‘This thing doesn’t give you a chance’: Nathi’s song of sorrow following his parents’ death

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in mourning Nathi lost both his parents recently Picture: iStock/Gallo Images
in mourning Nathi lost both his parents recently Picture: iStock/Gallo Images


Singer Nathi Mankayi reached out to #Trending to share the news of his parents’ passing and to issue a stern warning to his fans.

“It [the Covid-19 coronavirus] is really strong and people should take care of themselves in these times. It is dangerous and it is here,” the singer from Mthatha in the Eastern Cape said.

Both his parents passed away this month – a week apart – from Covid-19 complications.

“It’s a terrible thing to see someone who was full of life, sick and then dying from this Covid-19. The way I see things, it [coronavirus] doesn’t give you a chance.”

The 38-year-old recounted the death of his mother, Nothembile.

“With my mum we were called in the morning and told she was shaking and that she was having difficulty breathing. This was at maybe 7am and around 10am, we got another call saying she was gone. You see how short the time was.”

He said he will remember his parents for their devotion to God and the church.

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His voice breaking slightly, he explained: “My mother always told me that you have two hands that you are more than capable of doing something with. Nobody else will do it for you. I latched on to that, and try to follow it.”

He remained upbeat about his career, despite having his plans thwarted by the global pandemic outbreak.

“This year of the lockdowns has affected us badly, especially us as artists. It ruined so many plans. Things such as going to the studio, when people really shouldn’t be in places like that, by law.”

Fans will be disappointed that there won’t be a new album from him in the new year. But Nathi said he intended working with other artists.

“I’ve already worked with a few people such as Jub Jub, Mlindo The Vocalist and Zahara. The album will probably come out the year after next.”

He would rather wait for the pandemic storm to pass before releasing a project. His first album Buyelekhaya was a resounding success. His first real hit, Nomvula, was easily the best local song in 2015. And his name was on everyone’s lips and the album was the topic of conversations, despite his past life of crime.

In 2002 Nathi was sentenced to eight years for a robbery related transgression. Music helped his rehabilitation.

That first album also saw him win six SA Music Awards, including album of the year at the 22nd edition of this prestigious show.

However, he said he did not feel the pressure of living up to his first album with his third release, following the lukewarm sophomore Umbulelo Wam in 2016.

With a solidified sincerity he said: “I made Buyelekhaya and so I can make other albums as good as that. The people will always decide if any of my work is as good. My main focus is on growing my sound. I don’t want to sound like how I sounded on Buyelekhaya. People change, we all do.”

He said he would like to strengthen his handle on the written aspects of his music and fill that with some of the changes he has experienced, since his last solo project.

“I can’t stay in one place and tell my story properly. That’s highly important to me.”


Phumlani S Langa 


+27 11 713 9001
69 Kingsway Rd, Auckland Park

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