Who was Nelli Tembe, the woman

Nelli Tembe pictured in KwaZulu-Natal. Image via Instagram @akaworldwide

Who was Nelli Tembe, the woman behind AKA? Six things you didn’t know

From being a chef to being related to actress Nondumiso Tembe, here are six things you didn’t know about Nelli Tembe.

Who was Nelli Tembe, the woman

Nelli Tembe pictured in KwaZulu-Natal. Image via Instagram @akaworldwide

Rapper AKA’s fianceé, Anele “Nelli” Tembe, plunged to her death from the 10th floor of the Pepper Club Hotel, in Cape Town, during the early hours of Sunday 11 April. 

Her death is currently under investigation, rumours are circulating on social media that she suffered from depression and allegedly tried to commit suicide before.

The 22-year-old wasn’t one to put her private life on display and kept her social media accounts private. So who was Nelli Tembe apart from being the famous rapper’s fianceé? The South African has a look.  

Six things you didn’t know about Nelli Tembe:


Tembe is the daughter of Moses Tembe, a well-known Durban businessman. He is the director of the International Conference Centre, co-chairman of the KZN Growth Coalition, and the director of the Mazibuye Foundation. 


The 22-year-old was a foodie and a chef. She studied at the Jackie Cameron School of Food and Wine for 18 months during 2018 and 2019.

“I loved our many in-depth chats. I loved the way you extended yourself. I loved that you had a deep desire to impress,” wrote Jackie Cameron on Instagram.

“I loved that you worked hard. I loved that you never quit. You pushed hard when most people would have given up. From never having mopped a floor properly, to leaving my school as an absolute professional at high pressure-hosing, you took it all on with open arms,” she continued. 



Although she shied away from the spotlight, AKA certainly did not keep her low-key. In several of his posts, his fianceé was seen modelling his Bhovamania merchandise.



Tembe was described as a “stylish woman with a passion for food who loved her family”, according to Drum. In the glimpse the world got of her since she and AKA started dating, her fashion sense was evident. 


Tembe was related to Generations actress Nondumiso Tembe who took to Instagram to share a heartfelt post about her cousin’s tragic death. 

“I’m speechless – Words fail me right now. We will hold you in our hearts forever. Sleep well, our flower ????,” read the caption when translated to English.

“Thank you so much to everyone who has sent kind words of comfort for our family, thank you very much,” she added. 


In 2020, AKA released Finessin’ and her voice can be heard in the intro of the song. AKA often referred to her as a “lioness” and that’s what she says at the beginning. 

He also dedicated Cross My Heart to his fianceé.

ALSO READ: A tragic love story: Timeline of AKA, Nellie Tembe’s romance [photos]