Khanyi Mbau
Khanyi Mbau Biography
BornKhanyisile Mbau
(1985-10-15) October 15, 1985 (age 36)
Soweto, South Africa
FamilyLasizwe Dambuza (half-brother)

Khanyisile Mbau professionally known as Khanyi Mbau is a South African actress, television host and artist. Khanyi rose to fame as the second Doobsie in the SABC2 soap opera Muvhango; and as Mbali in the SABC1 soapie Mzansi, before becoming better known as a controversial socialite.


Khanyi Mbau was born and raised by a single mother in Mofolo, Soweto. Her father was in the taxi industry and never at home, according to Mbau.[1] Her name Khanyisile means "one who brings light". Khanyi uses her mother's surname Mbau. Her mother Lynette soon left baby Khanyi with her parents in Mofolo, Soweto and returned to work, leaving her grandmother virtually raising her.

Mbau's grandparents were very Western in the way they dressed and saw the world. Mbau said, "Gladys (her grandmother) would cane you if you broke the rules. She ran her household with the decorum and attention to detail of Buckingham Palace". Mbau lovingly referred to her as the "Queen of England" [sic].


Her father Menzi Mcunu died on 20 September 2020.[2]

Skin Bleaching

In 2019 during an interview with eNCA, Khanyi admitted that 90% of her complexion is "cosmetic," saying that she prefers it as she uses less make-up and as a result requires less "maintenance" when she works in front of the camera.

When speaking about the skin lightening or bleaching process, she said that the technology had evolved in a way that was easy to maintain.

She admitted that the process was expensive and that she spends up to R10 000 a month on maintaining the colour of her complexion.[3]

Before & After Pictures

Marriage & Divorce

In 2005, Khanyi Mbau met journalist-turned millionaire Mandla Mthembu and the couple were married in 2006, amidst claims that Mbau was a "gold-digger" after his money. Mthembu had made a fortune when he and a business partner sued Transnet for R80-million over a tender gone wrong and won.

Mbau claimed she was in love with the older man, but nine months later they were engaged in a bitter divorce dispute, with Mthembu himself alleging that Mbau was after his fortune.[1]

Love Life

Tebogo Lerole

In July 2020, Khanyi Mbau announced on her social media that she and her partner of 10 years, Tebogo Lerole, had split up.[4]

Kudzai Terrance Mushonga

Mbau made the relationship with Kudzai Mushonga Instagram official on 8 February 2021. The two had been dating casually for two months before they decided to make things official.[5]

Net Worth

While her estimated and/or actual net worth is unknown, Khanyi Mbau was taken to court in September 2020 by Standard Bank for failing to honour the terms of the agreement in the sale of two luxury cars. Mbau was taken to court after she had failed to keep up with the monthly instalments on a 2014 Mercedes-Benz ML 63 AMG and a 2015 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS.

At the time Standard Bank approached the court, Mbau was allegedly almost three months in arrears. In November 2020, the Johannesburg High Court granted the bank an order to repossess the two vehicles.

The bank contended in court papers that it had tried everything to get Mbau to settle the arrears and outstanding balance but to no avail.

Standard Bank also argued that approaching the court was the last resort in a bid to recoup the money. The court ruled in favour of the bank and ordered Mbau to return the two cars to the lender, failing which the Sheriff of the Court would go and repossess them.[6]

Acting Career

In 2004 she replaced actress Lindiwe Chibi in the role of Doobsie on Muvhango after Chibi was shot in the face by her boyfriend. A year later Khanyi Mbau was fired from the role, reportedly for spending too much time partying and appearing in the Sunday tabloids. She said she received a once-off payment of R80 000 for her role as Doobsie.[7]

In 2006 she landed the role of Mbali on Mzansi but was fired from that show after one season. In 2007 Khanyi played the role of Zee in the SABC1 mini-series After 9.

Also in 2014 she had starring roles in the Vuzu sitcom Check Coast and in the third season of the anthology series Mzansi Love.

In 2018, Khanyi Mbau appeared on Uzalo where she played MaNgcob’s (Dawn Thandeka King) dodgy cousin Dinekile as known as Dinekile or Lady Die – a character who likes the high life and has been in trouble with the law a number of times. Khanyi returned to Uzalo to reprise her role as Lady Die.[8]

Reality Television

In 2013 she featured in the docu-reality television series Reality Check, on[1]

Talk Show

In 2013, Khanyi Mbau began hosting her own talk show on the OpenView HD channel eKasi+, Katch It With Khanyi. The show was renewed for a second season in late 2014. It reached number one in audience share for talk shows, exceeding the share of SABC 2's Motswako. Katch It With Khanyi debuted with a viewership of 785,000 viewers, which increased to 1,669,000 in the first week of November 2014.[9] During the show's second season, it was nominated for the South African Film and Television Awards 2015.


In July 2016, Khanyi Mbau was signed by record label Mabala Noise.[10]


Television roles
Television Season Role
2019 The Scoop Season 1 - 3 Host - herself
2014 -20 Katch It With Khanyi Season 1 - 3 Host - herself
After 9 Season 1 Zee
2018 Isithembiso Season 2 Herself
2015 - 2016 Ashes to Ashes Season 1 Pinki
aYeYe Season 1 Thenjiwe
Check - Coast Season 1
eKasi: Our Stories Season 5 Thabiso/Thandisiwe
I Am Season 1 Herself
Like Father Like Son Season 1 Sindisiwe Sibeko
Muvhango Season 1 Doobsie
2018 - 2019 Uzalo Season 4 -5 Dinekile aka Lady Die
My Perfect Family Season 3 Herself
Mzansi Season 2 Mbali
Mzansi Love - Kasi Love Season 2 Kgomotso
Mzansi Love - Big City Love Season 3 Lebo Kgosi
Reality Check Season 1 Herself
Scandal Season 1 Katlego
Skwizas Season 3 Mimi
Strictly Come Dancing Season 7 Celebrity dancer - herself
The Close Up Season 4 Herself
The Comedy Central Roast Season 7 Roaster - herself
The Lab Season 1 - 2 Kgomotso/Busi
The South African Film and Television Awards Season 8 - 10 Presenter - herself
The South African Music Awards Season 22 - 23 Host/presenter - herself
Tropika Island of Treasure - Thailand Season 3 Herself
Turn it Out - Street Battle Season 2 Guest judge - herself


In 2019, Khanyi Mbau won the best actress at the South African International Film Academy Awards.[11]


Dubai Incident

In August 2021, Khanyi Mbau's boyfriend Kudzai Terrence Mushonga claimed she left him high and dry in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

Mushonga shared a 24-minute emotional video on Instagram on 30 August 2021.

Concerns over Mbau’s safety were raised after Mushonga shared that she went to a salon and became worried when Mbau was still not home at 2am.

The Zimbabwean returned to Instagram on 31 August 2021 to share that Mbau sent him a text message saying she took a flight back to South Africa without informing him. Mushonga claimed that he moved to Dubai with Mbau to start a business and a new life together. He claims that Mbau did not tell him that she was returning to South Africa.

He also claimed he spent more than R80 000 on Mbau's daughter's boarding and school fees to maintain her safety while they moved abroad.

Mbau remained mum on Mushonga's videos, only sharing a photo by her father’s grave, saying she was home safe.[12]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Khanyi Mbau, TVSA, Published: No Date Given, Retrieved: August 31, 2021
  2. Lasizwe and Khanyi Mbau’s father Menzi Mcunu dies, IOL, Published: September 20, 2020, Retrieved: September 1, 2021
  3. Khanyi Mbau: '90% of the colour of my skin is cosmetic' - You won't believe how much she spends on her complexion a month!, Juice, Published: July 4, 2019, Retrieved: August 31, 2021
  4. Alutho Mbendeni, Khanyi Mbau’s ex Tebogo speaks out on their breakup and her new love, DRUM, Published: March 18, 202o, Retrieved: August 31, 2021
  5. Jamal Grootboom, b364-4614-bd2f-47695eef4b3b Khanyi Mbau makes her new man Instagram official, IOL, Published: February 9, 2021, Retrieved: February 10, 2021
  6. Norman Masungwini, Time to walk as Khanyi Mbau loses her bling cars, City Press, Published: November 8, 2020, Retrieved: August 31, 2021
  7. BONGIWE SITHOLE, Khanyi Mbau was paid R80 000 for first acting role, SowetanLive, Published: August 29, 2014, Retrieved: September 1, 2021
  8. Uzalo fans excited about Khanyi Mbau’s return to the show, DRUM, Published: July 9, 2019, Retrieved: September 1, 2021
  9. Khanyi Mbau is officially SA's new queen of talk!, Channel24, Published: October 13, 2014, Retrieved: August 31, 2021
  10. TMG ENTERTAINMENT, [1], SowetanLive, Published: August 19, 2016, Retrieved: September 1, 2021
  11. Mahlohonolo Magadla, Khanyi Mbau wins her first acting award, DRUM, Published: September 30, 2021, Retrieved: September 1, 2021
  12. Julia Madibogo, Khanyi hurt me and left me high and dry in Dubai – boyfriend, City Press, Published: September 1, 2021, Retrieved: September 1, 2021