Meet the moguls
We talk to four investment fundis who are savvy, super-successful – and very stylish
What do you do? I’m a music recording producer and artist who owns an entertainment and lifestyle events company. I’m also the sole heir to my late dad’s estate, which has seen me handling our family’s real estate investments and an industrial-scale farm operation in Nigeria for several years.
How did you get into investing? My mom was a senior accountant who worked for the Federal Government in Nigeria. She always talked about the importance of investments and savings and she still advises me before I take any major financial decisions regarding my dad’s estate.
What type of investments are you currently involved in? Apart from the farm, we have multiple properties across the country on residential, warehousing and corporate office leases.
What do you believe is the best way to invest? In real estate. Your investment’s mostly secure and is almost certain to rise in value.
What was the best property investment you ever made? An old property we bought on a major Nigerian street nine years ago. We resold it to a bank on the same street which desperately needed business premises and got an unbelievably profitable price for it.
20s Chucks “Superstar Ace” Austine, artist and producer
What you do? We specialise in mergers and acquisitions, as well as capital-raising in multiple African countries. We advise on different types of investments on a corporate scale in diverse industries.
How did you get into investing?
I developed a keen interest in it as a university student.
What type of investment are you currently involved in? Corporate finance and large-scale investments for different purposes.
30s Edwin Siebani, Investment Banking Associate: Verdant Capital
Why is investing important to you? On a personal level, it creates wealth – and this can be generational. Given the macroeconomic state of our country at the moment, investing can secure a decent lifestyle and future for my kids and other loved ones.
What investment mistakes have you made and what have you learnt from them? The biggest one was starting to invest very late. For the best earnings, one should start early by saving, joining investment schemes, investing in property, buying shares on the stock market and other options.
What’s the best wardrobe investment you’ve ever made? My Adidas x Pharrell Williams sneakers, which are good-quality and really comfortable.
What do you do? We’re involved in numerous business activities in the film and arts industries. We also invest in residential properties for rental purposes. In addition, I do a lot of political education work and
I’m a political activist. I wrote my first book, Scam-Talk: A Dictionary of South African Slang or Tsotsitaal [Makgetlha Trading], in 2011 and I’ll be launching my second book, Tselakgopo, a collection of seTswana short stories, later this year.
What type of investments are you currently involved in? Film equipment and residential properties.
What attracted you to residential property? We believe it’s a good way to build and preserve capital, since it’s a non-depreciating asset that also yields annuity income. Buying residential property in highly sought-after areas assures you of steady tenants, income streams and appreciating value.
What investment mistakes have you made and what have you learnt from them? When I started investing in property, I thought I could be the landlord and the property manager while still holding down a full-time job. I’ve since learnt to let expert property managers take care of those things on my behalf and not spread myself too thinly. It also taught me to stick to my own areas of expertise and understand my own strengths and weaknesses.
Why is investing important to you? Leaving money idling in a bank account could tempt me to spend it irresponsibly. Investing in tangible things like property and other income-generating assets helps me build a decent inheritance and a lasting legacy for my family.
What’s the best book you’ve ever read? Das Kapital by Karl Marx [Gateway Editions].
40s Thato wa Magogodi, Executive Director: Kgodiso Sechaba Foundation
What do you do? I’m involved in a number of business ventures, from financial services to telecommunications and IT. The most exciting one is Tafari Capital, a new, 100% black-owned financial services platform set to launch soon which will be the first company to offer customers both personal and business accounts free of charge.
This will give the vast majority of SA’s unbanked and underbanked population unprecedented access to funding, markets and financial opportunities.
How did you get into business? It started way back in 1997, when SA was still basking in the euphoria of 1994 and new opportunities were opening up for black people. I was still a registrar in ophthalmology then. While I was training in the UK, I saw how private practices were run there, using practice managers and technology, and I brought the concept back to SA.
What type of investments are you currently involved in? Telecommunications, IT, broadcasting and video technologies and financial services.
What skills do you still need to master? Financial management and the ability to separate my personal expenses from business ones, even if I’m the only shareholder. I also need to master time management and delegation, as I can’t be everywhere at once.
What advice would you offer aspirant entrepreneurs? Identify a problem and find a solution for it. Also, know that technical competence isn’t enough: you need business skills too.
What do you consider the best way to invest? Understand your risk appetite and choose your investment strategy accordingly. The younger you start, the more risk you can absorb. Do your research on current trends and remember, if something sounds too good to be true, it usually is.
What are the best business books you’ve ever read? Failing Forward by John C Maxwell [Thomas Nelson] and Blue
Ocean Strategy by W Chan Kim and
Renée Mauborgne (Harvard Business Review Press].
Do you play a mentorship role? Not formally, but I spend a lot of time advising those willing to listen on the ways of business, as I understand them.
50s Dr Thabo Lehlokoe, medical practitioner and CEO: Seemahale Investment Corporation
SHIRT, R2 215, PRESIDENTIAL STORE
CHINOS, R1 850, PRINGLE OF SCOTLAND
BACKPACK, R329, H&M
BRACES, R149, H&M
WALLET, R89, MRP
WATCH, R89, MRP
ACE WEARS A SCARF, R1 995, TIGER OF SWEDEN. SHIRT, R429, H&M. BOW-TIE, R201, DAVID JONES @ WOOLWORTHS. PANTS (PART OF SUIT), R13 995, PAUL SMITH. BELT, R599, POLO. SHOES, R899, CALL IT SPRING. WATCH, ACE’S OWN
EDWIN WEARS A SUIT, R24 995, SACOOR BROTHERS. SHIRT, R3 495, PAUL SMITH. SHOES, R1 499, STEVE MADDEN
SHIRT, R429, H&M
TIE, R150, WOOLWORTHS
PAISLEY POCKET SQUARE AND FLOWER LAPEL, R199, DAVID JONES @ WOOLWORTHS
SHOES, R249, MRP
BELT, R249, H&M
JACKET, R1 249, DAVID JONES @ WOOLWORTHS
CHECKED COTTON SHIRT, R450, DAVID JONES @ WOOLWORTHS
SHOES, R2 690, CLARKS
HAT, R179, H&M
TIE-PIN, R150, DAVID JONES @ WOOLWORTHS
THATO WEARS A JACKET, R6 999, WAISTCOAT, R1 999, POCKET SQUARE, R199 AND PANTS, R2 750, ALL THE GALLERY SQUARED. SHIRT, R2 650, TIGER OF SWEDEN. TIE, R399, POLO. TIE-PIN, R499, TM LEWIN. SHOES, THATO’S OWN
THABO’S SCARF, R1 995 AND BAG, R5 995, BOTH TIGER OF SWEDEN. JACKET, R1 562 AND PANTS, R604, BOTH WOOLWORTHS. SHIRT, R1 795 AND TIE, R699, BOTH SACOOR BROTHERS. TIE-PIN, R499, TM LEWIN. SHOES, R1 699, ALDO
WOODEN-HANDLED UMBRELLA, R220, WOOLWORTHS
SCARF, R329, WOOLWORTHS
SHOES, R2 990, EUROPA ART SHOES
ZIG-ZAG PRINT BOW-TIE, R199, DAVID JONES @WOOLWORTHS