For more than a month now, the Isibaya fans are still mourning the death of Zanele, the character played by Sibusisiwe Jili, but for her, when she finally witnessed the burial of Zanele, she felt a sigh of relief; ooh! What a good riddance.
On set, she was a club manager whose ways and behaviour went off-rail after she started seeing the son of a rowdy taxi chief.
Though Sibusisiwe would miss the naughty and character, it was her time to die and she is happy, not only because the character was not growing, but also because Zanele’s death came at the right time for the actress, who had always wanted to broaden her musical career too.
Known as Sibu in the music fraternity, her character's death freed her, and she can now afford to exhibit her other talent. “I’ve been too afraid to be myself,” she told a local publication.
“Now I’m ready to show people who I am. I am loud, I am playful, fun, creative – and I have a beautiful voice.” The soapie’s creators are also in agreement with her on this one.
They think she is indeed good with music, and as if in confirmation they are using her tunes for the show’s music and soundtrack. Sibu, who dropped her first single Hennessey a few years ago, is not a such person who likes sounding her own trumpet.
Despite being creative, good at poetry, singing and dancing, growing up she used to lack self esteem and confidence. She tried her hand in acting after she was spotted by an agent in her hometown, Pietermaritzburg, who told her, she had what it takes to be a model.
“I was not sure, but I joined the agency anyway. I got a few modelling jobs and a few acting gigs as an extra,” she told Drum magazine.
Acting on Isibaya helped her gain the much needed confidence in herself and she started improving, it was a game changer in her acting career.
“I needed to work on my confidence, and Isibaya did that for me. I played my role and I did it well. It’s time to move on to the next chapter,” told the magazine.
The multi-talented actress, model and businesswoman now wants to establish her musical career by dropping an album of hip-hop, Gqom and Afropop genres based on her true life experiences. One of the tracks based on a past-boyfriend she now believes was a con artist.
The man who nearly destroyed her life, he met her through social media in 2018. Sibu who has been not in a habit of replying to social media inbox messages, fun enough she responded to his, they started seeing each other, but he was never honesty to her about his dealings, and even pretended to be a trainee pilot.
Unwittingly, she thought she had found 'Mr Right' he would visit her, holding pilot school papers, she only found out he was a con, when women she didn’t knew approached at her at different times and places warning her about the guy.
"People I had never met saw me with him and warned me about their own experiences with the guy,” she told DRUM. “Luckily he wasn’t getting any money from me, but I found out he’d been tricking women to give him money.”
Sibu, who owns production company House of Cards, explained how he also conned women, including her stylist Smah Mzolo. “Smah who is also owns a clothing shop, and a victim of conman's tricks. He ordered some clothing lines from her and disappeared without settling the debt in full."
The also attempted to pounce on Sibu, hacked her Instagram, accessed her bank account, probably to use it as a cover to his tricks, as he did not steal any money from it. This was confirmed when she got a call from the police, telling her they were doing so on his behalf, as he had filed a case of insult against her.
In response, Sibu just demanded her Instagram password back, and warned him to stay away from her.
She also got a warning from her mother, Monica Dolly Thembekile Jili, a retired teacher, who in a dream; saw her daughter dating a guy who would get her in serious trouble. She advised her to stop whoever she was dating, and Sibu did just that.
Sibu cut all communications lines with him, she and her three-year-old son went to stay with her mother at the request of her three sisters, Slindile (32), Nomthandazo (28) and Nontobeko (23).
“They just wanted me to be safe.” She regretted introducing him to her little boy. “I don’t like exposing my child to men, but I thought he was special,” she told reporters. The incident opened her security intuition and despite moving in to a new flat, she left her son with her mother, until when she is sure of his security, that is when she will take him home.
She is now security alert, and is no longer entertaining social media inboxes, she would rather like email contact, for those who mean real business.
“I met a new guy in April,” she revealed. “Siya is a sales analyst at Mercedes-Benz in Sandton and we met through a friend at a get-together. He’s very calm, open and honest.”
This time she’s taking things slow. “I don’t want to rush to introduce him to my family. I got burnt before and I want my son to be safe.”
This time, Sibu who has been unlucky in love, is sure she has turned a corner now, she is now a changed and wiser person. She wouldn’t want to repeat the same scenario, and will not rush to introduce her new man to her family, until she very sure he is the right person for her.