When it comes to music in South Africa, songstress Kelly Khumalo and her younger sister, Zandie Khumalo, are very much in the mix. However, they recently became the center of most tabloids’ attention, not for their music, but a very messy public feud. Kelly and Zandie Khumalo disregarded family ties to drag each other on social media.
Although the sisters were tipped over the edge by a misunderstanding between Kelly Khumalo and her sister’s husband, Mhlo Gumede, that only served to reveal the underlying animosities they bellied towards each other. The feud, which reached proportions where legal intervention was needed to appeal to both parties, has, however, ended – at least on social media – with the sisters said to have smoked the peace pipe. There have been rumors of a music collaboration on the cards and fans can’t wait to see that happen.
Are Zandie Khumalo and Kelly Khumalo Really Blood Sisters?
Kelly Khumalo and Zandie Khumalo are biological siblings born to Ntombifuthi Khumalo, who is their mother. Kelly, the older sibling, was born in Spruitview, East Rand, on November 11, 1982, which makes her 38 years old today. Zandie, on the other hand, was born several years later, on February 15, 1993 – which makes her 28 years old. The name and identity of their father is unknown, but the star siblings grew up in a music-oriented family, which ultimately rubbed off on them, especially on Kelly Khumalo, who released her debut album tilted T.K.O in 2005.
The siblings sang around the house as kids while doing their chores, and although she is not as successful in music as her elder sister, Zandie fell in love with music at that time. She would carve a career for herself in the music industry after she served as manager to her sister, Kelly Khumalo (whose music career had taken off at that point) – a task she undertook until 2017. Today, both sisters have several albums to their name.
The Khumalo sisters grew up as a very tight unit and had always enjoyed a healthy relationship, going out and appearing at events together – with pictures of their time together littered all over their social media platforms. However, as close as a family could be, unexpected events, if not well handled, could drive a wedge between them, eliminating every trace of the love and warmth they once shared.
Exploring the Details of their Messy Public Feud
While Kelly Khumalo is single at the time of this writing, Zandie, her younger sister, is happily married to Mhlo Hloni Gumede, who formerly worked with Mbala Noise as their communications manager. They got married on October 1, 2016, at Mgangeni in KwaZulu-Natal. Mhlo, as part of the family, was accused of defrauding unsuspecting event planners who contacted and paid him to book Kelly Khumalo for their events, which Kelly was not aware of.
However, when Bhekani Ndlovu, an event organizer, and owner of Gesh Lounge and Entertainment, laid the same allegations on Mhlo, Kelly had had enough and accused her brother-in-law of using her name to scam people. The SA award-winning vocalist made it clear that she and her team are not aware of any bookings that demanded her appearance to perform with Vusi Nova at Gesh Lounge and Entertainment on November 16, 2019.
She went further to say that anyone making such an arrangement with Gumede is doing so at their own expense as her brother-in-law was not part of her team. The Asine crooner went a step further by putting out a statement on her Instagram account, denouncing any involvement in the said booking.
With the unfortunate incident playing out in public space, it was escalated by the media, and with Kelly Khumalo openly denying any involvement in the said scam, Mhlo Gumede got battered by several news headlines – which Zandie Khumalo did not take a liking to.
Zandie ‘Divorced’ Kelly Khumalo – Was it Legally Binding?
In reacting to the event, Zandie chose the side of her husband and announced a ‘divorce’ from her sister, Kelly. In her statement on Instagram (which has now been removed from the social media platform), the Soze crooner revealed that there were underlying issues between the Khumalo sisters, and the scam allegation was the boiling point.
She said Kelly had always wanted to be better than everyone else and had never wished her (Zandie) well. She always detailed all she had gone through for her sister, including becoming an accessory in a murder case.
Zandie went on to muddy the water by further opening up several secrets they shared as sisters. She said Kelly is angry with her husband because he had helped her regain control of her life, which Kelly had been in control of. The feud between Kelly Khumalo and Zandie Khumalo only escalated from there with several unpalatable disclosures made on social media and interviews.
In response, Kelly Khumalo accused Mhlo Gumede of bewitching her little sister in an episode of her show on Showmax – Life With Kelly Khumalo.
Zandie Khumalo Sought A Restraining Order Against Her Sister
Following claims that her sister ambushed her during a TV interview with SABC1’s lifestyle show, Real Goboza (RGB) about her new single, Zandie Khumalo threatened to go to court and obtain a restraining order against her sister, Kelly Khumalo. This happened as Kelly stormed the interview room with cameras from her own show. Zandie claimed it was a PR stunt planned by Kelly and the management of RGB to get ratings for their respective shows.
Have The Khumalo Sisters Finally Reconciled?
It seems the feud between the Khumalo sisters has ended (or at least left the public domain) as there has been no banter or exchange of words or drama between the two of late. This has led fans to believe that normalcy has returned to the Khumalo empire. The feud, which had begun in November 2019, threatened to tear the sisters apart forever, despite pleas from even their mom, Ntombi.
In a move that has shocked so many fans and probably served as a platform for their perceived reconciliation, Zandie said she is a ‘fan’ of her older sister, Kelly Khumalo. It may sound unbelievable, given all that we saw play out over the course of their feud, but in July 2020, after Kelly dropped her single titled Empini, which was well accepted, Zandie was among those who lavish encomiums on the award-winning artist’s work.
She took to Twitter, where she tweeted that she has been “a fan from day one” along with a shot of the single. She was, however, quick to point out that she was responding as a ‘fan’ and not as a ‘sister’ as she posted “an admiration from a fan to her superstar and idol”.
Following this, rumors had it that the star siblings were slated to perform together in an event to be organized by Mhlo Gumede. When asked for comments, Mr. Gumede denied any such event taking place, quashing the hopes of fans who would love to see them together again. Notwithstanding, peace seems to have returned to the Khumalo fold, and fans expect the collaboration to still happen sometime in the future.