Interview With Sade Giliberti
I got a chance to sit with Sade Giliberti and talk about her career as well as this and that, you know, the JC way. So while I was busy researching for the interview, I bumped into one Monni Mothemela, Sade’s self acclaimed biggest fan with a dream of meeting the former child star. So, being this nice person that I am *cough*, I gave Monni an opportunity to sit in through the interview and maybe ask questions as well, a task that proved too hard for her, all she did was stare at Sade in awe as she was talking, smh. But then I don’t blame her, Sade has this rare mysterious skill of making one feel stupid, politely shem. Her answers to some of the questions I asked left me saying “forget I asked that” and requesting that we move along lol. Anyway without embarrassing myself any further, here is the interview with Sade Giliberti.
Cedrick: Please tell us a bit about yourself.
Sade: Gee man, what do you wanna know? I mean people should know a lot about me already. I was born in Durban, raised in Johannesburg. My father is italian my mother is Zulu. I’ve been on TV for 19 of my 26 years. Many say that should make me a veteran but I’m not, I’m still a spring chicken and I’m gonna take over the industry one day.
Monni: Yoh, can you speak Zulu?
Sade: I spoke a lot of it when I was a child, but because of lack of practice, I can’t anymore, but I understand it fluently. No one can skinner about me in Zulu shem.
Cedrick: How did you get into TV?
Sade: I actually started as a child model, I did a lot of modeling for Jet Stores, Sales House and Edgars. Being a catalog model, I ended up doing TV ads, so after one ad I did, I ended getting my first TV show when I was 7 years old. It was on TV1 back in the days and it was called On The Rock, a children’s Christian show. That was my first TV gig, I did it for two years and grew from it.
Cedrick: How was it growing up as a child star?
Sade: It had its disadvantages and advantages, the biggest disadvantage was that you had to work at an early age, you couldn’t play with your friends like other kids. But at the same time you have fun working so there was compensation there. It was a bit hard at times because it felt like I grew up too fast because I was working. When I was 16, most of my friends were 19 because I just couldn’t be around 16 year olds, I found them completely stupid.
Cedrick: Tjo you must have been one loaded teenager, what did you do with your money?
Sade: I always had a bank account, daddy opened one for me the minute I started working, at 16 I got my bank card which meant freedom to start using my money, but of course I didn’t really.
Cedrick: What did you do with all that money?
Sade: I bought a car.
Cedrick: How was the treatment at home and by friends, as a child star?
Sade: At home it was fine, my parents didn’t see me any different. Friends where very proud of me. It was a different story at high school, there were girls who mocked me a lot, but it didn’t really bother me much because at the end of the day it boiled down to jealousy.
Cedrick: You’ve been on YOTV for a long time, how is the relationship now with some of the guys you worked with for that many years?
Sade: I was one of the longest serving presenters on YOTV. We had the most amazing relationship, we were family and it was exciting, they became my best friends, we used to have sleep overs and we saw each other almost everyday for 10 years. But unfortunately we split up and went our separate ways.
Cedrick: After YOTV you went and lived in London, apparently you worked at some wine place as a hostess?
Sade: After YOTV, I needed a break from all the limelight that I had been in since I started in the industry from the age of 7. I was going a little bit crazy you know I mean I couldn’t even go to lunch with a friend without 10 people recognizing me. I went to London, I stayed there for nine months. I worked in a wine bar, I did a very average job as a bar tender and waitress. But it was an elite wine bar. I traveled Europe, UK etc.
Cedrick: Sounds like you had fun, what made you come back home?
Sade: I got head hunted for some big gig in Cape Town which ended up being the biggest flop and the biggest mistake of my entire life. So I came back for that and it really didn’t work out.
Cedrick: Tell us more about this gig, is it the one that revealed some bad rumors about you which were later proven to be untrue? The ones you never spoke about publicly? Do you want me to write about them now?
Sade: Yes it’s that one and all those stories were not true as you say so I see no point in writing about them. And I really can’t reveal much because I have a good working relationship with the company and it was really not their fault that things went that sour.
Cedrick: So after that gig failed you decided to just stay and not go back to London?
Sade: Well the plan was that I was going to come here for that job then go back to London, but because the job had failed, that meant no money so I just stayed and cried for 3 months, then I got So You Think You Can Dance (SYTYCD) and I stopped crying, I cried even more that I had to wear high heels and a weave lol, so I didn’t win, It was just one big fail.
Cedrick: You did a bit of acting too?
Sade: My first ever TV role I played a 14 year old that slept with Nigerians and was abused by an uncle. I did a short film as well, which was easy to do because I was playing someone in the industry. I did Hardcopy too, which was the most amazing, I loved it and was hoping they would extend my role.
Cedrick: Would you ever go back to do acting?
Sade: I’d love to. If somebody was to approach me with a good script I’d definitely do it.
Cedrick: And then you did SYTYCD. How did you get that gig?
Sade: Honestly I was very lucky, they really head hunted me. I was asked to do the audition and I killed it but my image wasn’t what they wanted so they asked if they could change my image. I was basically told by the production company that I was one of the best live presenters in the country.
Cedrick: Can you even dance though?
Sade: Yes I have rhythm if that’s what you’re asking.
Cedrick: Ah well then you must be thankful for your martenal family lol. SYTYCD and YOTV? How is it different presenting the two?
Sade: We can’t compare the two, Wildroom was a completely non scripted show, we spoke from the top of our heads, what you saw on TV was me whereas SYTYCD is a structured show, everything is scripted, there’s a way you do things.
Cedrick: You were featured on Kiki Marli’s piece about tattoos, tell us more about them, do they mean anything?
Sade: I have 10 tattoos, I basically ended 2010 with my tenth tattoo which was a gift from my cousin in Italy. The first one I got when I was 16 that is an Egyptian eye. On my left arm I have “I’d rather bleed in the cut of love than live without any scars”, all my tattoos mean something. I have a huge one for my dad on the side of my ribs, I got his star sign, his consolation and his birthday.
Cedrick: One thing nasty that was said about you in the media?
Sade: Shwashwi wrote once that I looked so hard core I could have punched a big black man, lol you read stupid things like that and all you could do is laugh. Oh yah and on your publication, someone commented on Kiki Marli’s Queens of tattoos article that “Some tattoos are nice on girls but sometimes they make them look nasty and dirty e.g Sade”. When I saw that comment, I just laughed and tweeted “if I was sensitive, I’d be in tears right now”. Things like that don’t bother me much, people have opinions and whatever, people must hate, I love haters.
Cedrick: Are you in a relationship?
Sade: No I’m not in a relationship, this is gonna be my third year being single.
Monni: Why are you single?
Sade: Agg they take too much time, they just consume your mind, it’s such a destruction. And I’m not saying that I will never be in a relationship ever again, I’m just in a stage in life where I need to concentrate on me.
Cedrick: You were a contestant on Survivor, how was the experience?
Sade: It was one of the most life changing, life altering experience, I’ve ever had to be a part of. It was unbelievable. I’d never do it again though. It was 26 hard days, very hard. Through that push to do things, I found out a lot about me, which was very nice.
Cedrick: Can you please confirm the stuff we read about Survivor in the papers for us?
Sade: What stories?
Cedrick: Think mini insects and mini cars lol.
Sade: You know what, when it comes to Jub Jub and his shenanigans, I honestly have no comment. I mean there’s nothing I can say about this guy, from his penis rotting on the island to him unfortunately taking the lives of children after the island, it’s just one disaster to another. There was nothing wrong with his penis.
Cedrick: Yoh, how do you know that Sade?
Sade: Here’s a fact, when you go to the beach, it’s very hot and if you’re in the same clothes all the time and you are swimming in the sea, you get out and you’ll have sea salt and sand on your body. The sea salt dries, now you have sand and sea salt on your body. Your clothes start to rub so you get that rash, we all had it, but eventually it went away, mine was even worse. He freaked out and thought he was gonna die.
Cedrick: Back to your career. What did you study after school?
Sade: I studied photography, I worked at YOTV as a producer, Director and Script writer. I produced all the magazines show, like Blue Couch, O Zone etc.
Cedrick: What do you do when you are not shooting So You Think You Can Dance?
Sade: Well there’s MC’ing work and doing voice overs and some pilot projects keeping me busy but now since I got a new camera, I’m gonna start practicing on my photography more.
Cedrick: You are a promo director at Vuzu?
Sade: I was, I left Vuzu last year. I enjoyed it and loved it.
Cedrick: Tell us about the Legit gig, I really don’t know how it works; do you design these clothes?
Sade: No you don’t design but you have a say in what you like and what you don’t, but Legit being a commercial store, they go with what fashion is at the moment.
Cedrick: Honestly though Sade,I don’t think you even dress yourself the legit way, who did you bribe?
Sade: I didn’t bribe anyone lol, doing something like SYTYCD opened doors because I showed versatility. And Legit showed me, as me but more funky because they let me keep my mohawk, lip ring you know what I’m saying? Like I don’t wanna be stereotype when it comes to what I can and I can not do in this industry.
Cedrick: When it was all revealed, Sowetan reported the deal is worth a lot of money, so you’re rolling in moola neh? You must be eating blue cheese and croissants everyday too.
Sade: Whatever, I still eat 2 minutes noodles. Look it’s a massive campaign so an amount of money is made from it but it’s not an exorbitant amount of money, this is not Hollywood. But it’s more money than what I could have made, presenting four shows in one year.
Cedrick: Tell us, how do you manage to stay out of the papers? KM said I should ask you for the advice.
Sade: Just stay home, I don’t understand why people walk around screaming “look at me, look at me”. I go to the right places where no one is gonna spot me. I choose the right spots to misbehave, or maybe I’ve just been fortunate that I was never in a situation where someone was out to get me.
Cedrick: Mpho also needs advice on being friendly, as her rudeness is killing her career slowly.
Sade: People need to understand that celebrities are also human, I know there have been days where I woke up in a bad mood and ended up being rude to a fan, we are human. With that being said, I hate people who are big headed, it is my worst trade in a person. I’m honestly not fond of any big headed celebrity. I’ve managed over 19 years to keep a level head, I don’t understand how people who’ve been in the industry for 2 years think they’re better than everyone.
Cedrick: Tell us about your future plans, what are you doing next?
Sade: I’m a very chilled person, I don’t really know, I go with the flow, but there’s talks of a movie, just talks, nothing on paper yet, talks of shows, just lots of talks.
Cedrick: Some of the accolades you won?
Sade: 2005 I won Kellogs star in you kids award, for Best Female TV Presenter, which was an awesome award. 2010 I was busy filming a pilot in the middle of Hillbrow and everyone was at the SAFTA awards, I didn’t even know I was nominated and I’m busy getting all these tweets and sms’s congratulating me on my award. I won Best presenter in a variety show.
Cedrick: That concludes the interview, thanks a lot for your time.
Sade: It is my pleasure sir.
To follow Sade on Twitter: Follow @OneSadie
Interview by Cedrick Mashamaite for Just Curious©