|Full name||Vusi Thembekwayo|
|Ethnicity||Zulu Black South African|
|Born||21 March 1985|
Benoni, Johannesburg, South Africa (now Gauteng Province)
Vusi Thembekwayo is world renowned South African entrepreneur, public speaker and venture capitalist. He was born on the 21st March 1985 in Benoni on the East Rand of Gauteng Province, South Africa. Vusi is best known as one of the ‘dragons’ in the South African version of Dragons Den. Dragons Den was a DSTV Mzansi Magic reality show in which entrepreneurs pitched their ideas to a group of investors with hopes for investment in their businesses. Vusi Thembekwayo has invested in many business and is regarded as one of the richest South Africans under the age of 35.
Coming from an ordinary background, Vusi was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth. Life was difficult at times for him, but he managed to get a good primary and secondary education. Upon completion of his matric, he enrolled at university but dropped out in his first year due to financial constraints. This did not deter him though, but actually made him make other plans. He started looking for a job in shopping malls in the East Rand of Johannesburg in shops and any other potential place of employment. This proved to be a fruitless exercise. Perhaps it was due to fate because he soon continued with his borne oratory skills. He was good in talking in public and convincing people and would use that to his advantage in the years to follow. Having realised the difficulty of find a job, he then used this personality trait coupled with his international networks (acquired through public speaking in previous years) and mobile phones to his financial advantage. He started recruiting apprentices in South Africa for jobs based in England and Australia. This initiative led to the creation of his first company called Global Professionals South Africa, which then created a global recruitment agency which he operated from the comfort of the four walls of his bedroom.
Vusi then sold part of his business to a digital agency based in Johannesburg to digitize the business. Too early for the digital revolution and with poorly chosen partners, Vusi quickly left the company and the money. But at the age of 22, Vusi had the opportunity to change his life: he was offered a position in a corporate finance company. Here, he refined his skills in corporate finance and became one of the finance lever guys in the team. He combined his financial skills with public speaking and after a commitment to speak, he moved away from the event with a job offer. Vusi became an executive at Metro Cash and Carry, one of Africa’s largest consumer goods companies, where he started, developed and managed a multi-million dollar (40 million Rand) portfolio.
Regardless of his status quo, Vusi never really stopped learning, in 2009, he completed the Advanced Management Program at Commerce Wits University. Later, he joined the University of Pretoria GIBS and learned modeling and financial evaluation techniques. In addition, he studied corporate finance and business administration with honors (from the University of Pretoria). Recently, Vusi completed his Executive MBA in Business Administration (MBA) from Hult Business School.
Save for his busy schedule, Vusi Thembekwayo is a family man and this fact was verified with his union with a woman who Vusi prefers to keep private and personal. According to reports, he is blessed with a son and his marriage has been out of the limelight since he got married in 2009 as it has been controversy-free so far.
His early business world mistake was selling a portion of the recruiting company to another that would digitize it led to a huge financial loss because of unfavorable conditions, Vusi forged ahead to work in a corporate finance company as highlighted in his early life section, he fine-tuned and added to his corporate skills knowledge.
Vusi has inspired millions of people with his wits over the long span of his oratory and business career. As a gifted speaker, he has been invited to speak by people from 21 countries around the world, including people from New York, Paris, England, Rio de Janeiro, Dar es Salaam, Lagos, Jersey, Buenos Aires, Kampala, San Francisco, Colombo, and Nairobi.
As a venture capitalist, Vusi has invested his wealth in many listed companies. His biography is inspiring for anyone interested in the business and management sectors.
Vusi recently sold a majority stake in his Motiv8 management consulting business to US partners in a multi-million rand transaction and used part of the proceeds to launch MyGrowthFund, a venture capital firm launched to create and develop entrepreneurs. financing in the rural sector and the markets of the South African municipality. By 2030, Thembekwayo hopes to have created 300 sustainable black businesses by finding and caring for high-growth African-American entrepreneurs through funding, incubation and development platforms plus business development. As part of MyGrowthFund, Vusi Thembekwayo has just launched # Top40, a mentorship program that will enable 40 high-growth companies that provide 1 million rand, through an 18-month mentorship program to expand their business and move to higher level
One of the highlights of his career was actually getting an invitation to address the British House of Common and the World Bank. As part of his inspiration tour in the year 2013 & 2017, he hosted a show in Las Vegas and it was a massive success as the show was sold-out.
Career early 2010's
- 2013-FOUNDED MOTIV8
- 2013-APPOINTED NON-EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR RBA HOLDINGS LTD
- 2013-INVITED SPEAKER AT THE WORLD BANK
- 2012-FUNDED & CO-FOUNDED SPEAKERS BOOTCAMP
- 2011-CO-FOUNDED WATERMARK CAPITAL PARTNERS
- 2011-ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR, FINALIST
- 2010-NEW BUSINESS DIVISION, METCASH GROUP
- 2010-APPOINTED DIRECTOR OF METCASH GROUP
- 2009-DISTINCTION WITH CUM LAUDE
- Worlds Best Speaker, English Speaking Union
Dragons’ Den South Africa – premiering on Mzansi Magic on Tuesday 23 September at 19:00 with dragons Lebo Gunguluza, Vusi Thembekwayo, Polo Leteka Radebe, Gil Oved and Vinny Lingham - wrapped up the filming on Monday at 12:00.
Thembekwayo, a business speaker who was the youngest ever JSE director in South Africa, said the experience fundamentally altered his viewpoint of South African entrepreneurs.
“I drove straight back to my office, sat down and reflected on the process,” Thembekwayo told Fin24, fresh from the Den. "We always seem to focus on what is different about each other, but listening to entrepreneurs from different backgrounds, races and levels of education left me inspired that we have so much in common. It was a fantastic look at the South African kaleidoscope.”
Vusi also starred in One Day Leader - Season 1 One day Leader is a reality format that aims to identify and develop young leaders, between the ages of 18 and 25, while engaging the public and creating awareness around critical social and economic issues. For South Africa to reach its developmental goals, and address its many social issues, it will need strong leadership: not only now, but well into the future.
The idea behind One Day Leader is not to criticize current leaders or forms of leadership. Instead the show aims to encourage young and bright minds to come up with innovative ways of addressing issues, while exposing them to the kinds of challenges and difficulties leaders are faced with
2015 – 2017: Executive MBA (Dean’s List), Business/ Managerial Economics from Ashridge Executive Education, Hult International Business School.
2010 – 2012: Corporate Finance (emphasis on Advanced Valuation),Financial Modelling and Valuations (Cum Laude) from INSEAD
2010 – 2011: Post Graduate Diploma in Business Administration, Post Graduate of Business Administration from Gordon Institute of Business Science.
2008 – 2009: Management Advanced Programme (Cum Laude), Commerce from the University of the Witwatersrand.
- "About - Vusi Thembekwayo". Vusi Thembekwayo. Retrieved 2018-10-31.
- "Vusi Thembekwayo Biography, Age, Net-Worth, Wife - SA Entrepreneurs". SA Entrepreneurs. 2018-02-09. Retrieved 2018-10-31.
- "Vusi Thembekwayo | TVSA". www.tvsa.co.za. Retrieved 2018-09-28.
- "About - Vusi Thembekwayo". Vusi Thembekwayo. Retrieved 2018-09-28.
- "About - Vusi Thembekwayo". Vusi Thembekwayo. Retrieved 2018-10-31.
- "About - Vusi Thembekwayo". Vusi Thembekwayo.
- "Vusi Thembekwayo: Being a dragon changed my life". Fin24. Retrieved 2018-10-31.
- "Will the real youth leaders please stand up". Retrieved 2018-10-31.
- Yarborough, J. Preston (2006-03-31). "Issues & observations: Leaders who encourage get their mojo working". Leadership in Action. 25 (6): 17–19. doi:10.1002/lia.1143. ISSN 1093-6092.
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