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The Drive Behind Siv Ngesi’s Comedian Success

Dynamic actor and comedian Siv Ngesi is driven by an insatiable hunger for success.

Monique Verduyn




Whether he’s in the Cosmo Sexy Men 2015 calendar or getting physical on the dance floor in Strictly Come Dancing, Sivuyile ‘Siv’ Ngesi is committed to being positive, always being better than he was two minutes ago, and changing people’s lives.

The natural born entrepreneur, actor and comedian is also in demand on the corporate circuit as MC and entertainer, and has seen his career skyrocket as local and international offers continue to come his way.


Related: Rich Mulholland on Carving Your Own Niche

I’m obsessed with making my mother proud

She turned 50 recently. She raised four children on a teacher’s salary, putting our needs before hers all the time. It was a difficult life, but she always encouraged us to follow our dreams. She is an inspiration.

Talent is not enough to make you a star

How do you make an impact on your target? Many talented people have died poor. You must be able to sell yourself, to market your talent.

I don’t care how brilliant your product is – if you can’t get it out into the market, it might as well not exist. It’s equally bad to market yourself at too low a level, simply to get your foot in the door.

Are you a PEP or a Dolce & Gabbana?

We are all brands and we have to ask ourselves which one we want to be. I know there are entertainers out there who are better than I am, but I have paid a lot of attention to building my brand over the last two decades. And slow and steady wins the race.

Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life. Confucius said that. That’s what I live by. The number of zeroes in your bank account should never be the main driver.

The worst business decision I ever made was trying to impress everyone else. I was so busy being cool that I lost my authenticity.

When that happens, you misplace what makes you unique and different. I was in the Philippines a few months ago, and I was so disappointed to see that every store was selling the same cheap items at the same price. There is nothing entrepreneurial about that. No one is trying to stand out, or do something different. You’ll never innovate if you’re following everyone else.

Do not make the mistake of trusting too easily

It’s hard to face the reality that people can betray your trust so badly, but it happens in business, in love and in life, and you can end up paying a steep price.

Fearing what will happen if you trust your gut instinct can cloud your better judgement. Sometimes we have so much invested in the status quo that we’ll avoid anything that threatens it. Pushing through the fear is what leads to success. Now I know that if doing what I want makes me a diva, then so be it.

Related: 10 SA Entrepreneurs Who Built Their Businesses From Nothing

Give back to your community and help people where you can. I do my bit through an organisation that helps people in Gugulethu, which is where I grew up.

I don’t believe in failure. When something bombs, you learn how not to do it in future. It’s a learning opportunity, not the end of the world, or something to be ashamed of.

Monique Verduyn is a freelance writer. She has more than 12 years’ experience in writing for the corporate, SME, IT and entertainment sectors, and has interviewed many of South Africa’s most prominent business leaders and thinkers. Find her on Google+.


25 Of The Most Successful Business Ideas In South Africa

Find out who’s making waves in numerous industries and how they managed to differentiate themselves in local and international industries.

Nicole Crampton



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“Disruption is all about risk-taking, trusting your intuition, and rejecting the way things are supposed to be. Disruption goes way beyond advertising, it forces you to think about where you want your brand to go and how to get there,” says Richard Branson.

South Africa has its fair share of innovative and disruptive businesses taking both local and international industries by storm. From cutting edge space technology to reimagined logistics, and innovative business models, here are 25 of the most successful business ideas in South Africa:

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Colin Timmis Says ‘Position Yourself For Success By Starting With The Numbers’

People pay first who they feel pressure from, so people will pay you when they feel pressure from you.






Entrepreneur Colin Timmis founded South Africa’s first cloud accounting practice in 2011, Real Time Accounting. Then, a few years after being appointed as South Africa’s first Xero partner Colin became Xero Country Manager South Africa. Xero is the emerging global leader of online accounting software that connects small businesses to their advisors and other services.

Related: Pat Pillai On How He’s Helped Over 5000 Entrepreneurs Using 3 Key Steps

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Company Posts

Two 20 Year Olds Reshape Entrepreneur Landscape With New Social Investment Platform

The Merge vision is to become the ‘go to’, digital meeting place for entrepreneurs and investors, and to truly make a difference in the world.

Merge Connect




Vital Stats

It’s no secret that finding the right investor for your venture is a challenge that most entrepreneurs face. The current process of finding investment is one that is outdated, and limits entrepreneurs due to a lack of time, and network that is needed to find the right investor. But, this doesn’t have to be the case in today’s digital society, says Zander Matthee and Brandon Bate, co-founders of Merge.

“By making the Internet the middleman, we are able to connect with each other much simpler and faster than before” was Zander’s response. “We have taken advantage of this, and have created a digital meeting place for entrepreneurs and investors” added Brandon.

Merge is a social platform that connects entrepreneurs and investors. It aims to simplify, refine and accelerate the process of finding investment for entrepreneurs, and the process of finding investment opportunities for investors. From idea to developed, the platform allows entrepreneurs to present a brief outline of their venture to a network of all investor types. While doing this, entrepreneurs are able to browse through, and connect with investor profiles that suit their requirements.

Related: 8 Codes Of Success That Helped Priven Reddy of Kagiso Interactive Media Achieve A Networth Of Over R4 Billion

From Private Investors to Venture Capital, and everything in between, Merge allows all investor types to join. Investors have the opportunity to personalise their feed to suit their investment preferences, and will be able to connect with innovative businesses – that are looking for investment – at their fingertips. Only once there is a mutual interest in each other, are users able to enter a secure private chat where they can discuss further and share documents under the protection of a digital NDA.

The two boys became good friends during their time in high school at St Stithians Boys College. However, it was only in their last year, 2016, that they decided to pursue their dreams and create the platform. They didn’t know how to code, so rather ironically, they needed some form of investment to get the platform off the ground.


“We knew we had a mountain to climb, but we believed in our vision and that we were really trying to make a difference, and if we could get others to see that, they would be onboard.” said Zander.

Related: Lessons From The Rich And Famous: Manage Your Money Like Oprah To Avoid Going Into Debt Like Nicholas Cage

Chris Peters is one of these individuals that bought into their vision, and became Merge’s first investor. As a successful entrepreneur and part time investor , Chris saw how much value the platform could bring to all entrepreneurs and investors alike. His marketing and strategic background gave him insight into how Merge could play a vital role in a lucrative space, Brand involvement.

“Entrepreneurship and SME development are two key factors that drive economic growth in developing countries like South Africa. That is why brands are currently getting involved, and looking to support entrepreneurs through various means. We have built a platform that allows these brands to successfully market, and execute on the programmes they have created to assist entrepreneurs.” said Chris

Merge was created to assist all entrepreneurs and investors in finding exactly what they are looking for, regardless of age, race, sex, financial position or social status. That is why anybody can sign-up as an entrepreneur. As long as you are determined and willing to work for your dreams. For too long has the investor space been seen as an “elite club for the select few”, and Merge is here to change that. Whether you’ve gotten your bonus at the end of the year and looking for new investment opportunities, or are an active investor, you can sign-up. Whether you’re currently working, or a retired industry leader, you can join as a mentor.

Their vision is to become the ‘go to’, digital meeting place for entrepreneurs and investors, and to truly make a difference in the world.

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