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Reginald “Sweet Daddy” Siki was one of the most charismatic figures on 20th century television: a black man with a bleached blond Afro and matching moustache, strutting before the camera in sequined robes, characterizing himself as “Mr. Irresistible.”

Siki was the “Jackie Robinson” of professional wrestling. Facing intense discrimination in the American south, Siki wrestled “Nature Boy” Buddy Rogers for a world championship – the first black performer to be given this honour south of the Mason-Dixon line. Siki became a quiet civil rights hero, helping to integrate southern wrestling.

Reginald “Sweet Daddy” Siki was more than a character on televised wrestling. For a generation of children who watched him on Maple Leaf Wrestling in Toronto, Stampede Wrestling in Calgary, or Grand Prix Wrestling in the Maritimes, he exuded a playful flamboyance they’d remember into adulthood. To the professional wrestlers who came after him, he set an example, crossing entertainment platforms as a country and western singer.

Today, 83-year-old Sweet Daddy Siki lives in Toronto, training a new wave of professional wrestlers, and hosting weekly karaoke events at The Duke. This is his story, told by friends, family, wrestling and music icons, and the legend himself.

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