Come shade or shine, Khanyi Mbau will prosper! The stunning powerful Mzansi boss babe turns 36 today, 15 October, 2021, and Briefly News is celebrating all things Khanyi.
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Khanyi has come a hell of a long way since her 2004 role as Doobsie on the widely loved SABC2 Mzansi drama series Muvhango. If recreating yourself needed a walking, talking definition of drama, Khanyi would be it.
Having faced more shade than the moon, Khanyi always managed to pick herself back up and come back, rays blazing.
Today we celebrate this strong, independent and inspirational woman as she puts another year of struggles and triumphs behind her.
Reflecting on turning 36 and her amazing accomplishments thus far, Khanyi told Briefly News in an exclusive interview:
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"I am where the universe wants me to be, and that’s enough! I fantasise about many things and only wish but what is for me is with me. So I am content.
"I am most proud of my level of growth and understanding of life, people and myself. I am proud of how I have never forgotten who I am."
When asked what person she would most love to have by her side today, the actress said:
"Oh my God!!! Jesus, MY DAD!!!!"
Khanyi Mbau's early life and childhood
Born and raised in Soweto, Khanyi was born to Lynette Sisi Mbau, who was a banker and Menzi Mcunu. Khanyi’s parents were not married when they had her, however, they later did.
Khanyi has two siblings, a brother, who is Mzansi’s flamboyant YouTube sensation Lasizwe Dambuza, and a sister, Thandeka Mcunu, who is a boss babe and family lady.
With Khanyi’s mother being a working woman, Khanyi was raised mostly by her grandparents, whom she valued dearly. According to Khanyi, her grandparents were modern and open-minded compared to other adults in Soweto. Her grandfather, Mr Babes Mbau, played the saxophone and taught her to appreciate art.
Khanyi fondly refers to her grandmother as 'The Queen of England' because she was focused on detail and ran her house with dignity. She often flogged Khanyi whenever she broke the rules.
Under her grandmother’s care, she acquired a good education from an all-white school, wore a blazer to school and had her hair relaxed. Back in the village, the other children would bully her because she was different from them. Sis has always been the ‘outsider’ and she has worn it with pride from young!
Holding her own: Khanyi Mbau does not need a man to prosper
In 2005, Khanyi met her ex-husband and the father of her child, former Mzansi millionaire and journalist Mandla Mthembu. Khanyi married Mandla in 2006 but it did not last long. The two got divorced only nine months later. One good thing that came from this is Khanyi’s beautiful daughter, Khanukani, who is walking in the footsteps of her momma, rising to her throne.
Khanyi Mbau then date artist Tebogo Lerole for a whopping 10 years but unfortunately split up officially in 2020 after having tried to make things work.
Most recently, Khanyi has been said to be dating Zimbabwean-born millionaire Kudzai Terrence Mushonga. The two have gone through some rough patches that were pretty public, however, it seems Kudzai is one hundred percent committed to making things with Khanyi work. Khanyi and Kudzai have tattooed each other’s names on their bodies, reported IOL News. If that ain’t commitment, what is?
“The thing is with my relationships I treat them like how I buy a car or a house … you know what you want in the house. I know what my requirements are and I’m not going to back down,” said Khanyi Mbau once in an interview with Kaya FM.
Despite her relationship ups and downs and the many claims that she relies on men to support her lavish lifestyle, Khanyi has proven that that is not the case – sis can hold her own!
All the shade, sadness and struggles can't keep Khanyi Mbau down
It was in 2011 when Khanyi started to feel the wrath of being in the public eye after she started to cosmetically lighten her skin. Choosing to have 90% of her skin bleached, Khanyi received endless backlash that would cripple most people.
Despite the constant shade, cyberbullying and horrible remarks, Khanyi has always held her head high and owned her skin lightening journey. Khanyi even once posted an almost-nude snap of herself on social media, thanking her body for everything it has done for her. Confidence like Khanyi’s is a superpower not many possess.
“Being black doesn't mean you have to look black. Being black is a state of being. Being black is a sense of spirit. Being black is a sense of how you think and how you see yourself but it doesn't mean you have to look indigenous. Why are we living in a world that won't allow us to explore and be who we want to be?” TimesLIVE reported Khanyi said back in 2020.
Khanyi has also had to deal with many people accusing her of using men for their money. Khanyi has a type, and money is definitely a requirement.
Khanyi likes nice things and can give them to herself, however, she also likes to be looked after, and who can fault that? Khanyi owns every aspect of herself with pride, even if the general public frown upon it.
"People read my actions and not my intentions. I don't blame the media for the attitude people had towards me. The media does not fabricate things. When you act like a diva you get seen as one," Khanyi once said, as reported by Sowetan LIVE.
One of the greatest struggles Khanyi has ever faced was losing her parents. Khanyi first lost her mother in 2007 and most recently her father late in 2020. Becoming an orphan hit both Khanyi and Lasizwe hard! Khanyi’s greatest wish is to just have one more day with her parents.
Khanyi Mbau’s endless success: The queen rose and she is still rising
Khanyi has been through a lot but she has shown the haters what she is made of, time and time again. Having risen to widespread prominence in 2004 when she became a household name as the second Doobsie in the SABC 2 soap opera Muvhango, was where Khanyi started to rise.
Speaking exclusively to Briefly News, Khanyi spoke about having to bat a lot of shade on her journey to success. We asked the stunner what the one thing is that keep her going:
"My clear sight of what I had envisioned for myself! Wealth and comfort."
Khanyi got fired from the show after the party life took priority over her work. This did not stop Khanyi though. In 2006 she was cast in the second season of Mzansi as Mbali on SABC 1. Khanyi was also featured in the mini-series After Nine on SABC 1, playing the character Zee in 2007.
As of 2018, she was the host of the SABC 3 entertainment show The Scoop, The Big Secret on BET Africa and played Tshidi on Mzansi Magic's Abomama. This is not even half of Khanyi’s on-screen portfolio, just the goodies.
Khanyi also starred in a few movies. Her first was Happiness is a Four-letter Word which was released in 2016, second was The Red Room which was released in 2018 and finally a Leon Schuster film called Frank and Fearless, which was also released in 2018.
In 2016 Khanyi also worked for Metro FM, whose show is it anyway, alongside entertainers Somizi Mhlongo and Ntombi Ngcobo. She left in 2017.
Making a big-money move, Khanyi launched her very own gin in 2018 called I Am Khanyi - Millennial Shimmer Gin.
In 2020, Khanyi’s reality TV show, Mbau Reloaded: Always Rise, made its debut. Like with everything that involves Khanyi, the show received a lot of criticism but our gurl handled it well. Reality TV is where it is at, so obviously, Khanyi was going to jump on board - she’s a money move maker!
For Mabu, the future is all women:
"The future is a woman. Women have been leaders for centuries but conformed to what the “it’s a man’s word” ideology that watered down our true purpose and strength. So for Mzansi it’s a shock and a huge culture tilt hence the rise of GBV.
"Women are standing their ground and the caveman is struggling to accept it. WE ARE COMING FOR THEM!" Khanyo told Briefly News.
The moves this boss babe has made, are endless. Seeing her build an empire on top of everything she has been through is truly commendable.
If there are a few things we can learn from Khanyi, they are: always look your best, own the shade that is thrown at you, build on top of the haters and never let what others say about you define your worth!
Babes, from the Briefly News family: Happy birthday!
Source: Briefly News