nadia nakai

Nadia Nakai, whose real name is Nadia Nakai Kandava, is a Zimbabwean-South African rapper, songwriter, and television personality. Nakai has gained recognition for her unique style and lyrical prowess. She has released several notable songs and albums, including her debut studio album "Nadia Naked," which received positive reviews. She has also collaborated with other prominent artists in the South African music industry and has built a dedicated fan base. Nadia Nakai is also recognized for her fashion sense and has become a style icon in the entertainment industry. She continues to be a prominent figure in South African music and hip-hop culture.

Early Life and Education

Born in South Africa, Nakai was born on the 18th of May, 1990 to a South African father, and a Zimbabwean mother. Nakai's surname was changed from her father's to her mother's when she was 16 years old. Nadia Nakai's academic path commenced at Fourways High School in Johannesburg.  After a year, she left Johannesburg for Kenya where she completed her schooling.  This exposed her to diverse perspectives and cultures beyond her South African homeland. Upon her return to South Africa, Nakai pursued a degree in marketing, communication, and media studies at Monash University, Johannesburg. 


Nadia Nakai began her musical career in the early 2010s. She gained recognition in the South African music scene, and her journey as a recording artist began during this period.

Nakai's television debut was on the hip hop show Shiz Niz. She achieved a milestone by winning the Mixtape 101 competition and becoming the first female to win the competition. Her journey to fame took a significant step in September 2013 with the release of her debut single, "Like Me." The following year, she collaborated with various South African artists on the remix of Riky Rick's track, "Amantombazane." By June 2015, Nakai had released her third single, "Saka Wena," where she featured rapper Ice Prince. This release followed her second single, "Whatever," featuring DotCom and Psyfo. In August 2016, Nakai gave fans a sneak peek of her single "The Man," featuring Cassper Nyovest, from her EP called Bragga. The EP was officially released on 15 September 2016. 

Nakai continued to make waves in November 2017 with the critically acclaimed single "Naaa Meaan," featuring Cassper Nyovest. The track climbed the charts on numerous South African radio stations. Notably, on 4 November 2016, she took on the role of hosting the red carpet special for MTV Africa at the 2018 MTV Europe Music Awards. In 2019, Nakai took on the role of co-hosting the MTV Base hip hop program known as "Yo! MTV Raps South Africa", with the television presenter Siyabonga Ngwekazi. On the 3rd of May, 2019, she confirmed the release date for her debut album, "Nadia Naked", which was set for 28 June 2019. A few weeks later, on 18 May 2019, she dropped "Imma Boss" as the album's third single, complete with the artwork cover. In October 2020, Nakai treated fans to a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of "Nadia Naked" by releasing a documentary on Showmax. The documentary provided insights into the making of the album. Additionally, in May 2020, she inked a record deal with Def Jam Africa, marking a significant milestone in her career. Her achievements didn't go unnoticed. At the 6th AFRIMA ceremony, she secured the Best Female Artist award, recognizing her outstanding contributions to the music industry. She also received accolades for her sense of style, being named the most stylish performing artist at the 2020 SA Style Awards. Nakai hosted the debut season of Channel O's Gen-Z South Africa TV show in 2021. In June of the same year, she made the decision to leave Family Tree Records and create her own label. Her notable achievements in 2021 also included a nomination for Artist of the Decade at the South African Hip Hop Awards. Moving into 2022, Nakai made an appearance on the Netflix original reality series called Young, Famous & African.

Personal Life

She had been romantically involved with the now-deceased South African rapper AKA.

Musical achievement

During her musical career journey, Nakai has achieved notable success in the South African music industry. Throughout her career, Nakai has released several hit singles that have made waves in the South African music scene. Songs like "Imma Boss", "Naaa Meaan" (featuring Cassper Nyovest), "Saka Wena" (featuring Ice Prince), and "The Man" (featuring Cassper Nyovest) have gained significant attention and airplay.

In 2019, Nakai released her debut studio album, "Nadia Naked." The album received positive reviews from both fans and critics.

Nakai's contributions to the music industry have also earned her recognition and accolades. She received a nomination for Artist of the Decade at the South African Hip Hop Awards in 2021, highlighting her enduring impact on the genre. Additionally, she has been nominated for and won awards in various categories.

In May 2020, Nakai signed a record deal with Def Jam Africa, a major milestone in her career. This partnership provided her with a broader platform to expand her reach and connect with a global audience.

Nakai's collaborations with international artists, such as Ice Prince, have showcased her ability to collaborate across borders and genres, expanding her global reach.

Nakai is known for her electrifying live performances. She has graced numerous stages, captivating audiences with her stage presence and energy. Her live shows have contributed to her growing fan base.

What kind of Music does Nadia Nakai make?

Nakai is a skilled rapper, and her music often features strong and impactful rap verses. While she is rooted in hip-hop, Nakai's music is versatile. She explores different sub-genres and styles within hip-hop.