Taking it to Coca-Cola, then to the world
Leope pulled an April Fools’ Day prank when he announced that he had sold a 26% stake in his energy drink, Mo Faya, to Coca-Cola for R493 million.
Two years ago, he angered Forbes Africa magazine by posing with a can of Mo Faya on a fake Forbes Africa cover on his social-media website.
However, this move paid off when, six months later, Leope teamed up with the prestigious magazine to launch a new TV show about entrepreneurship on CNBC Africa. So, would the Coca-Cola prank work just as well? “I was sending a message to Coca-Cola to say that, as a start-up company, we do not have a marketing budget, so it is important for us to keep on doing creative things for people to notice us and keep talking about our brand,” he said, adding that one day he would own a global brand.
“Coca-Cola needs to start looking for partnerships with companies like ours to penetrate the township market. For instance, with regard to Mo Faya, I am getting emails from more investors, who want to invest in the brand.”
He said he was once broke after having invested R6 million in his Mo Faya business.
“I would rather build something for my daughter than have a fancy car. Mo Faya is growing and I am happy that I’ve invested in something long term,” said Leope, adding that he was holding off on buying expensive goods and was downgrading his lifestyle.
“I am doing this for my daughter.”