Mthembeni Ndevu, widely recognized by his stage name Emtee, is a highly accomplished South African rapper, music producer, singer, and songwriter. Specializing in the Rap genre, Emtee adeptly delivers his music in both English and his local dialect. He gained significant fame for his breakthrough hit single titled "Roll Up." Initially affiliated with Ambitiouz Entertainment, Emtee later departed from the record label to embark on his journey, establishing his own record label.

His debut album was heralded by two impactful singles: "Roll Up" and "We Up." Following this success, he released his second studio album, Manando, in 2017, a poignant homage to his late high school friend. Subsequently, Emtee unveiled his third album, DIY 2, in 2018, marking a new chapter after parting ways with his previous record label. He took charge by founding his own record label, Emtee Records.

In 2021, Emtee presented his third studio album, Logan, which not only debuted at number 1 in South Africa but also showcased his ongoing musical prowess. Anticipation is now building for his much-awaited album, DIY3, slated for release in 2024. This album stands as the third installment in his DIY projects, with the initial project being DIY 1. 

Early life

Mthembeni Ndevu, born to Elias and Anna in the mid-sized town of Matatiele in the Eastern Cape, South Africa, on September 17, 1992, grew up in Soweto, a significant township in Gauteng. The family later relocated to Rockville in South Africa, where he spent the majority of his life, residing in the Gauteng province. Emtee's early connection with music traces back to his high school years, where he discovered a passion for rap and made the decision to pursue it.

After leaving Matatiele, Emtee attended Yeoville Primary School. Despite facing academic challenges, he chose not to repeat his finals and managed to pass, although the results were not sufficient for college admission. Emtee's journey into music began during his primary school days when, at the age of 9, he took the stage for a performance.


Emtee remained dedicated to his music during his late teen years, choosing not to repeat his final year in school, even though his pass wasn't sufficient for entry into major universities in South Africa.

In 2010, Emtee joined forces with South African rapper Maraza for a collaboration titled "In It To Win It," showcasing their talent on Channel O's show HeadRush. Before venturing into his solo career, Emtee was a member of the rap trio African Trap Movement, along with fellow South African rappers Sjava, Saudi, and their producer Ruff. The group gained recognition and was later signed by Ambitiouz Entertainment.

In early 2015, Emtee's friend and producer, Ruff, crafted the beat for what would become his debut single, "Roll Up." Emtee disclosed that the entire track was recorded and finalized in just two hours. "Roll Up" gained significant radio play in Southern Africa and topped DJ Speedsta's hip-hop chart on YFM. The official re-release of the single, titled "Roll Up Re-Up," featured collaborations with Wizkid and South African rapper AKA. Emtee acknowledged AKA's support and mentorship, crediting him for believing in his talent and contributing to his achievements and success. He noted that the recording of "Roll Up" was done under a tight schedule as his team was wrapping up work on his debut album.

At the 22nd South African Music Awards, Emtee received five nominations, securing victories in two significant categories. He won the Rap Album of The Year award for "Avery" and Song of the Year for his hit single "Roll Up." This success continued at the 2015 South African Hip Hop Awards, where Emtee clinched his second Song of the Year award for "Roll Up." Notably, "Roll Up" competed in a category featuring two South African gold-selling artists and Khuli Chana, each with at least two appearances.

On December 4, 2015, Emtee's debut album, "Avery," was officially released on iTunes and available in local music retailers. By the latter part of 2015, Emtee had become the third most played South African hip-hop artist and ranked 10th among the most played artists overall.

In August 2019, amid controversy, Emtee announced his departure from Ambitiouz Entertainment, his former label. Subsequently, in September 2019, he established his own record label, Emtee Records, operating under his company African Trap Movement. In November of the same year, Emtee revealed plans to release a new EP in 2020.

On January 21, 2020, Emtee took to Twitter to announce his work on his fourth studio album, "DIY 3," slated for release in 2020. This album would follow his third album, "DIY 2." Keeping the momentum, Emtee dropped a new single titled "Johustleburg" on May 8, 2020. The track, first teased during Emtee's "hit battle" with fellow rapper Nasty C in April 2020, marked his third single release of the year, following "Wave" and "Brand New Day."

In the early days of February 2021, Emtee unveiled his single "iThemba," which quickly claimed the top spot in South Africa upon its debut.

Moving forward, on April 9, 2021, his highly anticipated fourth studio album, "Logan," made its official release in South Africa. The album gained notable recognition, earning a nomination for Album of the Year at the 2021 South African Hip Hop Awards. Additionally, Emtee himself received a prestigious nomination for Artist of the Decade, marking his significant impact on the South African music scene over the past ten years.

Personal Life

Emtee shares a familial bond with his childhood girlfriend turned wife, Nicole Chinsamy. The couple, who tied the knot in 2019, is blessed with two sons and a daughter. 

Emtee's relationship with Nicole began with the birth of their first child, Avery, in 2015. The rapper, expressing his love and connection, named his inaugural album after their son. Nicole faced a surprising second pregnancy while still in school, leading to the birth of Logan in 2018. Despite the challenges, Nicole successfully completed her studies in 2019, showcasing her determination.

Emtee's desire to marry Nicole was evident, but he respected her decision to finish school and initiate a business before tying the knot. In 2019, however, the couple faced external challenges when Emtee's parents accused Nicole of being a gold-digger in a newspaper interview. Emtee's parents were against their son marrying the mother of his children, claiming she influenced him to abandon Venda culture. They cited instances where Emtee did not adhere to cultural rituals and allowed Nicole to give their children Xhosa names.

Further complexities arose when Emtee's father asserted that a verbal altercation occurred between Emtee's mother and Nicole's mother during a party thrown for Nicole's second child. Despite external challenges, Emtee and Nicole continue to navigate their journey together, building a family and facing the highs and lows with resilience.

Tensions escalate between Emtee's and Nicole's families when a heated argument reportedly erupted. Nicole's mother accused Emtee's mother of spreading rumors and instructed them never to visit her home due to allegations that Emtee's mother claimed she had consumed Emtee's money. The disagreement created a strained atmosphere between the two families.

In November 2021, Nicole took to Instagram to address accusations of being abusive towards Emtee, vehemently denying the claims. She asserted that the accusations made by Emtee's parents in 2019 were unfounded, emphasizing her love for Emtee as the father of their children.

In 2023, the family welcomed their daughter, Nairobi.

In a separate incident in 2017, Emtee found himself issuing a public apology to his fans after accidentally exposing himself on Instagram Live. The mishap occurred when he flushed the toilet after urinating and inadvertently revealed his private parts while holding his phone with the same hand. In a quick attempt to rectify the situation, the rapper zoomed the camera back to his face, expressing his hope that viewers had not seen the unintentional exposure. Unfortunately, screenshots were taken and circulated online, causing a stir among his audience.

In June 2022, a video of Emtee falling from the stage during a performance went viral, sparking speculation among viewers. Some assumed he might be intoxicated, while others considered the possibility of exhaustion. The incident garnered mixed reactions online, with some users making light-hearted comments, and others expressing sympathy for the rapper.

Emtee later addressed the situation, clarifying that he was not under the influence of drugs but, in fact, was simply fatigued. The clarification aimed to dispel any misconceptions surrounding the incident and provided context for his unexpected fall during the performance.


Studio Albums


2017: Manando

2018: DIY2

2019: DIY3

2021: Logan

Extended  Plays

2015: DIY


"Roll Up" (2015)

"Pearl Thusi" (2015)

"Roll Up (Re-Up)" featuring Wizkid & AKA (2015)

"Couldn't" (A-Reece featuring Emtee) (2016)

"Amamenemene" (2016)

"My People" (2016)

"Ngeke" featuring Fifi Cooper (2016)

"We Up" (2016)

"Winning" featuring Nasty C (2017)

"Ghetto Hero" (2017)

"Corner Store" (2017)

"My Way" featuring Sims (2017)

"Me and You" featuring Tiwa Savage (2017)

"My Enemies" (2017)

"Manando" (2017)

"Plug" (2018)

"Thank You" (2018)

"Lesson" (2018)

"Smogolo" featuring Snaayman (2019)

"Wave" (2020)

"Brand New Day" featuring Lolli (2020)

"Real In The State" featuring Rich The Kid (TBA)

"Johustleburg" (2020)


South African Hip Hop Awards 2015:

Song of the year

Metro FM Music Awards, 2016:

Best Music Video

Best Remix

Best Hip Hop Album

Best New Artist (Nominated)

Listeners Choice Award

22nd South African Music Awards, 2016:

Album of the Year (Nominated)

Male Artist of the Year (Nominated)

Newcomer of the Year (Nominated)

Best Rap Album

Amstel Record of the Year

2016 BET Awards Viewers’ Choice:

Best New International Act (Nominated)

2017 AFRIMA Awards:

Best male artiste in South Africa (Nominated)

2019 SAMA Awards:

Best Hip Hop Album (Nominated)

2022 Global Music Awards Africa:

Hip Hop Artist