Sivuyile Ngesi: A Multifaceted Talent in South African Entertainment

Sivuyile Ngesi

Sivuyile Ngesi, commonly known as Siv Ngesi, is a multifaceted South African actor, comedian, presenter, and producer. Here’s an overview of his personal life and career.

Sivuyile Ngesi

Sivuyile Ngesi

18 October 1985 (age 38)

Gugulethu, Western Cape, South Africa
Nationality South African
Other names Sivanna
Education High School
Alma mater Pinelands High School
Occupation(s) Actor, Comedian, Presenter, and Producer
Years active 1997–present
Notable work The Woman King

Early Life

Sivuyile Ngesi was born on October 18, 1985, into a Xhosa family in Gugulethu, Cape Town. He spent his early years in Gugulethu before moving to Langa and later Pinelands. Ngesi’s mother, Jacqueline, is a school principal. Tragically, he lost his father in a car accident in 2004. He attended Pinelands High School and trained at the Waterfront Theatre School and Jazzart Dance Theatre. Due to financial constraints, he could not afford to attend university, as he explained during the #FeesMustFall movement.


Ngesi began his career as a child actor, touring Asia with the musical Les Misérables as Gavroche. He even performed for Nelson Mandela. His television debut was in the Disney Channel Original Movie Zenon: Z3 as Bobby, and his feature film debut was in The World Unseen. He also appeared in 24: Redemption and Invictus.

Ngesi’s one-man comedy show, DeKaf, ran for three years at the National Arts Festival, earning him the Golden Ovation Award for Best Comedy in 2010. He took this show on a national tour and later starred in the crime comedy film Copposites. He co-created the children’s book series Florence & Watson and its stage show.

In 2014, Ngesi competed in the seventh season of Strictly Come Dancing, finishing fifth. Since 2015, he has hosted The Man Cave, winning a SAFTA for Best TV Presenter. He also hosts and produces the reality cooking competition show Jou Ma se Chef and had a recurring role in Black Sails.

At the 2017 National Arts Festival, he produced 14 shows, winning a Spirit of the Fringe award. He starred in several films, including Knuckle City, Bhai’s Cafe, and Kaalgat Karel. In 2021, Ngesi introduced his drag persona, Sivanna, and hosted the Cape Town Drag Brunch.

Ngesi joined the casts of Tali’s Baby Diary and Jiva! and earned his first acting nomination at the SAFTAs for his role in Dam. In January 2022, it was announced that he would appear in the film The Woman King.



  • The World Unseen (2007) – John
  • Invictus (2009) – England Rose
  • Copposites (2012) – Alfred “Sharky” Majola
  • Knuckle City (2019) – Goatee
  • Kaalgat Karel (2021) – Vuyo
  • The Woman King (2022) – The Migan


  • Zenon: Z3 (2004) – Bobby
  • 24: Redemption (2008) – Thomas
  • The Man Cave (2015-present) – Himself
  • Black Sails (2016) – Udo
  • Still Breathing (2020) – T-Boss
  • Dam (2021) – Victor

Awards and Nominations

  • Best Comedy for DeKaf at the 2010 Ovation Awards.
  • Spirit of the Fringe Award in 2017.
  • SAFTA nominations for Best TV Presenter and Best Supporting Actor.

Sivuyile Ngesi continues to be a significant figure in the South African entertainment industry, known for his versatility and contributions across various media.


Sivuyile Ngesi is a prominent South African actor, comedian, presenter, and producer, celebrated for his versatility and impactful presence in the entertainment industry. Born and raised in Cape Town, Ngesi’s early exposure to the performing arts and his formal training set the stage for a dynamic career that spans television, film, and theatre.

Ngesi’s career highlights include his role in the acclaimed musical Les Misérables as a child actor, his performances in films like Invictus and Knuckle City, and his notable television roles in series such as The Man Cave and Black Sails. His one-man comedy show DeKaf and his innovative drag persona, Sivanna, showcase his wide-ranging talents and creative vision.

Despite personal hardships, including the loss of his father and financial barriers to higher education, Ngesi has achieved significant success. His work has earned him multiple awards and nominations, reflecting his contributions to the arts and entertainment industry. Ngesi’s ongoing projects and his commitment to diverse storytelling continue to enhance his reputation as a key figure in South African culture.

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