Khanyi Mbau on launching her own gin: 'We have been through so much as a country'

The queen of bling is going GIN!

By  | Jun 22, 2020, 01:44 PM  | Khanyi Mbau  | Top of The

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Khanyi Mbau

Throughout Khanyi Mbau's life in the limelight, there have been many unexpected money-making moves that she's made. But this one is by far one that we couldn't have predicted. 

We recently sat down with the star and spoke about everything including her career, fame, her daughter and expanding her family. During our exclusive interview, the media personality also emphasised that she's rebranding, and looking looking to embark on exciting new ventures in the next coming year. One thing is for sure, she is ending 2018 with a bang.

She's written a book, conquered the entertainment industry as both an actress and TV presenter, and now she's launching her own alcoholic beverage. Mbau has almost done it all.

Check out all you need to know about I AM KHANYI.

Launching an alcoholic beverage is such an unexpected venture from you, why did you decide to keep it on the low?

We have been through so much as a country and have little moments to celebrate this year, from death threats to polony and     changing presidents, it’s been hectic... and I saw the gap to give people a reason to be happy and celebrate.

I kept it on the low because creating a Gin is serious business, it’s not a party trick and it needs focus and concentration as this is something people will be putting in their bodies, so I had to be sure and confident about the quality of the brand before I said anything.

What was the creative process that you went through in creating not only the design of the bottle but also the gin itself?

Nicole from Copper & Malt helped me with my vision in bringing it to life. She kept me fully involved in the whole process; from the concept, design, through to which flavour profiles would work. The gin was designed specifically to suit my persona, style and personality.

Khanyi Mbau gin

Why call it I AM KHANYI?

I chose to name it Khanyi because I am the light, a brand of the people... People have owned my story and career for years, so why not allow them to take me home and also allow me to be part of their special moments? but it’s no lie, I AM KHANYI MBAU.

When deciding to launch an alcoholic beverage, why did you choose to launch gin?

Gin is such a beautiful beverage, that it's also broad in mixology that it allows everyone to become creative. Also, the gin industry in South Africa is such a growing industry to invest in and grow money like the property market and art space... But gin is much more fun.

Khanyi Mbau's gin

What separates I AM KHANYI from the gin brands already on the market?

My gin is one of a kind. It shimmers and glows in the dark, plus has so much attitude! Besides, who drinks a celebrity? Have me.The first sip is like taking a bite into a Turkish delight and it explodes with a fruity element of berries and grape, smooth and not strong on the taste buds. Don’t let the colour fool you, it’s a baddie!

Can you describe in one sentence the experience that our taste buds could go through when taking our first sip of the gin? 

I AM KHANYI, an undiscovered language of consistency.


Like most industries, the alcoholic beverage industry, especially in the celebrity space, is male-dominated. What made you want to challenge that narrative?

I have never been one to define my gender in any opportunity... But the gents better give me a seat at the table and a big fork.

The gin will be available from 1 December at Makro across the country. The bottle retails for around R389 – R399.

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