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Friday, February 10, 2012

Renaissance Q&A: The Dapper Sivuyile Ngesi

Barack Obama was not necessarily born to be president. More like he was groomed for leadership and he just worked hard for the highest leadership chair in his country. Our renaissance man on the other hand, well, he was born for the stage. Attending drama and speech classes from the age of 6, it was no wonder how and when he swam his way into stardom. Add some hard work to the mix and a sense of comic relief and you find a gentleman who can stand his own on stage and in front of a camera. Sivuyile Ngesi, better known as Siv N, is the jack of his traits, and he also happens to be developing into a smart philanthropist. We caught up with him to see what’s been happening and what 2012 holds in store for us from his pond.

Which came first, the egg or the chicken?
Wow! What a way to get me thinking first question of the interview. When you speak of chicken, I think of fried chicken. So I say the chicken came first.

Which came first, acting or the stand-up comedy?
Acting came first and it will always be my first and last love…

Is there a difference between the two for you, or are they one in the same?
I think they have many similarities. I am on that stage or platform to entertain and to take people to a different world. But in acting you don’t have to make people laugh all the time. Call me an ACTOR!

How did you go into acting?
I started speech and drama at the early age of 6. But my first paid job was at 9, I was walking home from swimming practice and I bumped into my friend’s mother and they were franticly looking for a black kid who could swim for a commercial. Some other black kid lied and said he could and when they started shooting, all you could see were bubbles. So I ended up shooting the job the next day. Moral of the story is - Us blacks who can swim are very rare and endangered.

What about comedy, did someone over hear your 'bar' jokes and throw an opportunity at you?
Well no, my best friend, who happens to be a great and very successful comedian, David Newton; who’s now living in LA, saw me in a theatre production where I was portraying a hilarious character. After the show, he came up to me and said, “Siv, let’s write your very own one-man show”.  So in reality, my career in comedy is built on an amazing opportunity I grabbed with both hands and feet. And mouth.

Which do you prefer?
Acting hands down with no competition. I am married to Acting and Comedy is the other woman.

Which do you think is seen as more fashionable in SA, acting or comedy?
Acting is known for glitz and glam, but comedy is the rock-star version and fashion is never an issue or a focal point: ‘Wow he was funny but he dresses like crap!”

Being the modern-day man that you are, what are you key fashion essentials for any man in SA today?
You can have all the key fashion essentials in the world. But confidence is the main essential!

Do you prefer: Jacket and tie or Jacket and no tie?
Come now, it all depends on the event.  But a tie makes me feel like a 9 to 5 kind of guy and I don’t do 9 to 5. So lets say no tie

Which personality traits would the menswear brand that you take up being an ambassador for have?
Simple, chilled, consistent and sometimes risqué (sometimes)

Do you think there is room for more menswear designers and variety?
No doubt! I love turning heads, just as much as ladies do.

How would you describe your personal style?
Simple and bloody effective!

Name your three favourite local brands.
I don’t have favourite local or international brand. Give me a black bag and I will rock the shit out of it. I treat brands like I treat my music, I don’t have a favourite type of music, I have favourite songs (like I do ladies). In other words I treat every piece of clothing as an individual.

You do a lot of work for charitable organisations, do you think that is something all renaissance men should do, or is it only for a select few?
No I think everyone should get involved in Charity work. We should all do what we can, where we can.

So what's next for the xploSIV, Siv N?
I have a new series coming out soon on Mzanzi Magic, new movies coming out on international and local small and big screens, my new one man and two man shows come out - “Race Card“ and “Woza Albert”. But most importantly I am building my brand and empire.

On the set of "24".

Who do you consider to be a renaissance man and why?
I would say a Renaissance man is a very confident, intellectual and sometimes misunderstood  “All rounder”.

I suck at whys.

So to find out more go to, also Sivuyile “Siv” Ngesi on Facebook and let him lead you on Twitter @iamSIVN

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