DJ Sbu gives back to the community

SOME describe him as a street-smart hustler, others a grassroots marketer, and to some, he is known as one of the most eligible bachelors around.

That is how DJ Sbu - real name Sbusiso Leope - is viewed.

His Twitter biography describes him as a social entrepreneur, entertainer, globetrotter, speaker and tennis player.

The versatile DJ has been travelling the world in the last couple of months, to watch tennis matches live, as the game is his favourite sport.

Leope has always played tennis since he was eight and at one stage was a junior champion in the then Transvaal province.

Though his peers teased him by saying he played a "girl's sport", he proudly wore his tennis gear and carried his racket on the streets of his hometown Tembisa. This proved that whatever he puts his mind to, he has the determination to see it through.

This is one of Leope's traits, who has just released his seventh studio album Sound Revival 2, that has seen his brand grow from strength to strength.

"I mean I knew that I wanted to be successful and inspire people, but to be able to excel in music, television presenting, business, radio and also find time to give back to the community is amazing," Leope said in an interview with Sowetan.

"It took me a while to understand my sound, my target market, which is broad and includes the young and old. Now that I'm comfortable with my own sound, the hits keep coming and I'm grateful," he said.

This is evident in how the first single Qina off Sound Revival 2,featuring Generations actor Anga Makubelo, akaNaak Musiq, has been received. The single is currently receiving a lot of airplay.

Leope credits his career reinvention to his flexibility in adapting to new trends.

"My two albums the Y Lens 3 and 4(with licensed songs) did not do well, so I took a conscious decision to focus on creating original music, as fans related more with originality," he said.

He further explained that re-branding was one of the strategies that has worked for him.

The multifaceted entertainer has also mentored a few young people and is equally vocal about his education-based CSI projects.

One of his protégés is third-year logistics degree student Kutlwano Modise, 21, of the University of Johannesburg, from Katlehong.

"I don't know how my life would have turned out, had I not met Leope in 2009, while doing matric. He came to give a motivational talk at our school and spoke about bursary opportunities," Kutlwano told Sowetan.

"My single mother, who is on a salary of a part-time packer, could not afford to pay my university fees," said Kutlwano, who already has a job for next year.

He said Leope had stepped in and linked him with bursary opportunities.

Kutlwano's success story is a result of DJ Sbu's initiative that started seven years ago to offer motivational talks at previously disadvantaged schools. -