Motoring

8 inspiring young South Africans on what they drive & what drives them

From a racing driver to a motivational speaker, Brenwin Naidu chats to successful twentysomethings about their journey so far and their future plans

24 June 2018 - 00:00 By Brenwin Naidu

THEO BALOYI
AGE: 28
WHO I AM
A visionary and a philanthropist who wants to build a shoe brand which Africans can proudly resonate with.
WHAT I DO
I'm a founder of a proudly South African shoe brand called Bathu. We sell uniquely designed shoes and are currently in the process of building our value chain, distribution and warehouse infrastructure, which will enable us to deliver anywhere in the world within 24 hours. Our aim is to tell a proudly South African story through our sneakers.
JOURNEY SO FAR
I was born in Pretoria, I went to Shalom primary school in Soshanguve. We later relocated to Phake Thabeng village a few kilometres outside Hammanskraal where I went to Mapala middle school and then matriculated at Mabothe senior secondary.
I moved to Johannesburg to further my studies in 2009. I hold a BCom Accounting degree (Honours). I worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers for five years, two years in South Africa and three years in the middle east (Saudi Arabia and Dubai) before I quit my job to go full time into business.
I established Bathu in early 2015. I worked on the proof of concept, research and development for 18 months and I officially launched the brand in late 2016.FUTURE PLANS
I want to build Africa's premium sneaker brand which can be benchmarked with the best in the world. I currently employ seven people in my company. I want to employ 70-100 people and build a footprint in South America and Europe in the next 10 years.
WHAT DRIVES ME
I'm driven by the desire to be great and leave an impact on people's lives. Your legacy is defined by the number of lives you have touched.
WHAT I DRIVE
My first car is a Volkswagen Polo GTI 2014 model which I still drive to this day, I recently upgraded to a Golf 7 R.
ON MY AUDIO SYSTEM
Sinach, KidX, Ice Prince, Kendrick Lamar.BELSON SITHOLE
AGE: 23
WHO I AM
I am adventurous and creative, a cool, calm, collected thinker who enjoys a challenge.
WHAT I DO
I am a young businessman with a mobile app brand called Promoza. Promoza is a platform that turns hours of window shopping into minutes of screen browsing for free.
JOURNEY SO FAR
I was born in Orlando, Soweto, moved to the suburbs at the age of six to attend Forest Hill Primary School. My teen years were spent at Sir John Adamson High School. I graduated from Midrand Graduate Institute.
I've struggled and failed in trying to start multiple businesses. I face challenges in my own personal life and I've had to make sacrifices with my finances and personal life to achieve what I have today. The greatest success to date is Promoza!FUTURE PLANS
Businesses in various sectors.
WHAT DRIVES ME
My surroundings and the achievements of others. I don't spend time reading books. Instead I spend a lot of time analysing my surroundings and digging deep into my thoughts and wondering how things are made, how certain businesses achieve great things or how certain people make it big in life and draw I inspiration from that.
WHAT I DRIVE
An Audi RS3 Sportback. I would like to drive an Audi RS6.
ON MY AUDIO SYSTEM
A lot of old-school hip hop, R&B and house music.ALEXANDRA MAY
AGE: 22
WHO I AM
I'm an SA-born-and-bred country singer.
WHAT I DO
I'm a recording and performing artist and I love connecting with people by the stories I tell through music.
JOURNEY SO FAR
I am a Durban baby, but moved to Johannesburg with my family when I was three.
I was in mainstream school for the beginning of my school career, but my folks moved me to a learning centre in Grade 6, with a mix of home- schooling and a classroom environment.
I graduated in 2014 with A levels and was signed to a local record label straight out of high school for two-and-a-half years, achieving good success on radio, with my singles reaching three and six on the Top 100 in 2016 on 5FM. I went independent last year and released my first song called Like You Do, co-written and co-produced with Greg Carlin from Zebra and Giraffe.
FUTURE PLANS
I am constantly working on new music, so my future plans involve more international travel for gigs, releasing new music and to continue playing gigs with my incredible band here.WHAT DRIVES ME
My determination to be as successful as possible in my career, business and passion. How great is it to wake up every morning and know I have complete joy doing what I love?
WHAT I DRIVE
A Honda Brio. It's so CUTE! My bestie and I have the same car. It performs well even when laden with a guitar, keyboard, me and a friend, which happens often. My dream car is a Volkswagen Karmann Ghia, a classic for the weekends. But my practical dream car would be an Audi A1, cute, small and nippy - which is what I need.
ON MY AUDIO SYSTEM
Currently I am listening to a playlist on my iPhone that is made up of Roan Ash and Elandre, two amazing local guys - and a whole lot of Sam Hunt, a Nashville-based artist, along with a few other country artists. And you bet, I know every single word!PEARL PILLAY
AGE: 26
WHO I AM
An activist and a fierce feminist who believes that marginalised voices can and should be at the forefront of our development as a society.
WHAT I DO
I am a director at Youth Lab, a youth-led policy think tank which aims to mainstream youth participation in policy-making and community development through research, capacity building and dialogue.
JOURNEY SO FAR
I was born in Durban, and went to Depot Road Memorial Primary School and Southlands Secondary School. After Matric, I moved to Johannesburg to study a BA in International Relations and Political Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand. I now have a Masters in Political Studies.
FUTURE PLANS
The next stop is a PhD (after I win the lotto) in Political Studies. Work-wise, I'm working hard to help build Youth Lab into a financially sustainable organisation and want to eventually be able to work on a global scale to advance human rights.WHAT DRIVES ME
The belief that people matter far more than profits do. Capitalism has robbed the world of a shared sense of humanity and the idea that we don't need to consume vast amounts of wealth in order to be happy.
WHAT I DRIVE
I drive a striking yellow Kia Picanto. It was the first car I purchased fresh from a dealership, after donating my VW Polo to the car thieves of Joburg.
ON MY AUDIO SYSTEM
I enjoy a bit of everything so you shouldn't be surprised if you go from alternative rock to 90's pop to French indie, to rap and hip hop in one sitting. I am a proud member of the BeyHive so you will ALWAYS hear Beyonce in my car, but I'm also an old person trapped in a young body, so there is a lot of music from the 60's-80's in my car (the Beatles, Queen and Led Zeppelin never leave me).
Currently, I'm a bit obsessed with the Invasion of Privacy (Cardi B) album right now so expect to see me rapping along loudly in traffic (yes, I sing along to everything - badly, but at very high volumes).MANDLA MDAKANE
AGE: 25
WHO I AM
Just a boy from Johannesburg with an extreme passion for speed.
WHAT I DO
Racing driver.
JOURNEY SO FAR
Motorsport in South Africa is still known as an elitist hobby. It was hard for my parents to keep up with all the funding the sport requires and still managing to put me and siblings through good private schooling.
My successes? For my first international karting event I was chosen as part of a team representing South Africa in Alcaniz, Spain. I won the Mojo Cup at the Rotax Final in Genk, Belgium. I participated in the Formula BMW and Formula Masters Asia Series. I was the first African driver to get a position in the Sasol GTC Series. I won a race at my favourite circuit, Kyalami, after starting second-last on the grid - my whole family was there supporting me, it was quite special. Being able to do what I do for a living, in addition to travelling the world, is a true blessing.FUTURE PLANS
A test programme with a Porsche Carrera Cup Team based in Germany and securing more opportunities abroad. I would also like to start my own racing team, grooming a new line of young drivers.
WHAT DRIVES ME
I've loved speed and motorsport from a very young age. I am a strong believer in the talent that God has blessed me with and the heights it will take me to.
WHAT I DRIVE
A Volkswagen Polo. I'd like to drive the Audi TTRS next.
ON MY AUDIO SYSTEM
House music and local hip-hop. I believe we have some very talented artists.KABELO CHABALALA
AGE: 27
WHO I AM
I am the chairperson and founder of the Young Men Movement (YMM). I do motivational talks under the theme #VillageBoyTalks.
I'm a social activist. I am a staunch feminist, contributing to the agenda by being vocal about the socialisation of young boys, especially in traditional black communities.
I am a journalist, columnist and a preacher. I obtained my theology certificate from the Johannesburg Bible College.
WHAT I DO
I spend my time in the village of Pankop (a place I call home), empowering boys to be the next generation of men to treasure. I love writing.
JOURNEY SO FAR
Born in the Village of Pankop, Mpumalanga, attended Primary School at Phopolo Primary, I proceeded to Mpoko Maloka Combined School, and completed Matric at Ratlhagana High School.
Yoh, the hardest phase of my life was 2009 when I couldn't go to university due to lack of funds. Poverty almost defined my self-worth. I am a TUT alumni. Yippee!
Today I am the 2018 Finnish Scholarship winner, I will be the only South African representative to attend the three-week course in August. I'm also attending The Obama Foundation Leadership Programme: Africa in Johannesburg in July.FUTURE PLANS
To be a renowned social entrepreneur and build a progressive church in South Africa.
WHAT DRIVES ME
I believe that to obtain economic freedom we have to be socially emancipated and fully comprehend our social responsibility as a people.
WHAT I DRIVE
Eish, this is sad, I got into an accident last year in October, the car was written off. I got another one in March, guess what, it was written off. Damn, I miss both cars. In my future garage I see a Volkswagen Tiguan and Isuzu KB.
ON MY AUDIO SYSTEM
Shekinah's Suited! I think it is about me and my girlfriend, Puseletso Khalo, because we are suited.MOSOTHO MOSHOANE
AGE: 22
WHO I AM
Entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker who hails from Centurion, Pretoria.
THIS IS WHAT I DO
I have business interests in different sectors such as marketing, information technology and agriculture. I am the founder and MD of a Google-certified marketing agency known as Beatroot Pineapple. It is my biggest success so far, having crossed borders to Botswana and having a national footprint locally.MY JOURNEY SO FAR
My journey started at Irene primary school and I completed matric at Southdowns College. I went through all 12 years of school with sport as a passion. I only truly discovered my love and strengths for business when I moved to Bangkok, Thailand, after matric to study towards a BBA in computer information systems.
I discovered my love for business, but marketing in particular and I began investing in knowledge that would allow me to build brands successfully. I started Beatroot Pineapple and it has grown with time, hard work and the correct team to what it is today. I later self-published and released my first book titled 15 Pages, which is a motivational reference book for youth.
MY FUTURE PLANS
Being an international business speaker, releasing a second book next month and growing businesses to highly profitable and recognisable entities.
WHAT DRIVES ME
A desire to reach my goals at a young age because I believe wealth is better enjoyed when you are young and strong.
WHAT I DRIVE
A Volkswagen Polo 1.6 which I purchased at age 21. What I would love next is a Porsche Panamera but I will make the purchase at 35 when I retire.
ON MY AUDIO SYSTEM
I listen to a lot of house music and gospel.SIYANGA MADIKIZELA
AGE: 29
WHO I AM
I am an incredibly passionate person; passionate about life, cars, people, writing, travelling as well as my country.
I am also a very ambitious person. This particular trait I get from my mother who has always pushed me to be the best version of myself I can be. I am deeply spiritual and philosophical.
WHAT I DO
My role at Volkswagen South Africa is public relations manager, which entails safeguarding the brand's reputation in the media, showcasing the amazing products we have in the brand and liaising with the media.
JOURNEY SO FAR
I was born in Mthatha in the Eastern Cape and after my parents got a divorce when I was about 10 years old we moved to Komga and then King William's Town, which is three hours from Port Elizabeth. I did Grades 8-12 at Kingsridge High School for Girls in King William's Town. I studied Journalism at Nelson Mandela University where I graduated in 2011.
I started at Volkswagen as a trainee in 2011 as part of 15 people in the corporate business programme. I was then selected for the graduate programme in 2013, then I was in corporate communications before moving to PR last year July.FUTURE PLANS
I have been part of the Volkswagen team for about seven years now and I want to continue my involvement with this great brand, especially when it comes to all the expansion plans we have in sub-Saharan Africa.
WHAT DRIVES ME
Giving back is what drives me. I am passionate about young women and seeing them succeed, this is why I mentor three young, bold and powerful young women.
WHAT I DRIVE
I am now driving the new Polo. As part of my job, I drive all the models in the Volkswagen South Africa fleet. And because Audi is our sister brand, I drive Audis as well.
ON MY AUDIO SYSTEM
I listen mainly to Metro FM, which provides me the required entertainment, current affairs, sport, news and different subject matter that I find interesting. I listen to music like Afro-soul, R&B, gospel, house and gqom.

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