Royal Hustlers: Slowing down with the man behind Slowtown
They say do not underestimate the power of coffee and a man with a dream. Slowtown Coffee Roasters founder Dennis De Wet turned his dream into Namibia’s most loved coffee brand. We slowed down with this Royal Hustler to hear his story …
Tell us a bit about yourself …
I was born in Pietermaritzburg (my dad was on a work contract) but moved back to Windhoek when I was six months old. I grew up in Swakopmund until I was in grade 8. Then we moved to Cape Town where I went to school and I later studied at Stellenbosch University. I worked there, met my wife there and only later moved to the Isle of Man before deciding to return to Namibia. It’s been a long way round to come back. We’ve been back for ten years now – Namibia is my home and my heart is here.
Were you a straight-A student?
I wasn’t a straight-A student but I worked very hard when I had to. That helped me obtain my Honours Degree in BComm (Financial Analysis).
What kind of hustle did you gravitate to in your youth?
I traded empty bottles at a local corner shop in Walvis Bay as a child. At University, I earned rental income from a property that I co-owned to fund my social experiments.
What would you say is more important in life, time or money?
I was never someone to trade my time for money – rather figure out how to make money without selling time. What do they say – either money rules you or you rule money. I prefer the latter. My mind has always been set on doing things differently – figuring out how to let the system work for me instead of climbing onto that rat race wheel.
What keeps you going?
There were times where I really thought of giving up – times when things just did not work out. But having a wife who stands by you and faith in a living God that is the author of life is what really matters. So Slowtown and the brand it is today is only a fruit of all those experiences.
How do you stay motivated?
My wife and my four sons. I see Slowtown not as my own but rather as a vehicle. This does not mean that I know what the end will look like but it takes the pressure off me having to prove anything to anyone. I could lose it all tomorrow and that should not affect who I am.
What’s your advice to anyone who wants to succeed?
Be passionate and to let go of self-doubt. Surround yourself with positive people and see the tough times as opportunities to grow. Never become a victim – you are responsible for your own life.
What does it take to be a part of the Slowtown team?
Good character, work ethic and integrity.