Siv Ngesi as Sivanna. Picture: Instagram
Siv Ngesi as Sivanna. Picture: Instagram

Siv Ngesi clarifies his drag persona’s adidas Ivy Park shoot

By Liam Karabo Joyce Time of article published Feb 24, 2021

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Actor Siv Ngesi found himself in hot water on Wednesday with some members of the LGBTQIA+ community.

This after the star posted a picture of himself in drag as his drag persona, Sivanna.

In the picture, Sivanna is dressed in adidasXIvyPark.

Ngesi captioned the post saying: “Sivanna is a month and 2 days old and she’s already shooting with @adidasZA, @weareivypark, #icypark, #adidasxivypark”

Following the post, he found himself at the top of the trends list on social media when some Twitter users started expressing how they felt about his post.

Many tweeps felt Ngesi was stealing income opportunities from drag performers who have been in the industry for a much longer time.

Others said that as an ally it was his job to support the LGBTQIA+ community.

Although Ngesi took to Twitter to clarify he was no paid for the shoot and he did not take an opportunity from another drag queen, the outrage continued.

Speaking to IOL Entertainment, Ngesi, who stars in the drama series Still Breathing, said as a brand ambassador for adidas, he was sent two outfits, one for himself and another for Sivanna.

“As an adidas ambassador, I was sent two outfits. In hindsight, as a heterosexual man, I should have worded the caption differently.

“I do understand the issue that people have, but give me the benefit of the doubt. I am a drag queen and I hope that we can get to a point where different rules don’t apply to me because I am straight.”

He also said he wanted to be a part of the bigger picture. “I and other drag queens are in talks with major brands to create big projects that will benefit the community.

“We want drag to be seen differently in South Africa and we are working towards that”.

Popular local drag performer, Manila von Teez, defended Ngesi on Instagram, saying he was doing work behind the scenes to help drag performers.

“Hey all, in response to the Sivanna post I think everyone is not aware of the bigger picture.

“I’ve been doing this for just over 10 years, and some drag queens, even longer.

“Reality is that no matter how hard we worked, South Africa as a whole never really accepted the art form.

“We have sent hundreds of proposals for sponsorship, brand support etc over the years, and not had positive response or support.”

Von Teez went on to say Ngesi was helping drag performers through his connections.

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