SADE GILIBERTI is a biracial (Italian/Zulu) TV Presenter, Actress and Media Personality, who has been in the public eye since she was 7 years old. Born and raised in South Africa, she is one of the most loved TV personalities in the world of entertainment.
Sade is a firm advocate for mental health and wellness, and believes in the continued struggle for equality and representation for all LGBTQ+ humans, and ethnic minorities.
She became a household name, when she started presenting a South African youth TV show YO-TV for local broadcaster SABC 1. Not only was she in front of the camera, but she started to work behind the scenes, producing and writing for several magazine shows on YO-TV.
Since moving to London in 2015, Sade has worked her way into the U.K industry, working on different productions behind the scenes as well as a Presenter and Actress. Sade was the Production Manager on the award winning web series Different For Girls, Producer for Ask Real Queers: JHB, and starred in the multi award winning web series Spectrum London (Ep2 – Ep 9).
With production skills earned at a very young age she has also worked as production manager, producer and scriptwriter and assisted in directing magazine shows on the youth channel YO-TV. She’s also worked as a promo director for the subscription channel Vuzu and as a production assistant and production manager for various productions.
During lockdown 2020, Sade has hosted and been a part of many panel discussions and collaborations with organisations from South Africa, India, New York, Los Angeles, to New Zealand. Most panel discussions and collaborations have been LGBTQ+ focused, discussing the differences and similarities in most countries and also bringing to light mental health awareness not only for the community but as a whole during lockdown 2020. Sade is also a contributor on Sowlmate a LGBTQ+ self-care app featuring courses, meditations and LGTBQ+ programs. As a passionate speaker, Sade hosted 45 minute talks over Vimeo with Apex World Adventure Group, for No Boundaries Limited: first one was about ‘Being a mindful LGBTQ+ traveler’and the second was about “Nature’s benefits on mental health wellness’.
- We remember your career starting on the South African youth TV show YO-TV for local broadcaster SABC 1. Tell us a little bit about your career and how you started?
I started Presenting when I was 7 years old. I did a Christian Kids Show on TV 1 called ‘On The Rock’ for 2 years that no-one remembers lol! At this point I was already a child model, which I started doing when I was about 3 years of age, and continued doing until I started on YOTV which was when I was 10 and half years old. I guess the rest after that is history, as that officially became my ‘claim to fame’. I’ve dabbled in acting, I’ve produced, and I’ve worked in various positions within production. And still continue to do so.
- How can we support or be an ally to the LGBTQ community?
By being present to societal issues that the LGBTQ+ community face and understanding privileges that one might have that people in the LGBTQ+ community don’t have. It’s also extremely important to create safe spaces for the community. Education is always key, and with that comes questioning a lot too. Don’t be afraid to ask the community questions so you can better understand. I think the most important part though, is by being more inclusive. i.e adding your pronouns to your signature or social platforms, and asking people what their pronouns are – especially when meeting people within the community.
- What projects are you currently working on?
I currently work in TV and Film production in the UK. But, I don’t kiss and tell (if I can even use that term in this context) 🙂
- What is your favourite thing about what you do?
Sharing and telling stories. As a presenter I get to connect with people, and I want to do more of that. I want to be able to connect with more people from all over the world. I want to learn from more people, and I want to share those people with the world. As a person who works in production, it’s about telling the stories. Whether it’s fiction or non-fiction, scripted or non-scripted. It’s about telling a visual story in the most invoking way. I love the whole process of what I do, whether I am on-screen or off. From concept to camera to screen. I love it all!
- What is your best career highlight so far?
Naturally so it has to be being the first ever TV Presenter to win a SAFTA in 2010! Which I didn’t get an invite to, so it’s weirdly a sore spot as well as highlight at the same time lol! But in all honesty, my whole career is a highlight. I’m 37 and I have had a career in TV since I was 7… That really is something!
- If you could give some advice to someone in the LGBTQ community and starting their career in the creative industries what would it be?
My advice would be the same for those within the community as well as those not in the community – don’t forget where you come from and who you are. It’s easy to get caught up in the ‘glitz and glam’ and being surrounded by celebrities and hotshots. The creative industry is very fickle, so you have to remain true to who you are, never compromise yourself for anyone or any position. Have a thick skin but also speak out about any injustices as this industry is riddled with toxic behaviour. Choose your industry friends carefully, and hold onto the friends you have who aren’t in the industry.
- How do you think we can grow the creative industry and bring African content to the world?
We are already doing this, and it’s marvellous to see. At the moment, with the likes of Netflix Africa putting a lot of African content on the map, this alone is doing wonders for the industry. Africa has always been a hot spot, what’s great to finally see is AFRICANS getting the glory and with the likes of MIP Africa on the horizon, this will only elevate African content even more. It’s a very exciting time for African Content on a global scale.
- Tell us a little bit about why you love Cape Town – The host city for FAME Week Africa.
Honestly, it’s one of the most beautiful places in the world, and I’m not just saying that because I am South African. It’s facts and it’s known worldwide.
- What does Pride mean to you?
I think it’s great that we can have 30 days that are solely dedicated to the LGBTQIA+ community. Just like we have a solid month dedicated to Black History. Both of these however, should never just start and end in their respective months. Conversations and raising awareness about the community should continue on throughout the year – which I think most people within the LGBTQIA+ community do anyway. The importance of Pride is to remind people that we are here, and always have been, we exist, and we are not going anywhere. It’s not only a time to celebrate, but also a time to commemorate all of those who came before us – the real movers and shakers! Pride is about focusing on how far we have come, but also realising how much more we still need to do.
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