Khanyi Mbau is one of Mzansi’s most distinguished stars; she is one such actress who has become a household name in South Africa. She is a TV and radio host, a published authorand a confident businesswoman with a brand of gin to her credit; however her success inthe music industry is yet to cast a prominent shadow.
She is now trying to find her feet on the musical stage again with the release of a new love song titled ‘Ubsuku bonke’ roughly translated ‘All night long,’ her hopes are that this song will help warm her fans up. Commenting on her new offering Khanyi had this to say; “We’ve never had a beautiful African ballad that speaks about sex and the art of lovemaking.
“We’ve had Marvin Gaye with Let’s Get It On, even Cardi B and Bruno Mars tried it. I’m saying let’s make love in isiZulu. Why not?”
This however, is not the first time she attempted her hand on music – she had released singles in the past, but they did not make an impact as envisaged. “I went into music because I was popular. I was doing it for the sake of being Khanyi and because I could,” she
told DRUM magazine.
“The second time I really had hopes, but management had more of my artistic control. Now
I’m at a space where I’m over 30, I’m relaxed, comfortable – dirty 30s as they call it. I’m
content with who I am so I’m doing it for the love and respect of the craft,” she said.
Testing the waters, Khanyi is convinced that her track will perform well and would signal the
need for her to drop a full album. “My music is my story, my book, my life I am sharing” she said. “What I’m trying to communicate with my music is contentment.
As an artist, once you know who you are, it’s easier to sell your story.” Khanyi now 33 is very confident of herself as always. “You don’t care if you’ve got stretch marks or cellulite. It’s a point where you don’t care that you’ve coloured your skin and people have a problem with it because you’ve gone through trying to fit in. Now it’s about making everything else fit around you.”
It has taken her ages to be at this point of being satisfied. Though, her divorce from former millionaire Mandla Mthembu 10 years ago made headlines in Mzansi, these days she is her
own woman. “My child taught me responsibility and is my reason for waking up every day,” she said. Being responsible, comes with a price tag of being independent, self reliant; making one’s own money.
According to her, everything she has gone through moulded her into the woman she is today. From the controversy over her skin-lightening treatments to her nude pictures that were leaked on the internet in 2011.
“That was a moment of rebirth. I thought if I could be naked again, I’d make a better opportunity for myself,” she said without any regrets. “It is art and I have chosen to make myself a canvas. Artists draw on a piece of paper, wall or a canvas. I have chosen to make myself the art.” Had she not been an artist, she would had been a doctor; “I would be a psychologist. I enjoy studying people. I think there’s so much in the mind, and to people’s behaviour and patterns, that hasn’t been tapped into.”
Anyway, she still believes she is a psychologist; “We’re psychologists in our own way, it’s just that we physically use our bodies instead of using words and certain studies to help people. We give people hope and it gives them an escape of some sort.”
Her boyfriend, Tebogo Lerole (40), is her biggest supporter and she said he has fallen in love with her new track. “He loves it, we bump and grind to it,” she said with a laugh. The two lovebirds have known each other for 10 years. “We were both signed to EMI, he used to live down the road from me and we used to see each other.
I’d be in a Lamborghini and he would be in a BMW, I think, and he would always tell me how much he loved my car.
“We once attended a show at EMI and he said to me, ‘I’m going to marry you one day’. Six, seven years later we started dating and today we’re still together,” she said. Ups and downs, they had a brief broke up early last year, but soon got together again.
“Love is accepting the next person with all their flaws. It’s not when you’re happy with them all the time, but when you hate them and have to accept that they’re human,” she added.
As stated by Khanyi; Tebogo is delicate, and she loves it, she threw him his 40th birthday party as a surprise for him with his whole family in attendance.
Fans may get a pinch into their love life in Khanyi’s new reality show, whose finer details and modalities are still being considered.
“We’re still in negotiations. For them to be in my house every day I want money. She’s not cheap and she’s not cheap too [referring to her makeup artist and her stylist]. My personal photographer is not cheap either.” Why a reality show? “When people hear Khanyi Mbau’s name, there’s always a certain emotion attached to it. It’s either you like her, or you don’t like her,” said Khanyi, who also has a desire for film directing and clothes designing.