The world of basketball opened a universe of new dimensions for SLIM. His achievements became a key tool to uplift a world of deprivation and poverty in the South of Johannesburg, South Africa. In 2006, he represented South Africa in City Year, an after-school program and was selected on the global CITY YEAR CCG New York Conference. This triggered his inspiration to become the emblem of change and give back to the community from his vast platforms as a passionate Basketball Player, TV Presenter, Actor, NBA and Nike MC, Digital Influencer and Brand Ambassador.
“Art gives me freedom. It makes me invincible” – Jerome Du Plooy a.k.a SLIM
During his early beginnings at Klipsruit West Secondary School in Soweto, he attended an NBA (American Basketball Association) sponsored afterschool program called SKY (Soweto Kliptown Youth). He soon took on to the helm of basketball.
NBA Africa was awakened to his mission embracing in purposeful activities to spiral the upliftment of neighbourhood children.
“The NBA saw something in me and ever since then they’ve adopted me” – Jerome Du Plooy a.k.a SLIM
His passion for basketball seeded the beginning of a savored life journey with a purpose. The NBA sponsored a trip to the USA as well as his academic studies at the Boston Media House in Johannesburg, South Africa.
- Represented South Africa on the NBA’s Basketball Without Borders programme. Rubbed shoulders with renowned basketball players like Dwight Howard, Kyrie Irving, and Carmelo Anthony.
Basketball Without Borders is the global basketball development and scouting programme run by NBA and FIBA. It has reached more than 1 700 players from more than 120 countries, and 28 of the programme players have been drafted into the NBA
- MC at the NBA All-Star Jam Session at the Orange County Convention Centre in Orlando, in the United States in February 2012
- Featured on the annual Basketball Without Borders programmes in Africa since 2009.
“Seeing guys like Dwight Howard and Kyrie Irving going out of their way to help people less fortunate than them is part of the reason why I strive to be better” – Jerome Du Plooy a.k.a SLIM
2. Presenter and Actor
- Host of the BBall television show
- Acting debut on ETV’s Rhythm City as the character of Twakkie.
- Played the role of Mickey on the award-winning soapie, Generations.
- MZANZI MAGIC film: ‘Perfect Crime”, directed by Tebogo Lepita.
- Appearance in a film titled “Joh”, where he worked alongside Jason Goliath and Khanyi Mbau.
- The first South African to emcee at the NBA Allstar weekends
- Orlando (2012), Houston (2013), New Orleans (2014), New York NBA house (2015), Toronto (2016).
- NBA Rhythm and Rims 2012 and 2013
- NBA Africa Jnr/WNBA Finals 2012 and 2013
- BWB Africa events 2011 to 2014.
- BNB- Basketball national league 2013 and 2014
- ESPN celebrity game 2013
- Redbull Reign South Africa 2017 (3on3 basketball game).
- Eldos Jazz festival
Meet South Africa’s Jerome Du Plooy a.k.a SLIM – The Invincible!
Tell us what drives you? What is your true passion in life?
What drives me is my family, the people around me, the messages and inspiration I get from people I don’t even know. The kids in the ghettos who have a dream. My big brother Bernard Parker as well as my late mother Magaret Du Plooy.
My true passion In life is always to give back to others and constantly give more of myself and bring joy and happiness with whomever I come into contact with
Entertainment I also feel is a big part of my passion in life, coz the more I give of myself, let’s say emceeing a gig, the more a crowd and the people in it give more back to me.
How did you find your passion and how old were you?
My mother said I was 4 years old. I always used to sit at the radio and imitate the DJs on air and that very same year she said I even sang all of Michael Jackson’s songs.
I used to do things like the haka from the all blacks rugby team and people around the block would even pay me just so they could see if I really do it properly and even just seeing them smile and laugh, I enjoyed that. So from then on I always knew that entertainment was something I wanted to be in forever.
What about your passion appeals to you the most?
I think the ability to give back even in hard situations, even at the moment South Africa is going through tough times, but with whatever I make I was always taught to give a 10th back of it.
So surprising kids, elders or whoever is special . Seeing the tears, the joy, the hugs and all that is a blessing man. But hearing them say thank you and being grateful for what I do that is truly special and that is why I keep on striving to give back as some people pray for a blessing and one day you’ll realize that it’s you.
What drove you to make money from your passions?
Mmmmm, I was always taught that when you do what you love you’ll never work another day in your life. Yeah, it’s ok to make money and all that but I count my money as a gig coz everytime I get to do what I love that’s payment enough to me.
Hearing the kids say that’s that guy, he inspires me or so, that’s my payment. Get this money yes….. but always remember someday we will leave all that behind.
As I said investing in others and my family is what ultimately drove me to make money so that I could be a blessing to someone who will, in turn, become a blessing to someone else.
When was the first time you were paid for your passion?
Wow! 2008 I think, Eldos FM had 30-day licenses that year…..got paid like R500 on my first gig . R500 man! But I was grateful as it taught me how to be patient and appreciative of everything in my life, coz with that R500 I was able to help mom out and still tithe. So I’ll forever be grateful for that R500
What kept you going when you thought about giving up?
A SINGLE mother who gave her life for me and my brother. Her thing was education, hence I couldn’t or will do my best never to fail even when I study again soon. You can’t give up when a woman like that wakes up 4:30 in the morning to come back at 6 pm it’s just not right.
God is another big reason, I mean he blesses us each and every day so if I had to give up it would be a smack in his face and a big disappointment to all the little kids.
What motivates you every day to be even more successful?
THE KIDS on the corner, I recently lost my little brother who was caught up in this life and crime thing. It hurts every day but he is part of the reason I wanted to become so much more successful.
I wanted to show kids from the hood it’s possible, coz as a child of the ghetto myself, you have to fight 10 times harder than anybody. You got to be ready. You have to want it bad. Also, SLIM Cares man, coz if I’m not successful my foundation will suffer and lots of kids will be shattered which will mean many will take paths they shouldn’t and I can’t have that. Hence I strive for greatness every day.
What do you have to say to all of the people who doubted you?
GOD don’t fail and my story is far from finished!!!!!
What advice do you give to aspiring creative's who look up to you?
Live every day as if it’s your last coz tomorrow is just a dream waiting to happen.
Love yourself, your people, God and never be too busy for other people no matter how successful become.
Be a blessing and keep on chasing and living in your dreams. Also, your dreams are valid and have no expiry date.
SLIM Cares , an organisation initiated by Jerome Du Plooy endevours to make a difference in the lives of township youngsters by partnering with organisations to provide clothing and study bursaries. Other projects include 100 toys for 100 kids and 100 meals for 100 families
Youth from underpriviledged backgrounds do not have to struggle the way I did -Jerome Du Plooy a.k.a SLIM