The woman Nathi mar­ried

Sowetan - - FRONT PAGE - Les­ley Mo­fo­keng En­ter­tain­ment Edi­tor mo­fo­kengl@sowe­

MPHO Maroane Let­labika is the woman who has claimed the heart of South Africa’s best-sell­ing crooner Nathi Mankayi.

The no­to­ri­ously pri­vate Mankayi re­luc­tantly con­firmed to Sowetan last week that he got mar­ried to a woman “from Kimberley” in May. He had a wed­ding band on.

Sowetan can re­veal to­day that Mpho (who now uses Mankayi’s sur­name) is a 23-yearold mu­si­cian who is ac­tu­ally from Post­mans­burg in North­ern Cape. She is now based in Jo­han­nes­burg and has ma­tric­u­lated at Park­lands High School.

The stun­ner took part in the sing­ing ta­lent con­test show Idols SA last year but didn’t go far. She recorded a CD ti­tled Yes, Lord.

The cou­ple met last year, just be­fore Nathi re­leased his de­but al­bum, Buyelekhay­a.

Mpho is also a back­ing vo­cal­ist for Nathi, as well as Vusi Nova. She has backed gospel acts Prophet Neyi Zimu and Omega Khu­nou.

Nathi fa­mously sang about his search for a woman in the hit song Nomvula from

Buyelekhay­a that turned him into an overnight sen­sa­tion. He has al­ways re­fused to di­vulge de­tails of his pri­vate life, in­clud­ing the de­tails of his wed­ding, which has been kept hush-hush un­til now.

In his new­est al­bum, Um­bulelo Wam, the ob­vi­ously smit­ten Nathi sings a lot about love and com­mit­ment and waxes lyri­cal play­ing with Xhosa id­ioms, even bor­row­ing words from Mbon­geni Ngema’s Stimela sase Zola.

At­tempts to speak to Mpho failed and Nathi and his rep­re­sen­ta­tives at Mutha­land Records de­clined to com­ment.

Nathi and his wife Mpho Maroane Let­labika

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