TV Host, Katleho ‘Kat’ Sinivasan, is elated to join the cast of the popular ‘eTV’ telenovela, ‘House of Zwide’, and promises to validate his position as an actor.
By: Thanduxolo ‘Thandz’ Buti
Main Image: Supplied
Since bursting onto the scene in 2015, Kat has proven to be a multihyphenate star. While he gained popularity as a TV Host, he was trained in classical music and dramatic arts at the National School of Arts.
Since winning the E! Host South Africa TV Presenter Search and becoming the first E! Host in Africa, he has nimbly cultivated a career in acting. He has already scored cameos on a few shows including The Wife, The River, My Perfect Family and Mutual Friends.
He now joins the House of Zwide as Zola, a role he describes as his most challenging yet.
Zola is a commercial director who studied film overseas and returns home, to South Africa, to become a film director. Kat describes him as “good-looking, talented, and fiercely creative, but he does have a darker side–he can be quite controlling and tends to display narcissistic traits.”
Kat has maintained a certain level of mystique throughout his career—a characterization he protests to. While he has been a permanent fixture on TV, his life beyond the camera remains a mystery.
But he tells Blacklight that he is finally ready to let his walls fall so the audience can be better acquainted with him.
“I am quite an introverted person,” he shares. “I get confused by people saying I keep a level of mystique—it’s just my personality. I am a performer, so when I am on stage, I know how to channel that personality. And it’s great to be able to turn it on and off, but I am a recluse.
“I love my own space, and I also have a serious case of only child syndrome…Ha! Ha! Ha! Because the work that I do requires me to be around a lot of people, I do enjoy being by myself.”
Blacklight: Where would you say you are in your life now—personally and professionally—and how does that influence your work?
Kat Sinivasan: I have grown so much. I am trying to take ownership of my narrative by being more experimental and fearless at this stage in my life. That translates into my work because I am no longer holding back. I’m open to exploring and showcasing who I am, which I don’t think I have done throughout my career.
BL: And what do you think made you hold back before?
KS: I have always been tied to brands that I had to represent publicly. I started out on YoTV, which is a kid’s brand, and you had to be the perfect little kid. I then did Mzansi Insider, which also came with its restrictions of being a [specific type] of a young adult. And then E! Entertainment, where I had to uphold a certain standard that comes with the brand. Now, it’s
about telling my story, driving my narrative and showing that I am a performer rather than a personality that’s linked to brands.
BL: You are more famous for being a TV Host, so what is your approach to acting?
KS: I am a trained actor, and characterization is important to me. Performance can grow over time, but mostly it’s about putting together a character and understanding that. Every time I step into a character, I do my research and all the preparation before even getting the script. As a performer, you have to leave yourself behind and embody an entirely different person.
BL: Many don’t know that you trained in dramatic arts. Do you think that makes it hard to gain respect as an actor?
KS: I never really pre-mediate what the [outside] perception will be. I have always been a performer; performing is all I know—I sing, dance, and act. That is normal to me because that is the world I have always lived in. Presenting was an opportunity, and I took it on because it was within the realm of what I do anyway.
BL: You mentioned that this new character on ‘House of Zwide’ is quite complex; What is it about his complex nature that appeals to you as a performer?
KS: I wanted a challenge, and I have been saying this for a while now. I have played flat characters, mostly cameos, and a lot of them didn’t present an opportunity to progress and for people to truly get to know them. This is the longest and the most intricate role I have ever played, and you get to see all the sides of this character. So, it’s truly exciting for me as a performer.
BL: As a multi-talented person, how do you grow and maximize your skillset?
KS: I am constantly growing my skills by challenging myself daily, even when I am not on television. So, I am forever maximizing and exploring my talents. I also do a lot of behind-the-scenes work, so it’s something that I am constantly doing—it’s the world I live in.
Singing has been a personal journey for me. I have been recording music over the years, and I feel that [process] will determine the rollout. I am quite a calculative person when it comes to my career. It’s all about finding ways to present [the work] to the people. The ultimate goal is to stay happy and to exist within my art.
BL: What do you hope your work says about you?
KS: It’s always to showcase my true passion and my devotion to what I do. Performance is my life, and it does come at the cost of public opinion, which I am not entirely opposed to, but that is not what drives me. Through my work, you see my true expression and my passions. And that is really it for me.
BL: What is your intention with your career as a performer?
KS: I want to make money [Ha! Ha! Ha!] That is the intention. I want to live the life I think I deserve. As a performer, I am open to my career going in different directions because that is what it means to be a multidisciplinary artist. I am open to possibilities. But the actual plan is to create for myself, the lifestyle I think I deserve, like anyone who works in any field is trying to do. And also to make a difference in the world and have people see that the devotion to the craft is not about the speed at which one gets there, but about getting what you want in the way you want it.
BL: What advice would you give the young people who model their careers after yours?
KS: Always silence the noise. There is so much happening, especially in the entertainment industry—it’s about keeping up appearances and other things besides your actual performance. I believe, that once you can silence the noise and focus on the work, you become so much better. You become more confident and stern in who you are. We are here [on earth] to make the best art that we possibly can; be the best version of ourselves—and be credible!
Catch House of Zwide every weeknight at 19h00 on Etv.