Manaka was born in 1962 in Orlando, in the urban area of Soweto in Johannesburg. Having been trained in classical ballet, she teaches dance at the Funda Center which was founded by her husband, Matsemela Manaka, who died in a 1998 car accident.
During the 2010s, she lived with the musician Hugh Masekela, who was suffering from prostate cancer. She herself had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2016. She said about their approach to the disease: “It was important for both of us to send the message that we should celebrate our life and who we are. We should not let cancer bring us down.” Hugh Masekela died in January 2018. As for her, she recovered after months of chemotherapy. –Wikipedia