Siv Ngesi is “Sivanna”
- Popular actor/comedian unveils drag queen alter-ego.
- Girl sports are tough.
- An interest in drag.
- The controversy.
- Sivanna tours the new home of the DHL Stormers.
Multi-award winning actor, comedian, MC, motivational speaker, and now “gender bender”, Siv Ngesi has taken SA by storm with the debut of his drag queen alter-ego, Sivanna. Ngesi introduced her earlier this year for an Adidas x Ivy Park campaign. Being raised in a household full of females, headed by his powerful and independent Xhosa mother, Ngesi has always known the inner strength of the feminine and developed a strong interest in the drag art form from an early age.
With Sivanna, the 35-year-old actor and comedian aims to incarnate a multi-layered, opinionated, and unapologetic character not many straight men would dare take on. Lately, Ngesi is rediscovering what masculinity means to him and challenging himself to take on what are perceived as more feminine sports & art forms, including gravity-defying pole dancing. This discipline requires an indefatigable and solid inner core. The second is the unforgivable physicality of ballet classes in full tutu and ballet shoes, an aesthetically pleasing dance form requiring utmost control of one’s musculature and balance.
It’s a far leap from the brutish thundering power of game of rugby that he is used to, but both are equally demanding.
His transformation, including hair, makeup, high heels, boobs and the “tuck”, has been made possible by Sivanna’s ‘drag mother’, Manila von Teez, who has shown her the power and liberating vulnerability there is in wearing a dress. Together with her mentor, Sivanna intends to get involved in conversations that recognize drag as an art form to be taken seriously.
Just a dash of controversy darling!
When Sivanna arrived, looking fabulous no less, there was a notable social media fall out questioning Siv’s motives, gender politics even his sexuality. “I didn’t create Sivanna to make any point. She’s not an activist. I’ve always wanted to do drag. I’ve always been passionate about drag, people have always known that about me and I’m not trying to make a statement at all. I just want to be a man in a dress and makeup when I want to and from there I can go pole dancing or box and play rugby,” said Siv in an interview with Sowetan Live.
He went on to clarify: “I want to be able to teach young boys that they can be anything they want and that what people think of you has nothing to do with who you are. I just want to live in a world where I can just wear a dress if I want to and people don’t need to think that ‘he’s trying to make a statement.”
Siv’s last word on his sexuality (after explaining that its none of anyone’s business) was that he was “not fabulous enough” to be gay.
Later this month, Siv Ngesi Productions will be teaming up with Cape Town’s most celebrated drag divas, Manila von Teez, Emogen Moore, King Khalani and Wendy Larosa to host a Drag Brunch at the Radisson Red Hotel. Recently, Sivanna also teamed up with Bright Rock and The Pro14 Rainbow Cup to take fans on the first-ever exclusive tour of the new home of the DHL Stormers.
A gender bender is a person who disrupts, or “bends” expected gender roles. Gender bending is also occasionally a form of social activism undertaken to destroy rigid gender roles, and defy sex-role stereotypes, notably in cases where the gender-nonconforming person finds these roles oppressive.
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