Khanyi Mbau’s sugar daddy dramas are well and truly a thing of the past. At 33 the actress, radio deejay, television host and businessperson is making headlines for hard work and talent – and she’s owning 2018, thank you very much.
This week City Press chatted to Mbau on the Cape Town set of the Tropika Smoooth Fan Quiz Show, before attending the premiere of the new Leon Schuster film, Frank and Fearless, in which she plays the female lead.
It’s been that kind of year for the star with the steamiest Instagram in town.
“There is no power like a woman who makes her own money. I always tell people that a woman’s wealth is in the strength of every dime that she has made, so it has empowered me, given me confidence and enough brains to want to make my own decisions because I own every minute of my day,” she said on Wednesday.
Mbau, whose life story until 2012 is documented in the bestseller, Bitch, Please! I’m Khanyi Mbau, entrenched herself in South Africa’s pop culture in 2004 when she inherited the role of Doobsie on Muvhango. She was fired a year later for allegedly spending too much time partying, but kept reappearing as a top-notch actress in TV dramas.
By 2010 she was constantly in the news for sugar daddy dramas involving her partners, Mandla Mthembu and Theunis Crous.
But then Mbau decided she had had enough. She started her own production company to handle her own talk show and started snapping up made-for-TV movie roles. By 2014 City Press featured her on the cover of #Trending in a story headlined Queen of Joziwood. “Khanyi Mbau is making her own sugar,” we wrote. “The star of 22 low-budget films is now becoming a TV producer.”
Mbau was inspired in her youth, she told City Press, by pop figures, such as Lebo Mathosa, and even launched a singing career in 2016, followed by a stint as a radio host on Metro FM.
But it’s her acting skills that have seen her entrench her career. This year in March we watched her playing Dinekile on SABC1’s Uzalo and in April she played Tshidi in Mzansi Magic’s Abomama.
“I have grown beyond celebrity status in terms of being taken seriously as a working woman,” she told us. “I am an actress, I am a brand and I keep working on that. This year has been a year when a statement has been made.”
Frank and Fearless has just opened in 95 cinemas across the country – a new high-water mark for Mbau. She says Schuster chose her for the part. “He was, like, I like this Khanyi Mbau girl, she’s different. He had read about me over the years and wanted to work with me. I got a call from the producers and I was told Leon wants me in the film.”
And she still has plenty of big news before the year is out – watch this space. For now we can reveal Mbau was the executive producer of the feature film, The Red Room, which is set to play in cinemas in March next year.
“We are going even bigger and better, even international, as well. I have a very big announcement for February next year, which I cannot say – but it is huge.”