Khanyi Mbau

Khanyi Mbau is a South African television personality, actress and controversial socialite who is perhaps best known for her relationship with journalist-turned millionaire Mandla Mthembu. She however did not rise to fame as a result of that relationship, Khanyi Mbau rose to fame in 2004 when she replaced Lindiwe Chibi as Doobsie on SABC 2’s Muvhango.

Khanyi- Mbau
Born Khanyisile Mbau
October 15, 1985
Mofolo, Soweto
South Africa
Nickname “Queen of Bling”
Husband Mandla Mthembu
2006-2009 (d)
Occupation TV Personality
Actress, Socialite
Since 2004 – to date
Agent Unknown
Website Unknown

Khanyi Mbau was born Khanyisile Mbau in Mofolo, Soweto in Johannesburg, Gauteng province of South Africa.

She was raised by her mother, Khanyi Mbau has previously said that her father was in the taxi industry and hardly at home.

Khanyi Mbau first achieved fame in the South African entertainment scene in 2005 – following the April 30, 2005 shooting and critically wounding of the late Lindiwe Chibi who, at the time portrayed the character of Doobsie in the SABC 2 sopie, Muvhango -when she (Mbau) was brought in as a replacement to portray the character of Doobsie.

Khanyi Mbau did not last on Muvhango, she was fired from the show – reportedly for partying and the negative publicity that surrounded her as she was constantly on tabloids. It has also been reported that she was fired from Muvhango for leaving the country for the Middle East without notice while the show was filming.

In 2006 she joined the SABC 1 hit drama series, Mzansi, in its second season as Mbali replacing Lerato Moloisane who had portrayed the character of Mbali in the first season. Although Khanyi Mbau was fired from the show after she went absent without leave – reportedly went to a party in New York City in the United States of America, SABC 1 did not renew the show for the third season.

In 2006 Khanyi Mbau had a minor role on the SABC 3 drama, The Lab. In 2007 she joined the cast of SABC 1 drama, After 9, as Zee and in 2008 she appeared on the second season of The Lab.

In 2011 Khanyi Mbau joined fellow celebrities Bonang Matheba, Dionne Song, JR, Loyiso Gola, Snotkop and Tatum Keshwar for the third season of the reality show, Tropika Island of Treasure Thailand which took place in Phuket, Thailand. Tropika Island of Treasure Thailand was hosted by DJ Fresh and Lalla Hirayama, musician JR was the eventual winner.

In 2012 she was the guest judge on the second season of SABC 1’s Turn It Out. In 2013 Khanyi Mbau starred in an episode of’s anthology drama series, Ekasi: Our Stories, she featured in the DStv’s Vuzu documentary titled I Am, she portrayed Sindisiwe Sibeko on DStv’s Mzansi Magic mini-series Like Father Like Son and starred as Kgomotso on’s anthology drama series, Mzansi Love: Ekasi Style.

Also in 2013, Khanyi Mbau she was a subject of’s reality show, Reality Check, alongside Nonhle Thema and Babalwa Mneno. She began hosting her own talk show titled Katch it with Khanyi – it airs on’s new channel, ekasi+, which is part of the new satellite television OpenViewHD (OVHD). The show has since been renewed for a second season.

In 2014 Khanyi Mbau was one of the award presenters at the The South African Film and Television Awards 8, she guest starred on SABC 2’s sitcom Skwizas, she starred in the Vuzu TV satirical comedy Check-Coast as Lerato Moloi ad starred as Lebo Kgosi in an episode of on’s anthology drama series, Mzansi Love: Big City Love.

Khanyi Mbau was part of the roasters which consisted of Rian van Heerden, Somizi Mhlongo, Tumi Morake, Jack Parow, PJ Powers, Dineo Ranaka and John Vlismas in The Comedy Central Roast of Kenny Kunene.

She was a subject of an episode of the fourth season of Nicky Greenwall’s The Close Up. Khanyi Mbau made controversy when she claimed to have been paid R80 000 for her first acting job as her claims came amid the Generations actors strike, dismissal and subsequent legal action.

khanyi-mbau+quintus-jansenKhanyi Mbau, in 2014, also featured in the seventh season of Strictly Come Dancing South Africa. On week 7 Khanyi Mbau and partner,  Quintus Jansen, failed to earn enough votes to remain in the dancing competition – as a result she was eliminated. The initial controversy was on the social media as Khanyi Mbau fans expressed their disappointment ad questioned the integrity of the voting process.

Further controversy followed when the executive producer of Strictly Come Dancing South Africa, Kee-Leen Irvine, sent message to Khanyi Mbau; it read “Missing @MbauReloaded. But she’ll be back in #StrictlySA finale showcasing her best dance. What was ur fave?” And her response was; “I refuse to be part of a damage control episode. You know the truth”.

In March 2015 Khanyi Mbau joined the cast of the new telenovela, Ashes to Ashes, which also stars; Chumani Pan, Craig Urbani, Maggie Benedict, Mandla Gaduka, Nambitha Mpumlwana Nyaniso Dzedze, Patrick Shai, Richard Lukunku and Thabo Malema.




Year Title Role Notes
Unknown Scandal! Katlego TV, Soapie, Guest
2005 Muvhango Doobsie TV Soapie, Lead Role
2006 Mzansi Mbali TV Drama, Supporting Role
2006, 2008 The Lab Various Characters TV Drama, Guest
2007 After 9 Zee Mini-series, Lead Role
2011 Tropika Island of Treasure 3:Thailand Herself Reality Show
2012 Turn it out Herself, Guest Judge Reality Show
2013 Ekasi: Our Stories Various Characters Anthology Series
2013 Mzansi Love: Kasi Style Kgomotso Anthology Series
2013 I Am Herself Documentary
2013 Reality Check Herself Reality Show
2013 Like father Like Son Sindisiwe Sibeko Mini-series
2013 – to date Katch it with Khanyi Herself, Host Talk Show
2014 Mzansi Love: Big City Love Lebo Kgosi Anthology Series
2014 SAFTAs 8 Herself, Presenter Award Ceremony
2014 Skwizas Guest Appearance Sitcom
2014 Check-Coast Lerato Moloi Satirical Comedy
2014 Strictly Come Dancing SA 7 Herself, Contestant Reality Show
2014 The Comedy Central Roast of Kenny Kunene Herself, Roaster Comedy Show
2014 The Close Up 4 Herself, Guest Talk Show
2015 – to date Ashes to Ashes Pinki Supporting Role, Telenovela



Other Activities

Bitch Please! I’m Khanyi MbauKhanyi Mbau made an attempt at a music career but nothing ever came of it. She was booed off stage several times for poor performances.

In 2008 Khanyi Mbau was cast as lead in the South African film, Kabelo’s Fortune, and was later fired for not showing up on set.

In 2010 she was seen attending African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) parties with its then president Julius Malema, in June 2011 she was for the post of ANCYL national treasurer and Julius Malema later attended her 26th birthday party.

In 2012 Khanyi Mbau was one of six actresses who portrayed the late South African musician, Lebo Mathosa, of Boom Shaka fame in the Sello Maake-Ka Ncube stage play, Drama Queen: Lebo Mathosa Show which had its opening show at the State Theatre in Pretoria.

Her biography; Bitch, Please! I’m Khanyi Mbau, was written by entertainment journalist Leslie Mofokeng and released in 2012.

Leslie Mofokeng was praised for the quality of his writing, professional integrity and objectivity in the manner in which he approached the story of Khanyi Mbau.


Personal Life

Khanyi Mbau’s personal life has been a subject of tabloids since she first broke into the entertainment industry, perhaps, even lesser known for her work than she is for her relationships, plastic surgeries, tantrums, partying ad her relationship with money.

  • Mandla Mthembu

Khanyi Mbau achieved wide reaching fame in 2005 when she embarked on a relationship with a 50 year old former Robben Island inmate – multimillionaire, Mandla Mthembu, who made his who made his millions after successfully suing the parastatal, Transnet, for R80 million over a questionable decision to grant the tender to an allegedly ANC linked company.

In July 2006 four months pregnant, 20 year old Khanyi Mbau married 50 year old Mandla Mthembu. He had just bought her a Porsche. On December 24, 2006 their daughter, Princess Mthembu is born amid reports of tantrums and public confrontations.

In April 2007 less than a year since they got married, they announced that they were living apart after the South African Music Awards incident at Sun City which involved Mandla Mthembu accusing Khanyi Mbau of infidelity and gold-digging.

In June 2007 the pair reconciled, reportedly on condition that Mandla Mthembu buys her a Lamborghini and that they live in a R100000-a-month Michelangelo apartment. Not long after, Amstel Makwane of 3-Sum claims that Khanyi Mbau accused him of having sex with Mandla Mthembu

Mandla Mthembu and Khanyi Mbau refute the claims of infidelity involving Amstel Makwane. While Mandla Mthembu clarifies that he is not gay and Khanyi Mbau says she never accused Mandla Mthembu of being gay but accused Amstel Makwane of sleeping with her husband.

In 2008 the reports of financial turmoil begin to emerge in the wake of delayed payments of Lamborghinis, warrant of arrest for Mandla Mthembu after he allegedly failed to pay maintenance for his two daughters with his former wife Dolly Matshabe.

In May 2009 Khanyi Mbau’s Lamborghini is repossessed (also reportedly rented not bought) as things begin to come to a head and she separates from Mandla Mthembu whose fortune had began drying out at an astonishing pace.

  • Theunis Crous

In August 2009 without a moment’s pause, Khanyi Mbau is rumoured to have a new rich partner following her separation from Mandla Mthembu.

In October 2009 it emerges that it is 51 year married construction mogul Theunis Crous who had just bought her a BMW Z4. The pair reportedly lived together at a rented apartment in Sandton, Johannesburg for a brief period.

In January 2010 Theunis Crous ends the relationship, furthermore, he takes back his BMW Z4 and the Sandton apartment.

  • Tebogo Lerole

Khanyi Mbau is currently in a relationship with musician Tebogo Lerole of Kwela Tebza. Their relationship is believed to have started in 2011, it has been noted that Tebogo Lerole is not a millionaire and is relatively her age. Also; their financial strife, or rather his earlier and later theirs, have been a subject of media.

In July 2014 reports emerged claiming the Khanyi Mbau and Tebogo Lerole had split due to financial pressure and he had return to his family home in Diepkloof, Soweto and by August further reports emerged discrediting the split, citing Tebogo Lerole’s continued to support Khanyi Mbau ad her endeavors.

There have been other reports claiming that the pair is pretending to be together.

  • Friendships, Associates and Rivalries

Khanyi Mbau is friends with South African businessman and nightclub mogul Kenny Kunene, also known as “Sushi King” following his 40th birthday party in 2010 which involved eating Sushi off half-naked women – Khanyi Mbau had set the standard as she had initially pulled off the publicity stunt at her birthday party when she ate Sushi off half-naked men.

Khanyi - Mbau - SushiShe has also been associated with Julius Malema, this was during his tenure as the President of the African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) – it is worth noting that Khanyi Mbau’s ex-husband Mandla Mthembu reportedly have history with the ANC and spent five years in Robben Island as a political prisoner – today Julius Malema is the leader of one ANC’s fiercest opponents Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).

Khanyi Mbau was in a prolonged rivalry with controversial musician, Kelly Khumalo, their cat-fights and public meltdowns were a subject of the frenzied media reporting. In 2013 Kelly Khumalo was a guest on Katch it with Khanyi.

She was also in a bitter rivalry with Primrose Crous, wife of  Theunis Crous, the married man Khanyi Mbau had an affair with.



Khanyi Mbau’s time in the spotlight has been marked with constant controversy. Until recently, she made headlines for all the other reasons but her artistry.

  • Anal Sex

In the 2012 biography Khanyi Mbau discussed that ex-husband Mandla Mthembu indulged in anal sex, she was quoted “Mandla loved anal sex. I remember breaking nails clutching the headboard in pain”. This was considered a detail of her personal life she should have kept to herself.

  • Chris Brown

In 2009 Khanyi Mbau admitted to lying about American musician Chris Brown of the Rihanna assault fame. “When Chris Brown was here I created a story that drew so much attention, not only in South Africa but internationally as well! (…) That story was not true – I’ve never even met the guy but it was a way to get more attention,” Khanyi Mbau confessed.

  • Nudity

Khanyi Mbau’s nude pictures have been making rounds on the internet, including those of her with Crous.

  • Muvhango Salary

In 2014 Khanyi Mbau told Nicky Greenwall of’s The Close Up that she had received R80 000 pay-check for her fist acting job.

The episode was taped during the controversy involving producers of SABC 1’s sopie, Generations, and it’s principal cast which was fired on Monday August 18, 2014 after they embarked on an unauthorized strike and further rejected orders to return to work for filming while the salary dispute and their other grievances were being discussed.

In that episode of The Close Up, Khanyi Mbau claimed that in 2004 when she first made her television debut on Muvhango as Doobsie, her salary was R80 000 “I mean I was 17 when I got onto the show. My first pay cheque that I got from the show was R80 000. I’ve never worked in my life. Um, yes I made money from Kideo Kids but it was always my Mom’s money. And here I am, the first pay cheque is eighty thousand, boom, in my account. And I’d only opened the account two days before because they told me, ‘We need an account to put your money in.’ And here I am with R80 000” Khanyi Mbau told Nicky Greenwall.

The Sowetan Live later reported that Khanyi Mbau had explained the big pay-check was not a monthly salary but a once off payment for her short stint in the soap. “It was not a monthly check, I was paid for the season. At that time Lindiwe Chibi who played Doobsie was in hospital,” Khanyi Mbau told Sowetan Live.



Year Award Work Notes
2009 Feather Award Miscellaneous Drama Queen of the Year
2009 Feather Award Miscellaneous Fag Hag of the Year