Mdantsane man makes use of his skating skills to eke out living

SKATING SKILLS: Olwethu ‘Ozza’ Tshona sells cigarettes and helps people carry shopping bags, while going about on his roller skates

MDANTSANE’S, Olwethu “Ozza” Tshona makes a living by selling cigarettes and carrying people’s shopping bags home from Mdantsane City Mall, all while getting by on his roller skates.

Born and raised in Mdantsane, the young independent entrepreneur started his business back in 2011 selling cigarettes in the street and at nearby drinking spots during the weekends. This is done by many but what makes him special – is that he does it on roller skates.

The young businessman started roller-skating at the age of 11. “I started to skate when I was living in Cape Town. The city had proper tarred roads which made it easy for us to roller skate, skate board and ride bicycles. “When I returned to Mdantsane three years later I had mastered how to roller skate,” he said.

When he realised that many people were in the same business as him, he started assisting people with grocery bags from the mall to the taxi ranks.

“My roller skates are a big part of my life so I decided to use what I have and my talent to put bread on the table. I enjoy skating and the same time I am able to fend for myself,” he said.

The young man aspires to start a sports team of roller-skaters and cyclists in and around Mdantsane, with hopes of representing South Africa at the Olympics one day. He says many children look up to him and pleaded with him to teach them how to skate.

“This is a rare skill – you will not find any skaters in Mdantsane. I want to pass this skill onto my young brothers and sisters but I cannot do that on my own. I need assistance in order for it to be possible,” he said.

Mdantsane Film Production made a short documentary Cigar Wheels following him and getting to know what he does on a daily basis. “Olwethu is a very talented man. So many youth are sitting at home doing nothing and he is giving hope to those who have given up,” Mdantsane Film Production founder Sibulele Roji said .

“Our community lacks support among each other and I think business people in Mdantsane should assist him in starting a skating team.“

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