Dekaf

2011-04-16 00:00

COMEDIAN Siv Ngesi stars in Dekaf, a comedy he wrote with fellow funnyman David Newton (Politically Incorrect, Defending the Laid Man and Laugh), which aims to show that contrary to popular belief there is a new generation of black people who don’t bitch about the “struggle”, can swim, aren’t hated by dogs and didn’t vote for Jacob Zuma.

Instead, Ngesi (25), who hails from Cape Town, takes his fans into the world of a black man who was raised in the suburbs, schooled in the public school system, dates white women and listens to Josh Groban.

Speaking to me about Dekaf, which will be staged for one night only at Krakatoa at Sibaya Casino in Umhlanga at 8 pm on April 28, Ngesi reveals that the acting bug bit early.

And aged just 10, he toured Asia with the musical Les Miserables, playing the role of Gavroshe.

Asked what it was like to tour at such a young age, he says: “Being part of Les Miserables was definitely not a “miserable” experience.

“It was just a gigantic adventure and thrill. I felt like I was the luckiest kid in the world, and living in Hilton hotels was one hell of a cherry on top. Les Miserables was my first professional acting job and what a way to start the ride! Like they say, ‘Go big or go home’.”

His journey started when his mum, Queen, took him to speech-and-drama lessons and he says his family remains hugely supportive of his “crazy job and life”.

That craziness has included a host of films — Cape of Good Hope, After the Rain, Love in Africa, Zeenon z3, World Unseen and Schweitzer; several television shows — the SABC productions Khululeka, The Adventures of Sinbad, Double Shift and Interrogation Room; M-Net’s League Of Glory, and a stint alongside Keifer Sutherland in the international hit 24; and the stage shows Sizwe Banzi is Dead, The Island, Sex and the Citi Golf, Star Wors, Off Your Trolley and Butlers and Brandy.

Asked what it was like to appear in a football-themed show in the run-up to last year’s World Cup, he says: “Being part of League of Glory was an epic rollercoaster ride, to say the least. I’m not sure if you noticed, but I can’t play soccer to save my life.

“I am a waterpolo (yes, believe it or not) and rugby player, so I had to practice in my spare time, go to soccer lessons and watch a lot of diving drama queens on Supersport. “We had a very talented and dedicated group of people working on the project.

“I learnt so much working with the likes of Oscar-nominated Darrell Roodt and South African legend Regardt van den Bergh. Both directed the TV show.”

As for Dekaf, which came about after Newton saw Ngesi performing in Grahamstown and approached him with the idea of a one-man show, he says: “It’s a story about a black guy (me) who has lived in the suburbs longer than he has lived in the townships, and how I have different views on different topics to other black people.

“David and I call me a ‘new-generation black guy’ or some just call me a coco-nut (black on the outside and white in the inside).”

The show, which debuted at the 2009 Grahamstown National Arts Festival under Newton’s directorship and won a coveted Golden Ovation Award, offers plenty of laughs and energy, and is, says Ngesi, guaranteed to leave you feeling proud to be “South Afri-CAN”.

Tickets are R55 and can be booked at Computicket.

SIV NGESI’S ADVICE FOR ASPIRING ACTORS AND ACTRESSES:

 

• KEEP PUSHING •

• BUILD YOUR BRAND •

• LEARN HOW TO MOTIVATE YOURSELF •

• GYM AND TAKE CARE OF YOUR BODY •

• THE SKY IS NOT THE LIMIT, IT’S JUST ANOTHER PLAYGROUND •

• ACTING IS NOT A FULL-TIME OR A PART-TIME JOB, IT’S A FULL-TIME OBSESSION •

• DO WHAT YOU LOVE AND YOU WILL NEVER WORK A DAY IN YOUR LIFE •

• ALWAYS KEEP POSITIVE AND SURROUND YOURSELF WITH POSITIVE PEOPLE •

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