Kenny Kunene - A dramatic history
SUSHI King Kenny Kunene rose to prominence in Mzansi celebrity circles two years ago as the "mining millionaire" and co-owner of the exclusive ZAR nightclub with fellow ex-convict and business partner Gayton McKenzie.
At his five-star club ZAR in Sandton, Kunene likes to dress up in one of his many Aigner designer suits and flaunt his history by holding a giant champagne bottle behind gold-painted "prison bars".
McKenzie drew public attention in 2002 when he and a small group of inmates secretly smuggled video cameras into Grootvlei Prison in the Free State to videotape allegedly corrupt prison warders.
As the co-owner of ZAR, frequented by the rich and famous, Kunene became infamous for eating sushi off the bodies of semi-naked women early this year, as well as throwing lavish parties in his honour.
Born in Kutlwanong township in Virginia and raised by his grandparents and unemployed mother, Kunene now lives in a reported R12m Sandton apartment, while his soon to be ex-wife and son live in Odendaalsrus.
He was widely condemned by the outspoken Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi for flaunting his wealth in the face of the millions of poor people in South Africa.
Kunene wrote an open letter to Vavi telling the trade union leader he was jealous because he was not invited to the party and that he must take a hike.
He said the R700,000 birthday party that irked Vavi was nothing compared with the R800,000 he splurged on another bash in his Free State home town of Odendaalsrus in August last year.
A month later the former gangster ordered a yellow Lamborghini valued at around R1,5m and was also said to be in the market for a helicopter.
He drew attention to himself when he publicly said he was a polygamist and that whites are often critical of black men with a string of wives while they (whites) have mistresses.
He also drew flak when he declared: "We have been made by white people. We are not ashamed to say that."