From the Editor…Nadine-Todd_Managing-Editor-Entrepreneur

What makes a great entrepreneur? What are the ingredients that together shape a successful business owner? Is it mindset? Circumstance? Luck?

Our cover profile this month, property magnate Sisa Ngebulana, believes the answer to success is adversity: Those who are able to withstand great adversity, and not only live through it, but learn from it, are able to reach levels of success that would have been beyond their reach without those experiences.

His own entrepreneurial journey is testament to this belief. Growing up in Mthatha and raised by his grandparents, Sisa’s grandmother was a great believer in the importance of hard work. ‘You have two hands and two eyes,’ she’d tell the grandchildren living under her roof. ‘You’re blessed. Now go and use them.’

Sisa wasn’t afraid of hard work, but more importantly, he knew that a failure is only as great as you allow it to be. His first business venture left him R800 000 in debt. He refused to declare bankruptcy though, as that would prevent him from seeking further credit down the line, and would stop him from becoming the director of a company. He had big plans and he couldn’t be limited in that way. So he negotiated with the bank, put his head down and worked until he paid the loan back. It took him just under three years.

His next failure was even bigger – R30 million in debt. This too he paid off. And each time he faced adversity, he learnt a lesson. Big construction companies and developers tried to squeeze him out. His second regional mall, Hemingways in the Eastern Cape, was built entirely from materials sourced overseas, because no local companies would do business with him. He saw the challenge, accepted it, and bested it.

If you want to understand the mind of a born entrepreneur, this is it. Sisa’s mantra in life, despite everything he’s faced, is still this: You have everything to gain, and nothing to lose. That’s how he continues to build on his already incredible successes.

Entrepreneurship takes many forms, but the golden thread that binds everyone we feature in the magazine is resilience, and the ability to overcome fears and challenges.

Take Mahadi Granier. Mahadi took her husband and two small children and moved to France in 2015 because she knew that if she wanted to become an entrepreneur, she needed to remove herself from her safe government job and jump into the deep end.

She knew it would be tough. The reality of a new country, language and markets she knew nothing about was even more difficult than anticipated, but she persevered, and today her business, Khalala, assists young South African fashion designers to break into the European market. She’s living her dream.

Often, we find that living a dream and giving back go hand in hand. Siya Metane, aka rapper Slikour, launched his business,, because he wants to raise awareness amongst the black urban youth that the sky is the limit. He doesn’t believe South Africa’s youth is hampered by a lack of ability, but rather ambition – you strive for what you don’t believe you can have. He’s proof that anything is possible if you out your mind to it, and his mission in life is to help the youth understand and believe this too. He’s doing that by partnering with big brands and celebrating urban youth culture.

If you want to be inspired and get a glimpse into what makes successful entrepreneurs tick, this is the issue for you.

What’s in the May 2017 Issue?

May 2017


From Zero to Billions

Sisa Ngebulana went from buying a R22k Kyalami plot to listing a multi-billion rand property group in less than 10 years – overcoming massive adversity along the way.

The Path to the Rich Life

Small shifts for massive gains.

Expectation vs Reality
The truth about start-ups.



  • Psychology of success If you dream it, you can be it
  • Habits Want to be rich? Adopt these 10 changes today
  • Purpose Connecting to your higher purpose
  • Productivity 8 Things ultra-productive people do every day


  • Coach’s Corner Growing your business in uncertain times
  • Cash Cash is king
  • Staying Relevant In this tough economic climate, you need to start focusing on business areas you can control
  • HR Trust builds trust
  • Reverse Sales The benefits of good returns management
  • RICA Act Can your words be used against you?


  • Customer Satisfaction You need to simplify
  • Scale Ups The first rule for fast growing businesses? Scale yourself
  • Shared Value Profit with purpose
  • Global Growth Thinking big
  • Boardrooms The tools that drive success
  • Leadership The good leader
  • Next Level The turnaround king


  • Ideation Baptism of fire
  • Lessons Learnt The truth about startups
  • Bootstrapping Taking the leap
  • Ask Al When partnerships go bad…very bad
  • Brand Building Fun, feisty and serious about growth
  • Leadership Get into the ‘suit’
  • Marketing Why data-driven marketing drives more sales

Anatomy of…

Keri Strobel: With no pageanting experience, Keri Strobel entered Mrs South Africa in 2016 to do something different and combat her post-partum depression. The experience changed her life, giving her the direction she’d been looking for.

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