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Siv Ngesi’s drag queen, Sivanna struts onto social media stage

Ngesi said the only thing blocking Sivanna’s for the previous two years was not being allowed to shave his beard for work. Picture: Supplied

Ngesi said the only thing blocking Sivanna’s for the previous two years was not being allowed to shave his beard for work. Picture: Supplied

Published Jan 24, 2021

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Siv Ngesi is taking a swing at drag and with the debut of his new persona, Sivanna.

The 35-year-old actor and comedian took to Instagram this week to reveal the transformation process of him becoming the all-new character.

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“I want her to be taken seriously,” he explained. “I want her to be a person who is multi-layered, opinionated, but I don’t want her to be a comedy piece. That’s too easy. You see a man in a dress and you want to laugh instinctively. I want her to be involved in the conversations.”

Ngesi said the only thing blocking Sivanna’s for the previous two years was not being allowed to shave his beard for work. Picture: Supplied

Ngesi said the idea for Sivanna had been around for some time, but he was only able to pursue her now for a simple reason. “For the last year and the year before that, I had so many bookings that needed my beard,” he said. “There was no fear, nothing. I just wasn’t allowed contractually to shave my beard.”

Filmed at the FuturFit studio in Athlone, Ngesi was blessed with the curves and colours of Sivanna with the help of Cape Town drag queen and former SA’s Got Talent finalist, Manila von Teez. “She really takes it seriously and she is the ultimate professional,” Ngesi said.

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“She really knows it’s not just just drag, it’s a way of life. When I met her as a man, it was the total opposite. Quiet, keeping to herself, I thought I was being overbearing. But when I saw her in makeup, she was next level. She’s sending me designs for our next shoot, concepts and ideas.”

Following a makeup session in which Ngesi’s eyebrows were blocked to create a new brow shape, and a guide on tucking, Sivanna appeared with flowing hair and a bright red dress, sporting black sequin designs.

Following a transformation process involving makeup and tucking, aided by Cape Town drag queen Manila von Teez, Sivanna made her debut. Picture: Supplied

Ngesi said he’s had a strong interest in drag since an early age, and that his diving into the culture had brought up reluctant questions with the media. “The confusing part of her is that I’m quite masculine but ironically, my soul is very feminine,” he explained. “I was raised in a household full of females. But the biggest question in the media is ‘Are you homosexual?’ My first answer is ‘Why is it even relevant what my sexuality is?’ And why does someone wearing a dress mean you have to be homosexual? I refuse to answer that question when anyone asks it. It doesn’t add or take away from me being involved in drag.”

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Though it comes with the backdrop of Ngesi’s comedy stylings, Sivanna’s character is destined to go in the opposite direction. “I’m doing it because I enjoy it and the more I enjoy it, the more authentic it will be. I’m in talks with someone about doing a show with her as a character. I want her to do some online content. I really want to formulate and have her one day walk down the street. Make her behind a little bigger and just see the reactions of men and see how they treat women in the street, and find out if they would have done the same thing if they knew I was a man. She’s another side of Siv Ngesi I want to explore.”

Siv Ngesi has donned curves and colours to become Sivanna, who is taking social media by storm. Picture: Supplied

Plans are already underway for Sivanna’s next appearance as a series of photo shoots are scheduled to take place next month. Ngesi reported that commercial brands had also expressed interest in the character. “They realised they didn’t know that they needed it,”

He said. “And now they know, they’re saying ‘This is exactly what we need!’ ”

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Watch Siv’s transformation on Instagram here:

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