Amanda Strydom (born 23 July 1956) is a South African singer and songwriter. Although she is known best for her singing, Strydom has also been active as a playwright and actress, most notably in the fields of cabaret and also in television.
Strydom was born in the city of Port Elizabeth where she lived and went to school, matriculating from Framesby High School in 1974. She had no formal music training during her childhood (nor did she at any other time in her life) but she was an active participant in school choirs, and also learnt drama at the Children's Theatre with Mari Mocke and Marlene Pieterse. Strydom pursued a tertiary education at the University of Pretoria where she graduated in 1978 with a Bachelor of Arts degree, specialising in drama.
In 1979, she wrote her first song Ek loop die Pad (I walk down the Road) after being urged to do so by friends. The song quickly found its audience and has remained popular ever since, even being covered by artists like Laurika Rauch. Strydom has since written most of the songs in her repertoire and discography, but she also sings songs by artists such as Koos du Plessis, Stef Bos, José Feliciano, Kris Kristofferson, Holly Cole, and George Gershwin. When writing her own songs Strydom usually composes the lyrics alone, while often collaborating with others when composing the music. Among her musical collaborators are Janine Neethling, Didi Kriel, Lize Beekman, Peter McLea, Siegfried Pretsch and Angerie van Wyk.
Also in 1979, Strydom began working for the Cape Provincial Arts Board (Capab) where she starred in theatre pieces such as Die Wonderwerk (The Miracle) and "Kinkels innie kabel" (Hitches in the Cable). In the same year she also began freelancing as an actress, cabaret singer, disc jockey, television presenter and writer, this all after winning the lead role motion picture by Franz Marx, called Pasgetroud (Just Married). In 1980 she was engaged as a singer for the television programme Musiek en Liriek, together with a large group of her colleagues in the Afrikaans music industry. This programme would turn out to have a lasting impact on the development of Afrikaans popular music being, in the words of Jannie du Toit, a kind of "belated folk revolution". Strydom also began working as a disc jockey in that year, for both Highveld Stereo and Radio 5. She also landed the female lead role in Potato Eaters, an English television drama...