A reality check is coming for Khanyi Mbau with South African viewers who are going to see a softer side – as well as tears – from the controversial yet hugely popular media celebutant in a new buzzed about reality show premiering on e.tv in July.
Last week Mbau – who has teamed up with two other controversial and outspoken South Africa reality TV queens, Nonhle Thema and Babalwa Mneno – suffered an emotional breakdown and started crying as the cameras rolled for Reality Check, a new reality show starting on 9 July at 18:05 on e.tv.
In the show, the three usually sharp tongued celebs known for causing social media buzz and living the bling high life of South Africa’s emergent glitter class, wept as they visited a charity running a feeding programme for hungry South Africans.
The reality show takes the three celebrities out of their comfort zone to do charity work and see another side to life in South Africa, far away from the designer clothing, bright lights and bling of their daily lives.
“All we did was just cry. We couldn’t even talk. We spoke in tears,” Mbau told Channel24.
“I consider myself a very strong person. I think I’m not emotional. I’m not run by emotions. Tuesday last week we were sent to a health house where they feed the needy. And we all got emotional. It made me see the seriousness of how people suffer in this country, still. Some of us are fortunate. We call ourselves free but we’re not free yet in this country. We haven’t covered all ground yet when it comes to helping South Africans. People are suffering. It is terrible.”
‘Nonhle and Babalwa are real about life’
Mbau told Channel24 that it was “an honour” to appear with Thema and Mneno in the reality show.
“They are two women who I respect. They’ve had enough bad and good publicity – unlike these new girls in the industry now who want to have a certain image – a façade – to sell their business. Nonhle and Babalwa are real about life. They’ve been through all the badness and good,” said Mbau. “That’s why I can work with them anytime because they know the game and they respect it.”
Mbau also has advice for fame seekers and wannabe reality show stars.
“If you really want to be a public interest property, you need to be passionate. You need to know the reasons you want to do this. You need to understand this business. You need to love every aspect of it. And for every good there’s bad and for every bad there’s good. And it’s 99% bad that you’ll experience because the world is judgemental and unforgiving. If you’ve got passion it will drive you and you will be able to carry on forever and during difficult times. And you will love what you do and you won’t do drugs and commit suicide – but if you’re not it can kill you and you will die.”
Mbau said Reality Check will show “a side to me you’ve never seen. It gives a human aspect. People always ask ‘Why are you famous?’ Well, you’ll be able to answer for yourself once you’ve seen Reality Check in July.”
She added: “It took me four months to decide if I want to do this show because I was against the element of reality. I think as South Africans we haven’t cracked the formula of shooting a proper reality show. We call it reality and then it looks like a documentary.
“And I still think South African society is conservative still, so if you have to party up a storm and pay a million rand for your bar bill you get in trouble – someone will call you from 3rd Degree orCarte Blanche and they want to know why. But then when the producers and e.tv brought about the twist of why Reality Check will be different, it got me excited and it looked attractive.
“They said to me ‘We will give you a side which will humanise you. We’re going to make you do stuff which you’re not comfortable with. We are going to show your soft side.”