Spotting the Durban Spotter

Through pursuing his passion, Malusi Msomi has gone from parking cars at the Elangeni Hotel to being the go-to-guy for automobile appreciation in Durban. Sthembelo Dlamini spent a day talking passionately about cars with the Durban Spotter.



My life is weird. And by weird I don’t mean bad. I mean it’s a little… unusual. Like many of you, I have a lot of different tastes and interests. I like eating different kinds of foods, I watch a bunch of different TV shows and I listen to a wide variety of music. Now here comes the weird part. The common denominator, regardless of what it is that’s caught my interest, I get very passionate about it. I want to know absolutely everything there is to know about it. I want to know where it started, why it came about and what it is that makes it interesting to me.


One thing that I’ve loved forever, like really really loved, is cars. My mom has stories of how I used to turn everything – from the remote control to my sippy cup – into a hi-octane mean machine on wheels while running around the house going brrrr BRRRR brrrr. She probably should’ve bought me toys but hey, that’s all in the past now. For me, cars are more than just a status symbol, more than a means of transport. To me, every car has a personality and human-like characteristics. I kind of know how they work and why they look the way they do. I mean if you’ve watched as many episodes of “How it’s Made” as I have you probably know too.



One of my favourite things in life to do is sit with a dude and talk cars, I can chat about the latest Ferrari and Porsche for hours man and I’m so stoked I got to meet an individual who shares the same passion as I do. Malusi Msomi, more commonly known to you and me as the Durban Spotter, is a pretty wild and energetic guy from Newlands West. The day I met him will be a day I won’t forget for a long time. After sliding in his Instagram DM’s and asking him for an interview I had imagined a quiet sit down at the bar over some coffee or something. Not a chance bruh! The man rolled up to the hotel entrance with a brand new shiny black Mini Countryman S and told me to hop in the passenger seat. As we sped off from the hotel he told me the Mini was a car he had been given by BMW for two weeks and that the angry looking VW Polo GTI behind us was the car that he would be shooting while I asked him my questions.




Malusi works a regular job like most of us do. In Durban, we’re lucky enough to have a few great cars to see on the roads, nowhere near the levels of Monaco or Dubai, but there’s definitely a decent amount of exotic cars to feast our eyes on. There were even several points where he would stop mid-sentence to blurt out the name of a cool car he’d just spotted. And I guess that’s the nature of every successful car spotter. Yes, car spotting is a legit thing. Just like bird watching is a real thing. Car spotters are individuals (OMG AN RS3!) who share photographs or videos of interesting cars they see on public roads. Whether it’s an exotic, rare, vintage or modified, these guys thrive on snapping them and sharing them on their websites and social media for people like myself to lust over.



Malusi has put work into his very successful Instagram, page collecting an impressive 23000 followers.  As much as you might be coughing up your vegan hazelnut latte in laughter, this is some serious shit. So much so that Malusi has even had the chance to work with some of the more respectable motoring journalists at the official Mini launch in George.  He went from parking cars at Elangeni Hotel and volunteering at the Top Gear Road Show to rubbing shoulders with actual journalists with degrees and coffee breath. That, and being invited to ride shotgun in a Ferrari 458 on a mellow Friday afternoon in Addington. Those are memories he says he will cherish forever. Not to say he doesn’t adore every car he has the chance to shoot, though.



His photo game has definitely stepped up since I first started following his Instagram page 2 or 3 years ago. He carries around a giant camera with all the gear he needs to take snaps with, a massive upgrade from the iPhone where he started out. This is important because in the next few years I predict a whole lot of new spotters to start popping up and maybe even teams or communities. Basic Benjamin on YouTube is a great South African example of how far you can actually take this hobby (especially if you have rich parents #justsaying). Dude, people are making careers out of tweeting and in the future, you could probably even get paid to be good at whistling tunes from the radio. The future for Malusi looks bright as well as he hopes to start recording and posting more video content and, taking all the necessary steps towards achieving his dream of owning his very own Porsche 911 Turbo S one day.



To end off, Malusi had something very simple and very important to say; it all begins, happens and ends with Passion. Passion is what gets him through a week of work and passion is what has opened all the doors he has walked through today. No matter how weird your life can be, you never know where true passion will get you.


All of the photos in this article were taken by Malusi so be sure to check out his Instagram  (@Dbn_spotter) and his website for more pics and in-depth reviews. And next time you see a cool or interesting car make sure you snap a photo and send it straight to him.





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