Siv Ngesi on his sexuality and why he chose to do drag

Actor and comedian Siv Ngesi in character as drag queen, Sivanna. Picture: Twitter

The comedian says he has one standard answer for everyone who wants to know if he is gay or straight.

A lot has been said about award-winning actor and comedian Siv Ngesi’s recent decision to do drag and what this may mean. However, according to Ngesi, the answer is simple.

“I’ve always wanted to be involved in drag,” said Ngesi matter-of-factly in a conversation with 702’s Clement Manyathela on Tuesday.

Ngesi joined a panel featuring drag artist Miss Sally Werq and Keval Harie from the Gala Queer Archive to discuss societal perceptions of masculinity and expressionism.

“I want to redefine masculinity to myself,” added Ngesi, explaining his recent decision to do things outside of his comfort zone such as ballet and pole dancing training.

The actor said he made the decision after looking back on 35 years of only viewing masculinity in one way due to socialisation and a life of playing sports like rugby, boxing and water polo.

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Although there has been much speculation about Ngesi’s sexuality, he refuses to entertain them because he feels that it doesn’t matter.

“For me, if anyone ever asks me if I’m gay or straight, I always go ‘it’s none of your business’ and first of all, my sexuality is irrelevant to you.”

All that matters to the actor is driving home the point that anyone of any sexual orientation can do whatever they want.

He is, therefore, pleased that his big drag revelation, in the format of the recently popular #BussItChallenge TikTok trend, sparked the conversation that it did.

“For you to do drag, there is nowhere where it says you need to be gay,” added Ngesi.

He further stated that his new drag persona was here to stay.

“Sivanna is going nowhere, she’s here to blow minds, ruffle feathers and make you uncomfortable.”

Noting the critique around comedians dressing as women and turning it into a slapstick caricature of what a woman is, and how this affects perceptions of queer people and trans women as highlighted in the conversation by Miss Sally Werq, Ngesi said that he would be careful not to make a joke of Sivanna.

“I’ve been doing a lot of research on drag and I really am taking it seriously. When a man puts on a dress, it shouldn’t be funny. And for me, instinctively, because I’m a comedian, people think Sivanna is going to be a funny character.”

You can listen to the full interview below.

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