– Above: Justice Shamba is a husband, a father, a barista, and now also the proud owner of his very own coffee shop, Coffee at Justice.

Lia Snijman

Justice Shamba is a husband, a father, a barista, and now also the proud owner of his very own coffee shop, Coffee at Justice.

This Bellville resident has spent the past 5 years as a barista with Häzz, moving between the main shop in Stellenbosch, one in Bree Street in Cape Town, and one in Newlands, before landing at the stall in Stellenbosch’s Arabesque, a furniture, gifts and fashion shop, at the beginning of 2019.

Shamba says that he initially only made about 10 coffees throughout the day. However, this was where he says his coffee-making skills improved significantly and he started building excellent relationships with his customers. He ended up making about 150 coffees a day.

Justice Shamba with his equipment at Coffee at Justice. Photo: Lia Snijman.

Justice Shamba with his equipment at Coffee at Justice. Photo: Lia Snijman.

Bertrand Russell

The Missing Sock shares a premise with Coffee at Justice, acknowledging their presence with “Coffee” being added to “Laundry” and “Dry Cleaning”. Photo: Lia Snijman.

When lockdown hit, Arabesque and its Häzz coffee stall had to close. Shamba explains that for a few weeks he was simply at home. He then went to the main Häzz and worked there on and off during the time that coffee shops could do some business. He says that it was “tough” as he needed to support his wife and two children while earning considerably less money. “I had to make a plan,” he says.

This was when he got talking with one of his previous customers with whom he has a great relationship. He explained his plan to the customer who agreed to help him out financially by buying the equipment to get him started. He says that the customer knew he is good at what he does.

The generous customer is not currently in the area, thus all of their discussions on which equipment to buy and so forth happened over the phone. 

Through another connection of his, Shamba found out that he could hire a part of the premises at The Missing Sock, a laundromat in Andringa Street.

On his first day, the first of September, he already sold about 50 coffees. He says that it was due to previous customers of his coming to support him and spreading the message via Instagram. “They put me in the place I am now,” he says of his customers. “This is my dream,” he adds, smiling at his surroundings.

Margot Basson, a final year post-grad LLB student at Stellenbosch University, says that the stall was on her way to class and that Shamba always remembers everybody’s names. She describes him as a “real gentleman” and that he brings a lot of joy into the lives of his customers. She adds that she finds it amusing to buy her coffee from Justice just before heading to the law faculty.

Shamba expresses his gratitude that his situation turned out in this way and claims that it is not due to his own wisdom or other positive attributes. “It was the hand of God,” he says.

He uses Terbodore’s coffee beans and says that customers can taste that his coffee is high quality, allowing him to compete with the many coffee shops in Stellenbosch.