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  • Writer's pictureThathe Msimango

Sehohle the entrepreneur turns attention to business

As the CoronaVirus tightens its grip on an already ailing South African economy and more races are canceled, many athletes have been left suffering. But former South Africa 1 500 m champion Folavio Sehohle has managed to find the silver lining. The 30-year-old recently opened a small kitchen to serving fast food to the people of Mattfeni, roughly 4km outside Nelspruit. He says what pushed him into entrepreneurship was the need to make money and look after his wife and four children.

Sehohle beating Dumisani Hlaselo to win the SA 1500m in 2016. Photo Credit: Folavio Sehohle.

"I have indeed opened a small business to serve people with Kotas, burger, etc. " explains the man who has been married since 2018. "I'm still new in the business but I can't complain much. Some days I make a lot of money while some I don't. I think most people are still affected by Covid so that why on some days business is slow. What is good is that I'm able to look out for my family which is a good thing. Whatever I get, I must think of them first as they pushed me to start this business."

The Puma endorsed athlete says he was blessed to work with someone like coach Hendrick Ramaala, who managed to give great advice about life. Sehohle spent 9 months training under Ramaala at the Zoo Lake group in Johannesburg before winning the SA title in 2016. He says he will be forever indebted to Ramaala for playing father figure in his life.

Sehohle poses for a photo with mentor Hendrick Ramaala (centre) and Olympian Sisbusiso Nzima at their training base in Zoo Lake in 2016. Photo Credit: Folavio Sehohle.

"The person I look up to in life is Hendrick Ramaala. He is such a wonderful human being with the great heart of unearthing youth talent. But besides that, he is such a good mentor. The time I spent at the Zoo Lake group was enough for me to walk out as a champion. I still applaud Ramaala for showing me the ropes to live life."

Sehohle won the 2015 Heiniski Half Marathon, Imbube 10km twice in Swaziland, and a couple of 1 500m meetings in Belgium. He managed to save those earnings which he used to buy land for R100 000 just over two years ago. He aims to build more rooms in it for people to rent out.

Sehohle the farmer. Photo Credit: Folavio Sehohle.

"I bought 4 stands of land that are equivalent to 30 by 30 meters here in Mattafeni. As the area is not far away from Nelspruit, I think I can manage to make good money by opening rental rooms there. I have two rooms that I have already built that I'm planning to rent them out. I see good business here. I hope most athletes can learn to invest for the future as most of us didn't do well academically. This is all I have even though I have never worked in my life besides that I'm the runner," he shared.

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