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Saturday, 7 April 2018

UP CLOSE & PERSONAL: MANILA VON TEEZ




Born roughly 2011 (Drag Life), Manila Von Teez has grown to become a formidable performer on the Drag Scene. Her list of Achievements vary from Pageantry where she has won many titles, such as Miss Black Pride, Miss Cape Town Pride, Miss Cape Peninsula and Miss Loerie, to that as a performer, where she has opened for Miss Gay Western Cape for five years, opened for MCQP and for Derek Barry (Britney Spears impersonator).
In 2016 she lead a make up Tutorial for Fashionista’s at the Launch of the #FoschiniForBeauty event, Foschini’s new online store, as well as performed at the launch of the new #MACartofthelip Store in Braamfontein, where she shared the stage with the likes of AKA, DJ Zinhle, Fifi Cooper and Twins on Deck.



Her highlight, however, was entering SA’s Got Talent 2016, where she was very fortunate to be awarded the position of Runner Up, beating out over 200 000 entries, the first Drag Act to make it that far.



Manila is also the lead performer in the SAMA Nominated Music Video of The Kiffness Song - "You Say You Love Me" (also voted Top SA Music Video of 2016) and she recently placed seventh in the world on the list of "The Black LGBTQ Power 100 in 2016!”
A regular performer at Zer021 Social Club, ThursGay Nights, Festivals and Corporate’s, as well as designing all her own clothes through her label Haus of Vjorn, Manila shows no signs of slowing down, and has all the elements to become a force to be reckoned with.



1.When did Manila von Teez start her journey?

Roughly April 2011, first known as Veyonce Nanucci, but soon name changed to Manila von Teez


2. As a young child (pre-teen to teens) did you always know you were drag?

Not at all. Was still very much trying to “hide” from the real me.

3. What was the self-discovery like?

It has not ended for me, every day I learn something new and believe self-discovery will never end.


4. You have won a few awards already. What were they for?

I have won the EVH Pink Award for Best Drag Performer, EVH Pink Award for Best Make Up Artist, The Legacy presented me with a Pioneer Award recently and towards the end of last year, I was voted the 7th most influential Black LGBTI person in the world.


5. You do many performances in Cape Town. Have you travelled through the country yet and/or overseas for your acts?

I have only travelled nationally, performed in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Knysna. I have a strong wish to travel more, especially internationally, so hopefully that will happen soon.


6.  What is a typical day like in Manila von Teez’s life?

When I am Manila, it is hectic, as I am dressed to perform or appear at an event. When not as Manila, very chilled, unless I have deadlines for orders for my clothing label – Haus of Vjorn

7. Was it hard coming out as drag, to your family, friends and the public especially as a Coloured person?

Not at all. Coming out to my family was through a local tabloid, as they had my picture in and my mom called to say she saw me. The Coloured community has an extremely strong Drag/Women impersonation culture, so not at all a problem as a Coloured person.

8. As a drag queen, are you a feminist? And if yes, what does feminism mean to you?

The fact that I am a man, performing the art of Women Impersonation, and fighting for the opportunity that the art form be recognised and accepted by all, it could possibly be argued that if I was a real women that would be feminism. You would however need to check that argument out with the right people as I am no expert on the topic.

9. How do you think your confidence and self-love has impacted your life after coming out? T

he impact has been unbelievable!! What would your advice be to the ones who are currently out there trying to come out, but are afraid to be themselves, because of what ‘others’ might think? Number one rule is to love yourself first.

Then surround yourself with those who have been in the same situation, and share the love they share as the liberation you will feel is totally worth it.


10. You have a design label named Haus of Vjorn. What’s the creativity/inspiration behind it?

I am a huge Alexander McQueen fan and whenever I have the opportunity to make something that is Avant garde and modern I seize!

11. What’s next for Manila von Teez?

My manager and I have started a production company called MVT Productions. We have some exciting projects and news that will be revealed soon (don’t want to jinx anything lol). Hopefully more travelling and just ensuring that the art form grows daily!