Letoya Makhene

Letoya Makhene is a South African singer, actress, songwriter, sangoma and TV personality renown for acting in SABC’s famous soap operas, Isidingo and Generations. She co-hosted Idols SA season 2 with Colin Moss in the year 2003.

Letoya Makhene, Idols SA Season 2 host

Quick Facts:

Birth / Full Name:Letoya Makhene (formerly Mangezi)
Date of Birth:7 September 1984
Birth Place:City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality, South Africa
Age:39 years
Nationality:South African
Parents:Blondie Makhene (father)
Siblings:Gontse Makhene
Spouse(s):Priviledge Mangezi (divorced in 2014), Lebo Keswa (married 2020)
Partner(s):Tshepo Leeuw


Before even hosting Idols SA, Letoya was a contestant herself on the show in it’s very first season back in 2002. She was in group 8 with Liana Van Zyl, Dalen Jooste, Chad Saaiman and Heinz Winckler (who eventually won Season 1) and almost made it to the finals before she was eliminated.

In 2003 she and Colin Moss were appointed as the new hosts of Idols SA but she only lasted one season and left her role. After leaving Idols SA, Makhene took an eight month training course at an initiation school to become a traditional healer (sangoma) but she later put her sangoma duties to one side until she can find a safe place for her practice.

She then began singing at corporate gigs and in 2014 she joined the cast of SABC1 soap opera Generations after the show went off-air and returned as Generations The Legacy. She starred in the soapie and her role was the notorious gangster wife of Kumkanmi Phakade aka “Gadaffi”.

In 2011 she had a role as Ayanda Diale, who lost her father in the anti-apartheid struggle and was taken in by the Sibeko family, in the SABC3 soap opera Isidingo.

She has also had a starring role as Naledi Zondo in the SABC1 political thriller mystery drama series End Game.

She made appearances in the music industry from the age of seven as one of Brenda Fassie’s backup singers. She has also worked with DJ Cleo on the song “The One”, and also worked with DJ Qness on the song “I Get Weak”. She then released a few singles in 2016 as she kept working on releasing a solo debut album, she was also featured by DJ Chynaman on the song “Keep on Trying”.

Personal Life

Letoya is the daughter of musician Blondie Makhene and was previously known by her married surname Mangezi. In late 2014 she returned to her maiden surname after her divorce from her husband Privilege Mangezi.

Letoya Makhene and father, musician Blondie Makhene
Letoya Makhene and father, musician Blondie Makhene.


She has four children, three with her ex-husband Priviledge Mangezi and one with Tshepo Leeuw who was her partner after she divorced Priviledge.

Letoya Makhene's four children
Letoya Makhene’s four children.

Marriage To Lebo Keswa

In April 2020, Letoya revealed that she was dating business woman Lebo Keswa. However this revelation only came after tabloid publication Sunday World “exposed” their relationship.

Letoya Makhene and Lebo Keswa traditional wedding
Letoya Makhene and Lebo Keswa on their traditional wedding day in December 2020.

The lovers got engaged five months later in October of 2020, and had their traditional wedding towards the end of December 2020.