This article was previously published in the DRUM print edition, a few months before Kay Sibiya's heartbreaking break up from his then, girlfriend and mother of his child, Judie.
He is the kind of guy that makes women look twice when he walks into a room. But Kay Sibiya has eyes for only one woman: Judie Kama, his girlfriend of three years. The actor is smitten with Judie and their baby and now he’s ready to share them with DRUM readers. They walk into our offices, pre-coronavirus, with their youngest, Doxa, who’s eight months old. Judie touches up her makeup while Kay decides to change his son’s outfit for the shoot before changing his own.
Kay (32), as fans will know, is best known for his breakout role as Ayanda Mdletshe in ‘Uzalo’. He has played a number of other roles, including a lead in the 019 Netflix drama Agent, which also aired on SABC1 in February, but fans still call him Ayanda. Being in the limelight means lots of attention from fans and women are always trying to get him to notice them.
But Judie says she’s very secure in their relationship. She’s a makeup artist, a DJ, an influencer, has a hair business and also runs a promotions business. “I am not in the limelight and I don’t want to be,” she says. “That’s his space. When we got together, he was in the entertainment industry and that’s not something I want to change. “I will admit, though, that I am a jealous person. Very often girls make moves on him and I can’t stop them. What I appreciate is how he handles it. There will always be girls, but he respects me, our relationship and our family. He lets the girls know he is not interested. “The other thing I appreciate about my man is when he is away, he is gone – but when he is home, he is really present and is involved 100% in the children’s lives.”
Judie made the first move when they met. “We met at an event and I saw him from across the room. I really liked his height and so I went up to him and told him as much. Initially I didn’t recognise him, later I realised who he is. I introduced myself by my middle name, Sbahle, because I thought he was a traditional Zulu man,” she says, giggling. Both their phones were off but they exchanged social-media handles.
It wasn’t long before they got in touch and eventually started a relationship. Kay couldn’t be happier, he says. He plans to marry Judie one day. “I wholeheartedly believe in the institution of marriage,” he says. “I also believe there are special kinds of blessings that men never receive when they are not married. That is why the bible says it’s not good for man to be alone. That is also why it says, ‘And so a man shall leave his mother and father, and cling to his wife’. “There’s something sacred about marriage and I cannot wait to get married. Specifically, I can’t wait to marry Judie,” he adds.
The couple joke around all throughout the interview but when he talks marriage, he’s serious. “I travel a lot because of my work so when I’m in town, I really just want to spend time with my family. Sometimes I tell her not to worry about the kids, I will look after them and she must go and do something fun for herself. “I want to break the stereotype that Zulu dads can’t be affectionate towards their children. For me, Kay Sibiya is a persona and when I’m not on-screen, I am Khumbulani and I am able to be the man my family needs me to be,” he says. Between them, they have three kids: Judie has an eight-year-old girl, Kay has a five-year-old girl and together they have Doxa. Judie (25) says as a working mother, she is grateful for her support system. Her mother looks after their eldest during the week and Kay’s parents are always available to look after the two youngest. “My parents were never married,” Judie says. “That solid foundation is something that I would like to have for myself and our children.”
Kay didn’t intentionally get into acting; his goal was to be a TV presenter. “I decided to get into acting because I wanted to improve my presenting skills. I knew actors had skills I could use in presenting, like thinking on my feet, minding my body language and increasing my confidence. Before I knew it, I was in love with acting and there was no going back.” He’ll forever be grateful for the opportunity to be on a platform as huge as Uzalo. It laid a solid foundation for him, he says. “It was the biggest blessing for me. I can tell you now, being on different productions and channels is great but prime time on SABC is life- changing. What being on SABC primetime can do for one’s brand is unmatched and I’m glad I had that. All the big names in the industry started their careers on SABC and have gotten better from there,” he says. Kay says being able to act alongside industry greats in Uzalo right at the beginning of his career allowed him to learn a lot from them. Leleti Khumalo played his mother in the show and sometimes during breaks she’d ask him if he wanted to run lines. “And I would pinch myself every time something like that happened and ask myself, ‘Does Mam’ Leleti Khumalo really want to run lines with me?’ I mean, I grew up watching her and now she knows my name. “Bab’ Samson Ndlovu played my father and they took every opportunity they had to teach us and to guide us. Unfortunately, not all of that can be passed onto the ones that have come after us in the industry. A lot of guys don’t have the eagerness to learn. They know it all and come to set with an attitude of focusing on the number of social-media followers they have,” he says.
He is now playing Blaze in the Netflix series Agent and is loving it, he says. It has also given him an opportunity to play a character who speaks English. Blaze is a former pro footballer-turned- agent after an injury cut his sporting career short. “I have been playing strictly isiZulu-speaking characters and now people can see another side to me,” Kay says. “A few weeks ago I was at Montecasino and a group of young men came to greet me and when I responded to them in English they were shocked because they didn’t know I could speak the language. It was a very funny encounter.”