Nathi Mankayi is a South African singer and guitarist. Growing up in the Eastern Cape surrounded by poverty and a lack of opportunities, Nathi and his five siblings were raised by a single mother who worked as a street hawker. The journey Nathi has travelled hasn’t been an easy one. His story is one of persistence and eventually the realization that hard work and perseverance pays off.
His dreams of going to an arts school were shattered in 2002 when he was involved in an armed robbery. He was arrested and served three years behind bars. On the day he left prison, he promised himself to focus on his music. He nurtured his artistic skills over the years and in 2011 entered the Dare to Dream competition, which was supported by the Elundini Municipality. In 2012 he entered again, winning the first prize.
In November 2014 singer Vusi Nova invited him to Johannesburg to feature on his song 'Noma Kanjani'. In 2015 Nathi's debut album 'Buyelekhaya' went platinum within six weeks of its release and has to date sold well over 125 000 copies, almost unheard of in today's industry. The album's success is driven by the smash hit 'Nomvula', a melancholy message of searching for one's true love, and one of the biggest songs of 2015 in South Africa. In December that year he was invited to perform at the first BET Experience Africa festival in Johannesburg alongside international stars like Maxwell, Tamar Braxton, Diamond Platnumz, Young Thug and AKA - a highlight in his young career.
He is presently signed under Ghetto Ruff/Muthaland Entertainment, a South African independent record label.