Idols SA judge Unathi Nkayi has apologized for her remarks about Xhosa people being “tired of holding up the nation”, telling her followers that she was wrong and shouldn’t have made the joke.
Unathi faced the Twitter terminating squad on Sunday after she made the remarks on live TV.
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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 named several achievements by SA icons, including on-screen characters John Kani and Atandwa Kani, Miss SA Zozibini Tunzi, Springbok chief Siya Kolisi and herself, before including Luyolo on the rundown.
“We are finally happy that we have someone from the Eastern Cape in the finale,” she added.
— #humanDignity (@angie43639902) November 10, 2019
Her remarks went viral, with many blaming her for tribalism and “isolating the nation”.
Others took steps to blacklist the show if Unathi didn’t apologize.
She at first reacted on Instagram to a fan, saying: “I hear you sthandwa. I was accused of favoring Sneziey too. Comes with the job. Just vote Qha,” she wrote.
In any case, as her name shot up the Twitter patterns list, Unathi took to social media to clarify that she was just attempting to carry on a joke that had been“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 said she wasn’t right to do as such and apologized to the individuals who were annoyed.
Meanwhile, social media was filled with reactions.
Hayi sani naye Unathi is dividing icountry now worse we were doing well kanjani 😏 pic.twitter.com/hXQZVcNZgu
— Okuhle (@just_Okuhle) November 10, 2019
“IF” you hurt our feeling? @Unathi_Africa I 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) November 10, 2019
As the Xhosa delegation, we are distancing ourselves from the words spoken by Unathi. Luyolo has worked extremely hard to get to where he is today. He does not deserve to be punished for Unathi’s ignorance. Do the right thing, vote Luyolo for clear skin. pic.twitter.com/aCxUifelIE
— FlawlesslyXhosa (@premium_xh) November 10, 2019
People are now gonna vote for Sneziey not because they love her but because of that comment khona bezolaya amaxhosa#TeamLuyolo please let’s take the boy to the top and ignore the comment. #unathi pic.twitter.com/Egcrj0trXR
— Siyethemba (@Siyethemba5) November 10, 2019
— Idols South Africa (@IdolsSA) November 10, 2019
@Unathi_Kwaza you have let us down as the Nation, you must resign or take 2years leave from #IdolsSA or we will be forced to use #UnathiMustFall . We have enough Tribalist’s in RSA including you @Unathi_Kwaza
— SABELO SIGUDU KUBEKA (@SabeloSigudu) November 10, 2019
— Mongezi Adoons (@_amorh) November 10, 2019
— Nombuso Lusenga (@nombusongl) November 10, 2019