For commercial success in the entertainment industry location plays a big role for most artists. By the same token Kay Sibiya moved to the concrete jungle. With a confirmed character on Ferguson Films’ The Queen, Sibiya is set to show that he can go from playing a convincing pastor to a pistol whipping police officer with Mommy issues. We had a casual chat after a shoot with him to find out the real reason for the sudden move.
Most people are under the impression that you came to Johannesburg because of your new role on The Queen, thats not entirely the case.
“Exactly. The move to Johannesburg was mostly to better my commercial interest, to work on my brand as a whole and not just Kay Sibiya as an actor but as a model, presenter, voice over artist and being visible in those areas. Even before I got offered a role in The Queen, it was in my heart, I had already planned to come this side.”
Kay Sibiya. Suit: SIMONI Exclusive Menswear Collection. Watch: Wolsh Africa.
Before uZalo, where were you?
“I did a lot of freelance work, mostly modelling gigs and I don’t know how I landed them. My first onscreen debut was on a music show called Sunday Chillaz for about two years.”
You’re not only an actor.
“I’d like to believe so, I am an artist. My first passion is speaking hence I’ve always wanted to pursue presenting. I decided to “try the acting thing” because being onscreen was only going to help me as a presenter; boost my instincts and cultivate my skill, by going to more auditions and take acting classes. Only to fall involve with the craft and im loving it. I just pray for more characters, so people can experience more diversity from me.”
Speaking of more characters, on The Queen you’re here looking for your mother?
“My characters name is Kwanele Mthembu, a 29 year old man from KZN who grew up knowing that his mother passed while giving birth to him. One day when he was watching the news where there was a hostage situation. He recognised one of the pictures from the family album used to show the people held hostage, only to learn that his mother is alive. He then leaves KZN in pursuit of his mother. The truth is, the father was protecting him from the fact that his mother abandoned him for super stardom. The father said she was dead to save him from the truth.”
What else made you fall in love with this role?
“It’s a lead for starters. Apart from that, its to show another side to Kay Sibiya as an actor, where I’m no longer playing a pastor a convincing one at that. Now, I’m going to portray someone who is in his late 20’s and longs for a mothers love. Especially since I’m african, our fathers are not that affectionate. A father doesn’t hug and kiss you; you rarely hear the words “I love you” from them and a lot of people know what thats like.”
Do you think the casting system has changed?
“To a large extent I say it has. I get why that happens as a producer, who is wearing a businessman hat. They want to see numbers, as a result a certain look will count more than talent.”
Do you think social media has played a role?
“A large part, there are some shows whereby their success is detected by social media. Whether or not the show trended or doesn’t get a certain response online, it can be labelled bad. You get a situation where the show speaks to a large number of people who may not have access to social media, where the ratings are exceptional but it does bad on the social media, how about that?”
Now you’re here, whats next?
“This is what I always say; I love being the underdog because people never know what to expect, they never anticipate your next move either. I believe in putting your head down and keep working; let your work speak for itself and keep surprising people.”