Fitness Influencer Sibongiseni Ndwandwe Shares Secrets to Wellness, Grooming and Mental Health

by | May 20, 2024 | Life

In the dynamic world of fitness, influencers play a crucial role in inspiring and guiding individuals towards healthier lifestyles. One such influencer is Sibongiseni a.k.a Sybo, whose journey from a bullied child to a respected fitness trainer and ambassador showcases the transformative power of physical activity and self-care. In this interview, Sibongiseni shares his experiences, advice, and insights on maintaining a balanced lifestyle, integrating grooming into daily routines, leveraging social media, and incorporating nutritious foods like Kellogg’s Granola Range into his diet.

Sibongiseni: Staying active has always been a part of me. I was fortunate enough growing up to be in schools where being active was encouraged. The downside of it all was that I was bullied a lot in primary school because of my short, stocky body. So, staying active was my escape. At the same time, one of my older cousins used to do bodybuilding in the early ’90s, so he was my biggest inspiration in my journey to look like a Greek God.

I believed that the better I looked, the more respect I would receive. I’m currently an Environmental Officer working for the government, but I’ve always loved helping people through fitness. Fitness is my passion, and I find joy in sharing it with others. When I started my training journey, it was merely to help those around me, but by meeting my life partner Zee, she helped me expand my reach and helped me reach more people.

The first advice I would give is to commit to starting. If you say you’re starting Monday next week, start Monday next week. Starting is not as complicated as we think. Starting can be as simple as signing up at the gym. It’s a start. What’s also important is doing your research and not being afraid to ask for help. Fitness is a galaxy filled with many stars and planets, so it’s important to research and find what kind of fitness would interest you. Would you like to do weightlifting, boxing, swimming, running, etc.?

Fitness Influencer Sibongiseni Ndwandwe Shares Secrets to Wellness, Grooming and Mental Health
Zinhle and Sybo at the Kellogg’s Wellness Fest
Fitness Influencer Sibongiseni Ndwandwe Shares Secrets to Wellness, Grooming and Mental Health
Sybo doing yoga at the Kellogg’s Wellness Fest

Once you’ve decided that, get a coach or trainer who can assist you in your journey. Investing in a good coach/trainer will allow you to learn quicker, save you time, and help you avoid injuries, especially in the gym, caused by not performing certain exercises well or trying to lift heavy weights because it looks cool. And lastly, trust the process; it takes time, and be realistic. There’s no way you’re going to lose 10 kgs in 4 weeks!

 Ahhhh, I love the new Granola range from Kellogg’s. It is so easy to incorporate into my daily life as it is extremely versatile (you can put it in a smoothie, bake with it, add it to salads, the list is endless). It is also very nutritious and a great option for someone who loves a delicious and quick meal but is also health-conscious.

With regards to my own fitness journey, I have now expanded my methods of getting into shape and have redefined what being fit means to me. I no longer just focus on looking like a Greek God, but instead, I want to look aesthetically pleasing and be able to run 10 km without struggling, climb a flight of stairs at work without hurting, and puff halfway through.

It’s more than just looking good. Now that I don’t focus entirely on how I look but rather how I look and feel, I’m able to enjoy a pizza night with my partner, go to a family braai without carrying my own food, and eat cookies and sweets with my nieces and nephews. I’m free to enjoy the little things, the things that matter in this life. I just know that I’ll push harder in my next training session. I’ve become more realistic with my goals.

Grooming is great for my mental and emotional health. When I look great, I feel great. This is something I realised once I took a chance at it. Beyond that, in my line of work, presentation is key. Your body is your business card. A staple for me is a haircut every single week as long hair results in my face getting oily. Every 2 weeks, I get my mani and pedi and maintain it with my products at home.

Our skin is our biggest organ, so I make sure to exfoliate regularly and get a facial once a month. Grooming is not a one-stop shop; it’s a continuous process that requires consistency. So, my biggest advice is to get a grooming routine that you can maintain because it can get time-consuming, overwhelming, and costly as there are a lot of grooming treatments one can do. Also, take the time to visit a grooming parlour experience different types of treatments and find what works for you. Keep in mind that there are plenty of grooming products that you can buy to groom at home and help with maintenance.

For me, what’s always driven me is the fact that access to information has rapidly grown, but with that came the consequence of an overflow of false or misleading information. This has driven me to produce factual content based on empirical research and evidence, putting my own personality into it. Also, it’s important to me that I don’t share anything with my audience that I haven’t done or would not do. I make sure to stay true to who I am because I wouldn’t want to be misled, so why mislead others.

Exercise! Without it, I would be lost. It allows me to blow off some steam and get my mind off things. I have a very busy lifestyle, working as an Environmental Officer, Fitness Trainer, and Fitness Influencer does take a toll on me. I am also very family-oriented, so spending time and talking to loved ones is very important to me. Beyond that, I do take the time to be by myself and have regular conversations with myself. I’m a young man in South Africa trying to make the most of himself, which can be hard and taxing, so I make sure to remind myself of how far I’ve come, how hard I work, and that everything will be okay as long as I keep my head up.

Fitness Influencer Sibongiseni Ndwandwe Shares Secrets to Wellness, Grooming and Mental Health
Sybo doing HIIT exercises at the Kellogg’s Wellness Fest

Fitness, to me, looks different to everyone else. Back in the day when I was ripped, I had a narrow view of fitness. But that has changed. Fitness should be focused more on being internally healthy rather than the exterior. One should be focused on things like body fat percentage, blood pressure levels, cholesterol levels, etc. I believe these are the health factors we should be focusing on rather than having a certain look.

READ MORE: Kellogg’s Unveils New Granola Wellness Range to Elevate Your Morning Routine

As I said before, I am highly blessed and favoured. By just being true to myself and putting out the right type of content, the right brands have found me. The brands I associate with have always aligned with my views. If not, I turn them down, which I have. If I have to choose between making money or being impactful and truthful, money can take a hike. Being authentic and of value to my community is worth more to me.

  • Who inspires you? Zinhle Masango
  • The workout you dread? Running
  • Favourite place you’ve visited? Zanzibar
  • Go to workout song? “Enny Man da Guitar – Remake” and Bacardi music always get me going.
  • Best way to unwind? A trip away to remote areas of South Africa.
  • What would you do if you weren’t a fitness influencer? I’d probably be in a higher position at work and probably slightly miserable.

**MH Partnership

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This