‘My top job is to protect my wife’ – Khaya Mthethwa on his marriage to Ntandoyenkosi Kunene

2018-04-27 14:52
 ~ PHOTO: Khaya Mthethwa Instagram

He recently said “I do” to one of the most beautiful women in Mzansi, he’s been made a senior pastor at his church and has just released his latest single. Life certainly is being good to Khaya Mthethwa, the winner of Idols SA in 2012.

Unlike some young stars who win the talent search competition then fade into oblivion, he’s clearly living the dream. Striding confidently into our Auckland Park offices, he notices a poster of one of our sister magazines, Your Pregnancy, hanging on the wall. He quickly whips out his cellphone to take a picture of the cover for his wife. “I’m sure she will love it,” he says. Is he trying to tell us something, we ask? “Ah no, not so soon,” he responds, laughing. “What’s the rush?”

Khaya (30) married former Miss South Africa Ntandoyenkosi Kunene (25) in December in a traditional wedding in Piet Retief, Mpumalanga. Being married has been amazing, he says. “We are living a lifetime in every minute we’re together.”

Idols’ first black winner and his beautiful bride live in Durban and married life has been a blast so far, he tells us. “I am learning new things every day. I’m hoping we build the best marriage.”

Ntandoyenkosi agreed to move from Mpumalanga to Durban, where Khaya is based, to make their lives easier and he’s super grateful. “I love her because she respects herself,” he says. “She respects people. Beyond her achievements she’s just a great person. God helped me find a wife who loves God and family. She’s a disciplined person with strong family values.” But he won’t go too much into their personal lives.

“As a husband my top job is to protect my wife. We just want to have an amazing marriage,” Khaya says. How they met and how he proposed to her is also off limits, he adds. Yet he does say they do everything together, including jointly running a family business that includes civil engineering and security branches.

They gym together and support Orlando Pirates. Everything is “very serene”, he says. “We cherry-pick each other every day.” His love life has had its fair share of ups and downs, of course. He was romantically linked to actress Nomzamo Mbatha in 2015, then to her fellow Isibaya actress Jessica Nkosi. Khaya was often cited as the reason the two are no longer friendly but he doesn’t want to be drawn into all that. “No comment; just pass on,” he says.

We go back to talking about his new ventures. Khaya is a very busy man. From television shows, to radio, his work at his church, the Umlazi Oasis Fellowship Centre and his new song, Mkhulumsebenzi, it’s been hectic.

The song features his church choir, he says. “It’s for people to realise God starts by working inside you before using you in His deeds. The song is now being played on radio stations.” It’s available on all digital sites and the music video premiered in the second week of March, he says.

“It’s very exciting. Hopefully it will make a positive impact in sharing the message.” Khaya, born and raised in Umlazi, Durban, grew up in a church environment and his father, Themba (58), was the founder of the Oasis Fellowship Centre. His childhood dream was to “fly aeroplanes around the world, but that didn’t work out”.

Khaya started preaching and worshipping at the age of 16. “That’s when I realised I wanted to be on stage – not just for music but preaching the word of God.” After finishing high school he wanted to pursue a career in music but his parents weren’t keen and he went on to study project management at Varsity College while remaining active in church as music director of the church choir. Before Idols Khaya appeared as a backing vocalist on Mthunzi Namba’s Mercy album. He was then asked to join Joyous Celebration two days prior to the live recording of Joyous Celebration 15 in 2010. In 2012 he was a backing vocalist for Ntokozo Mbambo’s Filled album, the same year he entered and won Idols.

His winning streak continued the following year when he participated in The Clash of the Choirs as part of the KwaZuluNatal choir and emerged victorious. A self-taught musician, Khaya plays keyboard, guitar, drums and percussion. He also hosts Gospel Alive on Mzansi Magic as well as Rhythm Gospel on BET and Gospel Avenue on SABC1.

As if that’s not enough, he also co-presents The Sacred Space on Metro FM. “I feel honoured by God for the opportunities and different platforms He has given me. Being talented is one thing and having an audience is another.”

Khays’s father handed over the reins of the church to his son in December. “He has been grooming me and others to build the church for the next 20 years,” he says. As a senior pastor he’s in charge of administration as well being a spiritual leader to the congregants. “It’s scary,” Khaya admits. “It needs great teamwork to assert my vision to win souls. I want people to grow in church and become the best versions of themselves.”

His father is now an apostle in the church and “acts as a mentor to us”. The church has four locations, Fourways in Joburg, Matatiele in the Eastern Cape, the University of KwaZulu-Natal and the main branch in Umlazi, Durban, with over 4 000 members. “It’s daunting to run such a huge organisation but I am privileged to serve,” Khaya says.

It hasn’t been easy juggling his career with being a pastor, he concedes. His new title comes with added responsibilities, which include attending funerals and weddings as well as heading up leadership sessions and preaching. Without the “amazing support” of his wife he doesn’t know how he would cope.

 “I’m so grateful to her,” he says. “We share the same purpose of serving people and that makes everything easy.” Despite everything he has on the go Khaya makes sure he spends time with his new wife. They love trying different foods and restaurants, and also enjoy watching movies and comedy shows. “My wife hates romantic films with a passion though. She’d rather watch action movies.” In the future Khaya, who’s an avid watcher of local soapies and dramas, would love to get his music onto shows such as The Queen. And the way things are going for this talented young guy, it could well happen soon too.