Like any loving dad, Lester May was concerned about his daughter. She was bullied on school so he devised a way to boost her confidence. He thought that if he could get her to spin a car, she would become more confident and outgoing. Little did he know that his cute little daughter would become such a monster spinning sensation that Nike would approach her to endorse their products.
Born and bred in Eldorado Park, the 20 year old Stacey-Lee May looks young for her age. She is often described as ‘cute, small, little and baby-faced’, so it comes as a shock to the spectators when they see this adorable little girl burning the tires of her pink BMW and performing stunts that few would dare. Some of the insanely daring stunts she performs include hoping out of the car, sitting on the edge of her window and hanging upside down outside of the car, all while the car is still spinning.
It could be argued that Stacey-Lee was born to dominate behind the wheel. Her father is a tow truck driver and her mother, Lizel, works at a car dealership.
When her dad decided to teach her how to spin at the age of 18, he took her to an empty parking lot and it only took her an hour to learn how to spin. She admits that after her first spin, she was “shaken” and her “legs were shaking uncontrollably”. It wasn’t long after that she began to dominate on the spinning scene. Her skills became so legendary, that Jeremy Clarkson asked her to appear on The Grand Tour.
As her skills grew, so did her following and a video posted on Youtube got more than 300000 views. Her relationship with Nike started when they saw the video, liked it and approached her to be a brand ambassador for the new Airmax, called the Vapormax.
It isn’t always just about spinning for Stacey-Lee. Education is very important to her parents so the rules are that she first has to study and do her homework before she can even begin to think about cars. She is currently completing her final year in law and finance and when she isn’t studying or spinning, she loves watching television.
Over the weekends, her dad hooks up Stacey-Lee’s BMW to his Fortuner and with her mom in the passenger seat, tows the car across the country to different events. Stacey-Lee follows behind in another vehicle with her sister and brother. This is what they call, ‘Team Stacey’, a team built on family. During her performance, her co-pilot is either her sister or brother.
She says that her success is especially important given the fact that she is from a “small and struggling community”. Her ultimate goals are to inspire others and give back to her community. The advice she gives to others is to “never let go of their dreams and to work hard towards them”. If you feel like you want to do something, go out there and do it. Don’t allow anyone else to tell you something different.
She also gets discriminated against in this male dominated sport. On a video posted on Youtube, someone commented that she should stop spinning and focus on being a woman. She does not, however, let people’s perception of her determine what she can and cannot do.
She admits that that she often feels self-doubt and fear, but with the motivation of her family and her own self-determination, she remains focused on succeeding.
The story of Stacey-Lee is not only a story about spinning but also about a family that cared. It is a story about a kid from Eldorado Park that became a queen. Long Live the Queen.
*Want to see more of Stacey-Lee? Check out the interview below and also see the video of Stacey-Lee performing her stunts.
Source(s): OkayAfrica (Zara Julius), DestinyConnect (Yamkela Mdaka), JacarandaFM, You (Nadim Nyker), ENCA