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Fact: you need not possess any actual talent in order to reach the ranks of filthy rich and famous. That the noughties saw an explosion of vacuous reality TV types whose heads are as empty as their bank accounts are full, proves the point.
Thanks to the rise of the social celeb, the situation has reached pandemic proportions. All that’s required is a skewed sense of your own importance, a sprinkling of sex and a huge helping of (mostly self-created) skandaal and, hey presto, a star is born.
Should that not be enough to ensure you a permanent placement in the headlines, throw in a salacious story built on blatant fabrications – or better yet, a sugar daddy or two who’ll help fund your foot into the right door – and your path to instant notoriety is secured.
And who better to stand as the poster girl for this new 21st-century celebrity than South Africa’s very own self-proclaimed Queen of Bling, Khanyisile Mbau?
The title of this 30-something 26-year-old’s (yes, even her “official” age is a work of fiction) biography says it all: Bitch Please! I’m Khanyi Mbau.
Forget forging a name for yourself through intellectual pursuits, perseverance and hard work (though offering sex in exchange for yellow Lamborghinis, Beemers and penthouses could be considered “work” of sorts, I suppose).
Nay, the true path to remaining relevant in this “I’m famous for being famous” game is by revealing the tricks of the trade (no pun intended), which include such moving details of how her ex-husband’s love of anal sex had Khanyi “breaking nails, clutching the headboard in pain”.
Or better yet, how she sees dead people – Lebo Mathosa among them (presumably to plead with her to put a stop to the mockery of a Lebo M tribute show in which Mbau stars).
And like any busy-feigning-importance claimant to prominence, Khanyi’s admirable parenting skills denote she “also tries to be there on her daughter’s special days, like her birthday”. Bless.
Of course, no pretender to the throne of Celebville here in ol’ SA would be worth their pound of flesh if they didn’t make some allusion to how they are a product of, or a response to, our country’s history. As the writer of Bitch Please!’s trite little tale is at pains to point out:
“The story of Khanyi Mbau parallels the new democracy in South Africa. It reflects the changing values of a new generation of Born-Frees, tired of the self-sacrifice of the struggle.”
Gee, Madiba must be so proud.
LARA DE MATOS