It’s a story of humble beginnings, and 31-year-old Fabrice Kapya, an assistant lecturer and a Ph.D candidate at the University of Pretoria says you can’t cut corners to reach the highest level of the ladder of success.
The Congolese asylum seeker built his academic career through the little earnings he used to collect as a car guard – a form of the security services sector, which has sprung all over the country in the last two decades.
Against all odds
Little did people know that he also held a master’s degree in industrial systems while working as a car guard at a mall in Pretoria North. Four years later, Kapye is a Ph.D. candidate and an assistant lecturer in the Department of Industrial and Systems engineering.
He says he funded his studies with every penny from customers, but he wouldn’t have made it this far without destiny helpers, who covered all of his fees.
“It’s doable even though you don’t have the financial need, but you can seek help – there are people out there they’re willing to help they’re willing to invest but they want to invest in something that is really sustainable,” says Kapya.
Meanwhile, car guards have become a permanent feature and a part of everyday life in many cities and towns across the country. And for many, it’s a survival of the fittest.
“We just make not big money, but at least we make something to eat or to put bread on the table,” says one guard.
“We’re not beggars, we’re just asking. The one who’s got gives – the one who doesn’t have. Like now he’s coming out, may I please assist him. You’ll see.”
Unregistered car guards under threat of arrest
The Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority demands that car guards be registered as security service providers.
“When we receive information regarding unregistered car guards we conduct operations with other law enforcement agencies. We verify their credentials on our system and if we find the car guards that are not registered we arrest them. We register car guards as security officers and they’re part of the half a million security officers that are active in our database. Since 2010, we have registered 1564 foreign nationals and they form part of the half a million security officers that are active in our database”, says Talent Zwane, Deputy Director of Law Enforcement at PRISA.
As for Kapya, it’s a steady road to success. And for those who’d like to borrow a leaf out of his book, he’s got only one piece of advice… “have a productive mindset”.