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‘She’s messing up Sotho’: Tweeps label Unathi Nkayi a ‘hypocrite’


Oct 27, 2021

Tweeps think Idols SA judge and radio personality Unathi Nkayi is a hypocrite after she called out S’22kile for changing up the lyrics of a song…but then made a slip-up of her own when she attempted to respond in Sesotho. 


Idols SA contestant S’22kile performed Ntyilo Ntyilo by Rethabile Khumalo featuring Master KG and changed up the lyrics. Unathi Nkayi was not impressed with the contestant changing up the lyrics and made her disapproval known.

However, in her response, she made an error of her own when she attempted to speak Sesotho and did not get it right. Tweeps found this hypocritical as Unathi is someone who stresses the correct pronunciation of words, names and more. In September, she called out Cape Town’s Mayoral Security and Safety officer Jean-Pierre “JP” Smith for refusing to pronounce an African surname. 

“JP SMITH Our names are NOT a joke. And unlike our ancestors WE WILL MAKE YOU SAY THEM PROPERLY and RESPECTFULLY so. Gather your dignity, love yourself and put just a lil effort into pronouncing our names,” wrote Nkayi on Instagram.

“And to anyone who is NOT BLACK who’s going to come and tell us about how people mispronounce their names too……DON’T I’m not talking to you I’m talking to JP SMITH. HAPPY HERITAGE MONTH,” she continued. 

ALSO READ: ‘Idols SA’ judge Unathi Nkayi ‘cancels’ her friendship with Somizi


Following the episode, social media users took to Twitter to discuss Unathi’s mispronunciation. Tweeps thought it was “hypocritical” that the radio personality messed up Sesotho but gets angry when someone messes up Xhosa.

“It is Unathi for me being pissed at Sthuthukile  for messing up Xhosa and Jiki Jiki she’s here messing up Sotho, Tswana or Pedi contradicting much ???-aiii #IdolsSA,” wrote a Tweep. 

It is Unathi for me being pissed at Sthuthukile for messing up Xhosa and Jiki Jiki she’s here messing up Sotho, Tswana or Pedi contradicting much ???-aiii #IdolsSA pic.twitter.com/EoyYOTqxtN

— Koki (@KK_Phatlane) October 17, 2021

Many Tweeps thought her mispronunciation was contradicting and labelled her a “hypocrite”.

It’s how Unathi says people should respect other people’s languages when it’s Xhosa but yena she murders Setswana/Sotho such a hypocrite #idolssa pic.twitter.com/mzXmX4DMli


It’s very rich coming from Unathi about respecting African languages yet she butchers Sotho/Tswana when she attempts to speak them #idolssa pic.twitter.com/uPMtHRn26C

— Tshepo Mohonoe (@tflavour) October 17, 2021

Fuck Unathi! The poor kid must now lose votes because if Xhosa?? She can’t speak sotho herself yet she was going on and on about African languages blah blah rubbish! And she must stop crying for ubufebe bakhe on tv. https://t.co/7yhBvCjlPQ

— Tshepiso Mokwena (@Tshepi_Mokwena) October 17, 2021

Unathi should stop ruining Sotho languages. Walk what you preach yeah?

— Man City (@YaThapelo) October 17, 2021

Unathi must sit down, she always overrated Xhosa/s, respect Sothos/tswanas the same

— Mam (@Mamkiiii) October 17, 2021

This Unathi issue shows how Xhosa and Zulu people think they represent all Blacks. We have South and North Sothos, Tswana, Tsonga, Venda, etc. These Nationalities don’t impose on others.#IdolSA

— I G: On_Spotlight (@spotlightz1) October 17, 2021

Other Tweeps questioned whether Idols SA is a singing competition or pronunciation test. 

Gosh Unathi…is this a singing competition or a test on pronunciation? #idolssa pic.twitter.com/4eJW3tH0fX

— Remoakantse Rantenne (@RRantenne) October 17, 2021

ALSO READ: ‘Today it stops!’: Unathi will not tolerate R Kelly’s music around her

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