Skinny Sbu Socks goes sporty

Sibusiso Ngwenya and Donald Masoga.
Sibusiso Ngwenya and Donald Masoga.

Celebrity businessman Sibusiso Ngwenya, known for his menswear accessory label Skinny Sbu Socks, says he has cleaned up his act.

This follows a roller-coaster year that left the 28-year-old on the verge of a mental breakdown. At the peak of the mayhem last year, he went on a TV rant and consulted with a psychiatric clinic.

"Initially, the news broke and then I went on Twitter. People were saying 'you are arrogant, entitled and crazy'. Then I started to feel like that," he says. "I went off social media and realised how blessed I am in my personal life. For a while, maybe two weeks, I did think that I'm going insane. So I went in for a session with a doctor about my mental state. They were like, 'you are not crazy, get off social media'.

"Then I started doing basic things, like gardening. I got over myself. I thought I was the best thing in the world."

Ngwenya says fame and fortune combined with the late-night partying and women came with a high price.

"I have the maturity for this thing now. I couldn't enjoy the fame and fortune because it was too big for me," he says. "Now I know where my money is. It's no longer just about the girls and alcohol. It feels great, not everyone gets a second chance. People go on drugs and stuff, I came out clean."

Ngwenya says he wasted a lot of his money on poor business investments.

"Learning business and taking my emotions out of it has been my hardest lesson. I have wasted so much money along the way," he says.

"You look at the biggest deal I got, it was R2-million for a 10-month campaign in 2015. I blew it within a year on terrible business decisions."

As Skinny Sbu Socks celebrates six years in business catering for urban businessmen in suits, it is venturing into the athletic world.

Skinny Sbu Sports is being launched in collaboration with Bochum-born, Limpopo, designer Donald Masoga.

"You need to reinvent all the time. Don is the 24-year-old that's on the ground in terms of where we go to party. He's with the skrr skrr and he speaks the language.

"For us to be fashion forward and appeal to the market we have to have someone young, creative and talented.

"We wanted bedded socks - they are very comfortable and you can run and cycle in them. At the same time, we want them fashion-forward so you can go from doing sports activities to running errands."

Skinny Sbu Sports will have three collections. Buyers can pre-order online from Sunday.

Masoga says: "Sbu handles the business side, so he gave me the freedom of creatively to go all in. It's very exciting and it's what every creative wishes to have."

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