mandisa-phandliwe-south-africaMandisa Phandliwe was born in 1974 in Mafikeng, North West Province. Though her origins are in the Eastern Cape, she was brought up in Botswana by her grandmother. Mandisa became involved in poetry at primary school, where she always an active participant in cultural groups. She has since praised for.

Edna Molewa, the premier of the North West Province, Pallo Jordan, the Minister of Arts and Culture, and President Thabo Mbeki. Mandisa prides herself in the multilingualism of her praise-poetry which stems from her Xhosa and Tswana roots. She is a member of a traditional jazz band called Mandisa & Uhambo, whose music blends both Tswana and Xhosa poetry and lyrics.