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"BASKETBALL TAUGHT ME HOW TO WORK HARD"

A prolific television presenter, and a high priest of South African street culture, Scoop Makhathini serves as a cultural medium, a multi-spectral prism of the country’s artistry. Maison Hennessy had the chance to have a one-on-one with him.

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“Basketball was a way for me to really respect hard work and dedication”, says Scoop Makhathini who is one of the profiles that are embracing the spirit of the NBA to the fullest, dedicated to the game, devoured by its settings.
“Lessons that I’ve learned from basketball are things that play a part of my life every day. I left Port Elizabeth thanks to my scholarship to study through basketball, my first travel overseas was through basketball. It opened up so many doors for me and till today it’s giving back to me.”

Born and breed in Port Elizabeth, where he lived with both of his parents and sisters, Scoop Makhathini is making waves in not only the media industry where he’s working, but as well as in other industries. NBA is one of them. A journey that, not surprisingly at all, started with hip hop.
“I was enticed by a musical form that by that time didn’t exist in my country. Which is hip hop. It was so foreign; it was so dynamic, so energetic. It was so sure of itself. And these were things I haven’t seen around me, coming from Port Elizabeth. I love adventure, I love radical things. I love the edge. At that time hip hop was the edge. It enticed me.”

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His love affair with hip hop started with a LP, the song being ‘Mama Said Knock You Out’© by LL Cool J. The brand Hennessy on the other hand, was introduced to him by another notorious artist.
“I heard about the Hennessy cognac through Tupac, and it was the first distinguished liquor you drank to separate yourself from the crowd. Hip hop artists were people we were inspiring to be like so when Tupac said ‘Hennessy, that’s what we drink’, that was it. It wasn’t even available in the country at that time. But when it became available, we flocked to it because it was a way for us to distinguish ourselves from the rest.”

For Scoop Makhathini basketball has always been an extension to the music he was listening to because all he saw in the music videos was the sport.
“Hip hop got me into basketball. Because you always see that ball in those guys videos. You always see the court. Those were the first building blocks to what I am still now.”
He played for the South African Basketball Team where he was the shortest player at the time. “I’m a short guy so with basketball it taught me how to work hard,” he points out.
Now he’s keeping himself updated by following international basketball games, watching games live, and meeting his role models face to face, not to mention working closely with the NBA Africa team.
“Before I check anything online, I go and check out what happened in basketball; the games, the standings.”

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Scoop Makhathini remains humble towards the sport and reminds himself of the importance to transmit the possibilities to others that he himself has been offered.
“I know what to do with it and I’m not going to hoard the spotlight. I’m not going to keep it for myself. I have received a lot of blessing and received a lot of goodness and possibilities. Because of myself, yes but they came through people, and I always said to myself that I want to be that person that possibilities for others flow from. I want to be that kind who give to others, what I have received, I want to be that for another kid.”

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Scoop Makhathini has a special relationship to what he calls “hoarding the spotlight” and what one shall do instead.
“I have always been attracted to the people that use their platform to shine light on others. It’s about an ecosystem. We all need each other. Why must it stop when it comes to work? Even in our professional surroundings lets be an ecosystem and we can achieve so much more for brands, for ourselves, our future and much more for the communities. Like with me and Maison Hennessy, who is going to allowed me to do so many things that I’ve talked about. They are giving me my heart’s desire, allowing me to use my influence and through their platform, benefit other people.”

He’s a living mogul and inspiration with creative sparks beaming out of him, raised by a hustler and go-getter of a mother and a father with a strong fashionable sense who was one of the first to rock a two-piece suit with a cane in the hand. No wonder that he became the person he is today – a hustler at heart, occupied with running businesses and a lover of fashion with a unique style of his own. To him, every thought becomes a reality and that is what he does, he thinks of an idea and makes it a reality, truly embodying the ‘Never Stop, Never Settle’ slogan.
“I’m in love with that slogan. I really am. I see it as a slogan and a motivation because even when things don’t go well, just don’t stop. We are asking you to push yourself, and we are putting it in four words; ‘Never Stop, Never Settle.’”

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Scoop Makhathini through ‘This or That’

Hennessy V.S or Hennessy V.S.O.P?
“V.S! I want everybody to V.S it out. I’m elite in my work, but I’m not elitist in my mentality”

Speaking in metaphors or plain speech?
“Metaphors please! Anything but plain speech. Colour it in for me!”

Siyabonga or Scoop?
“Let’s say it like this, never would I have had Scoop, if I’ve not had Siyabonga. I respect the future, but I’ll always honour the past.”

Johannesburg or Port Elizabeth?
“I damn near cried when I read this question. This one goes like this, Port Elizabeth, because it has given me a past, Johannesburg because it has given me a future. And never would I have had a future if I didn’t have a past.”

TV or Radio?
“TV no doubt”

Journey or Destination?
“Journey no doubt”

Singing or Hosting?
“Singing, even though I don’t.”

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