'My community made me' - Barista pays homage to Hillbrow’s hustling spirit

'My community made me' - Barista pays homage to Hillbrow’s hustling spirit

Tebogo Mabye was dreaming of success, even while living on the streets.

Tebogo Mabye
Tebogo Mabye / Beautiful News.

His hometown, Hillbrow, is synonymous with poverty, crime, and constant police sirens – but also a community who refuses to give up. 

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“There is a hustling spirit,” Mabye says. Though he wasn’t ashamed of being raised in shelters, Mabye wanted more out of life. 

After finishing matric, Mabye interned at Mould Empower Serve, an NGO that assists impoverished people. At work, Mabye developed a penchant for the caffeine culture that fuelled his co-workers. 

Whether chatting with each other or engaging in meetings, people in the office always had a cup of freshly-pressed java in hand. With the heartbeat of Hillbrow pounding inside him, Mabye envisioned starting a café. Exactly two years after announcing his goal, he opened the doors of Hillbrewed Coffee Co– named in homage to the place that inspired him. 

“My upbringing made me the person I am today,” Mabye says. Despite beginning with no capital or experience, he stuck to his vision. Today, Mabye’s cosmopolitan café is filled with lively customers. Every cup that he serves is a symbol of his perseverance. Mabye now hopes to empower others like him. “There are so many kids that are from the same circumstances,” he says. “Find your purpose and it could change your life.”

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