Manaka Ranaka

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Manaka Ranaka
Born Manaka Ranaka
(1979-06-04) June 4, 1979 (age 40)
Soweto, Johannesburg
Gauteng, South Africa
Education Dinwiddie High School
Occupation Actress
Years active 1999 - to date
Children Kagiso
Family Dineo Ranaka (Sister)
Mpumi Ranaka (Sister)
Mzingisi Ranaka (brother)

Manaka Ranaka (born 6 April 1979) is a South Africa actress best known for her portrayal of Lerata Khumalo on the SABC 2 sitcom, Stokvel and Lucy Diale the mother of Namhla Diale (Thulisile Phongolo) on the SABC 1 soap opera Generations. She was the first actress to portray the character of Nandipha Sithole on the SABC 3 soap opera Isidingo but was released from her contract after she fell pregnant, that character would later be popularised by Hlubi Mboya.

Early Life

Manaka Ranaka was born on 6 April 1979 in the township of Soweto in Johannesburg in the Gauteng province of South Africa. She is the daughter of Nonceba Ranaka and Kgotlaesele Ranaka who rose to fame for their roles in the reality show, The Ranakas. Her siblings are Dineo Ranaka, Mpumi Ranaka and Mzingisi Ranaka. Manaka Ranaka attended Dinwiddie High School.

Early Career

Manaka Ranaka was cast of the SABC 3 soap opera, Isidingo, in the year 2000 to portray the character of Nandipha Sithole. However, she soon fell pregnant and her contract was terminated. The character of Nandipha Sithole was then taken over by Hlubi Mboya would become central to the show for years. In 2002 she was cast on the original SABC 1 drama series, Gaz'lam, to portray the character of Portia, the show was a runaway success and remained on air for four season and served to launch the careers of Siyabonga Shibe and Mbali Ntuli.

Stokvel, Generations and Sustained Success: 2003 - to date

Manaka Ranaka was cast in a lead role as Lerata Khumalo in the original SABC 2 sitcom, Stokvel, in 2003 alongside James Ngcobo, Thembi Mtshali-Jones, Andrea Dondolo, Tshamano Sebe, Moagi Modise, Lele Ledwaba and the late Limakatso Manotwane. The show would become a critical success and remained on air from 2003 to 2012 for eight seasons, becoming one of the longest running sitcoms in South African television history.

She portrayed the character of Vinolia Ntuli on the SABC 1 youth drama series, Tshisa, from 2006 to 2009 and did not return for the third season. In 2006 she portrayed the character of Nozuko on the first season of the SABC 3 drama series, One Way and from 2007 to 2010 she portrayed the character of Ayanda on the SABC 1 drama series, Society. In 2009 she appeared on the fourth season on Home Affairs where she played the role of Neli.

In 2012 she joined's soap opera, Rhythm City, where she had a recurring role as Zanele Kgaditse. In 2013 Manaka Ranaka began starring on the Mzansi Magic drama series, Zabalaza, alongside Baby Cele, Seputla Sebogodi, Zandile Msutwana and former Gaz'lam co-star Mbali Ntuli. She returned for the second season but did not return for the third. Manaka Ranaka has also appeared on her sister's reality show Dineo's Diary, her family's reality show The Ranakas and the third season of the Mzansi Magic prison drama Lockdown.

Generations: 2014 - to date

Manaka Ranaka joined the cast of the revived Generations in late 2014 following the dismissal of the entire principal cast of that show. On the revived show, Generations: The Legacy, she was cast to portray an incarcerated Lucy Diale who gets released in the first episode. While early on the revived show was subject to scrutiny and criticism, Manaka Ranaka was among those who received praise particularly for her portrayal of the black sheep of the Diale family.


Year Title Role Notes
2000 Isidingo Nandipha Sithole Lead Role, Soap Opera
2002, 2005 Gaz'lam Portia Supporting Role, Drama Series
2003 - 2012 Stokvel Lerata Khumalo Lead Role, Drama Series
2006 - 2009 Tshisa Vinolia Ntuli Supporting Role, Drama Series
2006 One Way Nozuko Supporting Role, Drama Series
2007 - 2010 Society Ayanda Lead Role, Drama Series
2009 Home Affairs Neli Guest, Drama Series
2012 - 2016 Dineo's Diary Herself Reality Show
2012 Rhythm City Zanele Kgaditse Recurring Role, Soap Opera
2013 - 2015 Zabalaza Buhle "Beauty" Cele Lead Role, Drama Series
2014 - to date Generations Lucy Diale Lead Role, Soap Opera
2017 - to date The Ranakas Herself Reality Show
2018 Lockdown Zim Zim/ The Butcher Supporting Role, Drama Series

Personal Life

Manaka Ranaka has two daughter, Kagiso and Lesedi. She is the older sister of famed radio DJ and reality star, Dineo Ranaka.


  1. Information Cradle, Manaka Ranaka Biography, Age, Husband, Family and Awards, 15 December 2018
  2. News24/ Drum, New Generations cast revealed , 15 December 2018
  3. IOL, The Ranakas are ready to rule reality TV, 15 December 2018
  4. Zululand Observer, Manaka Ranaka “reports from heaven” after fake death rumours, 15 December 2018
  5. TVSA, Manaka Ranaka, 15 December 2018
  6. Zalebs, Manaka sends us a message from heaven after getting killed online, 15 December 2018
  7. Zalebs, Manaka sends us a message from heaven after getting killed online, 15 December 2018
  8. Political Analysis, Manaka Ranaka speaks to Azania Mosaka on Real Talk On 3, 15 December 2018
  9. Sowetan LIVE/ Sunday World, 'He's not a sell-out' - Madiba gig changes Manaka Ranaka's view on Tata, 15 December 2018
  10. IMDb, Manaka Ranaka, 15 December 2018
  11. Mail & Guardian, Striking Generations cast members sacked, 19 December 2018


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