Unathi Nkayi confirms 'Idols SA' exit, pens heartfelt thank you letter

22 January 2022 - 17:00
By Joy Mphande
Media personality and singer Unathi Nkayi confirms she's leaving Idols SA.
Image: Instagram/ Unathi Nkayi Media personality and singer Unathi Nkayi confirms she's leaving Idols SA.

Singer and media personality Unathi Nkayi has finally broken her silence on her exit from Idols SA after serving as a judge for ten years.

In a statement shared with TshisaLIVE, the director of local entertainment channels for M-Net Shirley Adonisi confirmed that Mzansi Magic is revamping the judging panel for season 18 of Idols SA and will not be renewing Randall Abrahams and Unathi Nkayi’s contracts for the upcoming season of the popular singing show.

Randall has been a judge on Idols for 17 seasons, while Nkayi has been with the show for 10 seasons.

“We are taking a fresh approach to the judging panel to retain audiences and stay competitive in the Sunday night time slot,” she said.

“Mzansi Magic would like to thank both Randall and Unathi for their contribution to discovering new talent and launching the careers of so many. We salute these great icons of SA entertainment and thank them both for a great innings on Idols.

“Randall and Unathi have demonstrated high levels of professionalism and made an impact on the SA entertainment scene that will continue to be felt for some time to come. We wish them well in their endeavours.”

Mzansi Magic is yet to unveil the new judging panel for season 18 of Idols SA. Meanwhile, Unathi penned a heart-warming post of gratitude on Saturday recalling her journey on the show and sent well wishes to the next mystery judge joining the panel.

“Thank you for your love SA and our beautiful continent of Africa. Please allow me to honour you. You have been kind, loving and deeply invested. Truly the real energy and heartbeat of a wonderful wave of hope and dreams coming true on Idols and as you do that, you have made my dreams come true too,” she wrote.

Read the full post below:

“To every contestant who stood in front of us. From the ones brave enough to share with us their hopes. I don’t take lightly the act of doing that for the world to see. An honour I will always hold. Thank you for trusting me as one of your judges. To those who unleashed a new level of my tears, heavily pregnant with Baby Idols garnering for Wooden Mic, thank you for the laughter and joy.

I can never thank you enough Anneke, for making that call asking me to join the Idols family. Gav and Prozza thank you for trusting me with such a great responsibility. One that would form part of the narrative and soundtrack of our souls as a people. You changed my life and that of my family.

To MultiChoice, how humbling that you continue to make every boy and girl believe in themselves no matter which corner they come from, including me. To every special being who has given to the brilliance of the show. 

It has been a true honour being part of the family. And to the new members of our family. Good luck.

Thank you to each and every one of you for pushing me to be the very best version of my self every Sunday for eleven years.”

Idols SA host Proverb took to his timeline announcing that the SA Idols season 18 online auditions would be open at midnight on  January 23 and close on February 5, 2022.