Idols SA judge Unathi Nkayi caught a lot of flak on social media after her comments about Xhosa people being “tired of holding up the nation.”
It all started on Sunday, when she congratulated contestant Luyolo Yiba on his stellar performance on the show. “On behalf of the Xhosa people, we are tired of holding up the nation,” she said, per Times Live.
She then named several achievements by SA icons, including actors John Kani and Atandwa Kani, Miss SA Zozibini Tunzi, Springbok captain Siya Kolisi and herself, before including Luyolo on the list.
“We are finally happy that we have someone from the Eastern Cape in the finale,” she added.
Her comments stirred heated reactions, with many accusing her of tribalism and “dividing the country,” with some others threatening to boycott the show if Unathi did not apologise.
She responded on Instagram to a fan, saying: “I hear you sthandwa. I was accused of favouring Sneziey too. Comes with the job. Just vote Qha,” she wrote.
However, as her name shot up the Twitter trends list, Unathi took to the social media platform to explain that she was simply trying 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 was wrong to do so and apologised to those who were offended, although she has since deleted her Instagram apology.