BACKSTORY: Momentum Corporate’s Dumo Mbethe
We question Dumo Mbethe, CEO of Momentum Corporate on his lockdown routine, biggest regret and top tip for doing a deal
What’s your one top tip for doing a deal?
Always keep the "Why" top of mind.
What was your first job?
As a student I did vacation work at an audit firm and I tutored at university.
How much was your first pay cheque, and how did you spend it?
I got R1,000 a quarter for tutoring. I invested it in my first full set of cricket equipment, which I still have today.
What is the one thing you wish somebody had told you when you were starting out?
Just be your best self. Too often we hold back on being our true selves in the workplace and then the office misses out on the magic we could have brought.
What is your lockdown routine?
Meetings allowing, every morning starts with our two-year-old daughter’s morning Zoom class from play school. From there it is mostly meetings until early evening.
What, if anything, would you have changed about SA’s approach to lockdown?
I would call for a pragmatic, safe and expedited approach to reopening the economy while ensuring the health system is brought to full strength.
What is your biggest regret?
No regrets really. I believe fully in the idea that at any time I am where I am meant to be.
What’s the most interesting thing about you that people don’t know?
At university I was a sports news presenter on the university radio station’s breakfast show. I was also a DJ specialising in, wait for it … rock music! Music in general is a big passion of mine and I play one or two instruments in my spare time.
What is the one investment you wish you had made, or made earlier?
I wish I had bought some Krugerrands as part of a diversified portfolio. It would have been handy.
What has been your worst purchase?
I got hurt after buying shares in a company that collapsed. I was heavily invested there and kept investing through all the rights issues. I should have kept the sage advice in mind to "never catch a falling knife".
What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Patience. I like action, and I want things to get done at a reasonable pace.
What is something you would go back and tell your younger self that would impress him?
Focusing on hard work, on results, on always learning and on the human element will win the day. Also, you are enough!
If you were President Cyril Ramaphosa, what would you change, or do, tomorrow?
I would take urgent steps to equip our health system fully and increase the pace at which we open the economy safely.