DISCIPLINE FUELS SHEZI TO SUCCEED
Written by: Nobuhle Mtshali
They say you will never forget your first, and in the case of 28-year-old Mthobisi Masa Shezi, this proves to be true.
Born out of wedlock to middle class parents did not determine the tracks of his life. He owes his successes to his mother and grandmother’s teachings.
“Not a day in my life have I went to bed on an empty stomach unless I didn’t have appetite,” he said.
Growing up without a father who passed on while he was two months old, created a huge gap in his life. Luckily, his uncle played a father-figure in his life. With his mom hardly home, and a strict grandmother, he had to learn to be independent and do his own things.
Even though his mother was unemployed and could not afford to take him to a multi-racial school as everyone deemed it the best place for him, it did not stop him from becoming a whiz-kid at Muntuza Primary School.
He held the record for the learner who received the most academic prizes for all his learning areas.
“I was a diligent child, very responsible and disciplined, thanks to my granny. I was so popular, all teachers knew me, including most students,” he said.
His love for communication and language developed when he was in high school. He joined the debating team which was led by Dr Thabo Msibi, the current Dean of Education at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN).
With language skills and proficiency, he filled out applications to institutions offering Journalism but none were sent due to lack of funds at home. In that midst, he took a gap year until his friend told him there were spaces for Nature Conservation.
“This course I knew nothing of. (I) got interesting and I fell in love with it, till it all dawned on me that I will have to work with wilderness and I have phobia of rats, so how will I survive the lions and snakes?” he questioned.
Although he got good marks in his modules, but the passion and drive lacked so he dropped out with only three modules away from the diploma.
With inspiration from chefs Siba Mtongana and Gordon Ramsay, Shezi went back to his first choice of hospitality and has never looked back.
“I started selling takeaways (home cooked meals) in town, and cooked for friends on their events. I was then motivated by the amount of people who supported me and decided to start a catering company. I then got recognition which pedestalled me for bigger events,” he continued.
He now owns a catering company called MunjaKaSbewu Pty (Ltd) which is located in Estcourt.
Shezi’s mother said she is very proud to see her son doing so well in life.
“Today I can safely say that I’m a proud mom. Masa has been a smart boy from birth and I always knew that he would bring change in our lives,” she said.
With Shezi never giving up on his passion of being a journalist, he still has hope that someday he will publish something with his byline on the article.
“I see myself hosting a cooking show, writing my own articles or a cook book with the recipes that I have already,” he said.
With a smile on his face, he added, “I am a black child who wants to make it against all odds, realising my passion is only about me being disciplined, focused and putting in hard work.”
*Caption: Mthobisi Masa Shezi, owner of MunjaKaSbewu Pty (Ltd).