WINDHOEK - Besides his challenging upbringing, he managed to break through to fully explore his potential. This is the mechanical engineering graduate and author of the book Respect My Hustle, Sylvester Shapwa.
The co-owner of a trademarked and copyrighted brand, Respect my Hustle and chief executive officer of Sasha group of companies only at 28 years, the outspoken socialite was born in Windhoek from parents originally from Onhuno in the Ohangwena region. “As is common with most Namibians, my mom sent me for primary school in Okahandja. I managed to put the struggles last and concentrate on my studies, which I managed successfully and I was the overall best learner at school in Grade 10. I never looked back until I graduated with a Bachelor’s Technology Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Polytechnic of Namibia now NUST in 2012 and I started working at Emcon Consulting Engineers in Klein Windhoek until 2015.”
Life itself is his motivation. “The feeling I get from helping others to succeed or leading them through something and teaching other people new skills keep me going. I’m directly motivated by seeing the results of my efforts translate into something. That is what attracted me to business and writing to begin with.” Believing in having a heart for people, it hurts him to see people suffer and/or eat from dustbins, which is what motivated him to open up Sasha Charity and Care Foundation, feeding over 100 Namibians weekly. “One thing that conversely sets me apart from other people is my personality trait,” says Shapwa.
He advises against mixing business with pleasure, saying it can lower one’s sense of well-being, thus finding a balance is key. “As far as business is concerned, smart scheduling is an element that I use the most, finding time to do things that matter. However, business does not make me forget people that are around me. Thus, I maintain a relationship of understanding for every situation,” says he.
Having gone through what he went through, he felt it would be selfish not to share his experiences with fellows, and how he overcame obstacles, and the best way to do this was by putting pen to paper. And so the author of Respect My Hustle was born. The title of the book was inspired by many things. “There are people who go through tough conditions to make it to where they are today. Hence, whatever we do to make ends meet, people should respect that it is a hustle.”
“As an entrepreneur you have to be a dreamer. It all starts with a dream, then a vision, a will, efforts and determination to be successful, so put those together and you can conquer the world,” adds Shapwa, advising upcoming authors that the sky is the limit. “Write when it hurts. Write when it feels good. Above all, write for you. Write truth - your truth. But all in all, never stop writing.”
Namibia being a rich country, endowed in addition to her natural resources, with peace, stability, harmony and dignity, his fellow youth can take the opportunity she offers to contribute to her socio-economic development. “You are never too young to start a business, neither to be successful. You are never too old to give up, neither to regret anything, because the opportunity will always be there to do better. Start today, it begins with you!”