Sizwe of Gugulethu in Cape Town is great example of a hustler. He’s young, dynamic and passionate, and living his dream. At 36 years old Sizwe has the world at his feet. He writes a regular column in a major newspaper, is employed at an award-winning agency, has recently become a father and runs his own business, a live football talk show, which he hosts once a month.
The talk show has recently celebrated its third birthday with a show that saw Sizwe sharing a stage with Bafana Bafana and Kaizer Chiefs legend, Doctor Khumalo. It was a highlight for him, but not his only one – he has also hosted guests like Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp and many other stars.
Growing up in Gugs, Sizwe has always been crazy about soccer. ‘I played every day and was consumed by the game. If I wasn’t playing soccer, I was watching it. My initial dream was to be a professional player, but when I realised that wasn’t going to be possible, I opted to be a journalist instead. It combined my ability with words with my passion for the game,’ he explains.
‘I remember when I was still a student,’ he says. ‘I built a website that covered our social soccer league, and I would write things about the games we played with our mates. I loved doing it, even though there was no reward.’
‘In short’, says Sizwe, ‘it should never be about the money – that’s an added benefit. For me it was about football and striving to deliver the best football show possible. I wanted to be the ‘Oprah’ of football. If you get the main thing right, the benefits follow,’ he says.
So, with things really happening for him, what advice does he have for youngsters who are in the same position he was in 15 years ago?
‘I am super happy with where I am now,’ he says. ‘Things have worked out well.’ But he cautions that, while he has no regrets, there are things that he would do differently if he could do it all again.
‘I made mistakes with my money, and if I could go back, that’s the one thing I’d change – I would manage my money better. I ended up with a lot of things, which meant a lot of debt. While on the surface it appeared as if I had everything, the one thing I didn’t have was a balanced bank account, which meant that I couldn’t finance my dream when I really needed to.’
Fortunately, with hard work Sizwe could fight his way out of the debt trap, and his side hustle was born. He gives two main reasons for the success of his project. The first one is hard work. On average, he works 10 to 12 hours a day. The second reason is his network of people. ‘I network all the time,’ he says. ‘When I play football, I make sure I spend time connecting with my opponents after the game. The more people who know and connect with you, the more opportunities you create.’