Siv Ngesi is ready to takeoff as soon as the global lockdown is lifted
In January, I enjoyed a tête-à-tête with Siv Ngesi. This was before Covid-19 triggered a global lockdown and social distancing.
At the time, the multi-faceted celebrity was flying high. Aside from his movie "Knuckle City" and TV series, "Still Breathing", releasing in February, he had plenty of travel on the cards, too.
Unfortunately, all those plans had to be grounded as every country, including South Africa, shifted its focus to flattening the curve.
Ngesi says, “I was going on a few trips to the United States (Los Angeles, Texas And New York). It was around six trips confirmed to the USA (of Trump) for the first 6 months of the year. Then I was meant to go to Japan for a tour with the DHL Stormers and then the Olympics to work and support some friends.”
He adds, “Most of these have been cancelled and we will see after the lockdown which trips happen. But I am very positive lots of work and travel will happen after this crazy time. Everyone needs content.”
Having travelled extensively for work in the past - especially with M-Net’s travel show Wingin It with Janez Vermeiren, Ngesi revisits his top five destinations and reveals why they left such an indelible impression.
He says, “At a time like this, it makes me miss travelling so much. Travelling is a huge addiction of mine. Cold turkey hasn’t been fun, you see how I said ‘cold Turkey’ and all I could think of is being in Turkey in winter?
Cuba has to be my greatest travel experience, looks like I jumped into 1955, the people, the buildings, the cars and the way of life, blew me away. I have a trip confirmed back there at the end of the year. I’ll salsa for 3 weeks non-stop.”
Ngesi continues, “Japan, Iv been there twice. Another world of precision and honour. The food, this place.. you eat non-stop and this country shows you the potential humans have to do wonderful things. This gem is kak expensive but (it is) worth every cent.
“New York City, I feel I should have been born here, this is my favourite place in the world. I feel like I am a better version of myself when I am there. When I fly home, I am sad and ready to book my ticket to return. If you don’t understand, you’ve never been there.
"The songs tell the truth, I will move there for a few years one day. Vietnam, when I think of a strong group of people, I think of Vietnamese people, with their history, they have come out and forgiven and moved on. I can still hear the sound of the motorcycles , riding in peak traffic on a motorcycle has to be one of the craziest travel experiences for me. Nah I lie, eating a beating cobra heart, bat, fertilized duck egg, live caterpillar, etc., in Vietnam wins for craziest experience. I have a 3-week motorcycle trip planned from north to south. The sights are breathtaking. “
“Brazil, there’s no way to describe this country, it’s a feeling, a way of life. I can’t say Brazil without hearing the sounds of the music. I have a trip confirmed next year for the Rio carnival. This is a bucket list activity and I’m all about ticking things off that list. Lastly, one of the things I loved about Brazil was the self-love and body positivity,” he adds.
Going by this trip down memory lane, Ngesi makes the most of every trip.
He agrees, “I have never done a work trip without exploring the country as much as possible. I always try to extend my trip by a few days. I always try to see a few top touristy sights, a few off the beaten track sights, chill with locals, eat only local food, walk around for hours and get lost in the city. I love to consume a destination.”
On the destinations that remain on his bucket list, he says, “Bora Bora looks like a dream. With two days of flying, the pictures and diving will be worth it all. Morocco is my sandy Instagram picture goals. I want to see all of Africa. And New Zealand, I just love the people… rugby is a religion and I live for rugby. I’m really fascinated by the culture of The Māori people. Seeing the Haka live during the World Cup rugby last year was a goosebump moment. I want to learn this war dance from the tattooed worriers.”
As for whether Covid-19 will make him a more cautious traveller in the future, he says, “Hell no! I will not be bullied, as soon as I am permitted to travel, I will have my passport in hand. This has actually made me want to travel even more. To those who will fear travel after this time, I pity you! But that means more space to sleep on the flights.”