Unathi Nkayi
Unathi Nkayi
QUICK FACTS
Birth Name:Unathi Nkayi 
Occupation:Singer, actress and radio personality
Date of Birth06 November 1978 (age 43 years)
Place of BirthGrahamstown, Eastern Cape
Nationality:South African
Gender:Female
Ex-husband:Thomas Msengana 
Children:Sinako Msengana and Imbo Msengana
Education:University of Utrecht (Netherlands), Rhodes University (South Africa)

Unathi Nkayi (born 06 November 1978, Grahamstown, Eastern Cape, South African), singer, actress and radio personality notable mostly as a judge on the talent-search TV show ‘Idols SA.’

Who is Unathi Nkayi?

Unathi Nkayi was born on 06 November 1978, Grahamstown, Eastern Cape. She started her career in 2004 after completing her studies.

Unathi Nkayi Education

Unathi Nkayi had her secondary education at Victoria Girls High School, located in Grahamstown where she grew up. The media mogul furthered her studies at the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands, where she graduated with a degree in International Media Studies.

When she returned to South Africa, Unathi enrolled at Rhodes University where she graduated with a degree in Journalism. 

Unathi Nkayi parents

Unathi Nkayi was raised by both her parents in Grahamstown. 

Unathi Nkayi Ex-Husband and children

Unathi Nkayi was married to the popular radio personality, Thomas Msengana – who is popularly known as Bad Boy T.  The couple had their wedding in 2009 and were blessed with two children, Sinako Msengana and Imbo Msengana.

Unathi Nkayi Career

Unathi Nkayi was a co-host of the television series, Popstars alongside the legendary Rowan Cloete.

The media mogul continued her journey as a presenter when she landed the role in 2011 to be on the judging panel of the singing competition show, Idols.

Unathi is the longest-serving judge on Idols having been there for eight seasons and counting.

Unathi auditioned for the Castle Loud, a music show that aired on SABC1. She landed the role and was later the co-producer of the show. This paved her way into broadcasting and she then joined YFM (2004 – 2020), Pop Stars, Metro FM (2014 – 2017) and Kaya FM (2020).

She earned her international status as an actress when she was called to do voice-overs for a character in the ‘Doc McStuffins’ series, where she played as Rita The Cheetah. The series is a hit edutainment series by Disney. 

Staunch viewers of the sizzling talk show, Show Me Love were saddened when they learnt that they would no longer be able to catch a glimpse of one of their favourite panelists, Unathi Nkayi on their screens.

The husky voiced entertainer, Unathi, announced on her Instagram page that her interview with Brenda Mntambo was her second last sit down interview on the show.

Unathi Nkayi Awards & Nominations

As an artist, Unathi has received a number of awards in different categories w including MTN Media Awards (hosted by Media Magazine) for the Most Promising Woman in Media 2005.

Unathi received a Metro FM Music Award for the Best Dressed Artist and Song of The Year award both in 2003.

The Star newspaper reported that Unathi was among the top ten personalities in media in 2004 and 2005. At the Media Star in 2014, she won Glamour woman of the year award.

Unathi Nkayi business

Unathi Nkayi is a shareholder of Lucky Bean, a company that is focused on the production of various shows including MasterChef SA, Survivor and Girl Eat World. The shows are seen to be gaining new airplay figures monthly and as time goes, the legacy and her shares in the company will keep growing to new heights. 


She is a writer of note and utilized her prowess to gift herself on her birthday, by releasing a memoir as a birthday gift. Her book is titled, I keep Learning.

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