Q&A: Siyabonga Gwala, presenter

siyabongaSiyabonga Gwala is a South African actor and television presenter who was born in Born in KwaZulu-Natal, he grew up in Johannesburg.

What projects are you currently working on?
I’m currently a ‘Geleza Nathi’ presenter on SABC 1. Which airs every weekday, 5-6 AM. Also, I recently landed another presenting gig on SABC 1. I am one of the new presenters for TOMz (Season 7) which will first air on the 13th of July 2015 at 4PM.

What do you love about your job?
I love the fact that I get to convey a message to the masses, and sharing my talent while at it with the rest of the nation. Also, I just love being in front of the camera doing what I love and what I believe I was born for.

Who would play you in the film of your life?
I’d play myself in the film of my life. Because no one knows the ins and outs of my life like I do. I am the author of my life.

Which living person do you most admire, and why?
My dad. Mainly because he’s always been there for me in every aspect of my life. He’s a father, a best friend, an all rounder basically. He’s always supported me in pursuing my career in the Entertainment Industry. I’m honored to have such a father in my life.

What did you want to be when you were growing up?
I wanted to become a lawyer. This wasn’t what I really desired, because most of the time as a kid, society makes you believe that “Medicine, Law, Science” are the ideal industries for one to venture in. But as I grew older, i realized a burning desire in me, and that was TV. I did Drama in Primary School, and my director encouraged me to further acting and pursue it as a profession and the rest is history. I was highly inspired by the youth show Yo-TV, which I had an honor to guest-present in 2012.

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?
I’d invite Siyabonga Ngwekazi – not because we have the same names. I’m highly inspired by this TV presenter, he’s vibrant and has good presenting skills. I’d like him to share some of the knowledge he has about the business side of TV with me. And his personality would definitely brighten my “dream dinner party”.

If you were not a TV Presenter, what profession would you choose too ccupy?
I would be an archaeological anthropologist. Anthropology is one of the modules I do at Varsity, and I find it really interesting.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
I mostly use the following phrases when I’m presenting “without any wasting of time” and “yebo yess! Bafethu” and “Kusazoba mnandi”

What academic, personal and social strengths are needed in this field?
Because I’m presenting an edutainment (education and entertainment) show I’d say, a strong background in academics would come in handy. Besides, I think academics are vital in any industry. One of the personal strengths one needs to have in this field is thick skin, being able bounce back whenever you face rejection. You’ll not get every gig that you audition for. So, it’s important for one to always stay motivated. And one of the social strengths are not being shy. Shyness can shield your talent. So, it’s important to believe in your craft and try overcome the nerves. Because nerves can work for you and against you.

Siyabonga, if you could offer one tip to an aspiring tv presenter, what would it be?
I’d say, try get professional training for TV presenting, just to enhance your talent. Because talent alone is not enough. Also, be professional in every production you work for. And punctuality is vital in this industry. Never get comfortable, because there’s always people gunning for your position.

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