Singer – Actress
Life is what you make of it – Love yourself and keep God ahead of everything
In her twenties and already has killer ambition, she is a go-getter, a major dreamer, and she believes if you can dream it, you can do it.
Born in Coronationville but brought up in Eldorado Park, Fleurhof, Oaklands and Orange Grove. Due to the fact that the family moved around a lot she attended several primary schools. Like any child, she disliked most of them except for Saxonwold Primary, which as she put it, “was a mini version of The National School of Arts”.
Letoya got her first break at a young and tender age of nine when she appeared in a television ad for sweets, and several television appearances followed. She performed a duet with her father at the Africa For Aids Concert which took place at Sun City in the same year and following that, she had her picture splashed all over the newspapers, which once again opened many doors for the young talent.
“It might sound bizarre and extremely clichéd but since most people believe that there is a reason we are all on this earth, I truly believe that I was born to heal through entertainment and other God given gifts”.
At the age of ten she went to Ghana for the Panafest where she brought the house down with her rendition of ‘I Will Always Love You’. She became a presenter on KTV and later moved on to YoTV, where she became the anchor presenter for the Disney UNESCO children’s summit in France, but that was not enough for the then eleven year old child star…did you know that she did the closing song for the Common Wealth Games?
Make things happen
When Letoya moved on to high school she chose to attend the school of arts, a decision that her folks whole-heartedly supported. It was in the eighth grade that Letoya became part of a music group called ‘s’kool Girlz, a band that consisted of Letoya, her two sisters and her cousin.
She did drama for about three years and then decided to move on to contemporary music. After being in her first year of contemporary music she was moved up, so basically she did Gr 10 and 11 in one year. In that same year she took the honors of Best pianist as well as Best vocalist, and was bestowed with full colors in music.
‘S’kool Girlz kept the girls busy from morning till night. Music had always been a passion, but landing a job as a VJ on Channel O hadn’t even crossed her mind. An agent called up one day to tell her about Channel O auditions.
“I was busy with a theatre production at that time, so I had very colorful hair. I stepped in there, read through my script and gave it my best shot”. Like every fairytale, she thought she wouldn’t crack it and she was with Channel O since June 2000, but pursuing a career in acting was a little more time consuming so soon after securing the role of Cherie in the Res, the “O” experience had to come to an end.
She’s also part of Nubia Youth Development, which was started by the family a few years back. Their main aim is to get people, especially the youth, off the streets and encourage talent.
When talking about the future Letoya would like to start her own film company, she’d like to get into directing and producing. She uses her free time to continue with her music and other spiritual needs.
She was seen in Leon Schuster’s movie Mr Bones as one of the choirgirls and the voice used for the main character belongs to none other than Letoya.
She also acted on the Dube show and loved every minute of it. “I love acting, I thought I knew a lot about the television industry but everyday brings new challenges and what better way to learn than from the professionals themselves”.
2005 also brought new and interesting challenges Letoya’s way…remember that article about her being a Traditional Healer? It was no publicity stunt. Shortly after Idols Letoya went into initiation school to begin her journey. After eight months of being away from home and work Miss Makhene became Dr Makhene, who is a fully qualified and practicing Traditional Medical Practitioner.
Now married and a mother of three, Letoya is still very excited about life. “To be a mother is the most rewarding experience and I’m honored that I could be responsible for three precious souls-everyday brings new blessings”.
As a perfectionist I’ve had to fall in love with my imperfections.
2009 ended on a high note for Letoya. She secured a part on the ever popular Rhythm City. “Playing Onica really showcased my skills as an actress-I have never before felt as exhausted after a shoot day-I loved it!”
2010 has brought many new blessings for Letoya. She got the lead role in a short film titled “My Zulu Promise” and shortly afterwards got the lead in a Debonairs commercial.
2011 has by far been the most challenging yet rewarding year, with the birth of her baby boy and having to get back on screen only 8 weeks after his birth. “2011 truly tested my strength as a woman but if I had a chance to do it all over again, I would do it exactly the same way. Landing the role of Ayanda Diale on Isidingo has been a true blessing and I have decided to own this moment because I’ve been put right where I should be!”
She continues to perform in corporate shows while working on her long awaited album.
If there was one thing she could change about herself it would be…nothing!