Nissan SA country director Kabelo Rabotho. Picture: Supplied
Nissan SA country director Kabelo Rabotho. Picture: Supplied

What’s your one top tip for doing a deal?

Aim for both parties to be happy … it must be a win-win. That way both parties will be committed to deliver.

What was your first job?

Life claims clerk at Swiss-Re, immediately after university.

How much was your first pay cheque, and how did you spend it?

It was a few thousand rands, and I used part of it as a deposit for new sofas for my parents’ home and part as a first instalment of my student loan.

What is the one thing you wish somebody had told you when you were starting out?

Failure is a regular part of life, so embrace it because people who are successful fail many times but keep on moving forward.

If you could fix only one thing in SA, what would it be?

Unemployment … a successful society is one that can employ most of its economically active citizens. In our case it’s also critical to reduce poverty and crime.

What is the most interesting thing about you that people don’t know?

I was an altar boy in my tweens and teenage years at St Augustine Anglican Church … I seriously considered becoming a priest.

What is the one investment you wish you had made, or made earlier?

Nothing particularly, other than maybe spending more time with family and friends.

What is the hardest life lesson you have learnt so far?

Not to take things personally … what others say or do is not always about me. Rather a reflection on them.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

Loyalty. Not good when it prevents people from challenging or questioning things.

What is something you would go back and tell your younger self?

Don’t take yourself too seriously — live a bit, create memories and take some risks, you will still be able to achieve your goals.

Was there ever a point at which you wanted to trade it all for a different career?

Yes, to be a medical doctor. In my early years in the automotive industry, I still yearned to pursue medicine … that was before being bitten by the car bug.

If you were President Cyril Ramaphosa, what would you change, or do, tomorrow?

Tackle corruption head-on as this remains a stranglehold preventing us from progress and prosperity.


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