From dreaming of a bike to cooking in a kitchen

Prosper | Written by Jacques Cilliers

01 July 2016

It’s a simple story. A story about a young cyclist from Diepsloot who just wouldn’t quit. Tsepo was born in Lesotho, but his mom, looking for work, brought the whole family to Johannesburg and, like many other migrant families, they ended up in a township on the outskirts of the city.

One of Tsepo’s biggest challenges was to receive the opportunity to transcend his situation. Luckily, he discovered the sport of mountain biking through the Diepsloot Mountain Bike Academy (DMA) and Absa. And this is where his life began to look up.

His fate was sealed when Team Absa Cape Epic member and DMA Chairman, André Ross had to pull out of the upcoming Cape Epic race, and he recommended Tsepo to join the team. For Tsepo, it was a big shock and a phenomenal order. He only had two months to train with about 10% of the resources the rest of the team had. This was the greatest challenge of Tsepo’s life.

The amazing tale of Tsepo’s trials and successes doesn’t end with him on a mountain bike – if anything, the bike is his first step towards a new life. The Epic saw two people unite – one, an aspiring cyclist beating the odds, and the other, head chef at the award-winning The Saxon’s Five Hundred restaurant. Through the adversity and challenges they faced together on the road, they formed a friendship that resulted in Tsepo taking up a trainee position in David Higgs’ kitchen.

But it doesn’t end there. When not in the kitchen, Tshepo spends his time ensuring other youth can prosper by volunteering back at the DMA. This story is proof that sport, and ambition, can unlock endless possibilities and make dreams of individuals and communities come true. Because when we share we grow and when we grow we all Prosper.

Watch his story:

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