Nadia Nakai Biography: Here Is Everything You Need To Know About The 40 Bars Rapper

She's not ten, she's top one

By  | Oct 25, 2021, 06:19 PM  | Nadia Nakai  | Top of The

Image of Nadia - Nadia Nakai Biography
Nadia Nakai’s is one of the “baddest” female rappers in Africa. 

The Naaa Mean hitmaker worked in advertising before leaving to focus on her music full-time.
Her degree in Marketing, Communication, and Media Studies has no doubt helped her create a brand that is loved by both men and women.

With over one million followers on Instagram, Nadia Nakai built a huge fan base before dropping her first solo studio album. 

Nadia Nakai Naked Album

Her hard work is really paying off and the fans are loving it. 

Her debut album, Nadia Naked, was released in June 2019 and earned her recognition as one of the best female MC's in the country. More than a year later, she teased the release of her much-anticipated second album, Nadia Naked II.

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Well, as promised, Nadia Naked II finally dropped and immediately trended at number 1 in the early hours of the morning. The album is certified banger and could be her best work so far, she features some of the best rappers in Mzansi. The likes of Kwesta, Kuli Chana, Lady Zamar, Tshego and Vic Mensa an American rapper, singer and record producer from Chicago. He is currently signed under Jay Z's Roc Nation.

Fans loved her album and already labelled her as the best female rapper in Africa. This makes it her second successful album in her music career, with countless different fans having their own favourite tracks.

Congratulations Nakai!!!

Nadia Nakai Real Name

Nadia Nakai’s real name is, well, a bit complicated. She was born Nadia Nakai Dlamini. When she was 16, she changed her surname to Kandava, which is her mother’s maiden name. Her legal name is now Nadia Nakai Kandava. 

Nadia’s middle name, Nakai, causes a bit of confusion for her South African fans. It’s a popular girl’s name in Zimbabwe and many of her fans in Mzansi had not heard of the name until Nadia came along. Nakai means “be beautiful” in Shona.

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Nadia is also known as Bragga, which is the title of her 2016 EP.  She got the inspiration for the name from a character in one of the Fast & Furious movies.

Nadia Nakai Age 

Nadia was born on May 18, 1990. The 31-year-old has achieved a lot at a young age, and she has big plans for her future. She hopes to one day fill up the Dome like her mentor Cassper Nyovest.

Nadia Nakai Parents

Nadia Nakai’s parents are no longer believed to be together. Her father is a South African and her mother is Zimbabwean. Little is known about her father, but Nadia often speaks about her mother in interviews.

She grew up with her mother, who had a big influence on her taste in music as a child. Nadia’s mother was a fan of Sade, Erykah Badu, Seal and UB40. The Money Back hitmaker’s love for rap music developed when she attended high school in Kenya. She met a female rapper named Nazizi who inspired her to rap.

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We guess you could say her mother helped build her music foundation and Nazizi helped her find her passion.

Nadia Nakai Music Career

Nadia burst onto the music scene in the early 2000s. She appeared on’s hip-hop show, Shiz Niz,   and became the first female rapper to win the show’s Mixtape 101 competition.

She released her debut single, Like Me, in 2013 under Sid Records – a label owned by fellow musician Psyfo (now known as Sidwell).

Nadia released two more songs under the label before signing with  Cassper Nyovest’s Family Tree. Cassper helped Nadia drop her biggest hit to date, Naaa Mean in 2017. 

She has collaborated with artists such as Riky Rick, Gemini Major and Ice Prince. 

Six years after releasing her first single, Nadia finally dropped her highly anticipated debut album, Nadia Naked in June 2019.

The offering features some of the biggest names in Africa including Khuli Chana, Ycee, Lady Zamar, Tshego, Sio and of course Casper Nyovest.

English rapper Stefflon Don also makes an appearance.

Nadia is often compared to Lil Kim and Nicki Minaj but she is adamant that she is not trying to imitate the American rappers, and instead is forging her own unique path in the industry.

In 2021, she parted ways with Cassper's label Family Tree. The decision came after a lot of deliberation, as Nadia decided to go her own way, do her own thing. She revealed that she intends to launch her own label, and Cassper was okay with it.  

Nadia Nakai Film and TV 

In addition to her music career, Nadia is a voice-over artist and TV presenter.  Nadia hosted the 2018 MTV Europe Music Awards red carpet. She is also a co-host on Yo! MTV Raps Africa.

In 2020, she had a documentary on Channel O and Showmax Online, titled Nadia Naked. The film showed behind-the-scenes footage of the making of her debut album by the same name.

In June 2021, she announced that she would be in an upcoming Netflix SA reality TV show titled 'Young, Famous and African'. The show is set to feature other African acts including Khanyi Mbau, Tanzania's Diamond Platnumz, Uganda's Zari The Bosslady, and Nigeria's 2Baba.

Nadia Nakai Boyfriend

Nadia Nakai’s close relationship with Cassper Nyovest led some to believe he is her boyfriend. But she described the rapper as “family” and nothing more.
Nadia was most recently linked to Major League’s Bandile Mbere. The couple confirmed they were dating in early 2018 but by early 2019 they had gone their separate ways. More Drugs, one of the songs on her debut album, was inspired by her heartache over the breakup.

Nadia poured her energy into the album after their split and has seemingly had little to no time for dating.

Nadia begun to look very cozy with rapper Vic Mensa, leading many to speculate they were dating.

In May, she posted a photo that basically confirmed everybody's suspicions, even though her caption didn't state it explicitly.

However, as of October, Mensa shared an intimate photo with someone else on his own Instagram, further confusing fans. South Africans were not pleased, pouring into his comments to question what they felt was a betrayal.

As of now, neither of them has addressed either allegations directly. 

Nadia Nakai Husband

Some of Nadia's fans are convinced she is married. But Nadia does not have a husband and has never been married. 

Nadia Nakai Car

"Spent a milli on my bus and my Audi," Nadia raps on Naaa Mean. Like most entertainers, Nadia has spent her hard-earned cash on fancy cars. She bought herself a white Audi A3 as a Valentine’s Day gift to herself in 2017.

Nadia also owns a mini-tour bus to make getting from gig to gig a whole lot easier.  

Nadia Nakai Net Worth

While some publications claim Nadia Nakai’s net worth is around R11.8 million, it’s unclear how much the star is worth. But between her rap career, her work as a social media influencer and several endorsement deals, including Reebok and Redbat, Nadia is worth a pretty penny.

Nadia Nakai No Makeup  

Nadia Nakai made headlines in 2018 when a picture of her with no makeup went viral. The image was taken during a Valentine’s Day spa with her then boyfriend, Bandile. Twitter users were shocked to see her without makeup and called her ugly names. 

But Nadia put her haters in their place. “I’m not embarrassed when I don’t have makeup on… Women should feel comfortable in showing their true beauty, bare faced and all,” she wrote on Instagram.

Nadia Nakai Controversy 

Although she is relatively lowkey, even Nadia has had her fair share of drama. In 2021, she got dragged into the long-running beef between Cassper Nyovest and AKA. It was revealed that she was the reason the two started beefing.

Apparently, AKA's decision to leave her out of the remix of Baddest in 2015 had been perceived as malicious by both Nadia and Cassper. This led Cassper to take an active interest in Nadia's career, and is part of the reason that he doesn't like AKA to date.

Nadia also got dragged for homophobic tweets. In the wake of Boity Thulo's homophobic tweets surfacing, Tweeps also dug up Nadia's tweets from 2010 that were homophobic.

She defended herself saying she was younger then, but many fans were unimpressed with her "apology".

However, it seems like the extensive dragging had no effect, as Nadia did not respond any further.

Nadia also trended for going off on South African men. In a Twitter rant, the rapper had a lot to say about men who manipulate women and treat them poorly. She detailed a story about her friend being abused in a club, saying that South African men are "so hectic". Although she didn't clarify whether she was referring to any personal experience, her comments struck a chord with social media users.

Read more about it here.

Nadia Nakai’s outfits sometimes get more attention than her music. The rapper is known to wear racy outfits, which often reveal a whole lot of skin. All hell broke loose in June 2019 when she wore a skaneskin leotard during her Castle Lite Unlocks performance. “I can't be the only one who thinks Nadia Nakai is using her booty to stay relevant,” one Twitter user wrote.
Cassper Nyovest came to her defence on Twitter.

“Why is it that Ya'll always on Nadia's Case about how she dresses? Who are you to tell a woman how to dress? It's her body!!!!  Let the poor girl enjoy her body!!!! This has to stop,” he tweeted.

Nadia Brand Endorsements

Nadia has been slowly but steadily securing brand endorsements. Currently, she works with Hunters campaigning for the new cider. She also worked with Reebok x Victoria Beckham to launch their new collection in 2020. Her latest deal was when she signed on as a brand ambassador for Russian Bear SA, just this year.
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