With over a decade of experience in the entertainment industry, one has seen people come with a bang and leave to be forgotten but there are always those Die Hards, the Van Dammes and exceptional starrings of the game – and Khanyi Mbau is definitely among them.
Her hustle to remain relevant puts many to shame – this is the same girl who rose to prominence for being in love with an old man, went into acting, did some singing, owned her own gin, bleached her skin and now we have front row seats to her scripted life through her reality show.
Mbau Reloaded: Always Rise premiered last month, with the socialite, mom and talk show host (and whatever she will be next month) yet again reminding us she is still in the game. She tells her story alongside her daughter Khanukani aka Khanz, her sister Thandeka Mcunu and occasionally her reality show star brother Lasizwe surfaces amid the confusion.
I call it confusion because there is still no clear story that we are experiencing other than what we know about Mbau from social media – she bleaches her skin, has amazing weaves and a big family.
Just what are we watching? I hope you have a better answer in your head than I do, because often one can never remember much after watching this reality show – which is exactly the same effect as E!'s Keeping Up with the Kardashians and MTV's Fake it till you make it. But there are those reality shows that leave you gasping, like Mzansi Magic's Izangoma Zodumo or Moja Love's Mamazala!
But I suppose that is the aim of reality television: it picks at a few dead brain cells and distracts you from thinking about other disturbing things in society, where you just stare at the telly hoping some drama ensues. We're several episodes in and dololo drama… The sister Thandeka is a sister-wife, Khanz is teenager giving Khanyi some minor headaches, Khanyi's father is ill (he has since passed on) and the siblings just sibling away.
Saturdays are dead television days anyway, so one would watch and get to learn more about Khanyi's many possessions like her dogs (Cash and Money), her packed to the brim closet, lavish new home, fancy whips and at most you can get to watch her bleach her lady bits.
The truth is, Khanyi is an interesting person – her hustle is unmatched and her consistency to remain relevant is also admirable, but this show isn't giving that at all. The show disappointingly and comfortably lives in the "yet another reality show" category – with a beautiful intro and creative direction – but the moment you are in, you are as quick to switch off.
Here is what many may wish to see – the business behind Khanyi Mbau. How she rises daily and maintains the lavish life being exposed to the masses, the human element and the vulnerabilities which she might not want but guess what – this could make the show worth way more than just "another reality show".
- Watch Mbau Reloaded: Always Rise every Saturday on BET (DStv 129) at 19:30