Unathi Nkayi (born 6 November 1978) is a South African producer, TV personality, and a judge for the Idols. She has a way of expressing herself and her moments on the seat as a judge has gained her popularity.

She is also a Journalist and a writer and has made a name for herself in the South African entertainment industry.


Unathi Nkayi biography


The heavyweight in the entertainment industry was born on 6 November 1978. She hosts a celebration in remembrance of her date of birth every year on November 6. Unathi Nkayi is 41 years old. She was raised in Makhanda, also known as Grahamstown, Eastern Cape.


Unathi Nkayi education
She studied for an International Media Studies degree at the University of Utrecht, Netherlands. Image: Instagram/unathi.co.

She completed her secondary school education at Victoria Girls High School, Grahamstown. Upon graduating, she furthered her academic pursuit at the University of Utrecht, Netherlands. In the university, she studied for an International Media Studies degree.

After she came back to her home country, she studied for a degree in Journalism at the Rhodes University. 


Unathi Nkayi background
Unathi grew up under the care of her parents in Grahamstown in South Africa. Image: Instagram/unathi.co.

Unathi grew up under the protective care of her parents in Grahamstown. She had always wanted to be on television as a host. She received the support she needed from both her parents and her family which built her courage to chase her dreams.

Today, her dream is a reality and she is one of the most celebrated personalities in the South African media industry. She has made a name for herself and is gaining more presence.


In 2009, Unathi Nkayi got married to Thomas Msengana, a.k.a Bad Boy T. He is a household name in the entertainment industry as well and is a Disk Jockey.

The love they shared in the marriage made two children; Sinako Msengana and Imbo Msengana. Unfortunately, their marriage did not get a till death do us part ending after they separated in 2017.

The couple called their marriage a quit after Thomas allegedly cheated on his wife. According to her, she saw text messages and pictures on the phone that belonged to Thomas. This eventually led to them going their separate ways.

Net Worth

According to Zalebs, Unathi has an estimated net worth of around R8,000,000. Her source of income is from being a presenter, writer, and artist. She is a “village girl who found gold”.


Unathi Nkayi net worth
Unathi kicked off her career in 2004. Image: Instagram/unathi.co.

In 2004, she began her profession upon graduating from a higher institution. She landed a job as a co-host on Popstars, a popular series on television. She hosted the show alongside Rowan Cloete.

In 2011, she started a job as a presenter after landing a role as one of the judges on Idols SA, a reality singing competition show. On the show, she boasts as the longest-serving judge and has appeared on the show for eight seasons and counting.

Unathi has appeared among other hopefuls to audition for the Castle Loud, a show on SABC1. Upon a successful audition, she got the role and eventually climbed to the co-producer of the show.

In 2004, she joined YFM, stayed there for sixteen years, and left in 2020. She joined Metro FM in 2014 and remained with the station until 2017. Later in 2020, she joined Kaya FM.

She gained presence in the international scene upon doing a voice-over for a character in the series “Doc McStuffins”. On the edutainment series by Disney, she was cast as Rita The Cheetah.


Unathi Nkayi profile
She was named one of the “Top Ten Personalities in Media in 2004 and 2005” by Star Newspaper. Image: Instagram/unathi.co.

She has received several recognitions in different categories. In 2005, she took home the MTN Media Awards, hosted by Media Magazine, Most Promising Woman.

The Star Newspaper named her among the “Top Ten Personalities in Media in 2004 and 2005”. In 2014, she received the Glamour Woman of the Year Award.


Apart from being a good judge who has judged and produced many heaving weights in the industry today, she is also a businessperson. She is a shareholder of the company Luck Bean and a writer of note. She is the author of the book “I Keep Learning”.