Botlhale Boikanyo, the renowned South African poet, performer, and actress, achieved remarkable success at a remarkably young age. Born on May 23, 2001, in Mahikeng, North West, Botlhale began writing poetry at just six years old and soon started showcasing her talent at various social events. However, it was in 2012 that she truly rose to stardom.
At the age of thirteen, Botlhale made headlines by winning the prestigious South Africa’s Got Talent competition, leaving a profound impact with her poem titled “Prodigal.” Her fame continued to grow, and in 2014, she further solidified her position in the industry by releasing her original poetry album titled “Spoken Word and Music,” which earned her the South African Music Award for Best Traditional Album. Today, at the age of 20, Botlhale’s net worth stands at an impressive R1.9 million.
RELATED: Mzansi’s Richest Youngsters: Successful Entrepreneurs Under 35 in South Africa
South Africa boasts a group of young and wealthy entrepreneurs who have achieved remarkable success at a relatively tender age. These individuals started small and have grown their ventures into lucrative enterprises. Whether born with an innate entrepreneurial mindset or taught the skills, these young trailblazers have managed to make it big. Let’s take a look at some of South Africa’s richest youngsters:
1. Vusi Thembekwayo, Age: 27
At just 17 years old, Vusi Thembekwayo was already ranked as the top motivational speaker in Africa. Today, he is one of the most sought-after keynote speakers globally, addressing diverse audiences across four continents and captivating over 250,000 people annually.
Remarkably, at the age of 25, Vusi became the youngest director of a multi-national company with an impressive annual turnover of R17 billion. His unique blend of humor binds his audiences together, making him an unforgettable presence.
2. Adii Pienaar, Age: 29
Adii Pienaar is the founder of Woothemes, a company that designs and develops customizable commercial themes and plugins for WordPress. Starting with minimal funding in 2007, Adii has steered Woothemes to generate annual revenues of over $3 million from theme sales alone.
His company also offers themes for other content management systems like Tumblr. Additionally, Adii founded PublicBeta, a platform that facilitates the transfer of knowledge from successful entrepreneurs to startups.
3. Duduzane Zuma, Age: 32
Duduzane Zuma, the son of South African President Jacob Zuma and Kate Zuma, holds a 12.5% stake in the Ayigobi Consortium through his company Mabengela Investments. Ayigobi forms part of AMSA’s BEE deal, encompassing 26% of the company’s operating assets and an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP), with a combined value of R9.75 billion.
4. Mike Eilertsen, Age: 25
From being a teenage waiter to becoming an entrepreneur, Mike Eilertsen founded LIVE OUT LOUD media group company. He compiled a database with contact information on over 100,000 top businessmen in South Africa, leading him to launch a millionaire’s magazine, LIVE OUT LOUD, in November 2007.
5. Sandile Shezi, Age: 23
Sandile Shezi’s journey to success began by selling muffins at school, facing ridicule from peers. Undeterred, he took a bold move by investing all the money meant for his education into Forex trading, which proved to be his breakthrough. This daring decision turned him into a millionaire.
6. Rupert Bryan, Age: 25
Rupert Bryan co-founded ISP Web Africa when he was just 16 years old. Prior to that, he had been running his own web development company since the age of 14. With determination and entrepreneurial spirit, Rupert and his friend built Web Africa from the ground up, turning it into a thriving company with an impressive annual turnover of R130 million.
7. Doug Hoernle, Age: 25
At the age of 19, Doug Hoernle started a tutoring business to help matric students while he was studying at the University of Cape Town. His entrepreneurial journey continued as he ventured into selling inexpensive wines with personalized labels for special occasions. These small ventures laid the foundation for his big opening at the City Bowl Market.
8. Murendwa Mmabasotho, Age: 26
Murendwa Mmabasotho Mukwevho is a multimillionaire with diverse business interests, ranging from logistics to printing. Despite her success, she remains humble and poised, sharing her inspiring success story with others.
9. Max Hussman, Age: 30
Max Hussman, founder of Elegance Group, is not only a prominent entrepreneur but also a swimming Olympic hopeful. He runs an aviation business through Elegance Group, including Elegance Air, sport consulting, and aviation consulting. Born in Accra and raised in Germany, Max found his home in South Africa, where Elegance Group has thrived and made its mark in the aviation industry.
10. Ludwick Marishane
Ludwick Marishane, founder of Headboy Industries, gained recognition for inventing DryBath while still in high school. DryBath is a gel that provides the cleansing benefits of a bath without the need for water. Ludwick’s innovative product earned him accolades, including a cash prize and in-kind awards.
He continues to use these funds to expand his global marketing efforts, securing contracts with various industries, including armies, airlines, and hotel groups, with the goal of saving water and promoting environmental sustainability.
These young entrepreneurs exemplify the spirit of innovation and determination, proving that age is not a barrier to achieving extraordinary success in the world of business. Their stories serve as inspiration for aspiring entrepreneurs, illustrating that with passion, dedication, and a creative mindset, one can overcome challenges and achieve greatness.