She’s one of the SA’s pioneering female rappers and now Gigi Lamayne (real name Genesis Gabriella Tina Manney) has made her foray into reality TV, with Showmax’s “Temptation Island South Africa”.
Similar to the strides she made in her career, she certainly stood out from episode one where she didn’t hold back on her spiciness.
The 27-year-old female rapper recently dropped her new album, “Mermaids and Stuff”, so it’s safe to say that it has been an eventful year.
As soon as I mentioned the first episode of the show, she chuckled.
With the nation talking about her saucy comments on the show, especially the ones aimed at Nthabiseng “Nthabi” Maphago, who is the girlfriend of MJ Maponya, she was fully prepared to weigh in on the incident.
She pointed out “She (Nthabi) came at me and I responded.
The episode for me was extremely salty because I think when you are in the moment, you kind of forget that the cameras are there, and it just came so naturally, how that happened. It’s also difficult.
You are introducing yourself to people, you are on the spot and I almost felt a little bullied by her and you know that was just me, like protecting myself.”
Of course, being spicy comes naturally to her.
She laughed: “I’m a female rapper: Cardi B-spicy, Nicki Minaj-spicy.
“When you hang around boys so much, you learn to protect yourself, verbally.
“You are not a pushover. I did say, that was one of my biggest strengths. I also think it is about the hip hop industry that I am in, where there are not many women.
|And most times, men try to have smart mouths and you have to know how to respond.”
On what prompted her to go the route of a reality show to find love, she added: “I’ve always wanted to be on a reality show that tested my beliefs.
“And my belief has always been that love at first sight thing. I really loved the fact that with ‘Temptation Island’, it almost felt like a huge science project and I haven’t been fortunate in recent years with love.
“For me, it was like if I can go to an island somewhere, super remote, no phones or anything, and I simply get to bond with somebody and fall in love with them, then that would be absolutely amazing.
“But I think the biggest thing was the experience of it all, man.
“Being a part of the first season in South Africa and knowing that it is an international franchise and some people honestly have found love.
“I’ve always been told that I have a very eclectic personality and with being deemed that, we don’t always settle for conventional.
“So I decided to do something really unconventional and get onto the show.”
Lamayne’s confidence, sassiness, energetic and adventurous side, doesn’t go amiss on the show.
She also made it clear, she isn’t planning on leaving the island, single.
“I get along with guys, I get along with girls. But I’m obviously around guys much more because of what I do and I think, for me, that is the game plan going forward.
“I’m going to be best friends with the boys. I’m going to have lots of fun. I’ve heard things about falling in love with your best friend and, who knows, Gigi just might get it right…”
As for first impressions and who stood out, she admitted: “It was a tight one between Sifiso (Ndalazi) and Justin (Fritz).”
Just to touch on the premise, four couples at a crossroads in their relationship put their love to the ultimate test when they are separated and in the company of 10 singles, who are ready to mingle.
On competing with nine other women as well as the girlfriends, she smiled: “ Yoh, I know, right. That is definitely like walking into a war zone. You are even prepared for your teammates to turn on you because we are all there for the same thing. I didn’t feel like I owed anything to anyone.
“It’s almost as if you are lions in the bush, you all meet each other, you get along with each other and tell each other how beautiful you are, and then the pieces of meat come out and now it is just like everyone is trying to get full and there are no friends anymore, the claws come out and there’s lots of scratching. Now there’s something to fight for.”
But Lamayne has an ace up her sleeve.
She revealed: “People can just expect me to be a lone rider for the rest of the season.
“You are going to see that I’m a man whisperer. Sorry. Not. Towards the end of it all, and my stay on the island, some girls realised that was my super power.
“But I have always laid my cards on the table.”
On dropping an album in the midst of a pandemic, she said: “It’s going really well I’m absolutely blown away by the response considering that the country and the world has been going through so much.
“There are people that have been coming out in numbers, digitally, to support and I can’t imagine what the country will look like once everything opens, and people can go to venues again and we can perform.”
And she’s got some dope collaborations with some of the industry’s finest.
She also admitted that the arrival of Covid-19 gave her time for some much-needed soul-searching.
“I’m not even going to lie to you, I enjoyed lockdown. I was able to really do some introspection. Even on the creative level, as you say.
“No distractions, just myself and the studio and writing. And just being as honest as I can be.
“I think that is why, for a lot of the critics right now, they deemed this the best project I put out.
“Because of the quietness of Covid and being forced to sit in a space, inevitably, stripping down emotionally and mentally, and testing myself physically, how well I can write.”
Lamayne has also scheduled in self-care Sundays and spiritual meditation.
As for her making her mark on the SA hip hop scene, Lamayne pointed out: “I do not believe I’ve reached any pinnacle when it comes to my capabilities.
“People are not used to seeing someone like you. Being female in the hip hop fraternity. I will tell you, gone are the days that women feel sorry fr themselves. You know, we are female, things are really tough, we use that as our superpower now.
“It is a state of mind. I have to commend some female artists coming out right now - Makhadzi, Busiswa, Sho Madjozi and Nadia Nakai, who is also on my album, for really standing out against all odds.
“We are no longer complaining, we are kicking down the door and we are not looking for the boys to help us.”
Powerful words from an influential woman. I guess, we will just have to keep watching this space as she makes bold moves, in love, and the industry.