As a youngster Gilan taught himself to read before other children his age so that he could study books on the art of magic. Before his age even reached double digits he was being trained personally by professionals in the ‘allied arts’.
By the age of twelve Gilan began to perform professionally for money, primarily at birthday parties and restaurants. Despite still performing magic and illusion at this stage in his life, these early years afforded Gilan the opportunity of interacting with a myriad of people every single day. These frequent exchanges invited Gilan’s innate intuitiveness to come to the fore and before long he naturally started to crack the code to his audience’s minds, grasping techniques which would later result in Gilan’s uncanny abilities of thought-transferal and seeming mind-control.
Gilan did not comprehend the true nature or power of these skills until he vacationed with his family at the age of sixteen. At their holiday resort he met a hypnotist who lent him a book and who introduced Gilan to a local mentalist who imparted to him an old spiral-bound book full of ideas and techniques on mentalism. It was on this holiday that Gilan began to understand the path in which he could develop his abilities – to leave magic behind and venture further into the world of the mentalist.
After a couple of years of sharpening his rapidly developing expertise, Gilan entered a major competition held by the prestigious Johannesburg Magic Circle. There were dozens of competitors, all of whom were magicians and illusionsists, except for Gilan who came prepared with his personally developed show titled ‘Thought Travels Quicker than Light’. Gilan scooped first place after having read the minds of randomly selected volunteers, controlled their thoughts and even predicted what they would say or do in advance.
As with anyone with an astounding skill and the ability to communicate and present feats in highly entertaining ways, Gilan began to receive attention from the media. This media interest would snowball when Gilan launched a national tour of his theatre show titled ‘Beyond The Mind’. To date, Gilan has been featured on prime time television and radio shows for interviews and demonstrations of his unique style of mentalism. These programs include:
• Carte Blanche
• 3Talk with Noelene for three distinct episodes including ‘Extraordinary South Africans’
• Late Night with Kgomotso
• The Power of 5
• Many other television appearances
• 5FM with Gareth Cliff on two occasions
• 94.7 Highveld Stereo with Darren ‘Whackhead’ Simpson on two occasions
• 702 Talk Radio with Redi Tlhabi
• 5FM with Grant & Anele
• Jacaranda FM breakfast show with Rian van Heerden
• 567 Cape Talk on the breakfast show with Kieno Kammies
• 567 Cape Talk with Africa Melane – this included a live studio audience
• 94.5 KFM on the breakfast show with Ryan O’Connor
• East Coast Radio drive time with Damon Beard
• Gilan has also appeared multiple times on MetroFM, YFM, RadioToday, SAFM, Radio2000, Bush Radio and many more.
National and local print media around South Africa have also presented stories on Gilan including The Times, The Star, The New Age, The Citizen, The Sowetan, Sunday Tribune, The Independent, Daily News, The Mercury, The Argus, Cape Times, Southern Star, The Weekly Gazette plus numerous local publications. The TONIGHT section held a double spread article on Derren Brown in which Gilan held a special mention and was compared to the world-famous personalities of Derren Brown, David Copperfield, David Blaine and Criss Angel. Gilan was also elected as one of the ‘Top 50 Bachelors of the Year’ in Cleo Magazine in 2011.
Aside from entertaining people, Gilan also has a passion for personal development. After receiving countless comments from spectators about how empowered and inspired they felt after seeing one of his shows, Gilan decided to offer a different experience to his supporters, parallel to his shows. In 2011 he ventured to Florida, USA, to become a founding partner of the John C. Maxwell Team. John Maxwell had been voted Global Leadership Guru for 6 consecutive years and has sold over 20 Million books on the subject. Gilan noticed a synergy between Maxwell’s take on leadership, and Gilan’s own passion for the topic of ‘influence’. By crossing the two, Gilan created a talk on Leadership infused with the perspectives of a mentalist. He has presented this talk both in and outside of South Africa.
Today, Gilan’s shows and talks have taken him around the world, although admittedly he enjoys focusing on adding value in his home country of South Africa. He is realizing his hopes and dreams – amplifying the power of the mind, extending human potential, traveling beyond imagination and covering his audiences with his unique atmosphere of entertainment, disbelief and inspiration. His suave charisma combined with powerful presentation continues to elevate his art of Mentalism to internationally peak performances.