Lunch Date: Khanyi Mbau


We are so excited to see what you're going to do with Katch it with Khanyi. Why go the talk show route?

I was approached by etv to do a season of 'Rolling With...' and by VUZU to do a reality show and you know I'm the queen of living an interesting life, so it would have been good, but, in terms of growing, it made no sense. I thought, 'What would I want to share that hasn't already been shared?'. Also, whenever I did an interview on TV, people would be surprised by my intellect, that i can speak well and have a brain. A talk show takes me out of my comfort zone. I'm used to people asking about me - now I get to ask the questions. It helps that I've been there, done that, bought the T-shirt, so I don't judge. I've been called a homewrecker, accused of using witchcraft, so my guests can talk to me about anything. there is no stigma. A talk show also allows me to show another side of myself. I got into the entertainment industry when I was 18 and I've grown, and so have my fans. We're now talking about social issues.

What makes Katch it with Khanyi different to any other talk show on TV at the moment?

My selling point is my candidness, my openness, nothing's taboo. You know how with some celebs you can't discuss their personal lives? Not with me. I don't care about those rules. I will go there and say it how it is. I don't care about their endorsements or how many awards they've won, I want to talk about the magic behind the person. I've walked the red carpets and performed, so they can talk to me about their perspective. I want to humanise celebrities and show people that it's okay to be a f*ck up, it's okay to have flaws.

All these opportunities seem to be coming your way since you've made a decision to 'change your life'. Why do you think so?

Every era has their symbol. There was a Brenda era, a Lebo era and my era after them. I was the sacrificial lamb to show people what society had become. I was a mirror to society, showing people there was a new type of black woman who was fearless about going after what she wanted. But now I'm growing again. When change comes, you have to accept it and grow with it. I had to go through all the things I went through in order to grow. If I could choose, I wouldn't change a thing about my past - I'd go through it all over again. You know, lessons are sometimes burdens and I had to go through all those ups and downs to learn my lesson.

Do you feel like you have something to prove?

No, I have nothing to prove. I do have a point to put across, though. What some people see as 'perfect', isn't perfect. There's no such thing as 'perfect'. Don't see celebrities as role models. Yes, we can inspire you, but understand that they are humans, they have flaws. If you don't, you're going to be disappointed.

Why shoot your show in Soweto and not Sandton?

It was a calculated decision. My hair is short, I wear minimal make-up on set. My talk show is candid, but without frills. I wanted to take myself out of my comfort zone and take it back to where that little girl started dreaming about being a star. Everyone has a 'home' where they come from before the fame - a place that keeps you grounded. I want people to see an honest side of me and judge me for who I am now.

Despite what we read in the tabloids, you and Tebogo seem very lovey-dovey on social media. Any wedding bells? 

You know, there are so many rumours about Tebogo and I. But, from the beginning, I told him this was a decision he made and he's going to have to take all the rumours, negative publicity with it. It's like with Marilyn Monroe - which man was going to want to date Marilyn after JFK? No man in Joburg was going to approach me if he didn't have money. Guys in Joburg knew that after they made their first million they'd try to date me to show everyone that they'd 'arrived'. I told Tebogo we're going to hear so many rumours, especially as he's making guys with money feel like they have no game! We'll always be scrutinized and people will always think that I'm financially better off. He accepts that this wasn't going to be easy, so it's up to us to be ourselves. In terms of wedding bells... I'd love to marry him some day, but we have to be responsible, think about our children and make sure we give them a great future.

What's different with this relationship? 

You know, this is the first relationship ever where it's not about me and what I can get from this guy. He's humanised me. This relationship is about what we can do for each other. He's teaching me how to love someone genuinely. I was with men before where, after an argument, they'd buy me something and it'd be over. Now, it's like, we actually have to talk about things and work through things.

So will you be the next Oprah? 

I'm definitely not going to be the next Oprah. I'm going to be the next voice of reason. I want people to know that, with me, here's someone who is honest, who has an opinion that comes from understanding, not malice. I have to accept that I contributed a lot to how young women saw life and love and I have to open my life up and say, here's the truth. I want to be remembered as someone who made it back from the brink. Lebo and Brenda didn't have a chance to make it back and speak about their lives and what they'd been through with this monster called 'fame'.

Images: supplied and Khanyi Mbau's Instagram

Follow Khanyi Mbau on Twitter and Instagram.

Khanyi's new show hits TV screens at 5.30 tonight. Channel 105.

Lunch Date is a weekly feature in which we profile a fab South African woman. Please let us know, in the comments below, who you’d like to see featured in this space!

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