Unathi Nkayi is a South African radio and television presenter, musician and entrepreneur widely known for hosting YFM and Metro FM’s drivetime show.
She also joined Idols SA as a judge, a role that made her even more popular.
Unathi Nkayi’s early life, age
Born 6 November 1978 in Grahamstown in Eastern Cape, Unathi Khayi will turn 45 in November 2023. She rose to fame in 2004, when she finished her studies.
Unathi Nkayi’s husband, baby daddy, and children, Thomas Msengana
As an upcoming and rising star in Mzansi’s entertainment business, Unathi fell in love with fellow celebrity Thomas Msengana.
The couple served goals and impressed many fans.
Almost everyone believed their two stars would come out to be a match forged in heaven.
This was, however, a dream to Unathi and fans at least; Thomas had other ideas.
The couple seemed to be happily married for at least eight years and gave birth to two children: a daughter, Sinako Msengana and a son, Imbo Msengana.
Having two cute babies made everyone believe Unathi and Thomas were a real power couple.
However, that only lasted a few years before Unathi found out that his husband was seeing/having affairs with another woman outside of wedlock.
This infidelity broke Unathi’s heart, signing and sealing their divorce in 2017.
Unathi Nkayi’s career
When describing Unathi’s career, it may be fair to say she is a jack of all trades.
She starred as a musician and a radio and television host.
It isn’t easy to name Unathi Nkayi’s best trade, but we can say that she is an entertainment genius who knows how to make people happy.
She graced the industry in 2004 when she co-hosted the reality competition Popstars alongside Rowana Cloete.
In another trade, she won the Best Dressed Artist and the Best Song Of The Year at 2003’s Metro FM’s yearly awards.
Unathi auditioned for Castle Loud, a music show 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 Rita The Cheetah.
The series is a hit edutainment series by Disney.
Staunch viewers of the hot talk show Show Me, Love were saddened when they learnt they would no longer be able to catch a glimpse of one of their favourite panellists, Unathi Nkayi, on their screens.
As if that was not enough, she joined Idols SA as a judge in 2011, replacing Mara Louw, who had judged for only five seasons.
Unathi Nkayi’s relationship/friendship with Somizi and Randall Abrahams on Idols SA
Arguably the best judges panel Idols SA has ever produced, the three judges had their differences they could not hide even from the public.
It’s fair to say that of the three, Randall was the most mature and stormbreaker whenever emotions arose.
Unathi and Somizi, the two less experienced judges, formed a very close relationship that impressed many fans, but only until things turned south.
Their relationship fell in 2021 when Unathi went public to say feelings about people who listen to R-Kelly’s music despite being convicted of sexual abuse.
Her target was Somizi, and she confirmed denying their close friendship.
Somizi responded in a heartbroken manner as he said that he would not want to reconcile with Unathi.
This sour relationship made Randall Abrahams resign as Unathi Nkayi got fired.
This was the end of Unathi’s extended stay with Idols SA.
Unathi Nkayi’s academic qualifications
The bubbly entertainer studied his Matric at Victoria High School in her neighbourhood in Grahamstown.
After her secondary education, she graduated with a degree in International Media Studies from the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands.
After her graduation, Unathi came back home and graduated with a degree in Journalism from Rhodes University.
Unathi Nkayi’s business empire and net worth
She has a booming business empire and is one of the significant shareholders of Lucky Bean.
The production company’s primary interest is in film production.
She is an acclaimed writer and has published Like I Keep Learning.
Just like those before her, she also doubles as a brand ambassador. She has partnered with several clothing line brands as well as cosmetics lines.
They have managed to produce celebrated shows such as MasterChef SA, Survivor and Girl Eat World in recent years. As of 2023, her net worth is estimated at R25 million.