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Khanyi Mbau: ‘It’s an honour to be roasted’

Khanyi Mbau. Picture: Instagram

Khanyi Mbau. Picture: Instagram

Published Jun 15, 2022


Media personality, Khanyi Mbau has worn many hats over her career, spanning well over a decade. She’s hit highs and many lows, but managed to pick herself up each time with more vigour and grace.

Now she’s strong enough and ready to face a panel who will put her entire life on blast in the ‘Comedy Central Roast’ – she is the first female to be roasted in Africa.

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“I don’t think any other female in the industry right now will be open to a roast. For you to get roasted means you have made an impact in the industry somehow.

“As much as people see it as a negative, it isn’t a bad thing, it means you lived such a colourful life and people can pick from it and for me I found it as an honour,” Mbau says.

She said being the first African female to land this gig gives her a well-deserved seat in the “boys toilet”.

“It’s nice because now I am allowed to go into the boys toilet. How many balls have we had on the show, now let’s bring different balls, bouncy balls,” she said.

Like all roasts, the panel comes prepared and Mbau seems to know which skeletons they will be picking on.

“It’s going to be a skin party, a skin bleaching party, it’s about all the procedures I’ve done on my body, my relationships, my music career, my acting career, but I think my skin is literally going to be the tone of the evening, mind the pun,” she giggled.

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Mbau isn’t planning on covering up the insults, but is facing them head on, her approach is simple: If it hurts, it hurts, if it’s funny, it’s funny.

“Trust me, it is going to be evident. Honestly speaking, if I cry, I cry, if I die, I die.That’s what a roast is about. You can’t prepare because you don’t know what the next person is thinking. I’m going out there with an open mind.

“It’s just friends throwing insults. And as the saying goes, ‘when your friend insults you, you don’t get mad, you just insult them back,” she said.

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She said she’s watched all the previous roasts but her most memorable one was the “Roast of Kenny Kunene” where she sat in the panel with the likes of Tumi Morake, Dineo Ranaka, Somizi Mhlongo and John Vlismas.

“His panel was really amazing because it was light-hearted, truly funny people that aren’t pure in life, very human, we were all equally bad – it was fun man,” she said.

Speaking about the shows format, Mbau said that she looked at it like a trip down memory lane and to see how far she’s come.

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“It is people going through your biography of all your memorable moments, I know people look at them as negatives, but sometimes the negatives are actually the ones that make you because every disappointment, every last mistake moulds you into a better person so if you truly think you’ve healed and grown from certain things then a roast is meant for you, where you can really see how far you have come,” she said.

When asked which celeb wouldn’t survive getting roasted, Mbau pointed out that Pearl Thusi wouldn’t stand a chance.

“I don’t think Pearl can handle a roast, as much as she is an amazing person, she is also very emotional, I don’t think she is strong for a roast, because it’s brutal out there.”

She also does not want to see Somizi on her panel.

“Somizi is my buddy, he knows me for years. He knows me in and out, that is one person who could probably roast me more than anyone else. He’s got the inside jokes, the intel, he’s got everything.”

Aside from the “Comedy Central Roast of Khanyi Mbau”, she is working with Showmax on a number of upcoming projects which she could not disclose.

Her Netflix show, “Young, Famous & African” was recently nominated at the National Reality TV Awards for the category for Best International Show.

“I think it deserves another season, I hope that the platform really gives us that opportunity. It made the world stand up and say ‘what, is this what Joburg looks like?’ The Americans are in disbelief – Joburg is literally global, and I haven’t seen any lions on the street either,” she laughed.