Unathi Nkayi. Picture: Instagram
Unathi Nkayi. Picture: Instagram

Unathi apologises for 'tribalist' comment on 'Idols SA'

By Liam Karabo Joyce Time of article published Nov 11, 2019

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"Idols SA" judge Unathi Nkayi has apologised for her comments about Xhosa people being “tired of holding up the nation”. 

This comes after the judge made the comments, on live TV, that viewers and social media users labeled as ' tribalist' and ' divisive'. 

Congratulating contestant Luyolo Yiba on his stellar performance on the show, Unathi said: “On behalf of the Xhosa people, we are tired of holding up the nation.”

She then went on to name several achievements by South African icons like actors John Kani and Atandwa Kani who starred in "Black Panther", Miss SA Zozibini Tunzi, Springbok captain Siya Kolisi and herself who she referred to as a published author following the release of her memoir, before including Luyolo on the list.

“We are finally happy that we have someone from the Eastern Cape in the finale,” she added.

Although audience members in the State Theatre cheered after Unathi's comments, others did not take kindly to her comments online. 

A video of her making the comments were posted on Twitter and went viral. 

%%%twitter https://twitter.com/hashtag/IdolsSA?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#IdolsSAhawu Unathi you said this👇🏾 @IdolsSA @Mzansimagic #Luyolo pic.twitter.com/BzH3WCTaZN

— #humanDignity (@angie43639902)

Many viewers expressed their disappointment and accused Unathi of 'dividing' the country. 

%%%twitter https://twitter.com/Unathi_Africa?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Unathi_AfricaI love you but this apology is not accepted. You are aware that you broke our heart, then you turn around and say "IF" you hurt our feelings. I know you can do better sisi. #unathi #IdolsSA pic.twitter.com/irc9hvOd18

— Khothatso Melika Mohapi (@melika_mohapi)

%%%twitter https://twitter.com/hashtag/IdolsSA?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#IdolsSA pic.twitter.com/26fNAB6i9p

— 🌷VoluptuousMadame🌷 (@MthwaneAnelisa)

%%%twitter https://twitter.com/hashtag/IdolsSA?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#IdolsSA pic.twitter.com/eSXXduG7vB

— Lebo (@leboclive)

Following her hitting the top trends list in the country, the star took to Instagram to apologise for her comments. 

She said that she was trying to carry a joke that was being passed around lately.

“It saddens me that I have broken so many hearts with what I said tonight. What I saw was a beautiful joke being passed around this past week by so many South Africans not necessarily Xhosa and wanted to share.”


She further said that she was wrong to do so and apologised to those who were offended.

View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Unathi.Africa(@unathi.co) on Nov 10, 2019 at 11:29am PST

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