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Suffice it to say that television host, actor and musician, Katleho ‘Kat’ Sinivasan who was born and raised in Soweto knows a thing or two about building a successful career. After all, he’s spent three years as the first African presenter for E!, making him one of the most recognisable personalities in TV history. Of course, we jumped at the opportunity to pick Kat’s brain for some professional wisdom.
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Give us a rundown of your career journey up until now.
I started as a musician when I won the popular talent search competition called Famous! on SABC2. After winning the show we recorded a SAMA nominated album, and it was through this that I was spotted by SABC1’s kid’s series, YOTV. They were looking for a male host, so I auditioned and got the job, which I stayed in for five years. I then auditioned to be the host of SABC1’s breakfast show that explores Mzansi’s pop culture, Mzansi Insider. After waiting patiently, I found out that I got the show. Five years later with Mzansi Insider, I was part of The Search: E! Host South Africa, which I won in 2017.
What’s the best thing about being an E! host?
Getting to meet the best stars in the world. I mean, I got to ambush Kim Kardashian at the end of 2019! My proudest moment so far was definitely having my own platform on the E! People’s Choice Awards in Los Angeles. If I had to describe my career in three words, they’d be ‘exciting, unpredictable and fun’. There’s no such thing as an average workday because no two days are ever the same.
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Tell us about some of the international celebrities you’ve interviewed.
The biggest celebrity I’ve ever interviewed is Victoria Beckham. She left me starstruck – she’s such a kind, warm person; far more than you’d expect. Other than that, my favourite celebrity interview was with Pink!, while my favourite red carpet personality was Canadian drag queen and ballet dancer, Brooke Lynn Hytes.
Do you have a favourite local celebrity who you enjoy working with?
That’s got to be Bonang – she’s one of the most professional people to work alongside. Also, Katlego Maboe, who’s a perfectionist at his craft.
What are the most important tools of your trade?
Respect for the craft and confidence.
What’s your secret talent or party trick?
An unforgettable lip sync performance.
What’s the biggest misconception about the entertainment industry?
That it’s all glamour and no grit. There’s a lot of hard work that goes on behind the scenes – and it outweighs the glamorous moments that everyone gets to see. My advice to newcomers looking to break into the entertainment industry is to persevere … because success lies in not giving up!
Are you working on anything exciting this year?
Yes, I recently started working with The Singleton Single Malt Scotch Whisky, which is a perfect brand collaboration for me. As for the rest of the year, well, you’ll have to wait and see!
Any buzzwords in the entertainment industry right now?
‘International’ and ‘globalisation’. For the first time, Africa is getting a platform on international TV shows and creating opportunities for us on a global platform. Just look at Trevor Noah and Zozibinzi Tunzi.
Share your top three male grooming tips.
Look after your skin with monthly facials, don’t underestimate how essential scents are and stop thinking make-up is just for women!
Where would we be most likely to bump into you in Jozi?
I really am such a homebody, but I do love Saint in Sandton. Sandton central is definitely my favourite part of Jozi at the moment – I’m such a fan of all the hotspots! A typical weekend in Jozi for me consists of a gym session followed by brunch or lunch and then ending the day off with a sunset session before heading home … if we don’t head out all night.
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Where were you three hours ago? At home
Favourite colour? Black
Bad habits? Procrastination
Colour of your toothbrush? Black
Birthday? 1 December 1990
Zodiac sign? Sagittarius
Addictions? Reality TV
Pet peeves? Bad scents
Last person you hugged? My PR team, Gina and Alexia from S’innamon
Something you miss? Not paying bills
Eye colour? Brown
Somewhere you’d like to visit? Mykonos
Biggest fear? Failure
Food you hate? Marmite
Favourite accessory? Sunglasses
Favourite movie? Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Favourite season? Winter
Candice is the coffee-drinking, fashion obsessed editor behind Hello Joburg Magazine. She’s a self-confessed foodie and champagne enthusiast who also loves all things beauty, travel and home and décor.