Meet Wendell Petersen DaHustler1984, owner and founder of the Hustle Dog from Kuils River in Cape Town. This young man is an entrepreneur and a creative. He also has a passion for turning old clothes into something new.
The name DaHustler1984 came from him being able sell just about anything to anyone at any given time or place. He is such a good hustler that he literally sold a pair of takkies he was wearing at a party right off his feet.
Wendell’s dream of being an entrepreneur started when he was just 13 years old. He had a “stallejie” as us Capetonians would call it, where he sold anything from clothing to underwear.
He then started building his dream by buying an old tricycle standing in someone’s backyard and turned it into a successful small business.
He took that very tricycle that he bought off the street and built in a collapsible bucket seat with a 2000 watt amp behind it. He added on some specialised wheels, a MP3 player, 4 speakers, 2 tweeters, a DVD screen, a 32 inch LCD screen, a PlayStation and a built in braai.
Now if that isn’t innovation then I don’t know what is.
People quickly became attracted to Wendell as he pedaled past them in the streets with his decked out tricycle and loud music travelling around with him wherever he went.
As soon as he stood still, people surrounded him to check out this unique trike bike.
Everything Wendell built on this tricycle was especially designed around the customer and how to keep the customer entertained while he prepares their food for them. This was a very smart move he made.
Years later his vision for his business became bigger. He saw an old rusted truck standing in his father in laws yard and asked him if he could swap a few pairs of sneakers and a chandelier for it.
Everybody he knew thought he was crazy but that didn’t discourage him. He quickly showed everyone that what you believe, you can achieve.
Wendell took this rusted truck and resprayed it. He asked 2 of his friends who are graffiti artists Mak1one from Cape Town and MrEkse from Soweto in Johannesburg to do some graffiti art on his truck for him.
This truck was then transformed from a normal delivery truck into what we now know as the Hustle Dog food truck.
While making all these changes Wendell and his wife also became more creative with his signature dish the Hustle dog and changed it from a hotdog roll into a rooti based with mayonnaise or yoghurt, filled with shredded cabbage or lettuce, some grated carrots and some marinated chicken or boerewors.
Wendell is also big on giving back to the community. For every single Hustle dog he sells, he gives 10 to 15% of the money he makes back to feed the homeless children and adults in the community. He goes out to children’s homes, has table for two’s where he either prepares a special meal for two people from the street or he takes them out for some take aways.
He also takes time to get to know them because he says we will be surprised at how many of them are just like us. Some of them were lawyers and sergeants in the police etc. Wendell also asks them how they hit rock bottom and learns from his encounters with them.
Wendell says there are so many people who are living on the streets who have dreams and desires just like us but they have no idea how they are going to get to where they need to be to achieve them.
He says its important for each and everyone of us to lend a helping hand because we never no what could happen to us in the future.
To him giving back is a way of cleansing his soul and he hopes to inspire others to do the same.
He is also involved in a Motivational project where he works under MOBCOW for the Transnet Foundation. This programme is run by Marvin Levendal from MOBCOW, Mark Cupido (a resident Bboy) and Wendell Petersen (Entrepeneur&creative). Together they have a set programme to teach the children about health and wellness and how to have good entrepreneurial skills. They also offer them some motivational speaking and show the children some break dancing moves.
After every first visit they make to a school, they make a point of it to go back to the same school on 3 separate occasions to see how the children are progressing.
Wendell Petersen has appeared on TV shows like South African Heroes on ETV, Hectic9nine and the Morning Expresso show etc.
He has also worked at various festivals, music videos and food ralleys. He has been on the Ready D show on Goodhope FM and on the Mr Meyer show on Bush Radio just to name a few.
This just proves that you should never listen to other people when it comes to chasing after your dreams. It is not their life, it is yours and if Wendell Petersen can do it then so can you.
Stay true to yourself.
Food for thought: The Levi’s Wendell is wearing in this blog post is his own design and formed part of the Levi competition held on 18 November 2016. In 2007 Wendell won this competition but unfortunately this year he wasn’t so lucky. Wendell has proven that he isn’t afraid of taking chances, even if it means losing.
Sneakers: Nike Airmax
Denim shorts: The Fix
Camisole top: The Fix
Check Shirt: Mr Price
Cap: Lemon clothing& apparel
Clip in hair extensions: Loxology hair extensions
Jeans: Levis (Wendell’s own design)
Sweater: Created by Wendell
Bag: Designed by Corne Adams aka Poohboy
Cap: Levis (Wendell’s own design)
Photography done by Radcliffe Roelse and Courtney Roelse