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Man Candy: Up Close and Personal with Cast Member of The Ultimatum SA S1, Nkateko Mahange

Affectionately known as “Kay”, SA’s national boyfriend, Nkateko Mahange has been dominating the trend lists since the premiere of popular Netflix reality show, The Ultimatum SA. Here, we uncover the layers...

A lot has been said about Nkateko who quickly became a favourite on The Ultimatum SA. We can all agree that he’s easy on the eye hence we’re here but there’s definitely a lot more to him. We sat down with him for an exclusive interview in Cape Town.

Born to a XiTsonga father and Tshivenda mother, Nkateko grew up in Makhado, Limpopo before relocating to Pretoria, Polokwane, and later Johannesburg where he is currently based. "Although many of you may not be aware, I studied at Monash South Africa University during the same years as Tems, the singer. After graduating I went into the marketing world, working with brands such as DStv, McCain, Tanqueray, Ingrain, Avis, BWE, and gained experience that influenced me into getting into business development services in the public and private sector.” Besides his professional work, he has other passions and interests such as acting, boxing, and regularly hitting the gym to break a sweat.

Image: Joey Maila

Describing himself as an ambivert who enjoys spending time with family and friends, he says, “I’m also the type of person who doesn't mind going to the movies, restaurant, participating in outdoor activities, or going on a vacation alone for some personal alone time, but two is not a crowd.” Kay comes across as respectful and there’s a calm energy about him. His aura is infectious, as a result, what started out as an interview turned into a wholesome conversation.

I'm interested in the factors that contributed to shaping him into the person he is today. “I’d like to thank God and my family for cultivating me into the man that I am today. It’s the same man that you saw on The Ultimatum SA, and it will be the same man you see in the future.” He shares that he spent a lot of time in church as a child and attributes his unwavering faith to God and his mom. Having lost his father to cancer at just 6 months old, he says his mom would encourage him to look to God for guidance. This approach has kept him firmly anchored as he navigates life’s uncertainties.

Image: Joey Maila

Glamour: Let’s talk about your journey on The Ultimatum SA…Are there any memorable moments you’d like to share?

Nkateko: My experience on The Ultimatum SA reminded me a lot about what I want and need from a woman. I acknowledge how people were so concerned for me and I want to thank everybody for the love and support I received. It shows that there are a lot of people in the world who love and care like I do.

Glamour: Are there any misconceptions you’d like to address?

Nkateko: I’d like to make it clear that I never once condoned any of the bad behaviour Khanya displayed on the show. I was taught to acknowledge where I may be at fault at any given moment. I apologised to Khanya for showing up unannounced to their Villa and how that may have escalated things. Yes, her actions were wrong but I've learnt to always self reflect and admit when I'm also at fault. This enables me to forgive and extend grace to myself and others.

Glamour: What informs your approach to romantic relationships?

Nkateko: My mom was always intentional about teaching me how to treat a woman. She always wanted to model to me how my father loved her, from teaching me to open the door for her to making sure I keep my woman in her feminine power, and reciprocate the love she gives to me.

Glamour: You recently shared that you’re no longer with Khanya. Are you single and ready to mingle? (Asking for a friend)

Nkateko: As many women already know, I am single but not quite ready to mingle. I've been focused on myself, going to therapy, and getting better. I'm sure a lot of women are wondering if I have a type and a checklist. I definitely do! First on my checklist is a a woman who has respect for herself, her partner and those around her. Secondly, to be herself and be present, thirdly, to understand my love languages as much as I try to understand hers. Lastly, to understand that she needs to be my ride or die and protect me as much as I'm willing to protect her.

Glamour: What else can we expect from Nkateko? What can your supporters look forward to?

Nkateko: I’d like to continue to focus on business as usual, acting, more reality shows, music, and going into professional and celebrity boxing and fight big household names such as Big Zulu, Cassper Nyovest, NaakMusiQ and internationally, the likes of Jake Paul. I’d also like to immerse myself in the wellness space because mental health matters. I’m excited to see what that looks like. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank my supporters for being so invested in my life and my reality that was and still is as real as I am. And I hope we continue to grow and stick together through this beautiful journey called life.


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