Year Wrap: A look at Khanyi Mbau's 2021 with 'Dubai bae' Kudzai Mushonga

21 December 2021 - 06:00
By Chrizelda Kekana
 Kudzai Mushonga and Khanyi Mbau's relationship has hogged headlines since the beginning of 2021.
Image: Khanyi Mbau/ Instagram Kudzai Mushonga and Khanyi Mbau's relationship has hogged headlines since the beginning of 2021.

Media personality Khanyi Mbau and her Zimbabwean businessman lover Kudzai Mushonga's relationship has come into focus a lot in 2021, hogging headlines for entertaining and sometimes nerve-racking reasons.

Khanyi and Kudzai's love was wrapped in controversy from the get-go. While they sure have been “tested and tried” this year, the pair are still going strong, all the way in Dubai.

Here's a look at the their 2021 timeline.

A 'controversial' love

While it isn't exactly clear when Khanyi and Kudzai met or started dating, it was only six months ago that the pair were romantically linked. This after they started posting snaps of each other on Instagram.

Their relationship was quickly mired in controversy when it emerged that the  Zimbabwean millionaire was a fugitive.

TshisaLIVE's Zimbabwean correspondent connected Kudzai to the country's “rich gangs” and the late Genius “Ginimbi” Kadungure who died in a road accident with three other people when his Rolls-Royce Wraith hit a tree.

Kudzai was also said to be on the Zimbabwean police's wanted list. 

Never one to compromise on her lifestyle

Known for her love of the finer things in life, SA's original “slay queen” commented soon after the alleged relationship made headlines that she treated her relationships with the same respect she affords important business transactions.

Khanyi addressed comments that she “dates men for money” in an interview with Kaya FM, explaining that for her love is not a “conditional feeling”. 

“The thing is with my relationships I treat them like how I buy a car or a house ... you know what you want in the house. I know what my requirements are and I'm not going to back down.”

Luxury life on steroids: The dates

Once they were Instagram official, Khanyi and Kudzai showed up and showed off with extravagant, expensive dates.

On Valentine's Day, Kudzai left Khanyi teary and smiling from ear to ear with a private performance by a violinist, more than 1,000 roses and pressies from Louis Vuitton that left everyone green with envy.

Soon after that, Kudzai invited an audience on his social media when he spared no cost in spoiling his queen with an extravagant trip to The Palace of the Lost City Hotel, Sun City — just for breakfast.

Forget about spending two hours on the road. Kudzai organised a blue-light escort and a private helicopter to transport them in style.

Etched in ink

In March, Khanyi marked herself with Kudzai's name in the form of a tattoo. She debuted the tat on Instagram with a pic of herself next to a pool.

On Instagram Stories Kudzai revealed Khanyi came home late last month with a tender hip and surprised him just before bed.

“Each time I touched your hip you would scream. Poor me didn’t know what was on your hip. When you showed me before bedtime I was in shock. Love you always,” he wrote.

Family happy for Khanyi, rumours of marriage swirl

It wasn't long into the relationship when the rumour mill started churning the news that the pair was planning on tying the knot. Kudzai began calling Khanyi “Mrs K” and unverified news that he'd paid lobola for Khanyi refused to rest.

Reacting to social media reports about their rumoured upcoming nuptials, Lasizwe said he could “advocate” for the couple.

“This is real love! I’ve never seen my sister so happy and content,” he said, adding that their relationship made him “want to believe in love again”.

Soon after that Khanyi had to squash pregnancy rumours when fans assumed there was a bun in the oven after she posted a snap where her tummy seemed to be protruding. The actress said she was just “bloated”.

A baecation in Dubai: Before the storm

August 2021 saw Khanyi and Kudzai take what their fans said was a vacation to Dubai, as soon as it was safe to travel.

The pair had been in the Middle Eastern nation for more than a week and everything about their holiday was worth SBWLing. On Instagram, Khanyi gushed about her man, saying he has made her life a fairytale and had restored her faith in love.

“All you have done is make every day a fairytale. You have mended this heart and made being in love such bliss.

“My eyes are constantly filled with tears, tears of joy from the disbelief of how my life has turned out. I said I want Dubai you said ‘Let’s go now’! You have restored my faith. You are perfectly imperfect and all my losses have been restored in you,” she said.

Khanyi 'flees' Dubai, leaves Kudzai in tears

On August 31, South Africans were left concerned for Khanyi's safety after Kudzai said he had apparently not seen her since “dropping her off at the salon” where they were on holiday in Dubai, UAE.

Khanyi topped the trends list in SA after screenshots from Kudzai's Instagram detailing how “she's gone missing” went viral.

However, it turned out that Khanyi had boarded a flight back to SA without telling Kudzai.

Despite telling her fans that she's home — safe and sound — Khanyi has offered no explanation for her “sudden” departure from Dubai nor has she shared any comment about the online drama caused by her bae.

Kudzai apologises for IG drama. Declares his unending love

Taking to his Instagram Stories, Kudzai has since apologised to Khanyi for his online outburst and declared his undying love for Khanyi.

Kudzai also detailed his side of the story, saying while they travelled to Dubai for work, they also wanted alone time, but he ended up working a lot.

He said after a business breakthrough, he played music which woke up a sleeping Khanyi and they argued.

Kudzai revealed that Khanyi warned him that she would go back home but convinced her to stay.

“We got into an argument and babe is like 'you don't love me' and it's heated. I looked into her eyes and walked away and I'm learning now you should never walk away.”

He later declared his undying love for his Mrs K.

Khanyi uses Dubai drama as a 'teachable moment about vulnerability'

Khanyi Mbau's “Dubai saga” with her man might have had tongues wagging on social media and left many in laughter, but the actress made it clear in her acceptance speech when accepting the Drama Queen award, that the incident was a representation of the importance of women holding their own.

“It's not an insult, it's knowing your worth. My journey has changed since I started in the industry. I was a kept woman but I worked my way up to becoming the woman who keeps others. When this happened I was empowering the young little girl who is a slay queen, who looks at Khanyi and says 'I want to travel the world like you'.

“I would like to dedicate this award to Kudzai. He has shown men it's OK to show strength in pain, to be remorseful on social media and look like a fool. And show men that it is OK to show emotion and you can show how much you love a woman. I don't see it like a joke. Our relationship lost its status in a way but if you look at it, a boy of 28 has shown men to fight for the woman you love. That's the new trend.”

Happily ever after in Dubai: After the storm

Expensive gifts, fancy dates and rides in expensive cars have been the order of Khanyi's second attempt as living and loving in Dubai. The media personality went back to her Dubai-based Zimbabwean boyfriend and has been having the time of her life.

A hit song about leaving your man in Dubai and a few Instagram LIVE apologies later, the pair kissed and made up and Khanyi bought a first class ticket and made her way back to her man.

Khanyi's been flying back and forth between Dubai and SA since then ... looking like a woman in love each time. Maybe, just like the Netflix film she starred in, Happiness Ever After, happily ever after is not just a fictitious concept.

Perhaps it's real ... Only time will tell.