It’s not often these days that we get a glimpse into the private life of actress-socialite Khanyi Mbau. Once upon a time, her life filled tabloid pages daily, but in recent years she’s become a lot more selective about what she shares with the public.

Until now, when she’s decided to give us front-row access to her life. Khanyi’s new reality show, Mbau Reloaded, Always Rise on Saturdays on BET (DStv 129), is not only giving viewers a glimpse of what it’s like to be the fierce queen of entertainment, it’s taking us for a full-on day-in-the-life ride into the Khanyi-verse.

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Controversial, outspoken, fabulous and larger than life, the series not only shows us the person beneath the personality, but also introduces us to her family and loved ones while delving into her very real journey toward happiness. “Mbau Reloaded shows my evolving life as a sister, mother, businesswoman, and how I navigate through the entertainment industry and controversy associated with my choices in men and skin lightening,” says Khanyi.

We sat down with the iconic star to find out more about the show, the difficulties of filming during lockdown, special guests and having a camera in her face practically 24/7.

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From the Queen Mbau herself

The show is less glitz & glam, more “real-deal Khanyi”, right?

Khanyi: Yes! I am definitely aiming to show only the less glitzy side. This show is not Instagram.

Why did you decide to give fans and viewers a glimpse into your private life now? 

Khanyi: I have evolved so much (from even five years ago). I feel that now is the perfect time to tell my story. It’s been long-awaited, and the time was just right.

How did you decide on teaming up with BET? 

Khanyi: I’ve been approached by many media houses and channels, but BET, in collaboration with Idea Collective, just felt like the perfect match. My experience working on BET’s 2019 reality docu-series Big Secret, and my brother Lasizwe’s reality show, Fake It Till You Make It, made me feel at home with the channel.

What do you hope viewers will take from the show? 

Khanyi: I am hoping that they leave after each episode with a better understanding of how strong, smart, kind, beautiful and hood I really am. I want viewers to see what is beyond the perceived “barbie doll”, and get to see the girl who grew up in Mofolo, Soweto and her rise to being Mbau Reloaded.

What are some of the major moments fans can look forward to? 

Khanyi: Honestly, the whole show is a major moment. I think the relationship between myself and my daughter is something to look out for. There’s more, but you’ll just have to watch and find out.

When was Mbau Reloaded filmed? 

Khanyi: We started filming in mid-July this year (shortly after the lockdown was relaxed) and we filmed the season over a period of three months.

That’s a long time to have a camera crew in your face. Did it take some time for you to get used to their constant presence? 

Khanyi: More the opposite, actually. I wanted cameras there all the time. I loved the experience! If it were up to me, I’d have them take showers with me and wake up with me!

Was it a challenge filming under COVID-19 lockdown restrictions? 

Khanyi: The entire filming process was a “challenge”, really. We had to be very strategic with how and what we shot. Time management was a big factor, too, with the editors working from home and shoots being tricky especially regarding having people at locations.

Can we expect to see a few famous faces pop up during future episodes? 

KhanyiLasizwe, my brother, is an obvious face to expect. The rest you’ll have to tune in to find out…

Watch Mbau Reloaded, Always Rise S1 on Saturdays on BET Africa (DStv 129) at 19:30 or on Catch Up

How to stream Mbau Reloaded, Always Rise online

Get the DStv app (Apple or Android) and download episodes to watch on your phone or tablet – just remember to connect to the Wi-Fi first so there are no surprise data costs. You can also stream live – here’s how to do it.

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