BACKSTORY: Khaya Buthelezi
We question Khaya Buthelezi, MD at Aphinko Consulting on his top tip for doing a deal, worst purchase and lockdown routine
What’s your one top tip for doing a deal?
If there is no skin in the game, there is no deal.
What was your first job?
As a journalism student at Natal Technikon (now the Durban University of Technology), I was hired as a part-time media monitor in the run-up to the elections in 1994.
How much was your first pay cheque, and how did you spend it?
R1,500, which was a lot of money for a Durban township boy at the time. I used it to open my first bank account and spent the money on building materials for my mother’s house in KwaMashu.
What is the one thing you wish somebody had told you when you were starting out?
That not everyone has your best interests at heart.
What has been your worst purchase?
My Cadillac BLS luxury sedan — I wanted to stand out on the road but it was short-lived; it started giving me mechanical problems from hell.
What is your lockdown routine?
I’m mostly up by 5am and I start by catching up with e-mails I may have missed during the night. I then have a one-hour workout in the garage. By 8am, I’m at my home office desk with a cup of coffee in hand and breakfast. I wake my kids up by 9am to get ready for their online lessons at 10am. We all take a break for lunch. Back to work at about 2pm … I could work until 8pm before my wife starts complaining that she did not marry our bedroom TV.
What is your biggest regret?
Selling my Cape Town house.
What’s the most interesting thing about you that people don’t know?
That as a 12-year-old boy, I built a shack near an army camp in Umlazi township in the mid-1980s to score quick "beer errand" tips from apartheid soldiers.
What is the one investment you wish you had made, or made earlier?
Capitec. A financial analyst in Cape Town didn’t like the stock and convinced me not to add it to my portfolio.
What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Hard work! While this is important, being shrewd takes you places and opens doors.
How do you cope with load-shedding?
When the lights go out all my children congregate in my room and we, the parents, share our childhood stories.
If you were President Cyril Ramaphosa, what would you change, or do, tomorrow?
First, I would fire all underperforming ministers, including the prima donna Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams. Second, I would not extend the lockdown but enforce strict hygiene measures to save what’s left of our ailing economy. In the long term, I would modernise the ANC. A sophisticated economy like ours cannot be led by economically illiterate cadres from Luthuli House who make idiotic policy statements like "When the rand falls, we will pick it up again". All MPs in the country must go for economics 101 training. Third, entrepreneurship training should be compulsory from primary school to tertiary levels.