Nadia Nakai
on a preview of MTV Shuga Down South in 2019
on a preview of MTV Shuga Down South in 2019
Background information
Birth nameNadia Nakai Kandava
Born (1990-05-18) 18 May 1990 (age 30)
South Africa[1]
Years active2011-present
Associated acts

Nadia Nakai Kandava (born 18 May 1990) is a South African rapper and songwriter.[2]

Early beginnings

Nakai was born in South Africa.[1] Her father is South African and her mother is Zimbabwean.[3] She studied Marketing, Communication, and Media Studies at Monash University, Johannesburg.[1]


2013–2017: Beginnings and Bragga

Nakai made her first television appearance on the hip hop show Shiz Niz where she won the Mixtape 101 competition, making her the first female to win the competition. She then rose to prominence in September 2013, when she released her debut single Like Me[4]. The following year, she was featured on the remix of Riky Rick song, Amantombazane amongst various acts.[5] As for June 2015, Nakai released her third single Saka Wena featuring rapper Ice Prince, following her second single, Whatever featuring DotCom and Psyfo.[6]

On August 2016, Nakai pre-released her single The Man featuring Cassper Nyovest from her then upcoming EP, Bragga.[7] was then released on September 15, 2016. In November 2017, Nakai released her critically acclaimed single Naaa Meaan featuring Cassper Nyovest.[8] The song topped charts in several radio stations in South Africa. On November 4, 2016, she hosted the red carpet special for MTV Africa at the 2018 MTV Europe Music Awards.[9]

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2017–present: Nadia Naked

Nakai is currently[when?] the co-host of MTV Base hip hop show, Yo! MTV Raps South Africa alongside television presenter Siyabonga Ngwekazi.[10] On May 3, 2019, Nakai confirmed that her debut album Nadia Naked would be released on June 28, 2019.[11] On May 18, 2019, "Imma Boss" was released as the lead single accompanied by the album's artwork cover.[12]


Nakai was inspired by a Kenyan rapper, Nazizi, who she met while she was staying in Kenya. She said that Nazizi influenced her in starting her rapping career.[13]

Awards and nominations

Year Nominee / work Award Result
15th Metro FM Music Awards Baddest (Remix) (feat. Fifi Cooper, Rouge (Rapper), Nadia Nakai & Gigi LaMayne Best Remix Nominated
15th Metro FM Music Awards Do I Like I Do (Remix) (DJ Sliqe feat. Riky Rick, Reason, L-Tido, Kwesta, Nadia Nakai & Flabba Best Remix Nominated
24th South African Music Awards Naa Meaan (feat. Cassper Nyovest) Music Video Of The Year Nominated
Zimbabwe Music Awards 2018 Herself Artist Of The Year Won
South African Hip Hop Awards 2019 Herself Best Female Won
Nadia Naked Album of the Year Nominated
Herself MVP/Hustler Of The Year Nominated
All African Music Awards 2019 Nadia Naked Album Of The Year in Southern Africa Nominated
Imma Boss Best Female Artiste in Southern Africa Won
Herself Best Artiste, Duo or Group in African Hip Hop Won


Studio Album

Studio album
Title Extended play details
Nadia Naked
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Extended Play

Extended play
Title Extended play details


As lead artist

List of singles, showing year released and album name
Title Year Album
"Like Me" 2013
(featuring DotCom and Psyfo)
"Saka Wena"
(featuring Ice Prince)[14]
"Money Back" 2016
"The Man"
(featuring Cassper Nyovest)
"Don't Cut It"
(featuring Gemini Major and Tshego)
"Naaa Meaan"
(featuring Cassper Nyovest)
2017 Nadia Naked
"Money Calling"
(with Frank Casino)
"Yass Bitch" Nadia Naked
"Imma Boss" 2019
(featuring Kwesta & Sio)
"40 Bars"
(featuring Emtee & DJ Capital)
2020 Nadia Naked (Deluxe)

As featured artist

List of featured singles, showing year released and album name
Title Year Album
"Amantombazane Remix"
(Riky Rick featuring Okmalumkoolkat, Maggz, Kwesta, Ginger Breadman, Kid X, Nadia Nakai and DJ Dimplez)[15]
2014 RiSA: Gold
"Do Like I Do Remix"
(DJ Sliqe featuring Riky Rick, L-Tido, Kwesta, Reason, Flabba and Nadia Nakai)
2015 Injayam, Vol. 1
"Sugar Free"
(Tumi featuring Nadia Nakai)
"Ragga Ragga"
(Gemini Major featuring Cassper Nyovest, Nadia Nakai, Riky Rick and Major League)
(DJ Milkshake featuring Da L.E.S,Maggz and Nadia Nakai)
(Spectacular and DJ Naves featuring Floda, Nadia Nakai and DJ Tira)
Isaga Lam
(Miss Pru DJ featuring LaSauce, Gigi Lamayne, Nadia Nakai and Londie London)
Uh Huh
(Priddy Ugly featuring Nadia Nakai)


External links

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