Unathi Under Fire For Xhosa Joke On Idols SA

Unathi has since apologised over the joke.

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Unathi Nkayi has come under fire for advancing a joke about the Xhosa nation being tired of “holding the country on their backs.”

The joke, which first emerged after the Springboks won the World Cup under captain Siya Kolisi’s leadership, caused a stir when the Idols South Africa judge enacted it on Sunday night’s episode of the singing competition.

Two weeks ago, Kolisi became the first black captain to see the national rugby side bring the World Cup trophy home. And along with being celebrated for this milestone, some took it a step further to bring up the fact he is also Xhosa.

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So when Unathi sang Luyolo’s praises following the delivery of a stellar performance on the show, she went on toss out one for the culture. Except, it appears, the timing, platform and context in which the comment landed has proven to have been inappropriate.

Viewers have taken to social media to lambast Nkayi’s choice of words as they fear her joke could potentially inspire voting along tribal lines, a political landscape to which serious historical tragedies attend.

If the judge’s comments do indeed hold enough power to influence the direction of the votes, as suggested by some, the credibility of the votes could be questioned.

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Aware of how her remarks could trigger a furore, Unathi immediately apologised during Sunday night’s show and clarified that she had just been joking.

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