Based: Cape Town
Spurred on by a hunger for success, South African actor-comedian Siv Ngesi is well on his way to becoming an icon in the South African entertainment scene, and with good reason.
It isn’t a far cry to find Ngesi immersed in several different spheres of the performing arts at one time, as he showcases his talents across a number of platforms in order to achieve the success he has always dreamed of.
After his overwhelming success with his one-man comedy show Dekaf, which ran at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown for three years and won the Golden Ovation Award for best Comedy show in 2010, Ngesi embarked on a national tour with the show, playing to packed theatres and rave reviews, and opened up a whole new chapter in his life.
Since then he has been in demand on the corporate circuit as MC and Entertainer, and has seen his career skyrocket as both local and international acting offers have come his way.
His television career has flourished, with lead roles in League of Glory (MNet) and SEIZ (Mzanzi Magic) leading to international acting roles in the Oscar-nominated Invictus (With Clint Eastwood, Matt Damon and Morgan Freeman) and in 24 Redemption (with Keifer Sutherland and Jon Voigt).
Ever keen to diversify, Siv also has no less than five commercials running on national television at the moment (3 Castle Lager, Fruitree and KFC) as advertisers warm to his easy, outgoing acting style.
Audiences will also warm to him in his upcoming cinema roles in Long Walk to Freedom and in the body-switching movie Copposies.
Describing himself as “motivated and inspired”, Siv draws his inspiration from his parents, and drives him though a promise he made to his father on his death bed.
“Growing up my mother always told me I could be whatever I wanted to be, that the sky is not the limit, it’s just another playground. And her favourite saying was “What you put in, is what you get out” So I would have to say my mom formed much of my inspiration,” Siv recalls.
“I lost my dad in a car accident in 2004 during my matric exams, he was in ICU but he could signal with his right hand. I said to him “Dad I’m going to be rich” – he gave me a thumbs up. Then I said “I’m going to be successful dad” – thumbs up and I said “I’m going to make you proud dad” – thumbs up again. He died a few days later.
“This memory drives me every minute of my life and I will never rest until I keep my 3 promises, even though money isn’t what drives me, I know if I continue doing what I love, the money will follow.”
But it isn’t all glamour for Siv, who also drives his own Charity called Siv Gives Back (SGB), which allows him to do motivational talks to schools around the country and to help those less fortunate than him. The most recent contribution was the sponsoring of Rugby kit to the Jag Rugby team, a team that Siv played for when he was young and Red Cross Children Hospital.
“The Legacy I want to leave behind is“ Sivuyile “Siv” Ngesi used his talents and influence to change lives and the world”
With all this keeping him busy, you can still find Siv sharpening his skills at local Comedy Clubs or hosting corporate events. He also has his own show on Cape Radio station KFM.
Currently Siv is the presenter for SkyWin on e.tv.