Strictly getting to know Mr Esterhuizen, not just your everyday dancer…

When I was little; I wanted to be many things but; one thing I always pictured myself as was a  dancer, but not just any dancer you know the kind of dancer that can intrigue people, understand emotion through dance and well just make people green with envy. That’s exactly how Grant Esterhuizen made people feel on this past season of Strictly Come Dancing, as he didn’t only show the world his amazing body, hot moves and phenomenal choreography!  But, he was also dancing with one of SA’s sexiest ladies Lalla Hirayama. I’m sure all the men in SA at that moment wished they were Grant…

Luckily for me ladies; I had the privilege of meeting Grant face to face and honestly;  his down to earth, funny, handsome  and has a voice like Vin Diesel.  But;  sorry for you ladies his blessed with an amazing wife and two adorable kids:)



A: So what are the words that you live by?

G: If you can walk you can dance. Something else that I strongly believe in is; if God is for us who can be against us.  It’s something that I strongly believe in; I am a very spiritual, very churchy person. I try when I’m not working to be in church with my whole family on Sundays. Also what I mean by if you can walk you can dance; I get people coming up to me saying Grant I wish I could dance, Grant I wish I could do this, but for me when I say if you can walk you can dance, it doesn’t just go for my dancing, I believe that if you really want something, regardless of; don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t have it, so if you can walk you can dance.

A: Amazing, what was your childhood like?

G: I had a very very good childhood; I am very blessed with two amazing parents. A amazing family; there’s my sister, uncle, aunt, everyone! I have a very supportive family; I have a very good up bringing in the sense of every Sunday I would be in church, I sang in the choir and I went to Sunday school. Very supportive family when it came to dancing, my mother was always there, my dad always phoned me to find out how I was doing before my competitions on Saturdays, whether I was in Cape Town or Durban, wherever the competition was. My dad would either take me there, but they were very very supportive. I have been really blessed to have the childhood that I had, and now for me it’s basically about making my kids experience that and better. Work as hard as my father has worked for me and my sister and try and be the same example to my kids that my parents were to me.

A: Who realised your talent first mom or dad?

G: None of them. None of them actually realised my talent first, the thing is I am an overall sporty person. I mean I was nine years old and I was already playing soccer, rugby, cricket, tennis, table tennis etc… name the sport I’ve played it. Eventually I had my cousin approach me and asked me to dance, didn’t know what the hell it was about and he was like ballroom dancing man. I was like what’s this ballroom dancing thing about, explain this to me. We went for a practice session and I figured argh… it’s not too bad. Two practice sessions later they asked me “would you like to dance in your first competition?”  I than said ok I will try ; the first competition went completely pear shaped , I danced the wrong way around the floor, no one told me which way to dance, I got disqualified. So after that experience I was assured I thought that I would never ever dance again, but than I did, I was not going to let that get me down I got back up that horse and carried on riding it. The next competition was Western province Champs, and I became pretty much the best dancer in Cape Town and now I’m here. God bless my trainer that was training me at that point, he passed on many years ago, and he had the biggest school in South Africa. Mr Gomez an amazing man, he pushed me and pushed me, it was very much about discipline which intertwined very well with my childhood and the way I was brought up. That was what my childhood was about; being disciplined, making sure that you go to school, that you listen, that you do what you were supposed to do and that is the only thing that I can truly say that has kept me grounded as well throughout all my experiences in life. The fact that I’ve got the parents I’ve got , my wife that I’ve got, my kids that I’ve got and everything that I’ve had. My friends even that I’ve got around me they always make sure that I stay grounded- every single one of them. So yes; I don’t think anyone spotted my talent, it was just me basically by chance getting into it.

A: That’s amazing!

G: I am very lucky!

A: Indeed you areSo when did you realise your passion for dancing?

G: My passion for dancing was realised after I won the Western Province Champs which was my third competition. I wouldn’t say I realised my passion, but I realised wait hang on I think I actually might like this. A couple of months later was SA champs and I came first…

A: Oh wow

G: and for seven years there after I was pretty much one of the top lead dancers in the country on my level. Then I realised hang on, this is something that I actually want to pursue. At the same time I was still doing football, I was also very good at rugby,  very good at cricket and I got an opportunity to play literally in Argentina for rugby,  I turned it down, I got an opportunity to play for Lentic when they were still in the premier league in Cape Town, I turned it down,  got an opportunity to go and play cricket at Constantia Cricket club, I turned it down, I even got the opportunity to model for Storm models , which is the top modelling agency in the country and I turned it down. So I’ve made lots of sacrifices for my dancing, and you know what something that I believe and live by is never ever live with regret. If you regret it than you need to make a plan somehow and you sort of got to tick that wrong, because the last thing that you want to live with is regret. People say you only live once and you do only live once.

A: I totally agree and believe that you only live once and we have to make the most of this life that God has given us. Please take me through your journey of becoming a professional dancer?

G: Basically for years I was dancing in Cape Town, just competing I’ve never ever did shows. I than pretty much won the SA professional ten dance championships which meant that I was the overall Latin and Ballroom dancer in the professional section. My trainer who lived in Joburg said listen you have now been selected to go and dance overseas in Holland and he said you have to move to Joburg now. I than moved to Joburg and then started practicing and training over here. I moved to Beyer’s Park over here, than I broke up with a girl that I moved from Cape Town with to here, I meant my dance partner that’s who I broke up with

A: Hahahaha

G:  So than basically what happened after we broke up I than found my current trainer Tebogo Kgobokoe, the two of us ended up in the top 16 in the world and then we ended up 7th in the Dutch open and and and … Basically than we than broke up; I than went through a very bad patch in my life, I pretty much lost everything that I wanted to be. I’m also very goal driven, and all the goals that I had for myself, I literally saw them crumble in front of me. I than during that rough patch found the love of my life. I also ended up not having work for about seven months. So one evening me and Anthea decided we going to Emperors Palace to go watch a show there and at that point it was Tyrone Watkins one of the top three choreographers in the country, doing the show and he invited me to come and audition. I went to the audition and it just so happened and I believe in that saying  God has reasons for everything,  that day when I went for the audition I so happened to be off from a gig that I was busy doing actually for e-TV, I don’t know if you remember the show called Backstage

A: Yes I do

G: Yes it was a benefit concert that I was asked to dance in. Anyway I went to the audition and that same evening I said to Anthea lets go watch the show, because I just got a good feeling about this. That same evening I got a call from Emperors palace saying; listen Emperors Palace wants you and from that day pretty much I got contracted into professional shows in Casino’s, ever since I’ve been in countless shows, gone for the top choreographers in the country. I mean I have worked with Somazi, choreographed the Fifa world cup, you name it Tyrone Watkins. I’ve danced with some of the top dancers in the country; I’ve danced with Lorcia Cooper and and and. Yes that’s pretty much how I got to where I am now and I am getting stronger.

A: That’s amazing, what a journey

G: Yup, one hell of a journey!

A: LOL, How long have you been in this industry?

G: In Ballroom and Latin American it’s been 25 years, I’m still a spring chicken.

A: No not at all that’s long

G: A lot of people ask me how old I am… but yeah anyway…

A: LOL, you don’t look old at all.

G: Yes, I’ve got my wife and two kids that keep me young. I’ve been dancing in Ballroom and Latin American for 25 years and I’ve been doing professional shows for the last 8-9 years. Now I own my own production company as well so yes …


A: So how did you get to be a professional dancer on Strictly come Dancing?

G: Strictly come dancing basically is a Ballroom and Latin show. So what happened was that they do like a whole screening process, they obviously know who the top dancers are and who the up and coming professional and ballroom dancers are. Regardless; because what often happens as a professional dancer you either doing Ballroom or Latin very seldom you will do both. In all the seasons that I did I was the only one that did both Ballroom and Latin. That is why I think I’ve excelled, because I’ve trained in both. So from season one I’ve got asked to do it, because at that time I was sixth time African champion. So they did their homework on all the professional dancers they wanted in the show and I was fortunately one of the professional dancers they asked. Although, all seasons prior to the ones that I did I couldn’t dance in them because I had other commitments. But; in season three and season four I was basically a consultant to HHP and Hayley when they won and I was a consultant to Tanya Van Graan and Brendon when they came third, as a ballroom trainer. Than in season five I pretty much danced in and I came second , I than did the Christmas special which was four months later; which I came first in and there I danced with Vanessa from 7de Laan and now in season six I came second again.

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A: But you and Lalla were fantastic I thought you were going to win…

G: Well you go into a competition and as long as you gave your 200% that’s fantastic. I hate that cliché you were a winner in our eyes, I hate it, for me it’s a whole lot of bullshit, don’t tell me you were a winner in my eyes I lost, but I can still walk out of there with pride and dignity and say I gave 200%.

A: So you’ve worked with numerous celebrities, what has been the best experience?

G: Uhmm.. The biggest celebrity that I’ve danced for and for me was the most humbling experience ever was Arnold Schwarzenegger. When he came to South Africa and did some charity event and I was one of the dancers that they selected to dance for him. What was so humbling was to see that this world icon-at that stage he was one of the biggest actors in the world at that stage. He just finished with a movie and came to South Africa and he spent the whole afternoon playing soccer with kids, and he came to watch the show and we were told that he would be sitting right in front. As soon as we were done dancing he personally called all the dancers out back on stage in front of the audience which was about five hundred thousand people, he literally shook every dancers hand thanking them, for me that was the most humbling experience and just showed that no matter how big you are, your humbleness is always something that you have to keep with you, because in the end it is the people that are around you that put you there. If you do not realise that, that is how quick you will fall. As quick as you got there that is how quick you will fall bottom line!

A: Wow that’s so powerful and true. So which celebrity was your favourite to work with on Strictly Come Dancing?

G: Lalla, ok ok hang on I enjoyed Lalla and Tessa and Vanessa, well Ingrid actually. I’ve been very blessed; a lot of professional dancers have received girls or guys that they don’t get along with , personalities clash or the girl is too big or the guy can’t move, and they get the moer In with these celebrities, I can give you an example, but I won’t because I’m a nice person like that.


G: however I’ve been very blessed with the three celebrities that I’ve danced with.  All three of them were different; Ingrid from 7de Laan was extremely quiet, but highly talented. Tessa was extremely bubbly, thought she could dance, couldn’t dance, but she worked her ass off. Lalla a celebrity personified, one of the top five sexiest women in the country, could dance, got a lot of flat foot for it, yes she was a hip-hop dancer, but she only excelled because she worked hard not because she was a hip-hop dancer. Just putting it out there hip-hop has nothing to do with Latin American and Ballroom dancing. So really I was very blessed so I don’t think that I can say that anyone of them was my favourite, but with Lalla and Tessa I got along extremely well.

A: Yes we could see you and Lalla got on well together…

G: Yes we got on extremely well and it helped that she was a down to earth person.

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A: Oh wow that’s amazing, what has been the highlight of your career?

G: The highlight of my career… The highlight of my career… Truthfully and honestly the highlight of my career was not having danced for anyone, not having danced with a celebrity, not having danced for celebrities. My highlight of my career is the fact that I can still perform and show people how much I love what I am doing and make people smile. That is my highlight the fact that I am still blessed; to be able to be on stage with all my injuries and problems that I’ve got with my body. I am still able to at my age one of the oldest guys on stage show the youngsters how it’s done.

A: But you than don’t look old… (He really doesn’t look old)

G: Out of the professionals I was arguably the eldest.

A: Really! (Shocked face) You don’t look old hey, not at all!

G: (Laughs) no seriously I was the eldest.


A: Wow ok… So what’s a day in the life of Grant Esterhuizen like?

G: Yoh! The day in the life of Grant, wow ok the last few weeks have been insane but let me just say this week has been crazy, I thought after the Sexpo it was going to slow down, it didn’t. So my general day is just like wake up early in the morning, my wife makes me breakfast, she’s amazing like that. After that I go to a rehearsal be it with my competitive partner or a rehearsal for Sexpo, a motor show whatever the case may be. After that rehearsal which will generally be anything from four to six hours, I than go and practice another three hours with my dance partner so that’s about seven hours of dance that I’ve already done. Than most days I will go and teach, or have a meeting or two before and then teach. So basically my day starts early in the morning and finishes late at night nine or ten in the evening. The thing is that I love what I do so I don’t mind, although the last couple of days I’ve had on average three hours sleep, because I’ve been editing music.

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A: Hectic, but it sounds like fun. How would you encourage up and coming dancers to reach for what they want and get to that point where they can say they made it?

G: Encouragement for up and coming dancers…

A: Yes

G: I feel the biggest problem with up and coming dancers is that they know what they want, but they sadly don’t know how to handle diversion. As in any journey you will get divisive somehow, yet someone that is trying to ruin your career for you. The competition that you thought you were going to win and you lost and now that’s a big setback for you. However; no matter what it is what I feel is that all they need to do is basically take that diversion. Tell yourself that I want to be the best dancer in the world, that’s your goal. However there is three types of people; the one that’s going to complain about it, the one that is going to say ok wait hang on what do I have to do to get better , what do I need to do to get back on that horse and ride it again, what do I have to do to get back on that task that I have set for myself to be that world champ that I want to become, I think that’s the problem because not a lot of dancers know how to overcome, not a lot of dancers know how to take negative and turn it into positive. Not a lot of dancers have the support that they actually need because now a days, the youngsters are very different to the old school dancers. I am an old school dancer. The new school dancers are too soft. At this moment my partner now is dancing with a broken toe, I fractured my shoulder and my knee pops out, but I dance.  The thing is I want it that bad, that nothing can stop me I want to be the best at what I am doing that badly that whoever comes in my way, must pass this. Whatever diversion is going to come my way; because there is always going to be a challenge. You need to take that challenge and excuse my language make it your bitch! You have to own it and you have to say you know what, there is no way you going to get me down and that is what the youngsters of today , the up and coming dancers the wanna be champions  must learn and get their mindsets right. I feel that their not strong enough in their minds I feel that they not strong enough, they know what they want but I feel they not prepared to get hit around abit and carry on.

A: As a coloured person do you now believe that any coloured person can achieve their dreams?

G: As a coloured person I have always believed that any coloured person can achieve their dreams, as a dancer something that I very easily and strictly realised when I moved from Cape Town to Johannesburg is that all the top dancers are were coloured are coloured and are from Cape Town.

A: Amazing that’s interesting!

G: Yeah like Lorcia Cooper,  Megan Cornelius, Piet Woestain , his a coloured from Eldorado Park, Tyrone Watkins, Harold Van Buuren , these are coloured people, strong influential dancers that are still dancing and  that are still influencing the country as we speak. Coloured people need to realise that they are worth more than what they think they are.

A: So true!

G: The thing is that we get put ourselves into this little box and think that’s where we must remain and we need to realise that, that box can be opened. But ; its limitations up in our minds that’s keeping us from opening it, as we will get put into a box and left alone, and not realise that we can actually come out at any time. It’s what we make of it.

A: Thank you Grant!

G: It’s only my pleasure.




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 All pictures courtesy of Grant Esterhuizen


Successercise Yourself…

I believe in the saying “when you look good, you feel good!” Miss Andrews knows just how to make women feel good and well…. make men look weak of cause! I was so privileged to do an interview with Yunata Andrews – a fitness instructor, Preggi bellie trainer, a Judge for aerobics, hip-hop and  fitness competitions. Her list of titles is endless – not forgetting a body to die for!!!

Whatever the mind can conceive and believe; it can be achieved



A: Why does that quote resonate with you?

Y: In short I believe you only have one life and you need to make the best out of it, so if you want to look good, believe that you can look good and indeed you shall achieve that dream body.

A: Who is your inspiration or role model?

Y: It has to be my late dad, he was a boxer himself, he was always a hard worker and he believed that hard work has never killed anyone. Once again he told me once that; “whatever you want to become it is up to you to make it possible for you.”

A: What motivated you to choose a career path in fitness?

Y: (Giggles) I was always interested in how the body works and how far you can push the body and I just felt I wanted to be different. I didn’t want to be your “average girl.” I wanted to do something different where I know I can make a difference in someone else’s life, and make them feel good about themselves.


A: How did you get to the point of saying; this is me I am going to be a fitness instructor? Did it take a while?

Y: No it actually didn’t take a while, I have been collecting fitness magazines since 1985, and I still have them (Laughs). I always saw these women talking about what it means to be a trainer and how exciting it is. Eventually, I asked myself will I ever get there and  I told myself the only way I will get there is if I try, so at first it started off as a hobby and eventually evolved more into a career.

A: Oh wow, so was this the kind of career that you always wanted to pursue?

Y: Funny enough no, my first choice was always to be a psychologist, and secondly a lawyer. But, that all changed because my dad said I am not sending you to University to become a lawyer or a psychologist, because you just going to waste my money, you more the physical type of person. I will never forget New Year’s Eve the one year, while everyone was celebrating I was crying, because I couldn’t go to University (laughs).

A: (Laughs) and look where you are now!

Y: I don’t look back, I don’t regret anything!


A: What would you say is the ingredient to a healthy body?

Y: Adequate sleep, healthy diet/eating (no crash diets) are important, as well as being active. However, your mood and mind plays a big part in a complete healthy you. Most importantly get inspired, love your body and get active.

A: Wow is that the secret (laughs) me looking at you now and looking at myself clearly I have some work to do (laughs). That six pack…wow


Y:  (Laughs) you will get there just keep on working at it!

A: I will definitely try my best! How far do you push yourself?

Y: I push myself to the limit, I push and I push and I push! Because, in order for me to push my clients, I must be able to push myself, and know that I am helping them get to their ideal frame. So, I really push myself!

A: That’s amazing, so what’s a day in the life of Yunata Andrews like?

Y: Sleep, eat, work train train train train, wake up training, morning training, afternoon training, some office work in between, but training all day and I love it! I know I am helping people to achieve their desired body shape and I am helping them look good and feel good. So, I really don’t mind training all day; if it means making people, especially women feel good about themselves than I am happy! As I believe every women is beautiful, our minds are just infested with all the parts of our bodies we don’t like and yet we don’t realise how beautiful we really are.

A: That’s so true! You look really good though, I should try training all day (laughs).

Y: (Laughs)

A: I look at you and you TONED from head to toe, do you ever indulge in sinful food?

Y: I do hey!

A: Than you must be one of the lucky ones.

Y: Yeah right (blushing). Honestly, I am not one of those people who will put myself on strict diets etc… If I want to eat something I will, but in moderation, but I don’t think you can eat Chicken Licken in moderation LOL!

A: LOL. What other projects are you currently working on?

Y: I am currently working on new projects that I can’t tell you about yet. All I can say is watch this space!

A: Where do you see yourself five years from now?

Y: Running a successful training school with a difference for under privileged kids, to represent SA as an international sports aerobics judge and to grow fitness within the community and surrounding areas.

A: Amazing! What does it take for someone else to become a fitness instructor?

Y: To have a passion for people, for training, working long hours and just to love what you do!

A: Do you now believe that any coloured person can achieve their dreams?

Y: Yes I really do, because anything is possible, don’t limit yourself and say you can’t, because at the end of the day you the only one standing in the way of you accomplishing your own dreams. Go for what you want, be who you want to be and most importantly never let anyone limit your dreams. Remember you were born to be original, don’t die a copy.






Facebook & Linkedin: Under construction

“Fitness is a lifestyle of health and a lifestyle of loving yourself. Remember that sometimes, some days you can’t do it all perfectly and that’s OK. We are not made to be perfect; we are made to be just better every day” Yunata Andrews

The blue eyed little boy…

Life is one big road with lots of signs. So when you riding through the ruts, don’t complicate your mind. Flee from hate, mischief and jealousy. Don’t bury your thoughts, put your vision to reality. Wake up and Live!Bob Marley


I have been teaching Sunday school for the past five years (during my first year grade 2’s and for the past four year’s grade 4’s). Over these five years I have been blessed to meet many spectacular kids. These kids have a passion for learning, love, family and of cause they want to learn more about God.

In this regard I was privileged to meet and form bonds with these pretty amazing kids. Although I met so many kids there is one specific kid that I will never forget…

I remember sitting in my class one day, I was busy packing up,  ( I was always one to throw everything out of my bag before starting the class) this became a routine already.  As I’m packing I hear this little  voice saying “Alex “ and I looked up,  but saw no one at the door and I carried on doing what I was doing. Eventually I feel small hands stroking my face and of cause i get a fright as  I look up. This little boy with his big blue eyes stares at me and says “teacher can we talk?” At that moment I was in a hurry, but something inside me said “listen to the little boy.” I stared at the little boy again, and I realised that his eyes were not as “happy blue” as usual, but rather watery, almost like his been crying. Eventually I told him let’s sit down. Than he asked me “Does teacher think that I will grow up to be a good boy one day? Because my brother is in jail” I was so astonished, I sat back in my chair and I told him  of cause,  you and your brother are two different people, it doesn’t mean that he messed up his life, you also going to do the same thing.

This was a moment that made me think about the society I live in. Often our parents characterise us according to our sibling’s mistakes and wrong doings. One thing that parents and people don’t realise is that we were all born and designed uniquely to be the people we are today.  We are not born into the world to do wrong, but to make our own decisions of how we want to live this life…. this one life we are given as human beans… Life is not complicated, we make it complicated. I believe that we were all born with a mind to make our own decisions. That day I stared at this blue eyed boy and I told him “you are sooo special; you will never end up like your brother, because even though you Ten years old you know what is right and what is wrong.” Our circumstances should never determine where we heading to in life, we can turn our circumstances into our own little gold mines. What we see happening around us should be a stepping stone for us to live a better life and most importantly to prove people wrong.  Life is short and temporary live a life where you do what you want to, how you want to, and be different don’t make your circumstances define you.

That little blue eyed boy is no more that little, he is 13 years old now and the head boy of his school. I am so happy that I took a little time to speak to him that day.  Remember- Don’t ever turn a person down when they want to talk to you, when they feeling sad or down in the ruts; you never know when that is the moment that you can encourage someone to strive for success or simply just bring out the best in them.

Story by: Alexandria Allan

Ms Giliberti on the Mic: From YO-TV to MTV and life in between…

I had the privilege of finally meeting  the person who made my childhood even more awesome and of cause  was the reason for me waking up early every morning  and rushing from school just to watch her on YO-TV, but now I’m loving her on MTV! Sade Giliberti truly shows her zest for life, her love for her career and I think that’s why people love her on their TV screens. She is the definition of Genesiqua!


A: How would you define yourself?

S: Yoh! That’s a hard one, people always ask me this question and I never really know how to answer it. Uhmm… I would say I’m Unique, I’m not a carbon copy of someone else, I’m definitely Unique, I’m not the same as someone else, I don’t feel like I’m a print or copy of someone else. I think I’m very unique, I’m a little bit crazy (giggles)

A: that’s good crazy (laughs)

S: I think I am a little bit crazy sometimes I would do things out of the norm, I’m a little bit of an extremist. I would say I’m a very giving person, I like offering up my time to people; to help out, and to listen, care and share and all of those kind of stuff. LOL I don’t know the usual friendly, nice, spicy, all the nice things chicken spice (laughs)

A: I get you (laughs). So what are the words you live by?

S: Peace, love and happiness. Because I believe that if there was peace in this world there would be more love, and if there’s more love there is more happiness. It’s just three simple words, but they can do a world of change. So that’s something that I hope the world is going to start living by.

A: I hope so too! What was your childhood like?

S: My Childhood was crazy; I had a little bit of a crazy Childhood, TV ads, modelling, presenting and all those kind of stuff. I started presenting at the age of 7, so I would say that side of life was a bit hectic for a kid. In general I did still have a childhood as much as I worked, I still had lots of time to be with my friends, be on the street, roller blading, biking, doing all of the crazy things. Climbing trees, having mulberry fights. I did it all; I still had time to be a child.

Uhmm… And then there’s the other side of the childhood that was not all that fun and happy. My mom and dad were never married. So my mom was a bit of a naughty one, so she did a lot of bad things and kind of didn’t have the filter to do it behind closed doors. So I was exposed to her lifestyle, I was exposed to everything. So that really affected my childhood. She was a little bit of a, mmm… How do you put it in nice words; she was a little bit of a hoe! So that affected my childhood like badly, I had insomnia, started suffering from depression. That side was mainly hectic, because nobody knows about it. If they saw me on TV I was ok you know. So I think that was really hectic. So I think I had like a three way childhood, the career, the childhood and then the other side. It felt like I was forced to grow up before my time, in the industry and also at home, which was a little bit hectic.

A: But through it all look where you are today.

S: that’s just it if I can inspire people at the end of the day, why not, because that just makes me stronger.

A: It’s not always roses…

S: Yes it’s not always roses, if you can overcome the difficult things in your life, than you stronger than you actually think you are. You don’t know how strong you are, until you get to a point, and you actually overcome it. And have that WOW moment. All of that just happened to me and I’m still here.

A: You actually inspiring me right now because I look at my honours year and I just think its crap (laughs)

S: Look how far you are, you would be shooting yourself in the foot if you decide to quit now.

A: So true! I know you as a YO-TV presenter, because those days I use to wake up at 6am to watch poppiekies (cartoons).

S: Poppiekies (laughs)

A: Is this where it all started for you?

S: Uhmm… as I explained I was a lot younger. So I only started working at YO-TV when I was 10 or 11 and then when I was 7 years old I did my first presenting; which was a Christian show, a Christian kid’s show. If you remember TV1 and mini-TV, my slot was literally a 5 minute show, and it was slotted at five minutes before three, just before mini-TV starts and literally we will be on for 5 seconds if not less (laughs). We would say today we will be going into the story of Ezekiel. It was awesome though, we had puppets that we would talk with, play with, it was already on green screen. So I was already learning stuff at the age of 7 that I don’t think most kids industry learned. So it was pretty nice to be a part of that generation of TV. Yes than we had the Galoobi’s, all of those kids are now presenters or not, but some of them are well known singers or actors.

A: I am telling you Sade, people use to wake up at 6am to watch TV, and now a days it’s like “ag we know it’s going to play the whole day on DSTV.” So it doesn’t really make a difference.

S: Exactly, and it would entertain us

A: TV had substance that time especially SABC.

S: I agree, it did have substance, I mean we were entertainers, even though we were so young and the same age we were all entertainers. People actually wanted to wake up in the morning. I worry about our children what are they going to wake up to? It’s horrible. I feel like our generation did something amazing and our kids will never get to see it.


A: That’s so true. So is this the kind of Career that you always wanted to pursue?

S: No, no, not really when I was a kid it was for fun I didn’t realise that this was something that I would have to do for the rest of my life. It was a fun time I was making friends, I was learning things. So no as I kid I went through, I want to be a doctor, than I wanted to be a fireman, than I wanted to be a policeman. Although I was very settle on being a doctor. My father was getting excited and he was like “there’s going to be a doctor in the family” and then I realised I can’t do maths! (Laughs)

A: (Laughs)

S: So that became a huge problem. Yet, my father was like” no you will conquer maths, no child of mine can’t do maths”. So I did the extra lessons and everything… Eventually I was just like ” Dad I’m going to fail”, just let me do the subjects that I’m good at “look I get 90% for history, let’s concentrate on that” So eventually I dropped maths and so the dream of becoming a doctor dropped as well, because I didn’t understand maths, I didn’t understand physics and science. So because I didn’t get those subjects, biology was not as easy for me. So that dream of Doctor was like puff! “Ok you not going to be a doctor hunny.” Then I went through a phase in my like when I wanted to be a Ninja, because I was a huge Bruce Lee fan, and I still am, I just thought I just want to kill people, kick all the bad asses, yeah! Be the hero! But obviously as I grew up I carried on with the TV stuff and I had YOTV. So than I was like, this in general the industry, because than I started working in production, I was like I can do this, I’ve been doing this, I don’t really know anything else so I may as well be this and excel at it. I’m not saying I don’t know how to do anything else, it’s just that I haven’t tried, this is what I concentrated on, I didn’t go out there and say “oh wow let me be an architect.” So it soon after became ok this is my career this is what I am going to do for the rest of my life whether it be production, whether it be on TV, you know all that kind of stuff, either way!


A: Perfect! So what’s a day in the life of Sade Giliberti like?

S: Like you do everything, and then you like chill, because the industry is so dependent, either something is happening or something is not. I don’t have a 9 to 5, because I went no I need me time to figure out what direction I’m I going to take next, business wise and all that kind of stuff. I don’t want to give my time to somebody else and then when I need to go do my thing, his going to be on “You’re on my clock!” So I was like no this year is “me time” and then next year, I am hitting it hard! So there are those days when nothing happens, than there are those days when I wake up in a flat panic, because I have too much to do all in one day, so its voice over after voice over, than its a meeting, than its a this and a that. A shoot at night, so than I’m just like “Arghh… Not today!” So really some days are all over the place, but I have those days when I can just chill, drive out and take pictures, be with my dogs, fix the house. You know do all the things that you want to do.

A: Oh so you love taking pictures?

S: I do, I did study photography, so I would like to call myself an amateur photographer. It’s a huge hobby of mine my father got me into it when I was a kid, so it just stayed. So I absolutely love taking photographs I just never have the time. So when I get the time I grab it.

A: It’s amazing, I believe in capturing moments.

S: It’s so important though, and sometimes the most random picture can tell so many different words.

A: That’s so true

S: You will look at it and interpret it differently; I will look at it and interpret it differently. It’s the simple things and that’s what I love about the passion.

A: What passion…

S: We have so much fun and on top of having fun we learn so much, we went through all the different phases, the different studio elements, so by the time I was 16. I was a freaking professional, I mean I knew everything I needed to know,  there wasn’t nothing that I didn’t know about presenting, this style that style. Interview skills everything it was awesome we learned so much. We learned in presenting to still be characters. In the beginning of YOTV like Byrone was known as “blom, Simphiwe was known as “gappa” and in those nicknames we were characters that were our personalities. As much as I was Sade I was this little girl in character depicted by Sade. Then we learned talk shows, I learned game shows and then we did live; so if that didn’t push the passion for presenting than presenting was never for me.

A: What else have you done? I know you’ve done some acting, dancing and been on survivor. What were the experiences like?

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S: So after YO-TV I went on leave, did So You Think You Can Dance! Not me, but they told me that they chose me because I was the best. So I was like take that and just ride it if people think that you are good, than go out there and show them how good you are.  Then in that I worked in events, I worked for an events company, I did all over the place work and then I did in 2009 that was more about short films, working in the arts department; like I dipped my fingers in every part of the pie that I could. Like you can never stop learning. Than I was in 2010 on Survivor and I also won a SAFTA for best presenter. So that was an epic year for me winning the SAFTA is probably one of the biggest awards that we have in this country. Except they didn’t invite me…

A: ok…

S: Which was abit of a weird one for me. I was shooting a pilot in Hillbrow and I’m lying on the floor and I’m covered in fake blood, and everyone’s phones are beeping and I don’t know what’s going on but the SAFTA’s are on. Everybody’s like “Oh my gosh Sade you just won a SAFTA” and I was like “what do you mean I just won an award, what are you talking about?”. They were like I don’t know best presenter… I was like” what you talking about?” But that was an awesome experience. Then I was the face of Legit which was an awesome experience, because as a child I did a lot of modelling for Edcon, so it was nice to go back into the family and work with Edcon again. It was such an awesome experience travelling around the country, meeting all sorts of people, having a range and life size cut outs of you; it was a little bit acquired, because a lot of people would be like; “I just stole your cut out from Legit!” I was like dude come on. (Laughs) it was like weird and I was like dude come on… So that was a cool awesome experience. Then there was survivor… Which was hard-core! People don’t actually realise how real that show is. There is nothing fake about that show. Like I don’t care what the Americans do, in SA it is as real as real as real as real can be. It is Hard-core, scary, and emotional; it was all those things at the same time the most unbelievable experience I’ve ever had to encounter. Like the mental and internal growth that I got just from being on the show. I don’t think I will get from anywhere else. Like it was deep on so many levels. Like you wouldn’t eat for days, than you have sores and things biting you all sorts of creatures. Things biting you, than you have to do challenges at mid-day, when it is the hottest time of the day. All you been doing is drinking water, you weak, but it’s amazing how your adrenaline kicks in. Than the game comes in and the game is mind screwing. When you start realising that you actually playing a game, than it is real, I lost it! The whole time when I was on the island I was not thinking about the game, I was thinking about survival I was taking it 5 days at a time. I’m going five days and I’m going to push myself, if I can’t push myself, than I know that I am done. That’s how I did it five days intervals. When you merge after like 17 days, then I realised game on now its proper alliances, everyone is whispering and backstabbing! I lost it. That part of the game messed me up. But during this part of the game is where I became a stronger person.

A: Wow, and you made it far isn’t it?

S: I was fourth

A: Yoh… that must have been a learning experience?

S: Dude… I don’t think there’s anything else that could match up to that, I don’t think anything else will give me the same experience I had on Survivor. I really, really don’t, it’s just mind-blowing. I mean you on a small little island you open to the whole world, you don’t know what’s happening on the news, out there in the world, and you don’t know all you had was just what you had on.

Post-Island (47)

A: What has been the highlight of your career?

S: Wow, I don’t have a complete highlight, I definitely think everything has built, I think everything has been a highlight for me. Like YO-TV is a massive highlight in my life, travelling overseas, travelling around the country, meeting so many amazing people, local artists, international artists.  So you think you can dance is a highlight, it was my first adult show and it got me recognised even more as a presenter so that was definitely a highlight. Survivor a highlight, legit a highlight, winning the SAFTA highlight, now MTV is the biggest highlight! I feel like it just tests and they just get better and better and better.

I remember watching Cat Deeley on TV and I was like ahh I want to be like her! She is so cool! And I actually realised that Cat Deeley went from MTV UK to So You Think You can Dance, I went from So You Think You Can Dance to MTV SA!

A: Wow that’s amazing, so you see hard work and determination got you there:)

S: Definitely, I think if I have given up years ago none of this would have happened, so I’m glad I stuck it out. There has been moments when I thought why am I still here it’s tough, it’s hard, it’s full of fake people. An industry that is so judgemental. It’s very hard to be strong and step out of like your own personality, I will not conform! It’s just with So You Think You Can Dance I had to wear a wig, a weave a dress! But you know what, I will not, I did it for TV it was my job, but I will not for anybody do that so that I can be pictured on more red carpets or be on every front cover of the heat magazine and be like ” ahh Sade lost a few pounds”. No ways screw that this is me, if you don’t like me for who I am and then actually I don’t care.

A: I like that about you! What was the weirdest thing you have done?

S: (Laughs) Do you have time?

A: (Laughs)

S: I can cover your whole blog!

A: We can do that!

S: (Laughs) There has been lots of weird things that I’ve done, I mean if I go back to YOTV, I’m sure you remember from Wildroom that snack attack

A: Oh yes!

S: In the beginning when snack attack was gross, it soon became nice because everyone wanted to eat. From crews to producers, directors we actually wanted to eat. Because we all just though what a waste we actually just bought a loaf of bread and you covered it in crap. Yet, in the beginning when it was that I was the only one who would eat the stuff, like someone would be like “a peanut butter and apples and spaghetti sandwich” and I was always the one that would eat it. I was always the extremist; I was like cool I would do it! So when it comes to crazy this “gal” is the one. So I really have done a lot of crazy stuff.

A: So that’s good, it is good to be crazy it makes life more interesting

S: It makes life Fun!


A: So what new projects are you working on?

S: MTV choice which is on DSTV channel 130, which is the original MTV channel. We are filtering in local contents and MTV choice is the first South African show on MTV and that started on the 21st of August. It’s my newest biggest project, but I want to give it my blood, sweat and tears. Of which I already have. I’m already exhausted and we not even halfway. But it is a nice exhaustion, it’s not like “ahh now I have to go again, ahh this sucks” I am so amped and I just want to make this show unbelievable. I’m working with Roxy Burger, and she’s a friend of mine as well and we have never worked together we just knew each other. So now to work with A. A friend and B. Someone who I find extremely talented and together we just ridiculous.

A: I was just about to ask you; what it is like working with her?


S: It’s just so much fun, we can have fun as mates and we can have fun on the show. I think we complement each other so well. We are the same, you would think that we almost like the same stuff, but we are so different and unique at the same time and that works!

A: I know that people use to compare the two of you back in the day and there was really no comparison

S: No really there isn’t, the only comparison is that she was on KTV and me on YOTV, that’s it but as talented people in the industry we the same, we both passionate about what we do, we both love what we do, there is no other better person to work with. So I think the one thing that really upsets me about this industry is that people let all this go to their heads, they become arrogant, the whole ego thing, celeb thing, like it is so nice to work with someone who is on the freak in same page as me.


A: I like that, because I don’t see why you must change. So, what words of encouragement do you have for other people striving to be like you?

S: I just say go for it. Because especially in this industry it is so hard, it is so tough people will break you down, people will tell you that you not good enough, people will ask you what you are going to bring to the table that a thousand haven’t. It’s hard-core so if this is the specific industry that you want to be in, you need to be like rhino dude, you need to be like RHINO, because it is tough it is very hard-core. If you are so passionate and you are a hard worker and you want to do things properly; than do things properly. As it is so easy in any industry to take short cuts sometimes. I don’t recommend that for anybody, because the harder you climb the harder you fall. So if it is your passion and it’s something that you want to do give it your all, doors will close in your face, but you just keep opening more, and you just keep going at it. If it’s meant to be than it really will be! Surround yourself with the right people that’s probably the most important part, you believe in them, they believe in you and that’s a good support structure, so don’t get mixed up with the wrong crowd, all that usual stuff that people might say, like our parents know what they are talking about, they were not just trying to preach to us. It really counts especially in this industry. That’s why sometimes I’m like what am I doing because I hate 90% of these people, but I love what I do. I love it when I walk in the street and 10 girls recognize me and 10 guys recognize me, I get excited because that means I did something,  I influenced those people’s lives in some way and that’s a great feeling! Like I drive an average car like I’m not going to driving around in a Beamer, or like live in Houghton, or be like “yeah check out my bling” or have breakfast, lunch and supper at Tasha’s! No I’m not going to do that. I go to the cheapest shops; I go to the cheapest pub, because I want the cheapest beer. I like still have my student mentality. I like things I like, but I’m not going to spend more money, R500 on a jacket no, just to get the same Jacket at Mr Price for a 100 bucks. I would rather buy the cheapest item and give the rest of the money to charity for children who needs school shoes. That’s why I say I give back, my mind isn’t like me me me me.

A: I like that. Do you believe that any person can achieve their dreams?

S: Without a doubt. It’s so easy to give up. We might overcome what we going through perfectly, but it’s just so easy to give up and say “I’m done!” We can achieve all our dreams, no matter how tough your life is, no matter how hectic things get.

I mean I suffer from depression; I’ve been suffering from depression since I was a kid and I got to a point where I was like “I’m done! Life at home is shit, work is too hectic, and people at school is kak! So I’m done. I don’t need to be her.” So I had all of those thoughts, I had suicidal attempts, but once I overcome those feelings of I don’t want to live anymore and I’m alive and looked at what I’m doing… I was like imagine I actually quit… I mean like my dreams have come through, maybe it didn’t happen when I was 18, but that’s fine it’s not supposed to. It happens in time. Yet at the tender age of 28 my dreams have come through, so without a doubt

A: Wow Sade you only 28! You have truly accomplished a lot!

S: Yes I have, wait listen to this; I have been in the industry for 21 years, it’s actually freaks me out! I have been a presenter for 21 years, that’s like someone’s child getting the key of life. That’s how long I have been presenting!

A: You should be proud of yourself.

S: I am; and that’s why when I look back at my life and overcoming the depression to the point where I don’t have suicidal thoughts, and I love my life and I want to inspire other people, and I want to help other people with this kind of problem. When I look at that I’m like seriously…

A: I’m actually happy that you talk about the depression and the suicidal part, because I mean so many people go through depression and suicidal thoughts and they think this is the end there is nothing else worth doing!

S: You know what it is; it’s that moment where you don’t hear the outside world, it’s just you and your thoughts.  You so sucked into your own black hole; you don’t care about your parents or your friends, you don’t care about your brother and sister. You just don’t care and at the same time you going they don’t care, they won’t even miss me when I’m gone. You know at the same time you taking your life, you burning everyone else’s, because we don’t realise how many people actually care. You really do think that you are alone and when you realise that you not alone… than you start to climb out of the hole.

I have been doing talks in Hamannskraal, I just decided that it is important. There was a lady in Hamannskraal who burnt herself and her saving grace was hearing her baby cry. She was like “I have a child, what am I doing?” I mean she was thinking only about her life and how complicated her life was. She had a moment where she forgot about her kid, but when her kid started crying, she jumped into water, but she completely melted, but she is alive doing good and is doing the talks with me. We started doing talks there, and ironically, the week before we were going to do a talk at one of the schools one of the kids attempted to commit suicide. The one school was told not to talk about it, not to say anything about it. So it was very hard to deliver the message to them, because teachers didn’t care, even when I spoke to the teachers they didn’t seem to care. They just had this attitude, which was very heart breaking for me. They not educated about this kind of stuff; in certain cultures we don’t talk about that stuff, so they were like no. So it’s hard to communicate that. Yet we met another school in Hamannskraal and they were so happy to have us there, they were like “Thank you, for taking the time to teach our children, for wanting to help for wanting to educate.” It’s nice when people are open to knowing that this is a problem, so me it was hard to understand at that specific school where the girl actually committed suicide and unfortunately ended up dying. As we finished the talk at that school we found out that there was another girl who attempted to commit suicide too. I was like that is two girls in one school and they don’t even acknowledge the problem, instead they busy rolling their eyes at us. Therefore; the kids themselves weren’t taking us seriously, as I was jumping from class to class there was no time to take pictures, because we only had a certain time with the kids. Eventually the one guy came up to me and said that this girl would like to take a picture with you, and I was like I really can’t, because I have to rush to the next class and if I take a photo with you I have to take one with everyone. Then he said to me “well now she is going to be sad and try to kill herself.”

A: oh my word!

S: and I looked at him and I lost it, I like saw red and I went off at him. It still didn’t register. I was like so angry, because this is a serious matter. Eventually I pulled myself towards myself and realised that some people you just can’t get through to them. Although that one school really appreciated our talk, eventually I thought this isn’t for me, but when I went to two other schools and they listened and appreciated me being there, I decided to carry on.

Lastly go for what you want, do what you love and never give up!


All questions by Alexandria Allan (A)

All answers by Sade Giliberti (S)

Pictures courtesy of Sade Giliberti

Twitter: @OneSadie @MTVza VJ



Catch Sade Giliberti on MTV choice at 16:00 on Channel 130 every Wednesday



Dressed for Success…

I had the privilege of meeting Ms Thomas at a hi tea event  in Ennerdale a few months ago. Eventually she came out and gave us a talk  on what certain body shapes should wear, what colours suit different skin tones and what colours don’t suit different skin tones (that’s where I realised that I should just stick to winter colours lol!) and of cause what’s in season! I must say she’s an amazing image consultant! A women who oozes with a passion for clothing and a love for people.


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Q: What are the words you live by? 

A: I have many positive affirmations, such as; whatever we can conceive, we can achieve …I am born for greatness, but my sweet favourite is found in the Word of God that: I CAN do ALL things through Christ who gives me strength.

Q: What was your childhood like?

A: I’m the youngest of three sisters…my eldest sister is a teacher by profession and my second eldest sister started out working for the SAPS. As the youngest sister I couldn’t decide which sister’s footsteps to follow… Being a teacher or a police woman!  I had a great childhood. We are a very close knitted family and I know that is the reason I didn’t turn out so bad…#winkwink!

Q: What evoke your love for fashion?

A: I realised that people form opinions about us long before they’ve spoken words with you.  Our clothes are one of the elements that the next person use to form an impression of us.  Our clothes says “something” about us long before we have uttered a word!! This made me realise that I am a brand and that my dress code need to present my professional image.


Q: Was it always your dream to be an image consultant?

A: No hey, I am the sort of person that loves dressing up, shopping, working with people, empower, share knowledge etc… So I simply combined these passions, did some research, until I came across Image Consulting – I never even knew such a profession existed.

Q: Where did your love for helping people look good come from?

A: Style Elevation is an extension of my love and excitement for fashion and combined this passion with my yearning to empower others to “Dress for Success”.

Q: Would you say you a fashionista yourself?

A: Honestly…my definition of a fashionista is a woman who has found her own individual style and knows what looks great on her and what she is comfortable with…so although the trend says “go skinny jeans this season” …if skinny doesn’t look good on me…then goodbye skinny…I buy what makes me look good and not always what’s trendy at the moment.

Q: What has been the highlight of your career thus far?

A: Starting my own business has always been a huge part of where I wanted to be – so having started Style Elevation is already a huge step for me.

Q: What words of wisdom do you have for other people who want to pursue this kind of career?

A: A candle never loses its light when it lights another candle.  Becoming an Image Consultant is about empowering the next person to enhance their self-confidence.  The aim is not to change the aspects of our bodies, but rather about finding our best features and making them work for us.  While clothes may make you look better, the most important part is that you feel better in your skin

Q: As a coloured do you now believe that you can be anything you want to be?

A: It is all about the attitude you have. With a positive attitude you can achieve any goal or objective in life!

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“I recommend Lisinda Thomas to anyone who wants to be dressed for success both mentally and physically:)!”

All answers by:  Lisinda Thomas from Style Elevation

All pictures courtesy of Lisinda Thomas

Facebook: Style Elevation


For more information on Style Elevation contact 0834689403

MIND-SET shift…

Hold on to all that you are and all that you have learned, for these things are what make you unique, don’t ignore what you feel and what is right and important.Nubia group

The other day I was walking through the library at University. Complaining and being irritated with Honours as usual, but it was this day that my mind set was shifted, that I started thinking differently…


In the library while getting books, I noticed a guy in a wheelchair, I became so fascinated with this guy in the wheelchair that I sat down and observed his actions. This guy was so determined to get his work done; get books, climb in and out of his wheelchair, up and down the ramp he went to get books, yes books…

Then it hit me…

We that have the legs, the sight, the arms, ears etc… complain about so many things in our lives and yet that guy in the wheelchair has so much more to complain about. Yet, the strange thing is that disabled people don’t complain as much as we able people. Instead they are so determined to do well and succeed in life that they don’t make their disability define them. Yet we make our different stages of mind-sets and emotions define us.

I finally had the courage to go up and speak to him, my goodness the most friendliest and happiest person I’ve ever met. Me being me I started crying; because here am, I am so mad about all my work, assignments, not being happy etc… This guy has so much more to complain about, but instead he is happy. That was a mind shift moment and today I will never forget what that guy said to me. He said “I was born to be somebody, yes I had a few pitfalls in my life, but I’m still alive which means I still have a purpose on this earth. Yes there we’re times when I was really mad and asked why did this have to happen to me but; I have found strength in God’s word and I believe that he didn’t put me on this earth to shrink and feel sorry for myself, but to rise above my situation and still do what I want to do, and be who I want to be”.  I replied firstly by thanking him for being so motivated and for inspiring me to stop complaining . Then I concluded our conversation by telling him this verse out of the bible; “BE STRONG AND COURAGEOUS! DO NOT TREMBLE OR BE DISMAYED FOR THE LORD YOUR GOD IS WITH YOU WHEREVER YOU GO” Joshua 1:9.

LESSON: Stop complaining and just hold on to success, there are more people out there who have so many things to complain about, but they don’t. Go for what you want in life, if you already doing what you love keep on striving towards achieving it. Your mind is a  powerful tool if you keep bringing yourself down than that’s where you going to stay, but if you keep on motivating yourself and motivating others, guess where you heading to straight to the top! We are too blessed to be stressed… too intelligent to be doubtful… too talented to be unsure… Go out there sparkle, make your imprint on this world.

Remember this: “ I just can’t give up now I’ve come to far from where I have started from, nobody told me that the road would be easy, I don’t believe he brought me this far to leave meMighty Clouds of Joy


Story by: Alexandria Allan

Pictures: Google images

Guy in wheel chair: My new friend:)

Clint on the Brink!

Driving to Pirates Rugby Club in Greenside, the anticipation to meet a man who is loved by many was the core of my excitement, either for his brilliant acting, phenomenal singing and of cause his devilish good looks that leave thousands of women swooning in front of their screens every night around South Africa. I had the opportunity last month to conduct an interview with Mr Brink; the friendliest, down to earth and straight-forward celebrity, that I’ve had the pleasure of meeting. I had to ask him how old he is and my goodness for a 32 year old he looks amazing. I believe that through this interview many can gain advice and insight on how important it is to work hard for what you want, things don’t just happen , you have to make it happen!


If you not going to do something to the best of your ability; dan moet jy dit nie doen nie, jy doen dit heeltemaal of jy doen dit glad nie

A: What are the words you live by and what has inspired you to live by those words?

C: Throughout my life and throughout my career, I think there are seasons for everyone, there are times when you strive, you have struggles, and there are times when you are victorious, you blessed… Currently for me the words that I live by “You know better, you are to do better” I try to apply that to everything I do; in my work space, the way that I treat people, my spirituality and I feel it’s important that if you see people who are not necessarily clued up on certain things, without being preachy, without being pushy and nagging, it’s important to share things so that you can educate. As through sharing you give people the opportunity to grow as well and they know better. If they know better, they should do better!

A: What was your Childhood like growing up in Paarl?

C: My childhood growing up in Paarl was cool. It’s pretty quiet, not much industry things happening in Paarl, in fact it is very far removed from the hub of Cape Town. I mean I grew up riding bicycles on a dirt road, walking far, alles in die Paarl is ver. Like you walk for everything so it’s like the people from central Cape Town look at people from Paarl like farm boys, julle is van die plaas, you don’t know much, you don’t dress like the inner city guys, and you don’t speak like the inner city guys. But the one thing I can say is that growing up in Paarl you meet people with a lot of credibility, you meet people who are down to earth, when they do something they mean it, so I mean I come from a community, a deep church community.

I also played a lot of sport, Paarl is synonymous for rugby, Cricket, a lot of people who play SA rugby are from Paarl, and we actually have a lot of good sportsman coming from Paarl. So living there was nice, it’s like living in a town where everyone knows everyone else.    Growing up for me there with my parents; my mother was a teacher, my father was working in insurance, so my family actually come from a poor background, my mother is the youngest of nine, so a massive family. My parents being from a poor family were striving and working hard to live a middle class life; so that my sister and I could have a better life. At one point it was really cool because my dad was doing well, for a large portion of my life was very difficult like most coloured people have it you know, you struggle you do your best, your parents will always tell you they’re doing their best to make sure that they can give you the best, at times you have family trouble because of that.

Overall me growing up in Paarl was blessed man; I had a lot of people always singing my praises, because from a young Age I use to participate in drama stuff and like music stuff. My mom was very strict and she was very strict on me and I remember the one thing she would always tell me “If you not going to do something to the best of your ability; dan moet jy dit nie doen nie, jy doen dit heeltemaal of jy doen dit glad nie”. So I grew up having heavy values instilled in me and looking back; if my parents didn’t raise me the way they did I would have probably fallen by the waste side when I was twelve years old like most of the people in our community.

A: When did you start realising your dream to be an artist?

C: (Laughs) I think from a young age I was always like creatively inclined and once again I have to, when people ask me who do you look up to, who is your idols, your mentors; I can’t really say that I had people who I aspired to be like, the people who inspired me the most was the people in my community, ordinary people, I was always interested in people who were ordinary people but had extraordinary circumstances; that made it difficult for them to achieve certain things, but they still persevered and still had an opportunity to put a smile on someone else’s face. I would say my parents; I would have to thank them for noticing that I had certain gifts at a young age and then exposing me to those fields, my mom from first grade started coaching me pros and monologues and being part of plays, I mean I turned five in my first year of school, I was always younger than everyone else in my class. So when I didn’t understand pros and long monologues, my mom was politically affiliated, so she understood the dangers and the difficulties that we have as coloured people in the country and so many things that we will have to overcome just to be noticed, not even to be respected or be celebrated, just to be noticed. You have to be extraordinary so to speak and my mom as a four year old I just thought that the pressure that I got from my parents at such a young age was too much. Looking back now it was all just to make sure that I would be able to sketch out a good living for myself, so I would say they were the people who actually made me realise, I mean I grew into that realisation the older I got, because that’s when I started understanding that I do actually have a neck for being creative, I do actually have a gift and there are certain things that I possess within. Talent is only like 20% of everything, like my mother always taught me to be a hard worker and that’s what I always do! I would say being younger than everyone else in my class and being faced with a physical disadvantage, I always felt like the underdog I always felt like I had to do more work, than everyone else just to get there, and that kind of like humbled me to the point that I never got to a point where I felt  big headed, about anything, because I felt like I always had to work hard, so it kept me on my toes, so I would say all thanks once again to my parents.

A: What came first your passion for acting or singing?

C: (Laughs) as of late that’s always been the question, because the music has come to the forefront now, uhmm… Music and acting for me is branches of the same tree, stems of the same thing, the same person, the same love, the same passion and they are both arts they complement each other. You find like a lot of people across the world, like no one knows that Keeanu Reeves is a Base player. He has been in a band for a long time, like there are many actors who are musicians, and like very creditable and good musicians.

Like I said I from the age of four has always been involved in competitions and all of these things like the Eisteddfod. So like from age four I use to do monologues, pros and be part of the choir, from age four all the way through to 12th grade. So I have always done it together, it’s just like it’s difficult. The thing about growing up in a coloured community people are so naturally gifted when it comes to art, I mean you walk around the corner a girl would sing a Beyoncé song and it’s just like normal it’s not like anything special and you like ok… She sings all the ranges properly, and it’s like no problem this is what we do, so there was always pressure when it came to music and stuff. I have been fortunate, I’ve sang in like three choirs at the same time Paarl, Wellington regional Choir and both my Primary and high school choir and Boys Ensemble, when I was part of a boys group, you know I would say; acting was the first window opportunity that opened itself up to me, and gave me the opportunity to have it as my career and now I think that I was growing and growing into the expectancy of myself being a musician. You know I’m also very hard on myself, there are certain things that I want to do a certain way otherwise I won’t do it like my mother said. The people that I emulate and simulate within music are people like; Stevie Wonder, Donnie Hathaway, Earth, Wind and Fire, Marvin Gaye, so the stuff that I look to doing is not just singing but; like your sound, your producing, and your instrumentation. I remember Brian McKnight did an interview once and he said “Great singers come and go, but a good song can last forever.” So I’ve always been the type of guy that focuses on things that have longevity and that lasts. That’s why I think I’ve also been fortunate and God has blessed me with the career that I’ve had for this long. I’ve never been the guy to buy into the hype and look for fame. I mean we have artist now that blew up in a year and they are like the biggest stuff in Joburg now and I’ve been doing this consistently for fourteen years now. So it’s been a long time, I’ve been blessed!

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A: Indeed you’ve been blessed. Take me through your journey of becoming an actor?

C: Becoming an actor there is a lot of things that you go through, see these days in the industry it is so easy for people to just get hired of the street and then put into a soapie and then say they an actor in six months, because the show is giving them that scope you know. But, you can see in their eyes and in their delivery that there are certain things that they have not been exposed to, they haven’t like dug into themselves deep enough to understand why they are doing what they are doing. Their intention behind doing it is a little bit skewered and I’m generalising obviously. For me; the journey of becoming an actor there is a lot of self-realisation you go through, you know there is a lot of discovery that you go through, I. Think if you talk to a lot of people locally and internationally. Will talk about actors being like divas, Primadonna, and the thing about being an actor is that you have to question everything before getting to the truth. You don’t ever just accept the truth at face value, because you don’t understand. You put up with a lot, you experience being in other peoples shoes a lot, and you experience other people’s pain, loss and joy. Life is like my library, I look at everything that people go through, I take the time to listen to people, I talk to people, I try and connect to people to the best of my ability. Also as an actor you are very open, you know things affect you, most actors, the true actors to the core would say; it’s important to them, their craft is important to them, people who walk around with their hear on their sleeve and if you that type of person the world can be a difficult place for you.

Being a young kid and being from a coloured community, being an actor, not a lot of people know how to mould you, how to guide you, how to protect and keep you safe in that regard. So you kind of like have to switch between being hard and being soft. It’s like living in a coloured community where there are gangsters, you a church going guy, you care about your mom, so when the gangsters are there you have to speak a certain way, walk a certain way and be a certain way so that you don’t become a victim of your circumstance and a victim of your environment. So for me fortunately my parents noticed that I had a gift from a young age, you know they expose me to a lot of stuff, I was always involved in competitions and performing at different schools. So after I finished primary school, I realised that there was not a lot of iconic coloured people, you know, that was like the “Moses of the people” you know; like leading the people out of the ghetto. Being in Paarl without having infrastructure and exposure, no TV crews, no film studios and no music studios. So you know people just went purely on passion. So after I finished primary, I went on to high school, so I was head boy at the primary school and head boy at my high school. Talk about being an over achiever (laughs).

A: Look where you are now so it’s worth being an over achiever…

C: After finishing High school I was a lot more active in the arts, playing a lot more piano, learning a lot more, doing a lot more singing, travelling a lot more with the boys group, and the ensemble. I went to Europe for a few months with the choir. As soon as I finished high school I was part of a competition called the drama organisation of performing arts for competitions. The one year I came close to winning the competition in standard nine and Kim Stotal, a white guy, and I remember after he won an Afrikaner guy got up and was so cross and he shouted across the theatre ” we all know that, that Brink guy should have won, this is bullshit” and he walked out. That was the first time that I actually realised that hey… There might be things that are prohibiting me from actually being the best I could be, because I felt like I did well, like most artists would tell you, I could feel it felt right, I gave it my all, I connected with the people, I connected the dots and then they gave me a scholarship to study at Pretoria Tech for three years for free. Which I didn’t take, because I was in love with a girl (laughs) that went to a different University, so then I followed this girl to that University, she was also a drama student and she played the Cello actually, she was a beautiful girl. So I went to Stellenbosch University, because that’s where she went and they also have drama majors there. I took the train for four hours a day to get to University and back. Most people will tell you that if you at Stellenbosch university and you in your first year, you not going to act in your first year, you basically build sets and look after the second or third years and forth years, jy doen niks nie man. So I was not having it, because I’m use to like doing competitions every year. I was used to doing well. Now you are not giving me an opportunity to grow further. So eventually I was looking for this girl one day and I was like I had it now I’m going to tell this girl that I like her, this is the day! So I looked for her, and on the day that I decide to suck all my worries away and sorrows. I get to the drama faculty and I hear that she just left for the UK.

A: Oh no…

C: The next week I left University. I told my mom, I’m not going to do this they holding me back. Obviously it was not just about the girl, but I think that she was also a catalyst for a lot of things for me and it’s so funny when I look back now, the one thing that has propelled me this far in my life , is my love for things, my love for what I do. It’s so funny that my love for that girl was also the deciding factor to take me away from that University. I ended up at City Varsity, because I actually wanted to do film and television. I was more interested in the refinering art and the subtleties of being an actor, than the theatre stuff, because the theatre stuff I’ve done since I was five years old. So I went to City Varsity, they closed auditions already; it was like two weeks already, so I had to hustle to get in. I did an audition for them, I got in. After my first three weeks in first year they moved me straight through to final year and I got my degree literally in like 6 months of being at university. I was so fortunate; the lecturer looked at me and was like “this boy is advanced”. Because like a lot of people only start doing it when their parents have money, and a lot of people at the University was white people and if their parents don’t drop them they drive their own Porches, and here I am taking the train just to get by, sometimes I didn’t even have  money for lunch, or even how to get back home, sometimes I had to steal my way back onto the train, thinking if the cops catch me they going to lock me up!

Two months after my graduation at City Varsity I auditioned for a movie and that movie basically led me to get my audition for Backstage.

A: Wow so that’s where you started…

C: And that was 14 years ago, so then it was Backstage, Generations, Dallas in Pipes, a lot of local movies and international movies like short films and eventually Scandal.

A: Oh wow that’s amazing! So see being an over achiever has its perks!

C: (laughs) I guess, I guess

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A: Your music is very soulful; would you describe yourself as a soulful person when it comes to your music?

C: Uhmm… You see music is also like a different thing, it’s a different application, it’s a different understanding of who you are and what you need to do, but I would say yes soul music definitely encapsulates most of what I would like to embody in my music, also it must have meaning. The people that I listened to are people who wrote music and sang it from their hearts.

A: Old school!

C: Yeah! Old school, you know what I’m saying, that’s my thing. So whether it’s RnB, or Neo soul. I would never be able to write something just for the sake of writing. You know you talk to a lot of musicians and they like yeah I’m going to write a “HIT”. What’s a hit? If you listen to Reasons by Earth, Wind and Fire, you know the lyrics of Reasons is actually a pretty messed up song!

A: (laughs) definitely!

C: Like the lyrics is contradictive. Because everyone when the song starts, are like “Yeah! Reasons the reasons that we here…” They think it’s so cool, but really the song is talking about the reasons that we together is fading away, its bullshit, you know! (Laughs). But they sang it with so much conviction, and the way it was delivered was spectacular. So for me I talk a lot about relationships and heartbreak, being in love or social issues. You know the intricacies of being human, stuff that we all go through in society, but we scared to talk about it, now that’s the type of things that I address in my music. So yes I would say soul is the right word to encapsulate everything I do.

A: Oh wow that’s beautiful! Because your music is really soulful!

C: Did you listen to some of the songs?

A: Of cause! They are really beautiful…Powerful, truly speaks to the soul!

C: Thank you!


A: What other interests do you have?

C: Well as you saw today; I’m an avid martial artist, my father was an Honouree Black belt martial artist in Karate. He played in the Virginia league cup, he was a striker. He was the Captain of the table tennis team, Karate champ. So I got a lot of that stuff from my father as well, including the discipline and determination that goes along with being an athlete and I also took a lot of other things into consideration. So here I am I’m in standard six and I’m 12 years old and I’m surrounded by these big rugby guys. So I was at a huge disadvantage. So I always felt like I lacked certain things, sometimes I went home crying because I got cut from the basketball team, because I’m too young or too short. I just turned all of that anger and disappointment I just turned it into fuel to do better, to go out and work harder.

So I run and own a gym with my trainer Henry Modini, a Muay-Tai school, in Greenside at Pirates rugby club. So this is my other passion. The thing with me is that I try and make sure that everything I do, whether its acting or music, I would like to use that as a means to uplift my people and inspire my people. It’s so funny when coloured people start talking about coloured people issues, the rest of the country seems to frown upon us, and they think we being racist to a certain extent. It’s not the case, and without sounding disrespectful, I find that a lot of black people endorse other black people. A lot of black people stick together and when it comes to coloured people, every other race in the country feels like they have the need to tell us crap. I’m like please shut up! If you have not lived, or spent a day in our shoes, I don’t think it’s at your best interest to stand there and point fingers! Let me tell you I got into so much trouble for saying stuff about the SAMA’s, people were mad at me you know, people on twitter they felt like I was making it a race issue. For me when you looked at the screen it was obviously a race issue that someone else made, I was just pointing out, actually just highlighting, what other people did not have the guts to say. There were no coloured presenters, no coloured performers and no coloured nominees. So I said it on Twitter, “Why don’t I see any coloured presenters, performers or nominees?” And people were like “Yeah, but who is there to nominate?” And I was like are you SERIOUS… Myself, Lorcia Cooper, Ernie Smith, what about Jamali, what about Jimmy Nevelson he is one of the biggest coloured acts from Cape town right now and he is doing so well. What happened to all of the Idols people, Sasha Lee David’s, Jody…? You telling me that there’s no one? It’s ok for people to say that there’s no one… That became very evident to me that there is a bigger problem. I felt like people are trying to cover up certain things, or eradicate coloured people from the picture, because it’s too much effort to spend time and understand where we coming from. Obviously this is just my personal opinion and I’m saying this with no hate, because I do love our country. I love our diversity, I love what we stand for, I love the progress that we are making and I love a lot of things that we are doing. But I also think that you can’t get to the truth of certain things if no one is willing to be honest about stuff, it’s not going to change anything if no one stands up and says I think what u doing is not a 100% cool. I remember people started telling me that I’m making it an issue about race, and I was like well I think someone else has already made it an issue about race I’m just showing it! For me it was simple; if you in a Ferrari and I’m in my Daihatsu standing at the robots and there’s a beggar at the robots, at the traffic light, we both have eyes, you in your fancy car and me in my little car. We both see that there’s poverty right in front of us, which means that we can see that there could be a problem. Why now I’m being singled out for being a trouble maker where as we both can see that there is a problem. I’m getting carried away…

A: No you not because that is so true, it is something that is really happening in our country! Would you mind elaborating more on the art of Muay Tai?

C: No not at all. I use to be an avid basketball player and swimmer, but then I needed something a little more competitive. I’ve had a few struggles in my life; at the age of 21 I was in a car accident and I lost my fiance in a car accident, the state charged me with Culpable Homicide. The two people that forced me off the road just drove off so I was the only person left to answer everything. I had to leave Backstage ended, so I came up to Joburg to do Generations. I wasn’t given any money or incentive to start a life up here, I was sleeping on someone’s floor for about two months with nothing to cover me, but the cloths I had in my suitcase. Having gone through a traumatic experience like that and being in a foreign place; I was scared, I was anxious and I didn’t know what to do. Obviously there was other challenges that I had to face in my life that was very difficult for me to grasp with and I didn’t really have anyone to guide me. So I just stored it, I just put a lid on it and tried to deal with it as best as I could. But it ate away at me for a long time while I was trying to make peace and try to understand exactly what I’ve been through. When I discovered Muay-Tai, one of the things that you learn very fast is that the only person you can rely on to save yourself is YOU! You know if you take a look at life, if you have a financial problem, there are people you know; it’s their job to assist you and to help you with your financial problems. If you have a spiritual problem… There are pastor’s priests who can aid you in that. But for you to progress from point A to D and you have 50 push ups to do, you can’t ask someone else to do 20 for you, for you to get to your goal. There is only you that you can count on to do it. I got to a point where I realised that the people that I fight, my battles and the things that I deal with within the sport is just my own; my own insecurities, my own difficulties, my own weaknesses, my own perception of myself. Like if I’m strong enough to do this on my own. I think our physical is our primary base as human beans. For me the sport and obviously the discipline and spirituality that goes along with Tai boxing has just been something that refocused me, it gave me a place where I can be centred, train and think that there’s nothing else in the world that bothers me, there’s nothing, everything in my mind just leaves. It’s unlike life, its life when you go out there, you can do the best you can, but you cannot control the thoughts and actions of the people that impact on you. You know you get people saying that you the master of your own destiny control your own thoughts, destiny or law and attraction… Bullshit aside there are other people that makes things hard and there’s nothing you can do about it, even if you try and avoid these people and cut them out of your life. You know you can’t cut a government out of your life, that’s the ruling party; those people make decisions at the end of the day that impact on your life. What are you going to do about it? So for me Muay-Tai became away to just overcome a lot of things that I was unable to fix myself. It’s something that I come here and I train hard and I try and find peace and resolution within myself so that I can still go out there every day and smile and motivate those around me. Working outwardly might not solve the problem, but working inwardly you will find peace within yourself.

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A: Wow, where do you see yourself five years from now?

C: Five years from now…The Governor of California (Laughs) just joking…

A: Go for it!

C: To the best of my ability I will always strive just to be more and strive to be bigger, like the people that I try to emulate, people like your Richard Branson you know who started selling CD’s out of a boot, do you know what I mean, and look what has he done now. Owns airlines, owns gyms, he influenced the world on a financial level and he goes out there and does good by donating money. I mean this guy starts businesses, than sells it off and gives it to other people. For me I looked at him and asked why I have to settle being one thing, so that other people can benefit. I find a lot of people in South Africa, saying I didn’t know that you sing and I’m like I have been doing this for fourteen years how don’t you know. I mean I’m busy producing my 7th Album and I’ve just noticed man it’s gotten to a point where other people want to keep a lid on you, a lot of people want to box you and block you, because they actually don’t want to see you grow, because they know u actually have something more to offer. I was fortunate to be a part of Neville Diedericks Digi music videos, a Gospel singer and Neville Diedericks is from Cape Town and I remember when Neville launched his first album I was the one that opened up for him, his album launched in Cape Town. Yesterday I met up with; Ernie Smith, Verd, Neville, Jolene an actress and producer. I spoke to him (Neville)  and told him wow you have a lot of coloured people in your video and he told me it’s getting to a point now if we don’t show the rest of the country that we actually do have love for each other and that we do support each other and that there’s valid substance in what we do, than no one else will believe it. Within the TV and acting industry I think the reason why we don’t see too many coloured people coming to the forefront, firstly; because there are no coloured people making films and there’s not a lot of coloured people going out there and producing content about stories of our community. If it gets to a point where we can do that more than the demand will grow and people won’t be able to deny it. Also the other thing that I find in our country; if you take a look at people who have true success in our country; if you not a sportsman you either have to be a businessman or a politician to make money. Now businessmen want to own the arts.  So therefore you cannot turn being an artist into a business for your selfish needs, arts have always been the subconscious and the voice of society. South Africa does not endorse the arts at all, how can people who released albums such as Lady Smith Black Mambazo die poor? So many artists in the country who are famous. These guys don’t have a consistent job, they can’t afford a house, and they can’t afford a car. I mean you find actors who have been acting for a long time who must still take the taxi, there’s no respect. I mean if you don’t support your artists, than you are stripping the country off a much needed Identity. Imagine you go into a country and they have no music and no actors and like nothing to do with arts, it will be like eating a plate of serviettes with no taste, no colour, there’s no nutrition, no nourishment, it’s just, I feel it’s getting to a point now where we really have to endorse that, people need to start seeing. I was interviewed recently by a few TV stations when they had the Jameson First Shot Short film competition and Kevin Spacey came down and we had a local director who won and she had the opportunity to have Willem Defoe in her movie, her short film and it was shot on the stage. One lady interviewed me and asked me what do I think about it and I said I think it is great for the arts, we have cross pollination with brands, local and international people working together, there’s respect now for what we do and people see the value of what we contribute here in South Africa. One person said than, many people feel that it was not a proper depiction or representation of South Africa, because there was no South African people in it. So I said firstly South Africa makes it so difficult for film makers just to get funding and to make a proper movie, why must Americans come into our country and give money to people and actually give them the creditability and the chance that they deserve, when our people can’t do it for ourselves, no wonder our people like Jonathan Butler left because he hit the ceiling fast here, and then what’s he going to do play in the club for the rest of his life in South Africa and not be recognised. I can understand completely. It’s gotten to a point where everything either has to be political affiliated or you now have to be aligned with this political party or this business person just to make sure that you can make a decent living. At the end of the day as artist you know, we don’t get born choosing what skin colour we must be, you don’t get choosing what gender you want to be, you get born as who you are; so if you are an artist right and it’s in your blood, it’s your passion, this is your heart than I think there has to be provision made to make sure that these people can actually do what they love. I mean you don’t get perks as artist, you don’t get medical aid, you don’t get pension, you have to do that all by yourself and you get taxed 25% if not more on everything. So it’s like they make it so difficult for you just to have a living, what happens if you want to have kids and they have to go to school? What happens if you want to get married? So it’s so difficult. So I think in that regard our country and our people just need to have more respect for what artists do from a very young age, just to make a living from what they do and stop sitting on the side line criticizing and pointing fingers if you haven’t done anything like that one day in your life!

A: As a coloured person do you believe that it is possible for you to achieve your dreams? And what words of wisdom do you have for someone striving to be like you?

C: Yes it is possible for you to live your dreams, with a lot of things that I said, I am still able to have, and I’m one of a very few people that has been able to be blessed with the career that I have, there were a lot of contributing factors and a lot of people, as much as I would love to say I’ve got here on my own, I worked and sacrificed. There were people at certain points in time who believed in me enough, and that’s despite colour, despite race. They believed in what I’m doing, in what I stand for, they provided me with opportunities, because they believed that much in me. I would say for anyone who wants to be like me or be in the same industry like me; you just have to equip yourself well, challenge is not good enough, go out there and study make sure that you have other ways to supplement an income for yourself, when the rainy days come, when the seasons change, when winter comes and you don’t have any money make sure that you have established yourself well enough, so that when you do go out there and do the arts and you have an opportunity, make sure people have respect for what you do you don’t go out there and doubt or come across as desperate. You stand up, you stand up with your back straight up, and deliver the best that you can do and give a 150% everyday even when your legs are broken and your hearts broken, you stand there and you deliver! That’s what I do, that’s what I do every day, I lay it all on the line, because tomorrow might be my last day and then what do I stand for. So I feel it is important, I really feel for my people it is important to stand there and really be the best that you can be and that’s what I do what I do. I face a lot of adversity every day , I have people every day trying to shut me down or people not believing in what I’m doing enough; family, friends, and industry people. You know what I remember there’s a lesson, one valuable lesson that I learnt from my mom;  I was playing with my sister and we were in Wellington, walking into town, it was a hot summers and my mom bought me ice-cream it was like New year’s or Christmas. As we were walking back home I had ice-cream in my hands and I was walking on the sidewalk and I fell down and I cut myself, I was four years old and I was lying on the pavement and I was crying and crying and I looked up to my mom and I thought she was going to pick me up. My mother just stood there and just looked at me and I looked at her and I was confused, and my mother told me that day that “Clint you must stand up, you get up and you stand up now, because there is going to come a day when I’m not here and no one’s here and you going to break like this, and there’s no one there to help you get up, learn how to stand on your own two feet, so get up.” I take that wherever I go, because a lot of people have a certain expectation, a certain idea about what the world might be. It could be a lot worse and a lot more difficult than you want to have people saying you didn’t give me this and you didn’t give me that, stand there take it on the chin and move, there’s nothing that hits you harder than life, not even hitting back is going to solve it, you must learn how to stand there, but I want to do things the way I want to with honour and integrity, so that my children, the people who believe in me, live the same values. Because if I fold, how many people around me are also going to fold.

Clint Brink  (2)munch_2013_08_07_230145 SAFTA 2013, Clint Brink

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Other pictures from various websites

All answers by: Clint Brink (C)

Questions by: Alexandria Allan (A)

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I see it in her walk …

The way her face lights up when she talks.

That shattered smile filled with so much hope,

Oh yeah! she keeps that head held high, because she knows how to cope…

There’s something about those colourful heels…

They boost her confidence, because it’s her shields;

Her shield of strength.

Her shield of enthusiasm .

Her shield of intellect.

Her shield of harmony.

Her shield of wisdom.

Her shield of loyalty.

Oh yes she is ROYALTY!

There is none like her…

A women whose success escalates…

Her worth never deteriorates…

Footprints that will leave a legacy.

Give her respect for all she is,

She’s a Proverbs 31 women I plead…

By: Alexandria Allan



Determination amplified!

Prèsomption is an up and coming Events Company that’s in the process of becoming that imprint that our country needs. I did this interview to show like-minded coloured business man that you don’t start off with having everything, it takes little foot steps to get to where you want your brand to leave a legacy. You have to start from the bottom and work your way to the top so that you can eventually say: “Started from the bottom, now I’m hereDrake

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Passion. Faith. Hustle.Sherwin Sampson

Q: Why Passion, faith and hustle?

A:These concepts play an important role in my life as I base everything in my life around these three concepts. I don’t believe that either one can be used in isolation. As you can’t hustle and not be passionate otherwise you won’t succeed, and you can’t have passion and not hustle, but then the key underlining factor would have to be faith. As there will be points in your life when you will just have to do things, take that extra leap of faith and just jump and not know what you jumping into to.

In business this is particularly true, because there were a lot of things that I just jumped into and Richard Branson said it so nicely if he looks back on his life right now there are so many risks that he took, that he wouldn’t have taken. I guess that is just that underlining factor of faith.

Q: What are you pursuing at the moment?

A: : A lot, really a lot, right now my core focus should be honours, it should be… but I’m pursuing a lot of other stuff. Prèsomption is right now my biggest baby and I have few other business interest as well which I won’t disclose at this point in time, but yes that’s what I’m pursuing now just focusing on both Prèsomption and honours.

Q: What are you doing your honours in?

A: Tax

Q: Is this the honours degree you wanted to pursue from the start?

A: It is, I’m doing this primarily for my own benefit, I have a plan and my plan is to get into corporate for the next 3-5 years, while building my business on the side and learning as much as I can and then just getting out there and consuming as much knowledge as I can and applying that knowledge.

Q: What spark the thought of starting your own business such as Prèsomption? The mission, the goal…

A: I think it is quite simple and I really just wanted to be cool, I wanted to be that honours guy that’s multitasking, got his own business you know, not only does he have his own business but just being known as that guy that has his own drive, and the guy that’s constantly just pushing just out there working, doing his very best just to be successful.

Q: What is the vision of Prèsomption?

A: To build a sustainable brand and a sustainable business as such within the next five years. As there’s some philosophy that if your business is sustainable for three years, it will definitely last a lifetime. That’s my main purpose now just building the brand. I couldn’t understand at first when young entrepreneurs say; “I just want to build a business I don’t really want to make money now.” I think I’ve reached that point now where I just want to build it. Although the core focus is about adding value to people’s lives. That’s also a principal that I believe in the brand as such to add value to people’s lives and I value this, as if I’m not able to add value I wouldn’t be in a business. So if I’m going to be scattered all over the place than I’ll rather not. So it’s really just about adding value, and I believe it’s the only way you can build a sustainable brand. Mission – is definitely to add value to people’s lives.

Q: As a young businessman do you see the company reaching great heights?

A: Definitely, that will almost be contradictory in me saying I’m trying to create a sustainable business, I mean you can’t be sustainable without striving to achieve the ultimate success. So that’s why I’m trying to create a sustainable brand as I said, but definitely trying to create an empire as such. You would have noticed that the company is called Prèsomption, but our core focus right now is event management, but the company is not called Prèsomption events, so I’m kind of creating group structure as such and this would then be the holding company to eventually build Prèsomption towards becoming this big empire. Just create a family legacy…

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Q: Where do you see yourself five years from now?

A: Five years from now I definitely  want to be a family man. I particularly love such questions, because I enjoy seeing how people answer it. A lot of people, well narrow minded people would answer it along the lines of monetary. But for me you can’t be thinking in terms of monetary targets, if you don’t reach that target you feel like your whole life was unsuccessful.  To me in the next five years I want to be a family man, possibly have one or two kids already…like I really want a big family so I have to start early. But most importantly successful in whatever I’m doing at the point in time. I would love to venture into singing, I’m not a singer, but I love music.

Q: So who’s your favourite artist?

A: My favourite artist would definitely have to be soulful, so the first person that comes to mind is Anthony Hamilton.  His someone that speaks to the soul and communicates the message so clearly.

Q: As a coloured do you now believe that it is possible to achieve your dreams? 

A: I don’t like thinking of myself as an individual, being categorized by some sort of colour, like for me it’s ‘crap’ being put in a box as a certain individual that wouldn’t rise above a certain expectation, who is always being stereotyped against or rather coming from a race where we were predominantly discriminated against, being looked at as of the demographic group of always being associated with drugs. Like just society at large I think it’s always cool seeing a coloured guy drive a Ferrari, people would be like how did you do it? I want to be that guy, that has a Ferrari, a Bentley, a Rolce Royce, private number plate “Masekind”, I’m not really that kind of guy, but I will do it for the sake of showing people it can be done and it can be done by sticking to your roots, but not forgetting that you can be successful without being involved in crime. I want to always be that guy or rather that coloured guy that made it out the latter of drugs and such.

Q: Do you have your parents support for starting a business like Prèsomption?

A: I think this is difficult for my parents, especially since I had this one event that I hosted and I was unsuccessful. Now I’m in the planning phase of the next series of my events and now my dad’s asking me “Are you really going to do this?” It’s not that I don’t have my parents support, but I just feel that they not supporting me enough in the sense of wanting to liberate myself completely as an entrepreneur. It’s that kind of thinking where they telling me listen; you need to go out there get a job. This is what my dad is encouraging me to do which is great, but that’s not me, I just feel like that’s not what I want. I think as a coloured community as such we always building someone else’s dream and not our own. Whole corporate world stuff is overrated. Like you get into a job, and get trapped into a position and that’s not me.

Q: How would you motivate others to go out and be who they want to be?

A: Be yourself, like you really just have to be yourself, be true to who you are, I don’t think that you can have a vision without knowing who you are, and who you want to be, so just be true to yourself, forget about the thing of just being a coloured, and rising above that. Think rather about how u as an individual can become a better person and not focus so much on what society expects from you, rather focus on you becoming a great individual and have positive role models, look at what other successful people are doing and how they did it. Like any person in life if you want to be successful in something you find something that is of interest to you, like I like studying the likes of Warren Buffet and Benjamin Franklin. This guy is legendary and been inspirational to the youth for many years. So just study people in history and see what set them apart from others. Nelson Mandela and of cause Malcolm X is other Role models that stand out for me. I love Malcolm X because he came out and said look we don’t have to be discriminated against. Than we also had Doctor Martin Luther King who was also fighting against discrimination, and for freedom. Malcolm X though he came out and said we discriminating against our own communities and separating ourselves, let’s rather just be one united group and let’s work towards a common goal. So work towards your goals, be determined and never give up your zest to succeed in life.

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Twitter:        @pre_events


Facebook:    Presomption  

The Duet Success…


Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life – think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success. “  Swami Vivekananda

Meet Tanner and Tyler Barberis…

Brothers who saw an opening in the sound industry and grabbed the opportunity with both hands. Providing the people with a better service. The greatest advice that they have received was: “You are brothers first, before business.” The value of this statement is so true and boils down to the fact that even though you share a business with a family member it does not mean that your relationship must be jeopardised in order for your business to succeed. Money should never breakdown a good relationship, as money comes and goes; but family lasts forever. Success is not determined by how much money you make in your business, but by how that business has transformed and impacted the lives of those you delivering your service too.

TA- Tanner  

TY- Tyler

Q: What are the words you live by?

TA:  For me it’s, Never give up, it’s never too late. When you think of putting things into perspective it’s never too late you always have the opportunity to go for what you want.

Q: What motivated you to start a sound company?

TY: Basically for both of us it was the love for music, we both musicians at heart I play piano and I’m a drummer, Tanner plays guitar and he plays drums as well. But also we were really exposed to the technical side of it at church and we both kind of developed a love for that I think it was about six years or so. Eventually we made the decision, as we were kind of doing this already at church, so it was time that we kind of ventured off on our, so we took the leap, the leap of faith.

Q: Is there any challenges you face as young entrepreneurs?

TA: For me the main challenge at this point is the worry of getting to a point in your life where you financially stable and you comfortable with where you are in your life. Its increasingly difficult in the respect that you don’t know where the future lies, you don’t know what tomorrow may bring, you always have the fear at the back of your mind that something could go wrong, you know like theft in the company, or loss of family, so there’s always that question and it’s also a question of dealing with your rivals.

TY: I think one of the big challenges we had was around mentor-ship and having good mentors, I think mentors are quite important, especially if you intending on getting into the world business. We have fantastic people who have helped us along the way who helped us, but we never had any set mentors to show us the ropes especially with the “nitty gritty” stuff you come across along the way. You know I think its important to have people like that to walk down the road with you, people who are able to show you those types of things and also people to support you in what you attempting, just to show you sometimes that what you doing is what you supposed to be doing.

I think the other thing for me was as a young entrepreneur getting into business, we had a lot of advantage we knew a lot about sound, but we didn’t really know much about business and I think that’s where mentor-ship is also quite important. You learn a lot as you go along the way but it is also nice to have someone to help you develop that business acumen, to guide you to be a good businessman.

Q: Who would you say is your icon that you look up to?

TY: We have a few, most are in the family, but it is definitely obviously my dad and uncle, my dad just because he is a stodge family man, and he motivated us to be the same way, and he is just really dedicated and passionate about things, and one of those being food he loves food. My uncle as well who is an established businessman, in his own right he inspired us in the things that he has gotten into , he owned a little coffee shop called “French corner” it was in Bryanstan.

TA: For me it would have to be John D Rockefeller, the man who built America.


Q: What works in a partnership and what doesn’t?

TA: I believe for different people there’s different things, but for us there was various factors mainly understanding each other, the ability to compromise your decisions, so if he had an idea or if he had to make a decision and I disagree, one of us would have to step up and say no look this would be a better option to go for and we would have to compromise and accept. Listening to one another definitely, keeping each other in the know, as business partners you have to always communicate with one another and make sure we both on the same page at all times. One big factor for me and the last factor that works for me is that often in business you forced into making sudden decisions and this could cause animosity between the two of you. So it’s important to know that you need to be able to avoid such kind of animosity, so that your decision making can happen more efficiently and things can be don’t to the best of your ability and you must always be able to hold ties.

TY: When we got into the whole business thing, obviously the way our family works, they sat us down and said here’s the deal… I remember that one of the things my dad said to us was that you guys are brothers first and business partners second, so that was something that really sat with us over the cause of taking on this business venture. I mean when Tanner says animosity, there has been days that we want to strangle each other, but remembering that aside from this partnership, that brotherly bond, keeps us grounded and has allowed us to tolerate each other. I think its important though for us to bump heads at times but being able to overcome that is just as important, it strengthens the relationship and partnership and ultimately makes a better business environment.

Q: Was it always your dream to have your own company?

TY: For both of us definitely, I mentioned that business runs in my family a little bit, my granddad opened up a factory, it is still running it is in Industria. They do furniture; they do a lot I mean they have done furniture for Monte Casino and a couple of big places in South Africa. My dad and uncle, also in their youth they use sell sweets and my uncle is still into business today. I think because of that, and the environment that we were in it really inspired us to want to do the same. Yes, we always had that dream of wanting to open a company amongst the two of us.

Q: Tanner what are you currently pursuing?

TA: I am currently doing a degree in journalism, specifically English and Communications. That just allows me to broaden my opportunities when I’m done studying. My other dream is opening a Restaurant before I’m 25 years old.

Q: Tyler what are you currently pursuing?

TY: I’m busy doing my masters in clinical psychology at Wits. Psychology is one of my other passions also why I got into business, because I like figuring people out.

Q: What words of Wisdom do you have for other youngsters who want to start their own company?

TY: I think that one of the biggest things I’ve learned; was in the beginning that learning to network is important, you never going to know everything. You know in the beginning of your business you need to learn to rely on people to compliment you in the things you don’t really know. Aside from that going into business we had a lot of people to support us along the way, in terms of actually giving us business, one of which was a guy called Mark Montgomery from Marked Music Studios and you know those types of contacts, throw a lot of networks your way. So knowing people really helps you in the things that you don’t know, but also helps you in keeping your business alive, people are the beginning and end of your business.

Another thing I wanted to say to young entrepreneurs is that it is a difficult road to walk, it is not an easy thing to start a business, but it is also really valuable road to work, because in the challenges that you come across you going to be stretched in ways that you have never been stretched in other aspects of your life and you will discover good and bad things about yourself. But the bad is not ultimately bad, because by discovering the bad things enable you to be better next time. So you need to be prepared, you need to think through and plan as best you can, having said that you can never have a plan for every event you have. So at some point you need to get going and just be ready for whatever comes up and then I think the most important thing is that you need to educate yourself and that’s just beyond a University education. Simply reading literature, if you get a chance take a short course in business school or take a long course do an MBA, something that is going to help you expand your mind and your thinking. Talk to people who know more than you do, debate and argue with those people who know more than you do, by this you expanding your mind and you automatically also open up, and create opportunities for yourself, to gain that advantage as you in the position to take advantage.

TA: I just want to touch on the fact that, this relates to my first answer of never give up. If you look at our country it’s relevant, small business contributes a lot to our country, because of the fact that we have such high rates of poverty, so small businesses offer job creation and that’s a way of giving back to the country, so that’s a positive for me as well.

Q: Do you believe that any coloured person can accomplish their dreams?

TY: I think without a doubt, but I think it’s important, that you must be aware that you will fail along the way, actually you will fail a lot along the way, but that failure is not a bad thing. I mean if you always successful, than I don’t think you really challenging yourself, and if you not challenging yourself than you not going to grow. Having said that don’t always fail, because failure sucks.

TA: From my side yes definitely, but on a point, on a stereo type that a lot of people have about a coloured; that is the mentality of getting a job, earning a salary, driving Golf and having sound. I think a lot of our younger generation sees that as the dream of being a coloured, so I think if we can bridge that mentality especially with the younger generations, we can definitely make a mark as coloureds!

TY: I would just like to add what Tanner is touching on is the importance of community, that it is one thing for someone to have a dream and wanting to pursue that dream, it is really important to have a community to push the youth, to dream bigger, to go further. I think it is a combination of both people who want to go further, but also communities who are willing to support that person to reach the success of young coloured entrepreneurs.

Q: What are your final words of wisdom?

TY: For me, at the end of the day it is really just about expanding your mind, about trying to stretch yourself, and really that is what entrepreneurship is all about, it is not about succeeding or failing. But most importantly learning and getting better.


All pictures are original



All answers by Tanner and Tyler Barberis

Contact details:                                



37 Sixth Street, Maraisburg, Roodepoort, 1709

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