by Lesley Mofokeng (Tafelberg)
A winter night in Johannesburg, post an e.tv programme press launch. I have just reached the front of the queue, for the cars to take us back to the hotel.
Huge relief. I’m freezing, in my little black cocktail dress, and I’ve waited nearly 20 minutes, teeth chattering, for that car to arrive – and it does.
As I open the door, a woman cranes around me and grabs my arm, “Ihavekhanyimbau” she screeches.
OMG, I am a Durban journo and, OMG some more… have no idea what this is.
Further screeching informs me that, tis “the celebrity”… Someone, apparently, who does not wait in queues freezing, like the rest of us.
Long story short – I, too, can be a bitch. My ride, you can share with me? No? You can wait.
A comfy childhood in Soweto saw young Khanyi Mbau initially nab TV roles as a Kideo Kid and a Sasko Sam presenter.
But, it was the Venda soap “Muvhango”, where this pushy little madam, who popped up as Doobsie, (one of two actresses who played the role made famous by the popular actress, Lindiwe Chibi, whose acting career ended tragically), got her first taste of celeb status.
Chibi had been gravely injured, and eventually died, after being shot by her boyfriend, in real life.
If you have a role in a popular soap, best not to diss the creator of the said soap… but Mbau, reportedly, told the writer of this book that the one person she “despised living or dead” was Duma kaNdlovu – Muvhango’s creator. Bullet in own foot…
So far, Mbau has plunged through her torrid little life, chasing celebrity status and courting notoriety, while keeping nose firmly in the air. A certain Kardashian family comes to mind…
She racked up hubby No 1, multimillionaire Mandla Mthembu (30 years her senior and was four hours late for the wedding…) in 2006.
When he ran out of money (where does it all go…?), the couple went from matching Lamborghinis to, swiftly, having to exit the five-star hotel where they had been holed up.
Her next man, another sugar daddy, Afrikaner Theunis Crous, also came with a Lamborghini – a family and, allegedly, other girlfriends.
After endless sordid stories, published and rumoured, this relationship also fizzled out.
And, dripping with bling, so she goes on, on her notorious way, like a whirling dervish spinning out of control.
Notoriously, commenting on her success and lack of guilt when she ponders those without, Mbau told e.tv’s Debra Patta, she would happily eat “croissants and blue cheese” in front of the starving masses.
Sadly, too many members of the masses still look up to Mbau. Still, it’s a riotous, gossip-filled tale many will find irresistible. – Sally Scott