Nadia Nakai on her close bond with Khanyi Mbau and how she felt about Bonang joining ‘Young, Famous & African’ 2

Nadia Nakai, Khanyi Mbau and Luis Munana from ‘Young, Famous & African’. Picture: Netflix

Nadia Nakai, Khanyi Mbau and Luis Munana from ‘Young, Famous & African’. Picture: Netflix

Published Jun 1, 2023


Now if you watched the second season of “Young, African & Famous”, you know that a lot went down.

Along with the return of the OG cast of Khanyi Mbau, Diamond Platnumz, Nadia Nakai, Jeremiah Ogbodo (aka Swanky Jerry), Annie Macaulay-Idibia, Andile Ncube, Quinton Masina (Naked DJ), Zari Hassan (aka Zari the Boss Lady and Diamond’s baby mama), 2Baba and Kayleigh Schwark, there were upsets, too.

But what threw fans for a loop was the ugly drama as former friends were now foes and vice versa.

Gosh, the heated exchanges on the reality show could have powered Eskom and reduced the load shedding stage in Mzansi.

And the introduction of familiar and fresh faces brought with it its own challenges.

Swanky chose to introduce Bonang Matheba to the clique and Quinton also brought in sexy Ghanaian artist Fantana at the reunion at Diamond’s pad. Later, Khanyi introduced event planner, Luis Munana, but that went pear-shaped fast.

Timing is everything. And it was off at the start of the season with Diamond not on the best of terms with his boy Andile, who had developed feelings for Zari. That said, it wasn’t one-sided.

And the introduction of Andile’s baby mamas was interesting too. But it’s another story for another time.

I got to sit down with Nadia, Khanyi and Luis to find out what went down, the behind-the-scenes take of on all, so to speak.

We started off by unpacking the close bond between Nadia and Khanyi. Sadly, Nadia’s rapper beau AKA died in a tragic shooting shortly after she filmed the series.

That said, she really put on a brave face and maintained her professionalism throughout the interview.

She commented: “I think it’s definitely gotten a lot stronger but people also need to understand Khanyi and I have been friends for long before we started shooting the reality show.

“We’ve known each other for many years and she is one of the people that inspired me and who I respect in the industry. And she has always given me that big sister vibe for the longest time.

“So it’s the easiest thing to tap into when we are on camera because it has been the most natural thing for so many years. But between seasons one and two, our bond has gotten stronger.

“It was difficult because she was in Dubai the whole time and I was like when are you coming back. And she didn’t want to come back. She was like when is the load shedding done. So I missed her a lot.”

Luis Munana from ‘Young, Famous & African’. Picture: Netflix

Meanwhile, Khanyi, who also gives off a big sister vibe towards Luis, opened up about his unceremonious introduction to the group.

In fact, it got all of them cracking up, thinking of it.

She asked: “Where did he think he was going? The Commonwealth Games, where he needs to be put up on a pedestal and read what he has done and his accolades. No. He is coming into a family. You have been christened. And you are the baby here.

“So you are coming in as a skivvy and you are going to work your way up. No one is introducing you. And everyone knows how I feel about speeches.”

He interjected: “But you asked me to prepare a speech and I did.”

Khanyi playfully fobbed it off and responded: “Yes, but I said, sink or swim. But where was he going?

“You were going to a family event. He was coming to a black family event. And when you go to a black family, they say, go greet the uncles, go greet everyone… He wants to be put there. No, no.”

It isn’t often that Nadia rocks the boat as she gets along with everyone.

But this season, her prodding in discussions and decision to defend others placed her front and centre of some of the drama.

Nadia explained: “I’ve always been consistent. In season one, you saw me still kind of defending the person I felt was being wronged with the Annie and Zari situation.

“And in season two, it was the same energy. If I feel like you are doing something wrong, I will speak up.”

And she did just that when she challenged Swanky on his disdain towards Luis.

Of course, what everyone really wanted to know is how she felt about Queen B, her former friend and AKA’s ex, being on the show.

She admitted: “It was uncomfortable for me because it was very secretive, I don't understand why it had to be secretive. You know just be honest about what is going on.

“Honestly, it was not a problem because you always bump into your man’s exes in the world.

“I feel like everybody tried to make it an issue from Andile to Swanky. I was just like, guys please relax. It doesn’t have to be that deep.

“And I’m mature enough to hold myself together if I feel uncomfortable and be professional and decent and keep it moving and some people aren’t.”

On being a newcomer to the group, Luis said: “It was a bunch of big personalities. When you put a group of kings and queens in one room, things are bound to blow up.

“Also, I learned that you can be vocal about what you feel about things happening around you and not feel like you should tread lightly because all these personalities are out the window.”

That said, he feels like Swanky and him are good but he isn’t completely sure.

As for Khanyi’s efforts to give Quinton relationship advice backfiring with her “trial proposal” suggestion, she laughed: “What a fail. It was an operative word between Naked and me to say make your intentions with Kayleigh known.

“She has the keys to your house. She has met your family. You guys are now going on four years.

“I was not saying propose but just make it clear that, ‘Dude, I’m not dating you, just. And then he goes on a mountain, borrows someone's ring and he does something else. Like, do you even listen? No man.”

And her efforts to resolve the Zari and Fantana drama didn’t fare any better.

She explained: “I chose to invite all of them to dinner because I was tired of Zari threatening Fantana and this one is saying this… I wanted to put them all in a room and I wanted Diamond to explain what was happening.

“I’m tired of Diamond always getting away with it. It’s always the women he’s involved with and Zari’s fights with them.”

But he bailed to get back to the studio and that was that.

Ultimately, despite what we see in the series, there is an unmistakable camaraderie and closeness with the cast. And these three stars proved it in the interview.

∎ “Young, Famous & African” is streaming on Netflix.