It was the second Saturday in September. I opened my eyes to a chilly morning in the largest suburb in the east coast of the Cape, a suburb called Khayelitsha. After some time (it was a Saturday morning after all), I summoned all my strength and fronted-up to this thing called life.
Today was to be the twelfth round against that devilish voice in my head.
Blazing, I armed myself with my cheap cell phone and headed to a branding masterclass in the vicinity of my neighbourhood. At this point, I must mention my 52-minute mirror marathon deciding whether to wear jeans or chinos.
Jeans, or Chinos?
You see, there is always a fashionista crowd at these Heavy Chef events, which makes us Mr Price shoppers very unhappy!
Anyway, our master-in-chief this weekend was none other than the incredible, the awesome, the amazing Masechaba Ndlovu.
Masechaba is a very special human that women want to be, and that men clearly love to crowd (given how many men were at this event).
This Saturday, it was my mission to dissect the secret of how she does it, so I too can do it. So that other cheap cell phone carriers can do it. So that other Mr Price shoppers can do it.
So that we cheap folks can proudly live!
When I arrived at the venue later, the Bandwidth Barn hall at Lookout Hill, the crowd was loud and loose, Beer and wine was already flowing. It took one glass of Backsberg wine to get me to speak any human.
Suddenly, conversations flew higher and higher as the vibe took hold.
Just then, the house was brought to order by a Xhosa speaking madam, Caley van der Kolk, and the honourable singing speaker Bawo Mbaba.
After that, Masechaba Ndlovu stepped up, in person, and just like that, she had the crowd at “Molweni!”
Tall, articulate, mesmerising, empowered, Masechaba’s voice did not merely echo, but it owned the attention of those before her.
In awe, the crowd could not get enough of the story behind the beaming lady on the Heavy Chef stage.
Masechaba was born in exile to military veterans who took arms when they were merely teens. She faced coming back home with an American accent and having to unlearn her twang, she hustled her way up the broadcasting ladder and took jobs as a receptionist and bartender to get by.
On Saturday, at Heavy Chef, in the Bandwidth Barn, Lookout Hill, Khayelitsha, in Cape Town, Masechaba stood before a generation that wants to be.
Masechaba tore down all the misunderstandings of what we think we are supposed to act like, and for an hour she became a big sister with whom we can all stand tall.
That Saturday, through her unique perspective, we saw ourselves taller.
What is the secret you ask?
One, we are always in state of becoming. There is not a finality to where we are right now (“Mr Price shopper”), It is not your final destination (future Imprint shopper).
Two, the heart of a brand is a story and your story matters. Do not take your story for granted. Brand power is made up of authentic stories, told well, that find resonance to other people.
Three, the internet is a big deal. Your phone, no matter how cheap it is, is a powerful weapon. If it can Google, then it has super powers to take you to places.
Lastly, in her own words: ‘none of us woke up like this’. So. work with yourself, work with yourself.
Just like that, I won the fight against the devilish voice in my head,
Halala Heavy Chef, and halala!
Watch Masechaba’s powerful talk, here:
AUTHOR: SIMBULELE MASINGILI
This story was submitted by Simbulele Masingili. “I am a Khayelitsha native. I am culture-crazy, which is the inspiration behind my new blog to be launched soon, where I document the culture of South African millennial community through the lens of a hair cut. I believe my generation has something to say the world and it is my duty through using a pen and the digital media to document it. Instagram, here.
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