Sivuyile Ngesi is South African television’s undisputed Energiser bunny – a TV presenter with a six pack and unrivalled energy that sees him going, going and going.
Besides his island adventures in the Seychelles in the 7th season of Tropika Island of Treasure that just concluded on TV screens, Siv Ngesi is also one half of the intrepid and hilariously funny bro-bro traveling duo in the Wingin’ It travel show with Janez Vermeiren on M-Net (DStv 101).
Siv spoke to Channel24 and shared more about his Wingin’ It traveling experiences, his bum pics, his “bromance” with Janez, how the show changed his perspective, the authenticity the cameras captured, and why he now feel just a little bit lonely.
What has been one of the best experiences of doing Wingin’ It?
Going to Cuba was just an unbelievable experience, just being able to go to a city that literally looks like it’s from 1959. The cars, the people, the mindset. I wasn’t ready and it was just a mind-blowing experience to experience how they’re literally from 1959, everything looks exactly how it was before.
What did you learn from Janez Vermeiren as your co-presenter as you both traveled the world?
One thing I’ve learnt is that Janez is a lot more social than me. I’m quite a personal kind of a person, I like my own space.
So I’ve learnt to socialise a lot more. No. Not socialise. To try and socialise a lot more. And to try and to learn as much information about a city as possible. I’m a lot more about the experience and the people. So I think putting the two of us together for Wingin’ It really was a great mix.
And what didn’t you like?
I love travelling. What I hate is the travelling. I wish I could just get to the destination without flying.
What travel tip do you have for viewers?
Never forget your passport, your smile, your self-respect, an open mind and a toothbrush.
I’m wondering how did you deal with the jetlag, you went and filmed in so many places in a very short space of time?
We sleep on the plane, we juggled it very well on our watches. We’re very good at going: “Okay I need to sleep now, I need to sleep that way.” Your body knows what you need and adapts.
How would you say Wingin’ It is different from the other TV you’ve done before?I would as modest as possible say this is one of South African television’s best shows I’ve ever seen; one of South African television’s best shows I’ve ever been part of.
Janez and I are genuine friend, genuine brothers, who both genuinely love travel, who even if the cameras weren’t there, would still be doing the exact same things we’re doing on camera.
So the authenticity is real.
And the bum pics?
Wherever I go in the world, I try and take a bum pic somewhere. And Janez and I started doing it and it actually started becoming popular online, so we just carried on doing it.
You’ve been well-traveled before you started doing Wingin’ It, but how did doing this show further broaden your own perspective about life and people and the world?
The experience of Wingin’ It is more travelling than most humans do in such a short period of time – so having to adapt to so many cultures in such a short time. I can see everyone in the crew has become better humans, better versions of themselves. For instance Janez is talking about things that he’s never talked about before Wingin’ It started.
Even me, there’s certain things that I’m open-minded to that I wasn’t open-minded to before. I didn’t care about history and because I went to places that’s very history-related, Janez got me into the history of a city. The conversation we had about South Africa made me love South Africa even more. It’s made me have a great perspective of the world.
Impulsive is probably the wrong word, but watching Wingin’ It, you’re almost the one who pushes to try the new things and Janez seems a little bit more the reserved one. Did that play off of each other just grow and develop organically?
Janez and I are very, very very, very, very adventurous. Janez and I are very competitive with each other, so everything formulated very naturally.
I don’t think Wingin’ It the way we’re doing it would work out with anyone else. If Janez couldn’t do it, I wouldn’t be able to do it with anyone else, and vice versa. The show works because of the people we are, the dynamics we have. You could have put us a public toilet and we would have found a way to compete to see who can pee the longest!
You obviously don’t just do this, you’re very much a multimedia-man. How much planning had to go into given the time away and travelling and your other media commitments and diary?
Wingin’ It became my wife. If it was time to go, we went.
For the last six months Wingin’ It really owned my life. I have come back home now and I feel that life has just moved on past me, you know what I mean? Like people have moved on. And it seems a bit lonely without the travel, you know what I mean?
I went six months with having Janez and the crew with me every single moment of my life and now I have just me.
When you said yes to do Wingin’ It on M-Net, what was you preconceived notion of what it would be, and what of that became true, and not?
To be honest, I never thought travelling would be so tiring. I’ve done a lot of travelling, I’ve always traveled and rested you know?
Travelling is tiring. I think because I’ve traveled so much, Janez and I easily adapted to the experience. I don’t think anyone can just do what we did. We did crazy things but it was really tiring and there were moments where you didn’t want to do anything but you had to do something.
So when people always talk about “opening up the industry” I feel like telling people “come travel for 6 months and see if you can really do it”.
Everything else was just the most amazing experience of my life. I’m still trying to reminisce and trying to think back on this great experience that was just utterly amazing.
Wingin’ It is on Sundays on M-Net (DStv 101) at 17:00, repeated Mondays 15:30, Tuesdays 15:00.