Most individuals in the entertainment world get their breakthrough in the most unexpected way. They are numerous stories of talent managers meeting people in the supermarket or a bar and then offering them a role. For Khanyi Mbau, however, her journey to stardom began after actress Lindiwe Chibi was shot by her boyfriend, leaving room for her to be replaced on Muvhango.
Since that time, the young girl has gone ahead to enjoy a career that can be well described as controversial, a time during which she has earned herself the nickname of ‘queen of bling’. Khanyi has further gained notoriety over the years but she is perhaps best known for her relationship with millionaire Mandla Mthembu.
Khanyi Mbau Biography
On the 15th of October, 1985 at the Florence Nightingale Hospital in Hillbrow, Johannesburg, Khanyi, whose birth name is Khanyisile Mbau, was welcomed to the world. She was born to unmarried parents; mother Lynette Sisi Mbau who worked at Barclays Bank, and father Menzi Mcunu.
Due to the demands of life, Khanyi’s mother left her young daughter in the care of her parents in Mofolo, Soweto. Her grandparents, particularly her grandmother Gladys, went on to be the one who raised her and instilled a sense of discipline and decorum in her.
Not much else is known about Khanyi Mbau’s early years and educational background. The next bit of information that became available to the public about her comes from 2005 when she was cast to play the character of Doobsie on the SABC2 soap opera Muvhango.
Her time on the show was, however, shortlived as she was fired due to the negative publicity that always seemed to be around her. The particular incident that left producers with no option but to let her go was when she reportedly traveled outside the country to the Middle East without giving notice as Muvhango was still filming.
After her stint on Muvhango ended, Khanyi Mbau joined the SABC 1 hit drama series Mzansi in 2006, playing the role of Mbali. Following the cancellation of the series, she moved to join the cast of After 9, another SABC1 drama series in 2007.
In 2011, Khanyi appeared alongside Bonang Matheba, JR, Tatum Keshwar, Dionne Song, Snotkop and Loyiso Gola in the third season of the famed reality show Tropika Island which took place in Phuket, Thailand. Her next gig after that was as a guest judge on SABC1’s Turn It Out in 2012, the same year she released her biography titled Bitch, Please! I’m Khanyi Mbau.
The following year, the actress starred in an episode of E.tv’s anthology drama series, Ekasi: Our Stories and then featured in two DStv productions; first in the Vuzu documentary, I Am, and then portraying the character of Sindisiwe Sibeko in the Mzansi Magic mini-series, Like Father Like Son.
2013 proved to be somewhat of a breakthrough year for her as she further appeared alongside Babalwa Mneno and Nonhle Thema in the e.tv reality show, Reality Check, and then launched her own talk show, Katch It With Khanyi, which was very popular and received a nomination for a South African Film and Television Award in 2015.
Other television shows Khanyi Mbua has gone ahead to appear in include e.tv’s Ashes to Ashes, SABC1’s Uzalo, Umlilo where she played a closet lesbian state prosecutor, Mzansi Love – Kasi Love, Mzansi Love – Big City Love, and Scandal.
In 2010, while going about her business as an actress and TV host, Khanyi Mbau attempted to launch a music career that did not manage to get off the ground. In 2016, after what she described as gaining respect and understanding for the craft, the Johannesburg native has opted to make a comeback, signing to Mabala Noise Entertainment and releasing the song titled Shake.
Nothing much has since been heard from her on the music front as recent reports indicate that she is no longer signed to the record label.
Details of Khanyi Mbau’s Personal Life
Khanyi Mbau’s personal life has been something of a fixture for South African tabloids since her debut in the entertainment industry. Details of her partying, plastic surgeries and relationships with millionaires have been worthy of grabbing the headlines of gossip columns.
Of all the men she has been involved with, Khanyi’s most famous relationship was with Mandla Mthembu who was about thirty years older than her when they first got together. The former Robben Island inmate turned millionaire was fifty when he married the then twenty-year-old beauty when she was four months pregnant with his child. On the 24th of December, 2006, they welcomed a daughter.
In 2009, the pair divorced and Khanyi Mbau began dating 51-year-old married millionaire, Theunis Cronus. Their relationship was, however, short-lived and over by January 2010. The next man she went on to publicly acknowledge to be her boyfriend was musician Tebogo Lerole. This surprised many as Tebogo did not fit the mold of the type of men she had gotten accustomed to dating. Their relationship is said to have begun in 2011 and it lasted for about seven years before Mbau took to social media to announce that they were going their separate ways in January 2018.