah won the Arts and Culture Award at the 2nd Annual African Children of the Year Awards 2019 which was held in South Africa.

She also bagged the Outstanding Alternative-Urban Fusion Minister of Excellence 2019 award during the Maranatha Global Gospel Music Awards, 2019.

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