Mandla Mthembu is a very unique story that one does not get to see every day. He is a former millionaire who rolled out with some of the most interesting women in the entertainment world in South Africa, including Khanyi Mbau, whom he was once married to, and controversial dancer and reality star, Zodwa Wabantu.
His love life is interesting on one hand, but what remains even more interesting and shocking is how the once-famous millionaire fell from the grace of riches to the grass of poverty and homelessness. As his travails continued, his name has continued to move away from the center stage, so much that his whereabouts and what he is up to has remained a puzzle to those that still have a memory of him are trying to solve.
Mandla Mthembu Was Once A Very Rich Man
Mandla Mthembu never got to the stage of people like Patrice Motsepe or anywhere near that level, but he was not a poor man. He had over 2 billion Rand to his name at a point in his life. He was a businessman who made his money from his numerous investments, including his company, Martial Eagle Investments.
All these provided him with much wealth, and back in 2007, he was said to have attempted an investment deal that would have raised R7-billion. At the time, his net worth was estimated by the media to be in the excess of R2.5 billion, although this was never verified. He would become even richer by R57 million or R80 million after he used his company, Sechaba Printing, to sue Transnet.
He claimed damages after a contract was awarded to a company he stated, had links to the ANC. Thanks to this windfall and the massive net worth he was said to have had, Mandla Mthembu lived the life of a king; drinking the best of wines, living the luxurious life, spending on cars, and enjoying all that money could afford.
His Controversial Marriage To Khanyi Mbau Made Him Popular
Mandla first met Khanyi Mbau when she was only 19, which means there was a massive age difference between them. The moment she walked into the Divine Lounge, she attracted his attention, and he did not hesitate to walk up to her and tell her he was going to marry her.
Before then, he was once married to a woman known as Dolly Matshabe, although details of the union remain sketchy. Hence, it is not known if they had kids, except for a daughter named Nelisiwe, who lived with her mother after the marriage of her parents ended. Also, it is not known for how long the union lasted.
The next time he was going to meet again with Mbau was exactly six months later when she was checking out of the Beverley Hills hotel, the same as himself. Unfortunately for Mbau, who would years later reveal that money always attracted and fell in love with her, there was no car to drive her to the airport. Mandla gave her the key to his Porsche, telling her he would get it at the airport. She thought he was joking; he wasn’t.
For yet another time, he told her he remembered her, and he was going to marry her. He collected her number, and they went their separate ways, but this was only the start of a relationship that would lead to a marriage in 2007. Although he was known in the business world, Mandla Mthembu’s involvement with Khanyi Mbau, who was referred to by many as a gold-digger and had already started her career as an actress and TV personality, was what brought him to the entertainment scene.
Their marriage did not last long before it came to an end after two years with a daughter between them. Apart from the 30 years age gap between them, the actress revealed that she later realized that she did not really love her husband, but she worshipped him rather.
Mandla Mthembu Also Had A Relationship With Zodwa Wabantu
Mandla Mthembu was still a married man when he started yet another relationship with dancer and reality TV star, Zodwa Wabantu. According to his wife, it was the dancer that the former millionaire really loved and wanted to always be around.
Interestingly enough, both women had kids at almost the same time. Although the daughter of Khanyi (Khanukani) was known to be his child, Zodwa stated that she did not know the father of her son, but he might as well be the person, a belief that seemed to be supported by his former wife after she saw the picture of Zodwa’s son.
The Fall of Mandla Mthembu And The End Of His Marriage
While the marriage between Mandla Mthembu and Khanyi Mbau almost seemed destined to fail because the actress felt she was only in a relationship with money, the businessman soon lost all interest. They lived a luxurious life and drove the best cars all over Johannesburg, but they were not very happy.
More so, there was the issue of him cheating on her with Zodwa on one hand, and the rumors that he got physical with his wife on the other. When his daughter was born, Mandla was said to be out drinking instead of being in the hospital because what he really wanted was to have a son instead. By the time they got divorced after two years of marriage, he was already running fast out of money.
The first time that news emerged that things were probably not too well with his finances was in 2007. However, he came out to make it clear that the news was completely false. He made it clear that he had never been happier with his finances and was even considering to have more cars to his exotic collection. He claimed it was an effort by his ex-wife, Dolly Matshabe, and a reporter to tarnish his image as it was claimed he was too broke to afford a textbook for his daughter who was 16.
By 2010, the former millionaire was not only broke but also homeless. He was forced to start living in a hotel, but he was soon shown the way out as he was unable to pay the R300 daily rental of the Croydon Motel in Isando, Ekurhuleni. According to a staff of the motel, he assured them he was going to come back and pay his bills, although he did not leave a forwarding address.
Nothing Much is Known About His Whereabouts Today
Since 2010 when he was kicked out of the hotel, Mandla Mthembu has almost completely disappeared from the radar. He was said to have moved in with his friend because going back to his mother’s house was not an option for him, as many people were waiting to make fun of him.
In an interesting twist, his former drama queen wife has since moved on with her life and is doing well for herself both professionally and financially. In the same way, his ex-love and alleged baby mama, Zodwa is also doing just well for herself.