‘Friends actually exhaust me’ – Kelly ends friendship with Wanda and reunites with her sister Zandie

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Sisters Kelly Khumalo and Zandie  Khumalo-Gumede mend their differences and reunite.
Sisters Kelly Khumalo and Zandie Khumalo-Gumede mend their differences and reunite.
Oupa Bopape/Galloimages

“I’ve missed my family,” Zandie says, beaming with joy as she speaks to Drum.

It’s been a few years since singers and sisters Kelly Khumalo and Zandie Khumalo-Gumede had a falling out.

In the grand finale of her reality show #LifeWithKellyKhumalo, the Empini singer ends her friendship with Wanda Baloi and reunites with her estranged sister Zandie. 

Kelly and Wanda have been friends for many years and publicly supported each other.

Wanda played a significant role in Kelly’s reality show from season one up until season three where they “engaged in an emotionally charged conversation that marked the end of their friendship”. 

This is not the first time Kelly is losing a close friend. She previously fell out with singer Brenda Mtambo who was also an integral part of her life story. 

“We can’t be friends,” Kelly speaks about Wanda during her diary session. 

In the last episode of season three, Kelly shares to her mother Ntombi how unhappy she was about her last exchange with Wanda and is no longer interested in nurturing their friendship. 

“I am mad. I am very mad at Wanda. When Wanda needs support from me, she receives it,” Kelly says. 

“I have no hard feelings for Wanda, in fact, I feel nothing. I am not going to babysit a 40-year-old woman. She painted me as a drunkard. I don’t want to see her at this point. Friends actually exhaust me. They are a lot of work, especially when everything is about them,” says Kelly.

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While one friendship collapses, another bond is reformed as Kelly reunites with her long-lost sister.

Kelly and Zandie fell out three years ago after she accused her sister's husband of embezzling money for an alleged booking. 

“With all due respect, Mhlo Gumede is my sister's husband and manager, not my bookings manager nor part of my team, never was and never will be. So whatever dealings you may have with him, do not involve me. Thank you,” Kelly wrote. 

Zandie responded by stating that she officially divorces her sister Kelly.

“If I was divorcing my husband maybe it would have been a little bit easier and lighter,” she wrote. 

“But I am separating from a person I have known for all my life and have shared laughs, pain, excitement, and disappointment with all my life with, my sister."

In the season finale, the sisters reunite during a family therapy session with Kelly’s therapist. 

“It’s been so long, I could not help but cry. I am feeling a lot of things – anger and disappointment – but there’s also love and just me having missed my sister so much. When that separation happened, I was broken to the core,” Kelly says during the session. 

Zandie shares what it was like not being part of the family. 

“People you have known for all of your life suddenly become people you don’t know,” she says.

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Speaking to Drum, Zandie says it’s been a long time coming and she is happy to have reunited with her sister. 

“I am fulfilled,” she says. 

Recently, Zandie had a christening for her baby, Zenala, which her family attended along with Kelly’s children Christian and Thingo. 

“Everything went well and I'm in such a good place with my family,” she says. 

“Being with family is a good feeling. Since we shot the episode, we have been speaking for a long time now and trying to fix our differences one day at a time.”

Zandie says family is everything to her, and being away from Kelly and her children was heart-breaking. 

“This reunion made me feel what I have always felt and known; that family is everything. I mean, having both my family and my hubby's family was heart-warming for me.” 

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